Students choose either a masterís project or thesis track. Students in the thesis track take five required full-course equivalents including a thesis (SW5901) which is two full course equivalents. Students in the project track take four required full-course equivalents including a one credit project (SW5801) plus two half course electives. The Field Practicum (SW5601), which is a required full course equivalent of 450 hours for students in both the thesis and project tracks, may be located in a community other than Thunder Bay if approved by the studentís supervisor.
What is the difference between a project and a thesis?
|The project provides for scholarly exploration, analysis and critique of a chosen social work policy or practice issue from a social work frame of reference. This process should begin with a review of the relevant literature and current thinking in the chosen area, and lead to the exposition of a position (program, treatment or policy recommendations, for example) or a proposed intervention regarding that issue (including but not limited to such products as treatment or program manuals and training modules). It may lead to a pilot study and a limited data collection when there is an exploratory question and the need for some preliminary data to guide further research.
The emphasis for the project is on scholarly thinking and critical analysis.The emphasis for the project is often more practical, leading to the development of a program or a manual, or a proposed intervention.
The project should demonstrate excellence, and may even be publishable. However, the project may not carry the same burden of originality as the thesis. Its essential purpose may be to further the knowledge of the student in an area of personal interest or to further the interests or knowledge of a particular local group or community, as in the case of developing a resource manual or training module. The materials may be drawn together in a unique way which reflects the interests and needs of that group or organization, but the material may not in itself be an original contribution to collective social work knowledge.
The project track recognizes that not all topics lend themselves well to student research, because of time frames, methodological difficulties, or simply because the interest of the student may be more exploratory in nature, and a specific research question may never materialize.The project may be, but is certainly not limited to:
The project is worth one full course credit.
The student is required to engage a project supervisor to supervise the work.
The final project report is reviewed by the supervisor and by two additional readers.
The project can reasonably be finished to allow the student to graduate in 14 months.
|The emphasis with the thesis is on the development of a research question or theory which is situated within a tradition of existing knowledge and research and which is then rigorously investigated following procedures from established research traditions. Scholarly exploration and critical analysis are an integral part of this process, but they lead on to the systematic investigation of a question or the testing of a hypothesis, and to the statement of a position, or thesis, which arises from the evidence gathered.
The thesis is driven by critical inquiry, and typically leads to empirical investigation, or theory testing, through established quantitative and/or qualitative methods.The emphasis for the thesis is more theoretical, to rigorously test the effectiveness of a proposed intervention.
The thesis, in contrast, can be expected to advance our collective knowledge as a discipline. It should make an original and/or significant/or meaningful contribution to the knowledge base of social work. Like the project, the thesis provides the opportunity to conduct a scholarly exploration of a particular social work issue, but the emphasis is on theory building and the advancement of knowledge based upon argument from evidence.The thesis may be, but is not limited to:
The thesis is worth two full course credits.
The student is required to engage a thesis supervisor who then forms a thesis committee.
The final thesis is reviewed by the supervisor, and by the committee, and finally by an external reviewer, according to Senate Graduate Studies requirements.
The thesis can reasonably be expected to take two full academic years to complete