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University of Michigan

Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research

University of Michigan via Coursera MasterTrack


With this program you’ll gain a greater understanding of social work practice, the history and impact of policy on key social services, and the research that supports effective practice.

You’ll also have the chance to explore the social work profession under the direction of expert faculty. You’ll learn to apply key skills required to work with different stakeholders to promote positive changes and make a difference. Also, you’ll cover how to integrate social justice values into social change processes and actions as well as develop an understanding of the key knowledge bases and frameworks that social workers use to guide their work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice.


## Watch the program trailer

Get inspired by this program trailer featuring faculty from the School of Social Work. [Watch it today](

[![UMich Social Work Trailer](//](

You can watch these videos to learn directly from University of Michigan faculty and admissions counselors about [social work practice]([email protected]?registrantKey=998899030000857611&type=ATTENDEEEMAILRECORDINGLINK) and [program pathways](


Course 1: Social Work Practice: Advocating for Social Justice and Change
- In this course, you will learn how social workers in the United States create change and support the resilience of individuals, families, and communities. You’ll have an opportunity to explore the social work profession, the different roles of social workers in a range of settings, the cross-cutting themes that guide social work practice, the history of social work, and current challenges. Using a social justice lens, you’ll reflect on current challenges facing the lives of individuals, families, and communities, and examine ways to advocate for needed changes.

Course 2: Engaging Social Justice, Diversity, and Oppression in Social Work
- In this course, you will develop a framework for engaging diversity and differences in social work practice, as well as advancing human rights and social and economic justice. Explore how societal power and diversity characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of social structures, cultural understandings, group and organizational processes, and identities. Analyze how current experiences of privilege and oppression are shaped by historical forces, societal structures, social constructions, groups, interpersonal processes, and human understandings. You will also explore formulations of human rights, including positive rights and negative conditions that need to be eradicated.

Course 3: Essentials of Social Welfare Policy
- In this course, you will explore current social welfare issues in the context of their history and the underlying rationale and values that support different approaches. Emphasis is placed on major fields of social work service such as income maintenance, health care, mental health, child welfare, corrections, and elderly services. There are four main content areas for the course, beginning with the philosophic and practical basis for social welfare provisions. Your focus will then transition to the history of social work as a profession, as well as the emergence of specific policies and programs. Using this information, you will review critical analysis of current social welfare policies and programs in the U.S. and elsewhere. You will then focus on the understanding of theory, research, debates, and trends in social welfare.

Course 4: Essentials of Interpersonal Practice
- This course integrates content on multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice issues. You will examine social work values and ethics as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, religion, and ability as these relate to social work practice. You will build off of behavioral and social science theories to inform the practice concepts and skills presented. During this module, you will learn about the transactional relationships between people and their social environments. You will learn social work practice methods to restore, maintain, and promote social functioning as it relates to individuals, families, and small groups.

Course 5: Essentials of Community and Organizational Practice
- In this social science course, you will explore various methods, strategies, and skills within macro social work practice used to help identify and address needs on a larger scale. You will gain knowledge and skills in the areas of community organizing, management, and policy advocacy, and learn about the various roles social workers play within these areas. This course will provide an appreciation of the historical and contemporary importance of these social work methods and the relevance of these methods for diverse populations and identities.

Course 6: Research Basics for Social Work Practice
- In this course, you will begin to understand social work research through the critical examination of the methods and organization of the ever-expanding professional literature associated with social work practice. This body of research is an essential source of knowledge to help you understand and solve complex social problems. However, utilizing this research effectively requires proper contextualization. In this course, you’ll learn to become an effective consumer of this professional literature by using the tools necessary to find and comprehend what the research does and, importantly, does not tell us.


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