Bachelor of Social Work

You really can change the world. If helping others and making a positive impact on communities is the vision you have for your future, a degree in Social Work is the perfect fit for you. Social workers find employment everywhere from governmental positions to non-profit organizations; women's shelters to addiction centres; cultural support centres to schools.

Check out our University Program Information Guide for information about our different degree pathways, transferability information, instructor biographies, and more! 

Check out the great Spring courses starting May 1st! For more information give us a call toll free at 1-866-623-5551

University Studies

  • ANATOMY I

    Course ID: BIOL230

    Name: ANATOMY I

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an in-depth study of the structures of the human body and their interrelationships using a systems approach. The correlations between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) are noted. Major topics include body organization, the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive systems, the general and special senses, and human development. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students.

  • AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF CANADIAN HISTORY, 1500-1867

    Course ID: HIST210

    Name: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF CANADIAN HISTORY, 1500-1867

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an introductory survey of Canadian history from roughly 1500 to 1867. Some of the major themes discussed include: Aboriginal-European contact; the fur trade; New France; and the expansion of white settlement. In addition, key concepts and methods of history as a discipline are reviewed. Prerequisite - None.

  • BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS II

    Course ID: COMM124

    Name: BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS II

    Hours: 53

    Credits: 2

    Business Communications II reviews and extends skills in using standard English principles, including grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling. Proofreading and editing for common usage and formatting errors in a variety of business documents are emphasized. Writing skills are introduced and applied to memos, letters, and other common business documents. Oral communication and presentations is also covered. Prerequisite – COMM 123

  • BUSINESS LAW

    Course ID: BUSL261

    Name: BUSINESS LAW

    Hours: 64

    Credits: 3

    This course presents legal topics relevant to business, including ways to manage common legal risks. An introduction to the Canadian legal system presents sources of law, the court system, the litigation process, and alternatives to litigation. Tort law includes a study of intentional torts, business torts, negligence, and professional liability. Insurance law covers basic concepts of the insurance industry, and how to manage common risks in business. Basic forms of business organizations are delineated, with a focus on the rights and responsibilities of individuals involved in sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Contract law details how contracts are created, elements of a binding contract, common contractual issues and defects, how contracts are discharged, and contractual remedies. An overview of the Sale of Goods Act will complete the study of contracts. Employment law describes the employer/employee relationship, the rights and duties of the parties involved, and common issues that may arise in the employment relationship.

  • BRAIN & BEHAVIOUR

    Course ID: PSYC275

    Name: BRAIN & BEHAVIOUR

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    Note: This is a Science-Stream Psychology Course. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the area of biological psychology. Its focus is on the scientific study of the biological basis of human and animal behaviour with a biological approach to the study of psychology. Topics that will be covered in this course include: evolution, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology – the study of the structure and functions and activities of the nervous system, neuropharmacology – the study of the effects of drugs on neural activity, the physiological mechanisms involved in sensation, perception, movement, motivation, emotion, learning, and communication. Prerequisites – PSYC 104 and Biology 30 or equivalent.

  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION

    Course ID: SOCI327

    Name: CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    SOCI327

  • DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC102

    Name: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course explores the development of the person through the stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Each stage of human development will be studied from a physical, cognitive, and psychosocial perspective. The course will include developmental influences related to family systems and culture. Prerequisite – PSYC 104 and 105 or consent.

  • DRAMATIC PROCESS I

    Course ID: DRMA101

    Name: DRAMATIC PROCESS I

    Hours: 78

    Credits: 3

    This workshop-based course will explore speech and movement improvization with an emphasis on imaginative development and introduction to the process of acting and to dramatic form. Prerequisite – None.

