Social Welfare and Social Development

Social Welfare and Social DevelopmentDo you think about changing the world and making it a better place, but you aren’t sure where to start? Do you want to empower people and enrich the lives of others? If you have a passion for social issues and want to advocate for social justice, then the Social Welfare and Social Development program at Nipissing University is the right home for you.

Our interdisciplinary program is unique in Canada in both name and content. It focuses on inequality and the groups that have been underrepresented in the distribution of resources, opportunities, and power. Our students graduate with a thorough understanding of the causes and consequences of inequality in global, national, and local contexts, and an ability to formulate options for improving collective well-being.

Collaborative Degree-Diploma Program

Once you have registered with us, you will have the option of applying for entry into our collaborative program with Canadore College (conveniently located next door). In just four years, you can earn an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare and Social Development as well as a Social Service Worker diploma.

You will attend Nipissing in your first, second, and fourth years. In your third-year, at Canadore, you will receive training in the practical knowledge and skills of the Social Service Worker profession. In your final semester (April-June) at Canadore, you will complete a 350-hour fieldwork placement at a human service agency, enabling you to acquire valuable skills in a workplace setting.

Advanced Standing: Social Service Worker Diploma

Have you earned a two-year Social Service Worker diploma from an Ontario college? If you have, you can receive up to two full years 
(60 credits) of advanced standing toward a 4-year Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in our program.

For further information, email or call 705.474.3450 ext. 4600.

Considering Social Work?

If you are considering taking Nipissing’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, you will first have to complete two years of general, liberal arts studies. If this is your plan, we offer many courses that will provide you with excellent preparation for the BSW.​​​​​​

SWLF 2995 Community Service-learning for Social Development

In recent years, students in SWLF 2995 (Community Service-learning for Social Development) have undertaken placements at a number of local agencies. Click here to view the complete list.

Graduate Studies Workshops

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Scholarships, awards and bursaries for students in the Social Welfare and Social Development program

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Social Welfare And Social Development Student Club

Social Welfare and Social Development has an active and engaged Student Club. The Club is a way for students to get to know each other socially and help each other academically. Check out one of the activities of our Club, as covered in the local media.

Would you like to hear a student perspective on some of your questions about SWLF? If so, just drop the Club a line at:

You can find further information on the Student Club on the department’s Facebook page.

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Full-time Faculty

Part-time Faculty

Career Options

After you graduate, you could be employed in a variety of occupations, mostly in the public sector at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.

You might find yourself in departments like education, health, housing, immigration and citizenship, international development, labour, social services, or veterans’ affairs, working perhaps as a claims adjudicator, employment planning officer, housing management officer, immigration officer, public affairs officer, or policy analyst.

Furthermore, you could be employed in government-funded institutions such as hospitals, human service organizations, prisons, or universities. You might also find yourself working for foundations, advocacy associations, interest groups, charities, trade unions, religious institutions, Aboriginal organizations, political parties, or global non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

These examples demonstrate the range of potential employers for whom you might begin your career as a researcher, media relations officer, legislative assistant, fundraising officer, intake worker, grants administrator, or volunteer coordinator – and these are just a handful of possible job titles.

In addition, if you complete our Honours Specialization with a Social Service Worker diploma, you might find employment as a case manager, child and youth worker, client support worker, crisis intervention worker, day program facilitator, employment counselor, intake worker, intellectual disability support worker, outreach worker, trauma counselor, or youth worker.

Academic Options

Many of our students have gone on to pursue careers in social work, after earning a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or a Master of Social Work (MSW); and teaching, after completing a Bachelor of Education (BEd).

There are also many more opportunities for higher education at the graduate level. See the following selected list of Canadian MA programs, chosen specifically for their relevance to students in Social Welfare and Social Development.​