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Social Work

Trent University Students studying at the library

Social Work



Through a curriculum grounded in social justice, human rights, and cultural awareness, Trent’s social work students develop a strong foundation of direct practice, critical thinking skills, leadership, and social responsibility. The vision is to produce highly qualified ethical social workers who are passionate, practical, prepared, and professional by teaching them various theoretical approaches, research methods, critical thinking skills, and applied practice. As evidence of this overarching objective, successful graduates from the Bachelor of Social Work program at Trent will:

  • Understand broad political, ethical, economic, and policy debates impacting the social work profession and practice;
  • Identify and analyze examples of cultural, economic, and social injustices in Canada and internationally;
  • Be critically informed advocates for social, cultural, and economic justice who utilize critical theoretical frameworks to understand issues such as inequality, oppression, poverty, colonization, racism, exclusion, isolation, violence, and trauma;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the emergence and development of institutional structures and social welfare policies in the modern state in general and specifically in the pan-Canadian context; 
  • Be able to critically evaluate social and scientific research in service of social work practice;
  • Be informed ‘consumers’ of research knowledge and understand, design, and potentially conduct research using a variety of methodologies/ approaches (e.g., statistical, emancipatory research, participatory action research, program evaluation, etc.);
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the following concepts and their application to the practice of the social work profession: culture; ethnicity; class; identity and social location; dignity; diversity; and oppression/privilege;
  • Be able to work collectively with and advocate on behalf of marginalized populations (e.g., aging, diverse, and economically marginalized groups), with complex needs such as access to justice, housing, and mental well-being supports;
  • Develop the ability to engage effectively in individual, family, group, and community interactions;
  • Demonstrate necessary professional oral and written communication skills;
  • Develop assessment, intervention, and leadership skills, regarding individual, family, group, and community interaction.