Our Purpose

The Department of Social Work congruent with the Mission of Madras Christian College offers Human Rights and Value based Professional Social work education as a vocation of service through building of character, experiencing transformational development and acquiring critical consciousness in order to empower people to promote an egalitarian and just society.

The Madras Christian College is an autonomous college affiliated to the University of Madras. The college started the Masters course in Social Work in the year 1989 and introduced credit system under autonomy at the Post-Graduate level from the academic year 2003-2004. The Department of Social work offers a Master Degree in Social work (MSW). Social work is a practice profession and therefore the objectives of the MSW course are to prepare candidates for a career in Social work.

Objectives of the Post-Graduate course in Social Work

The objectives of the MSW course are to prepare candidates for a career in Social work through a professional training programme aimed at developing in them:

  • Scientific knowledge about the dynamics of problems and issues in our society. 

  • Theoretical knowledge about the dynamics of individuals, groups and communities. 

  • An ability to critique the ideologies that lead to systematic domination, marginalization and rights violation of vulnerable groups. 

  • Necessary skills for Social work practice. 

  • An ability to apply skills in social work practice and social work research in different fields for achieving desirable change, development and empowerment of people. 

  • Attitudes and values necessary for working with people and organizations for achieving the goals of social work profession namely

(1) to enhance people's capacity for social functioning

(2) to improve the quality of life for everyone

(3) to promote social justice

(4) to provide opportunities for people to develop their capacities to become participating and contributing citizens.

Brief History of Social Service Programme in MCC

The suburban location (25 Km. South of the city) to which it shifted from Madras in 1937 has made the College more deeply aware of than before to the need to relate campus training to rural welfare and development. This quite suburban setting with only small rural communities around and prompting programmes of rural welfare has now changed to a complex urban scenario necessitating the inclusion of also urban concerns in the extension services of the College. The once small panchayat has grown in the past two decades to a large municipality with a resident population of 1, 50,000. The spill over and the steady spread of the city in the direction of Tambaram are now rapidly transforming the municipality to a satellite town of the metropolis of Madras. Concurrent with and responding to these developments in its locale, the College has been recasting its thrusts in the area of extension programmes and social services. The earlier emphasis on service orientation is now replaced by training-cum-service concept, and the autonomous status granted to the College in 1978 has enabled the college to introduce the same in the regular programmes that in earlier years had only either the academic or the service component.

The RSL and the CIRDS

Recognizing the need for a well organized unit for rendering social service to villages around, the College founded the Rural Service League (RSL) in the late ‘30s soon after moving from Madras to Tambaram. The College community gave all possible support to the RSL that had Dr. Malcolm Adiseshiah, Dr. M. Sargurudas and Dr. Chandran Devanesan as its leaders and a large number of students were motivated over the years for services to the rural communities as well as other less privileged and needy sections of the neighborhood population.

The interest and the service orientation remain with several students long after they leave the College. The alumni chapter in UK, with the enthusiastic support of Jonathan Callaghan (19), a British Student at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, was engaged in raising funds in early ‘70s for a project of the Rural Service League. Jonathan died in an accident in 1976 and his death spurred his family and friends to enhance the scope of the project into a Memorial in his name on campus at Tambaram. The Jonathan Callaghan Memorial Centre for Integrated Rural Development Studies (CIRDS) offered from 1983 a postgraduate diploma programme in rural development studies and this later on lead to the establishment of a full time master’s programme in social work.
Record of Social Services

In 1940 a serious epidemic of Cholera broke out in the villages around Mappedu. Large scale deaths occurred. News of the epidemic reached the College and Professor Malcolm Adiseshiah with a band of students visited the villages and arranged for burying the dead and provided medical relief to others. The academic community was struck for the first time with the realities of Rural India. The Rural Service League was formed and the team relocated Mappedu village with planned roads and house plots along with a community well. From this small beginning the Rural Service League soon adopted14 villages and provided educational facilities for children, conducted adult literacy programmes and extended medical aid. The R.S. L. School at Old Tambaram which began as evening classes under mango tree has now good buildings, 30 teachers and over 900 students, and is a Government recognized Middle School. The principal Thrust of the College in social service shifted again from Old Tambaram to Mappedu village in 1971 when the Family Life Institute (FLI) was established. Today the FLI provides medical services, non-formal education, a nursery school, and tailoring and envelope-making units.