  • HEALTH EDUCATION

    Course ID: HEED105

    Name: HEALTH EDUCATION

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed as an introduction to the physical, social, mental, occupational, emotional, environmental and spiritual dimensions of personal health and wellness. These dimensions are described within the context of the Canadian Health Care System and the individual's community. Topics include primary health care, nutrition, exercise, stress management, weight management, eating disorders, common health issues and their prevention. Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the seven dimensions of health and the ability to apply this knowledge to a self-analysis of health and physical fitness, as well as development and implementation of a personal wellness plan.


    The intent of this course is to promote a healthy lifestyle. By examining determinants of health, the current health care system, the seven dimensions of health and applying these concepts to their own lifestyle, students will be better equipped to function as role models and act as change agents for health promotion in their community.

  • HISTORY OF THE NATIVE PEOPLES OF CANADA TO 1867

    Course ID: HIST368

    Name: HISTORY OF THE NATIVE PEOPLES OF CANADA TO 1867

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    .

  • INDIVIDUAL & SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

    Course ID: PSYC105

    Name: INDIVIDUAL & SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is the second half of the Introductory Psychology course sequence. It will cover such topics as human intellect, human development from birth to old age, motivation, emotion, personality, social psychological processes, stress and health, as well as mental disorders and their treatments. This course is an overview of these diverse topics, most of which can be studied in one or more complete courses. Prerequisite – PSYC 104.

  • INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY II

    Course ID: CHEM102

    Name: INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY II

    Hours: 90

    Credits: 3

    This course covers principles and applications of kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics and electrochemistry. Prerequisite – CHEM 101.

  • INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC104

    Name: INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is a prerequisite to other psychology courses at Portage College and is normally followed by PSYC 105. (However, PSYC 105 is not a requirement in the CSW program.) This course is intended to inspire an interest in, and an appreciation for, the field of psychology. Topics in this course include the history of psychological science, psychological research methods, the structure and function of the brain and nervous system, learning, sensation, perception, memory, consciousness, thought and language. Prerequisite – None.

  • INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA & TO POETRY

    Course ID: ENGL106

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA & TO POETRY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    English 106 is designed to teach critical writing, critical reading, and critical thinking while studying canonical literary texts from the sixteenth to the twentieth-first centuries. This course combines the study of literary works with instructional texts to teach students to express themselves more clearly in writing and in speech. The creators of this course also hope that students develop an appreciation for fine literary works. This course will present novels and short stories from a variety of historical periods, and from a variety of cultural contexts. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of correct writing style, rhetorical skills, and thinking skills required for academic study.

  • INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

    Course ID: ENTR105

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    .

  • INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY

    Course ID: PSYC101

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This is a general survey course that will help you develop an understanding of the basic concepts and techniques of modern psychology as a behavioral science. Basic psychological concepts are defined and explored. You will be expected to demonstrate the ability to critically reflect upon your understanding of human behavior using current scientific research and evidence. In addition, you will explore the application of psychological knowledge to day-to-day practice and individual behavior, thoughts and feelings. Prerequisite - None

  • INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL & CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

    Course ID: ANTH207

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL & CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an introduction to cultural anthropology through the study of central concepts and key issues in the field. Culture will be examined from a global and holistic perspective, with an eye to the dynamics of culture. Ethnographic examples will be used to illustrate the basic components of culture. Students will learn about the diversity and richness of human culture while gaining insight into their own worldviews and social behaviours. Prerequisite – ANTH 101 or consent.

  • INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

    Course ID: SOCI101

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to introduce students to the discipline of sociology and current sociology trends and issues. The course provides an overview of sociological concepts, perspectives, processes and institutions in a Canadian context. Prerequisite – None.

  • INTRODUCTION TO THE MOVEMENT ACTIVITIES TO CHILDREN

    Course ID: PHED200

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO THE MOVEMENT ACTIVITIES TO CHILDREN

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course explores the study of developmentally appropriate movement activities for children. Students participate in, and work with children in a variety of physical activities in recreational, educational and sport environments. Prerequisite – None.

