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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Gain Valuable Experience

The purpose of field education is to provide you with the opportunity to practice and integrate advanced-level social work values, knowledge and skills, including the development of a professional “self” and professional identity as a social worker.

Field education placements are courses which are graded (pass/fail) by an agency-based qualified field instructor assigned to teach each student. The workload of placements is controlled to facilitate an emphasis on learning.

Where do Students Complete their Field Placements?

You will complete placement hours and attend classes at the Faculty during the same time period. Placements are most often located within a 150-kilometer distance from the Faculty.  Each placement cycle, the Field Education Office recruits placements from interested social agencies. Agencies, instructors and placement content are approved by the Field Office. Commuting to placement is expected and many agencies require that you have access to a car while on placement.

How are Students Assigned to a Placement?

You will be asked to rank interest in available placements.  You are assigned to a placement interview based on the requirements of your MSW program and of the agency. Your interests in particular placements are also taken into consideration.  Placements are not guaranteed. The Field Education office also considers new placement opportunities that you propose within the appropriate time frame.

When do Field Education Courses Take Place?

The timelines for field education courses are structured and sequenced to reflect course requirements and program progression. The following timelines also ensure that you attend the required seminars and workshops that are part of the field education course, and that you complete your program requirements in a timely manner.

Field Education Course Timelines

Days Months Time in Placement
Foundational Field Education: Three/four days a week Monday to Wednesday and Monday to Thursday January to March and April to May 462 hours of placement
Advanced Field Education: Three days a week Monday to Wednesday September to April 546 hours of placement
Advanced International Field Education: Five days a week Monday to Friday Late August to December 720 hours of placement

Who Evaluates the Field Education Courses?

Professional and qualified instructors teach you in the field. Field education instructors typically hold an MSW degree and are recognized as “our faculty in the field.” Instructors have a minimum of two-years post-master’s experience as well as formal training.

What are the Costs Associated with Placements?

Field education courses are covered under student fees. There are no extra charges through the university. However, while on placement, you are usually expected to pay for expenses such as police checks, mileage and parking. Students and instructors are not paid. 

It is precisely because education was the primary tool of oppression of Aboriginal people, and miseducation of all Canadians, that we have concluded that education holds the key to reconciliation.

— Justice Murray Sinclair
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

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