Jun 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Calendar Mount Royal University 
2023-2024 Academic Calendar Mount Royal University [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, BSW

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General Information

The Bachelor of Social Work is a direct entry, a four-year degree. Courses in social work practice, theory, policy, and research are grounded within contemporary theoretical frameworks, including decolonization, Indigenous ways of knowing, anti-oppressive practice, and strengths perspectives. This course of study prepares students for practice with individuals, children and families, groups, and communities in complex social settings. Advanced study and practice within a child intervention concentration provide specialized training for Social Work students who plan to work in child intervention settings. 

The learning outcomes for the Bachelor of Social Work reflect the values, knowledge, and skills that Social Work students are expected to acquire and demonstrate upon completion of the BSW and are designed to equip them for professional practice. These include

1. Foundational Social Work Knowledge:

a. Develop an understanding of the historical, philosophical, ethical, and theoretical perspectives of Social Work practice. 

b. Develop a professional identity as a Social Work practitioner consistent with the values and goals required for professional practice.

c. Have knowledge of, and demonstrate an ability to, practice within the relevant parameters of the profession, including the Alberta College of Social Work Standards of Practice and the Canadian Association of Social Work Guidelines for Ethical Practice.

d. Demonstrate the ability to assess the social, economic, cultural, and structural contexts of social issues facing individuals, children and families, groups, and communities, including the impact of oppression and marginalization at a variety of levels as well as those traditionally impacting Indigenous communities in Canada.

e. Acquire knowledge and skills to apply Social Work theories in support of service provision, professional practice, policy development, and research in local and global/contexts.

2. Respect for Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being:

a. Support Indigenous efforts to restore health to people, families, communities, and nations.

b. Understand the history of Social Work interventions with Indigenous peoples, including the Residential School era, the Sixties Scoop, and contemporary Canadian contexts.

c. Recognize the diversity among Indigenous peoples and communities.

d. Demonstrate awareness of Indigenous ways of knowing and being and their impact on helping practices

e. Incorporate into their practice the unique and diverse experiences of Indigenous individuals and communities and ensure effective engagement and collaboration with Indigenous children, families, and communities.

3. Child Intervention:

a. Preserve and support families.

b. Incorporate a strength-based, safety-organized approach to child intervention with children, families and communities.

c. Develop the knowledge and skills to gather and critically evaluate information using a variety of evidence-informed approaches and tools to aid in conducting child intervention investigations across communities and cultures.

d. Develop skills to establish, sustain, and foster effective working relationships with children, families, and communities that are focused on achieving child intervention outcomes.

e. Develop and apply knowledge of the impact of Residential School experiences and the Sixties Scoop on Indigenous children and their caregivers.

4. Practice Skills:

a. Engage with individuals, children and families, groups, and communities through inclusive professional Social Work practice.

b. Develop knowledge and practice skills in a broad range of areas, including engagement, assessment, intervention, advocacy and evaluation.

c. Develop knowledge and practice skills to engage in anti-oppressive practice and advocacy with/ on behalf of individuals, children and families, groups, and communities.

e. Develop knowledge and demonstrate skills in critically evaluating social policies in relation to the wellbeing of children and families, groups and communities, including Indigenous peoples and immigrants in Canadian and global contexts, and contribute to policy advocacy and change.

f. Acquire knowledge and skills to critique, apply, or participate in Social Work research and evaluation.

g. Practice collaboratively and contribute to equitable partnerships within the context of teamwork, interprofessional practice, and community engagement.

5. Critical Thinking/Analysis:

a. Understand and articulate the multiple causes and impacts of complex social issues and exercise appropriate professional judgment.

b. Develop skills in critical thinking and decision-making.

c. Identify and address structural sources of injustice and inequalities in the Canadian and global contexts, including the impact of colonization on Indigenous and newcomer communities.

6. Human Rights, Diversity, and Social Justice:

a. Understand the causes of discrimination, oppression, poverty, exclusion, exploitation, and marginalization and their impacts on individuals, children and families, groups, and communities.

b. Develop knowledge and skills to provide respectful, equitable and effective services to diverse populations and communities as informed by their unique history, values, and cultures.

c. Develop a capacity for self-reflection and a critical understanding of power, privilege and social location, as well as awareness of personal biases as they relate to professional Social Work practice.

d. Employ professional practices that support and enhance diversity and advance social justice for individuals, children and families, groups, and communities.

