Community members and social workers at a meeting and workshop for the Identity Based Wrap Around Initiative at Fort Calgary, Faculty of Social Work UCalgary

Become a Field Instructor

Information about becoming a field instructor with the University of Calgary

Greetings from the Field Education Team!

Field education, or practicum, is the key method of instruction and learning through which our profession socializes its students to become practitioners. It's often called the 'heart' of social work education, because it's such a critical part of becoming a social worker.

Practicum offers students practical and supervised opportunities to develop and apply their social work knowledge, values, ethics and skills. It also helps integrate the theory and skills students learn in class with their professional practice and social work identity.

We are looking to engage alumni and social workers as field instructors who will contribute to educating the next generation of social workers, please look over the information on this page, and contact us if you have questions.

Benefits of becoming a field instructor

20 Credits

For starters, field instructors are eligible for 20 Category ‘A’ ACSW continuing competency credits.

"Hello professor"

You'll be able to put the title Adjunct Professor (Field Education) on your resume, reflecting the fact that you are a partner in our student's education. 

Research just got easier

Field instructors are given access to the University of Calgary online journals and library. 


As a token of our appreciation, we're also happy to offer discounts for some of our Category A professional development workshops

two people looking at a laptop

What do field instructors do?

During practicum all students are supervised by a qualified social worker (field instructor). This supervisor offers ongoing guidance and feedback throughout the practicum. Students will benefit from 1 hour of supervision for every 15 hours of practicum.

Practicum Placements Needed For ...

Give back to the profession as you help to shape the careers of the next generation of social workers. Field Instructors must possess a BSW or MSW and be registered with ACSW.

Both BSW and MSW students require a minimum of of one hour for every 15 hours of placement.

  1. SOWK 410 - Introductory Practicum

    The Introductory Practicum is required of students in the University Transfer Route, not of students in the Post-Diploma route. SOWK 411, Integrative Seminar, is co-requisite with the practicum.

    The purpose of initial practicum in the BSW is to provide students with an introduction to professional social work practice in a specific setting. The student's time at practicum is spent according to the particular requirements of the setting and learning needs of the student, and includes direct and indirect social work practice opportunities.

    Note: Students with extensive social work experience may be eligible to receive credit by special assessment for the Introductory Practicum. Details regarding this possibility are included in the BSW Field Education Manual

  2. SOWK 412 - Senior Practicum

    The Senior Practicum is required of all students in the BSW program. SOWK 413, Integrative Seminar, is co-requisite with the practicum.

    The purpose of the second practicum in the BSW is to provide students with an intensive experience in the delivery of professional social work practice in a specific setting.

  1. Senior Practicum

    SOWK 590 - Final Practicum Learn More >>

    SOWK 592 - Final Integrative Seminar Learn More >>

  1. MSW students - Foundational Field Practicum (SOWK 633)

    These students are completing the first year of their MSW program. Many of them will have skills from previous social service employment or volunteer work, as well as knowledge from their undergraduate degree in a discipline other than social work.

    The Foundational Practicum consists of 450 hours from Jan. - April. Students are normally in placement four days per week. 

  2. MSW students - Advanced Practicum (SOWK 660)

    The Advanced Practicum is a minimum of 500 hours, and students need to complete a minimum of 20 hours per week in practicum.

    Students complete a practicum that aligns with their specialization (i.e. clinical, international and community development, leadership in the human services).

University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work students

What can a student offer?

Our students bring their diverse life experiences, skills and knowledge that compliment their social work education. Over the years, students have helped organizations to create, evaluate and administer programs. They've provided additional organizational capacity, conducted vital research, created social media campaigns, online videos and other outreach materials. Organizations have told us that students bring in a fresh, diverse perspective.