Under the leadership of Mrs. Agnes Martin the Staff wives Fellowship of the College started the Maternity and Child Welfare Center in late ‘30s in West Tambaram and for many years to come it was the only hospital in Tambaram. Today it has also a primary school called the Oxfam School. During the mid ‘40s the Student Christian Movement of the College started a Leprosy Clinic at Pammal Village and bi-weekly visits to the clinic by students and staff continue to be organized and about 300 patients benefit from this programme. The College Farm was started in the year 1965 and today it is a model mixed farm and offers training programmes in poultry, sheep rearing, dairy, piggery and agriculture. It extends over an area of 60 acres. In 1969 when the Government of India introduced the National Service Scheme for the first time, the College was given two units each with 100 students. Today with four units, the students participate in a variety of programmes in the evenings during week days and for longer periods at weekends and during vacations.

Community and Social Service was introduced by the University of Madras under the Vice-Chancellorship of Dr. Malcolm Adiseshiah. The College took this programme seriously and today all postgraduate and undergraduate students have to put in 60 hours of Community and Social Service before being declared eligible for their respective degrees. The programmes are an encounter for the students with the social realities of the neighbourhood. The Student Services for the Blind is yet another campus association started in 1956 and the students and staff enrolled as members help visually handicapped students in the College. With the changing needs of students with disability, it is now called Students Service for the Differently Abled.

The College has moved on to formal training-cum-service programmes with the establishment of the CIRDS. From offering of a diploma programme in Integrated Rural Development Studies, the Centre is now offering the Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW).


MSW Academic Programme:

The 2-year Master of Social Work (MSW) spread over 4 semesters consists of theory, field work and research project. The Department offers two specializations during the II year namely Community Development and Medical & Psychiatric Social Work and a student will have to choose one of them at the end of the 1st year.

A complete revamping of the curriculum was carried out during the academic year 2015 and efforts were made to update the curriculum, provide new papers and also to bring changes in the evaluation patterns.

Detailed Structure of Course and Credits for Four Semesters (Effective from 2015-16) 


Course No.

Title of Paper

Hours/ Week



Semester I

Paper I Social Work Profession 4 4 100
Paper II Generalist Practice in Social Work 3 3 100
Paper III Introduction to Sociology 3 3 100
Paper IV Introduction to Psychology 3 3 100
Paper V Social Work with Individuals 3 3 100
Paper VI Concurrent Field Work 14 (+1) 6 100
Total   31 22 600

Semester II

Paper VII Social Work with Groups 3 3 100
Paper VIII Community Organization & Social Action 3 3 100
Paper IX Social Work Research & Statistics 3 3 100
Paper X Community Health 3 3 100
Paper XI Human Rights & Social Work 3 3 100
Paper XII Concurrent Field Work 15 6 100
Total 30 21 600

Semester III     

 Paper XIII
 Project Management
 Paper XIV
 Social Policy & Social Legislation
 Specialization Paper I
Paper XV
 Community Development Practice
Health and Social work
Specialization Paper II
Paper XVI 
 Rural & Urban Community Development
Mental Health for Social work
 General Elective (Any one)
Paper XVII
  •  Environment Social Work/

  • International Social Work/

  • Conflict Resolution & Peace Building/

  • Social Work with Families & Children

 Specialization Field Work
 14 (+1)

Semester IV     

 Paper XIX  Social Work Administration  3 100 
 Specialization Paper III
Paper XX
 Development Economics
Medical Social work
 4  4 100
 Specialization Paper IV
Paper XXI
 Indigenous People and Tribal Development
Psychiatric Social work
 4 100 
General Electives (any one)
Paper XXII
Counselling Theory and Practice/
Gender and Society/
Disaster Management and Social Work
2 2  100
Paper XXIII Research Project 3 6  100
Paper XXIV
Specialization Field Work
14 (+1) 6 100 
Total 31 25 600 
Soft Skills Programme spread over 3 semesters
Block Internship at the end of the course
8 Credits
2 Credits



The MSW programme consists of:

  • Core courses, which are mandatory for all students.