General Admission Requirements

All students must meet the general admission requirements for Mount Royal University programs, as indicated in the Admission section of this calendar.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements indicated in the Admission section of this calendar, applicants must also satisfy the following criteria:

Academic Course Requirements

The following specific courses (or equivalencies) with the specified minimum grades are required for admission into the Bachelor of Social Work:

  • English Language Arts 30-1-65%
  • Social Studies 30-1 or Aboriginal Studies 30-60%

Although Conditional Admission may be granted in advance of receipt of final and official transcripts, confirmation of the achievement of specified minimum grades will take place after all final and official transcripts have been received by the University. Applicants who do not meet these minimum grade requirements will be denied admission.

Bachelor of Social Work Post-Diploma Entrance Option

Students possessing a completed Social Work Diploma from Mount Royal University or from an accredited post-secondary institution within Alberta may apply through the Post-Diploma entrance option and will be considered through a competitive admission process for the Bachelor of Social Work degree.

Indigenous Student Admission

Each year 15% of the seats in the Bachelor of Social Work will be reserved for Indigenous applicants through an Indigenous admission target. To be considered for admission under the Indigenous admission target, the applicant must:

  1. self-identify as an Indigenous applicant on the Application for Admission
  2. meet the definition of an Indigenous Applicant
  3. meet the minimum admission requirements as indicated in the general admission requirements for Mount Royal University as well as any program level admission requirements

Designated seats for this special consideration target will be filled by Indigenous applicants on a competitive basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply during Early Admission. Any unfilled designated seats will be released on July 15 to students applying under the general admission requirements.

Academic Performance Requirements

In matters of progression and continuance, there are instances when institutional processes do not fully address concerns related to student continuance in a program. This applies in the following circumstances:

  1. Violations of a professional code of ethics and/or standards of practice (i.e. Canadian Association of Social Work Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Ethical Practice, and the Alberta College of Social Work Standards of Practice). A committee established by the program will assess violations of relevant codes and standards and whether the student will be required to withdraw from the program based on the seriousness of the violation.
  2. Students who are unsuccessful after two registrations in the same core course (as defined by the program) will be required to withdraw from the program. This includes the following examples of unsuccessful registration:
    • Students who do not achieve the minimum required grade (as defined by the program) in one or both registrations;
    • Students who earn a grade of “F” in one or both registrations; and
    • Students who withdraw from the course with a “W” in one or both registrations.
  3. Students who are denied a practicum placement by an external stakeholder because of an assessed detrimental impact on the client, client group, or community being served. Students who are unable to meet clinical or field course requirements on this basis will be required to withdraw from the program. An appeal process is available, see the Bachelor of Social Work Handbook and the Practicum Manual.

Police Information Check

All students will be selected for a practicum on the basis of academic performance, professional suitability, volunteer community service and availability of practicum sites. At the time of practicum, students will be required, at their own expense, to obtain a Police Information Check. It is each practicum agency’s decision to accept or reject a student for placement or observation experience based upon the results of police information or other background checks. Since both completion of course requirements and eventual employment in a field of study may be dependent upon the results of such checks, students who have concerns should discuss the matter with the department chair or designate prior to applying for admission.

Field School Opportunities 

Qualified students may have an opportunity to complete a field school, normally during the Spring semester.

General Education Requirements

Ten courses must be completed to meet the General Education requirements to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work.

  1. Four courses will be taken at the foundational level: one from each of the thematic clusters.
  2. Three courses will be taken at the second tier: no more than one from each of the thematic clusters. 
  3. Three courses must be taken at the third tier, selected from at least two of the thematic clusters.

Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor before registering for all support courses.


  • Four Electives. 

An elective is any course that does not fulfill a requirement for the Core, Major or General Education.


Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work must complete one of the two concentrations.

Graduation Requirements

Eligibility to graduate from a Mount Royal program requires that a student meet all of the following conditions:  

  1. has been officially admitted into the program;  
  2. has completed at least 25% of the graduation requirements as a student within the program; 
  3. has met the residency requirement; 
  4. satisfies all program requirements specified in the curriculum at the time of admission to the  program or the current program;  
  5. meets the requirements for Good Standing at the time the application to graduate is evaluated.  
  6. students should also be aware that a maximum of 16 junior (1000-level) Courses may be used to satisfy requirements for a baccalaureate degree. 
  7. all graduation requirements for a baccalaureate degree program must be completed within eight years of initial admission to and enrolment in the baccalaureate degree program. 

Program Graduation Requirements 

Degree candidates in the Bachelor of Social Work must complete all core courses in the program with a final grade of “C” or better. To be eligible for graduation, students must satisfactorily complete all program requirements. Students must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 2.00 to be eligible for graduation. Students who have completed all program requirements will be awarded a Bachelor of Social Work from Mount Royal University.

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