Programs & Courses

Social Work

DIPLOMA / DEGREE / UNIVERSITY STUDIES

About the Program

Make a difference in the lives of others with a rewarding career in social work. Social workers help individuals, families, groups, and communities develop the skills and resources they need to enhance quality of life.  

This 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.

It requires your personal commitment, an open mind, and a willingness to question your own values and beliefs. Taught from a broad and inclusive perspective, there is a strong emphasis on maintaining ethical practices and 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. Practicum experiences bring knowledge and skills together, formulating your identity as a social worker  

The program is designed to meet the knowledge, skills and practice competencies as defined by the Alberta College of Social Work. Graduates of the diploma program have the option of applying to the Bachelor of Social Work program through the University of Calgary (delivered/hosted by Medicine Hat College), or transferring to other Bachelor of Social Work programs.

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

  • 18 years of age or older by the last day of the semester to which you are applying
  • A minimum of 60% in each of the following:
    • ELA 30-1
    • Two 30-level academic subjects
    • One grade 12, 5 credit course

Mature Student

A minimum of 60% in each of the following:
• ELA 30-1 or transferable equivalent
• Two 30-level academic subjects or post-secondary transfer courses

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 50 hours of volunteer or work experience in a social service environment.)

FIRST YEAR

Fall Semester

ANTH 213
Contemporary Aboriginal Issues in Canada
IDST100 Introductory Communications for Helping Professionals
PSYC 205 Principles of Psychology
SLWK 100
Introduction to Social Work Practice
SLWK 102 Social Problems & Policies
Winter Semester
PSYC 351
Developmental Psychology
SLWK 101 Social Work Theories & Practice
SLWK 103 Social Work with Individuals
SLWK 105
Social Work with Groups

Elective
Spring Semester*
Junior ENGL
Elective

* You may choose to take classes in a different configuration or at a slower pace. Any changes to the above configuration, however, should be discussed with the Program Coordinator or Academic Advisor.

SECOND YEAR

Fall Semester
PSYC 357 Human Development
SLWK 206 Social Work Research & Leadership in Human Services
SLWK 208 Social Work with Families
SLWK 212 Social Work Practicum I
SLWK 219+ International Social Work (optional)
Winter Semester
SLWK 209 Social Work with Communities
SLWK 211 Social Work with Mental Health, Trauma and Addictions
SLWK 213  Social Work Practicum II
   Elective
Spring Semester (Optional)
SLWK 220+ International Social Work Practicum

+Not offered every year. Check with the Program Coordinator.


VIEW COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

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.

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.