  • Supportive courses that is mandatory for all students.

  • Specialization Elective Courses: A student can choose Community Development OR Medical & Psychiatric Social Work

  • General Elective courses which a student can choose from amongst the courses approved by the department.

  • Research Project (Mandatory Course) - Dissertation and Viva voce.

  • Field Work, which includes Rural Camp and Study Tour; and Block Internship

  • Soft Skills



Credit Distribution in Respective Semester

Course Details
Semester I
Semester II
Semester III
Semester IV



Field Work 


Research Project

16 15 6 3 40 (70)
6 6 6 6 24
      6 6

Electives: Specialization 


8 8 16 (20)
    2 2 4
Soft Skill Programme Block Internship 8   8 (10)
      2 2
Total credits 22 21 22 + (8) 25 + (2) 100


Highlights of innovations introduced:

  • New electives were introduced in areas such as Disaster Management, International Social Work, Conflict Resolution & Peace Building, Social Work with Families & Children

  • Term papers were introduced as ESE for 2 credit papers (Electives) with clear guidelines

  • A specialization paper on Community Development Practices was introduced.

  • Current and new developments were updated.

  • Concepts related to qualitative research were introduced in the curriculum.



Field Work:

Concurrent Field Work Practicum:

Concurrent field work is an integral part of the total training programme in Social Work and is an inseparable part of the social work programme. It consists of practising social work skills for intervention under the guidance of professional social workers in selected placements. Such placements provide an opportunity to the learner to apply theory to practice and gain firsthand experience. Under the concurrent field work there will be no classroom lectures on two-days in a week and on such days the students will report to the placement organizations. Field work will commence with orientation visits to selected social work organizations. The organizations selected for field work practicum should have a well-defined field work programme, willingness to give facilities for training for students and policy of maintaining high standards of welfare programmes. Field work will be organized under competent supervision provided by the field supervisors, who are members of the organization staffing. Dual supervision will be adopted in the field work practicum where the department faculty and the field supervisors assume responsibilities for the supervision of the students through individual weekly conferences and periodical consultations with the field supervisors. Two days a week are set aside for concurrent field work of 15 hours per week. Each semester shall have a minimum of 24 days of concurrent field work spread over 12 weeks with 15 hours per week. Six credits are assigned for field work practicum in each semester. A student shall earn a total of 24 credits in 4 semesters of field work practicum.

In addition to this, as part of field work, the student shall attend a rural camp in the second semester for a minimum of 10 days and submit a written report after the camp and in the III semester the students will go for a study tour to places of social work interest for a period not exceeding 10 days and submit a report of the same.

Block Internship Programme:

Block internship is in addition to concurrent field work practicum. It should occur at the end of the 2-year period and it may sometimes lead to students’ employment in the organization. Completion of block internship is a requirement for course completion. The internship should be for 30 days with 8 hours per day totalling to 240 hours with 2 credits.

International Block Placement: Students have over the last 5 years explored the opportunities to do their block internship aboard either with our international partners or through the contacts with INGO’s established during their international study tour. These placements have provided them with an international cross-cultural experience of social work practice. The following students completed their international block internship:

Sl. No.






Sangeetha Pradhan

2011 - 13



Thotngamla K.

2011 - 13


Chang Jung Christian University


Anju Susan Philip

2012 - 14


Chang Jung Christian University


Marty Jyrwa

2012 - 14


Chang Jung Christian University


Aryal Mashreel

2012 - 14



Pinky J.

2013 - 15

Sri Lanka


Arnicia Mary

2014 - 16


Chang Jung Christian University


Baby Laltha Kmi Chenzan

2014 - 16


Chang Jung Christian University


Praveen Daniel


Sri Lanka



Devi Priya


Sri Lanka





Sri Lanka





Sri Lanka









B. Prince Solomon Devadass
Assistant Professor




S. Sudharsan
Assistant Professor



Department of Social Work (Aided)

30th Anniversary Alumni Meeting

12th October 2019 (Saturday)

Click here for registration 



Department of Social Work (Aided)