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School of Health & Community Services

Social Work

Please note, the application deadline for this program is May 1, 2024.

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 or transferring to other Bachelor of Social Work programs.

Social Work Program Mission Statement:
The Social Work Program at Medicine Hat College educates, inspires, and empowers social workers of the future.

Please note, the application deadline for this program is May 1, 2024.

High School

A minimum of 60% in each of the following:

  • ELA 30-1
  • Two 30-level academic subjects
  • One 30-level, 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. 

First Year

Fall Semester

  • ANTH 213 - Contemporary Indigenous Issues in Canada
  • IDST 100 - Introductory Communications for Helping Professionals
  • PSYC 201 - Introduction to Psychology II - Social Science
  • 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 - Evidence-based practice in Social Work: Research, Leadership &                                     Indigenous Ways of Knowing
  • 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.


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 

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.

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