Social Work


Fall 2020 Update

Course Delivery Summary:

  • Year 1: Online
  • Year 2: Blended

The Social Work program will continue to offer all courses and experiences during the time of COVID-19. Most of the courses in the program are well suited to online learning; however, first year students may be required to attend a face-to-face lab in the winter term. Students who are in practicum placement (typically in the second year of the program), are expected to attend their community practicum sites unless an alternative field placement is arranged.

Prepare to Learn:

  • Your active participation in COVID-19 prevention is important. Please visit the COVID page to learn about your responsibilities, how to access campus, and what to expect.
  • Details about tools and technology requirements, as well as additional course details, will be shared before the end of July.


About the Program

Medicine Hat College’s two-year diploma program combines knowledge of the humanities and behavioural sciences, an understanding of social work theory and philosophy, and the development of practical skills in classroom and fieldwork settings. The program is designed to meet the knowledge, skills and practice competencies as defined by the Alberta College of Social Work.

Post-diploma you have the option of applying to the Bachelor of Social Work program through the University of Calgary (delivered/hosted by Medicine Hat College), or other Bachelor of Social Work programs. Medicine Hat College has a transfer agreement in place with the University of Calgary. Other institutions will assess applicants on a course by course basis. You may also apply your social work diploma as credit towards a Bachelor of Professional Arts (Human Services) from Athabasca University.

Medicine Hat College’s Social Work program offers advantages that include small class sizes, excellent practicum placement options, and faculty who are committed to student success. The program requires your personal commitment, an open mind, and a willingness to question your own values and beliefs. The program is taught from a broad and inclusive perspective. You will be given a foundation of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes necessary to enter into social work practice. There is a strong emphasis on maintaining ethical practices and an understanding of personal and professional values and professionalism. There is also a focus on diversity, anti-oppressive practice, and social justice.  

Most classes are designed to provide you with the theoretical understanding of various concepts and skills necessary to work with individuals, families, groups and communities. The practicum experiences are where you bring your knowledge and skills together, formulating your identity as a social worker. You will develop critical thinking skills, interpersonal communication skills, and group work skills. As a social worker, you may provide assessment, counselling, and referral services to individuals and their families. You may also work with clients and families to overcome emotional, behavioural, social and financial difficulties.

For all routes, you must first apply to Medicine Hat College indicating your interest in the Social Work Diploma program. You will then receive an application package specific to the Social Work program that outlines details of the pre-program requirements. Please note that the information that you provide on the personal profile, and that provided by references, will be considered during admission screening to ensure you meet basic standards and have reasonable chance for success in the program and in the profession.

High School

  • 60% or greater in ELA 30-1
  • Three grade 12 5-credit courses
  • 18 years of age or older by the last day of the semester to which you are applying

Mature Student

This route is applicable if you do not meet the minimum requirements for admission but possess other post-secondary and/or work experiences that create potential for success in the program. You must have a 60% or higher in ELA 30-1 (or equivalent) or a university level English.

Transfer Route

If you have previously attended a recognized college or university, you must be accepted on the basis of your college or university level coursework. You must have 60% or higher in ELA 30-1 (or equivalent) or a university level English course.

Other Admission Considerations
  • A current resume
  • A personal profile questionnaire providing information related to your background and suitability for the program
  • One reference from a volunteer or workplace supervisor (You must have a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer or work experience in a social service environment.)
Some courses related to this program are found here. Please see the academic calendar or this year's program planning guide for an up-to-date set of courses related to Social Work.

Graduates of the program will find employment opportunities with:

  • Government departments
  • School boards 
  • Group homes and residential services 
  • Health and mental health agencies
  • Family and social service agencies
  • Employment assistance 
  • Correctional services and agencies 
  • Addictions services
  • Non-profit community agencies

What is your education going to cost?

Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.

Looking for ways to help fund your education?

There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.

Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.

The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.

At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.

As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.

Have you always wanted to study abroad?

Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.

You are selected for practicum on the basis of academic performance, professional suitability, fitness and conduct, volunteer community service, and availability of practicum sites.

In order to ensure the protection of clients, you are required to provide up-to-date child welfare and criminal record checks, at your expense, prior to entry into practicum placements.  You are responsible for providing copies of the Alberta Children's Services Intervention Record Check and Police Information Check to practicum supervisors prior to starting placements  You are obligated to inform the Program Coordinator immediately of any changes in the status of your criminal record.  Prior involvement with Alberta Children's Services or a criminal record may limit the practicum options available to you.

Should the program coordinator judge, in consultation with faculty, that there is evidence that your are professionally unsuitable or a risk to clients, the coordinator may prohibit you from attending or completing a practicum.

International Practicum
Different opportunities may arise for you to participate in an international practicum.  Social Work students from Medicine Hat College may be invited to participate in international practicum placements with other institutions or Medicine Hat College Social Work program may offer this opportunity by itself.  In both situations you must go through an application process and suitability for participation will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  You will be expected to complete all prerequisite requirements before departure.