  • INTRODUCTION TO THE NOVEL & THE SHORT STORY

    Course ID: ENGL108

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO THE NOVEL & THE SHORT STORY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    English 108 is designed to teach critical writing, critical reading, and critical thinking while studying canonical literary texts from the eighteenth to the twentieth-first centuries. This course combines the study of literary works with instructional texts to teach students to express themselves more clearly in writing and in speech. The creators of this course also hope that students develop an appreciation for fine literary works. This course will present novels and short stories from a variety of historical periods, and from a variety of cultural contexts. Particular emphasis will be place of the development of correct writing style, rhetorical skills, and thinking skills required for academic study.

  • INTRODUCTION TO THE PROFESSION OF TEACHING

    Course ID: EDUC250

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO THE PROFESSION OF TEACHING

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course introduces prospective teachers to the complexity of their future professional roles in today’s schools. Students will be encouraged to consider teaching from “the other side of the desk”, and will leave familiar with the intricate framework in which teachers work, and the expectations of various stakeholders. They will gain a knowledge base on which future Education courses will build, and will be introduced to theories of learning and teaching. Prerequisite – None.

  • INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF CANADIAN HISTORY: CONFEDERATION TO THE PRESENT

    Course ID: HIST211

    Name: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF CANADIAN HISTORY: CONFEDERATION TO THE PRESENT

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an introductory survey of Canadian history from 1867 to the present. Among the major themes discussed are nationalism, industrialization, urbanization, and cultural change. In addition, key concepts and methods of history as a discipline are reviewed. Prerequisite – HIST 210 is recommended.

  • LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

    Course ID: BUSI226

    Name: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

    Hours: 64

    Credits: 3

    This course will provide the student with an understanding of the skills generally accepted as necessary and valuable to leaders. The course is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to develop essential skills through study, participation, and self-reflection. The course is designed to integrate current leadership theory with practical applications and the student's own leadership journey. Leadership topics include (but are not limited to) the following topics: personal traits and characteristics; mental models; ethics; diversity; organizational culture; mission,, vision, and strategy; and change. Prerequisite - ORGB193

  • MACROECONOMICS

    Course ID: ECON187

    Name: MACROECONOMICS

    Hours: 64

    Credits: 3

    The overall health of the economy is the prime focus of this course. Gross domestic product, unemployment rates, inflation rates, interest rates, the balance of payments, and exchange rates, and the money supply as measure of economic health are studied. This knowledge provides a framework for analyzing government monetary and fiscal policies. International economic issues including free trade and foreign investment are also examined. Whenever appropriate, applications to current events are introduced. This course includes a tutorial. Prerequisite – ECON 186 is strongly recommended.

  • MARKETING

    Course ID: MARK166

    Name: MARKETING

    Hours: 64

    Credits: 3

    This is an introductory course covering the fundamental principles and concepts of marketing. Major emphasis is placed on the marketing mix and its strategic application to an increasingly complex business environment. In particular, the areas of product, promotion, price, and distribution are examined as they relate to the achievement of company objectives.

  • MYTH & FOLKLORE: CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

    Course ID: ENGL388

    Name: MYTH & FOLKLORE: CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    Western English-speaking civilization has deeply imbedded in it myths and folklore drawn from a very wide range of cultures. Much of children’s literature, particularly novels in a children’s fantasy genre, draws heavily on these traditions, both consciously and unconsciously. This course examines both that tradition in relation to children’s literature, and how and why more modern children’s stories have utilized that tradition. It starts with a critical study of folk and fairy tales that have become a staple part of modern English-speaking cultures, and continues by looking at a number of more modern children’s books that have drawn on that tradition, and have also become central works in the genre of children’s literature. Prerequisite – ENGL 103 or equivalent.

  • NORTH AMERICAN ABORIGINALS

    Course ID: ANTH250

    Name: NORTH AMERICAN ABORIGINALS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an introduction to the study of the history, cultures, and present concerns of Aboriginal peoples in North America from an anthropological perspective, with a focus on First Nations in Canada. Traditional lifeways and contemporary issues will be discussed through the examination of different culture areas across the continent. Prerequisite – None.

  • OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

    Course ID: BUSI222

    Name: OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

    Hours: 64

    Credits: 3

    Operations management is an ever-changing discipline. New concepts are appearing constantly. Operations management is a key element in improving productivity and creating competitive advantage through productivity growth. This course focuses upon such issues as project management, process analysis and supply chain management. Prerequisite – MATH 118

  • ORGANISMS IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT

    Course ID: BIOL102

    Name: ORGANISMS IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT

    Hours: 66

    Credits: 3

    This course explores the development of the person through the stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Each stage of human development will be studied from a physical, cognitive, and psychosocial perspective. The course will include developmental influences related to family systems and culture. Prerequisite – Biology 30.

  • PHYSIOLOGY I

    Course ID: BIOL231

    Name: PHYSIOLOGY I

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides a study of the overall function of the human body. Major topics include fundamental chemistry, homeostasis, cytology and cell physiology, cell signaling and communication, and muscle, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive physiology, as well as fundamental genetics as it applies to human physiology. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students.

  • PHYSIOLOGY II

    Course ID: BIOL232

    Name: PHYSIOLOGY II

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    BIOL232

  • PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY

    Course ID: BIOL208

    Name: PRINCIPLES OF ECOLOGY

    Hours: 90

    Credits: 3

    This course examines how genes function at chromosomal, molecular, and evolutionary levels, and how they are repaired, regulated and transmitted. The course also examines how genes regulate development in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Also covered is the development of genetics from Mendelian transmission through gene mapping, molecular methods, isolation of individual genes, sequencing, genome projects, and beyond. This course will involve carrying out gene mapping, transformation, and other experiments with established genetic model organisms during the lab component. Prerequisite – BIOL 101 or equivalent.

  • RACE & RACISM IN THE MODERN WORLD

    Course ID: ANTH103

    Name: RACE & RACISM IN THE MODERN WORLD

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course gives an anthropological perspective on how the concept of race has been used to understand biological and cultural variation among humans. Issues and topics discussed will include multiculturalism, ethnic identity, prejudice, ethnocentrism, racism, eugenics and the persistence of ethnic identity in the face of globalization. Case studies from different parts of the world are used to illustrate these concepts, including current issues of interest in Canada. Prerequisite – None

  • SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

    Course ID: BUSI223

    Name: SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

    Hours: 64

    Credits: 3

    Almost everyone dreams of starting a business - becoming self-emplyed. To be a successful entrepreneur, one must know that behind every successful business person is a sound business plan. BUSI 223 examines the requirements needed to become a successful entrepreneur. The major focus of the course centres on learning to identify the criteria of a successful business plan and developing a comprehensive business plan. Prerequisite - MARK166, ACCT107

  • SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE AND CONFORMITY

    Course ID: SOCI224

    Name: SOCIOLOGY OF DEVIANCE AND CONFORMITY

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    Deviance and Conformity is an in-depth look into crime and deviance in society, looking at specific schools of thought regarding deviance and conformity within society. A historical overview included with modern ideas of crime and criminality rounds out a picture of deviance and crime in contemporary society. The course focuses on such behaviours as homicide, drug use, prostitution, gangs, mental illness, and sexuality. Prerequisite – SOCI 101 or consent.

  • TECHNOLOGY TOOLS FOR TEACHING & LEARNING

    Course ID: COMA200

    Name: TECHNOLOGY TOOLS FOR TEACHING & LEARNING

    Hours: 78

    Credits: 3

    Technology Tools for Teaching and Learning will help prepare students to develop and integrate project-based learning skills into the classroom. Students will examine the Information and Communication Technology Outcomes Program of Studies as published by Alberta Learning, and are expected to develop modules that integrate the ICT Outcomes using the Internet, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Database, and Multimedia application software. Prerequisite – None.

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