Social Work

Stella Maris College is one of the first institutions under the University of Madras to offer training in Social Work at the postgraduate and undergraduate levels. The Bachelor’s and M.Phil. Degree programme was started in 2004. Founded by Rev. Sr. Thecla Camacho fmm in 1953, the Department of Social Work has grown rapidly and has the reputation of offering one of the best programmes in the country today.


To build a body of knowledge relevant to Professional Social Work andshape Social Work professionals committed to development and social change founded on values of Truth, Justice and Peace.

  • Advocate a strong ‘Rights Based Approach’ in the curriculum.
  • Identify development agendas that complement the profession.
  • Share knowledge, views, new ideas and thus grow in professionalism.
  • Establish effective working relationships through a wide range of networks, collaborations and field placements particularly with those who stand up for human rights and social justice.
  • Facilitate students in finding viable linkages with Social Work agencies and other organizations.

The Social Work programme moulds students with the knowledge, skill and attitude for professional commitment. The programme uses an inter-disciplinary approach in analyzing important social issues and concerns, with an emphasis on equity and justice. At the post graduate level, the specialisations offered include (a) Child Rights and Practice with Families (b) Social Work Practice in Health Settings (c) Development Issues and Social Work Practice.

Field instruction lies at the heart of Social Work education. The structured programme of the department provides the student a planned systematic experience under the guidance of a faculty member.The student is provided opportunities for mastery of skills and avenues for appreciating the realities of coping with complex situations, to understand and intervene in an extraordinary range of human and social problems and in the context of specific service-delivery systems. A key aspect of this learning process complements academic work through integration of theory and practice.

The department collaborates with international, national and local organisations for field action projects, research and training. In addition, throughout the year several workshops, seminars and interactive programmes are designed innovatively and organized to facilitate teaching and learning. Students undergo training in Social Analysis, Alternative Media, Health Education, Life Skills and are kept updated with the latest methodology and techniques in Social Work. The course provides students a platform and opportunities to pursue their higher studies and effect development both for self and the society at large.

Unnathi, the student’s forum of the department seeks to create awareness about professional Social Work and strives to initiate a growth oriented perspective towards social issues. The forum aims at enhancing interaction of students within the department, from different departments of the college and with students from different Schools of Social Work. Through this forum the students organize annually - workshops, seminars, an inter-departmental fest and invite eminent speakers to address them on social issues. They also organize skill training programmes, campaigns, advocacy and protest rallies, hold exhibitions and intercollegiate competitions.


Major Core Courses

  • Social Work Profession - History and Philosophy
  • Social Work Methods - I (Case Work and Group Work)
  • Social Work Methods - II (Community Organisation and Social Action)
  • Generalist Practice in Social Work
  • Fields of Social Work
  • Basic Research and Statistics for Social Work
  • Social Work Administration
  • Gender and Development - Issues and Concerns
  • Project
  • Health Care Services
  • Block Placement
  • Field Work - I, II, III, IV, V & VI

Allied Core Courses

  • Fundamentals of Sociology
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Indian Economy and Development Issues
  • Human Rights, Social Justice and Advocacy

Major Elective Courses

  • Disability Rehabilitation and Social Work Practice
  • International Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance
  • Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction
  • Ecology Development and Social Work Intervention

Allied Elective Courses

  • Operations Research
  • Cyber Security and Forensics
  • Data Analysis
  • Industrial Relations
  • Recent Trends in Marketing

Independent Study Course

  • Leadership, Training and Development


Core Courses

  • Social Work Profession - History, Philosophy and Ideologies
  • Social Work with Individuals
  • Social Work with Groups
  • Community Organization and Social Action
  • Social Work Research and Statistics
  • Management for Non Profit Organizations
  • Integrated Practice in Social Work
  • Human Rights and Social Work
  • Gender and Social Work Practice
  • Counselling - Theory and Practice
  • Dissertation
  • Field Work - I, II, III, IV

Elective Courses

  • Fundamentals of Sociology
  • Fundamentals of Psychology
  • Child Rights and Social Work
  • Medical Social Work
  • Development Planning and Administration
  • Family Social Work
  • Mental Health and Social Work
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Youth Development
  • Communiy Health
  • Development Practice - Urban and Rural

Skills Workshops

  • Alternate Media Skills
  • Health Education and Communication

Independent Study Course

  • Disaster Management


  • Block Placement


Core Courses

  • Research Methodology for Social Work
  • Advanced Social Work, Theory, Training and Practice
  • Social Work Practicum
  • Dissertation

Certificate Courses

  • Transforming Through Mediclowning