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PgDip Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders

Different course options

Study mode

Part time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Postgraduate Diploma

Subject areas

Substance Abuse: Awareness Addiction / Substance Abuse: Support / Counselling Psychological Counselling

Course type


Course Summary


This multi-disciplinary programme is designed to enable substance use professionals, mental health workers, social workers, nurses and workers from allied health and social care sectors to gain an understanding of substance use disorders, including definitions, UK and international contexts and the application of theory in practice.

The PG Dip in Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders will build upon the knowledge gained in the PG Cert programme and will enable the candidates to enhance critical thinking skills, utilise methods of reflective analysis, and consider individual, multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary team working within the sector. They will also be given a reflective period in which to analyse their learning from each of the teaching sessions and think about how the information may be best disseminated to colleagues in their respective teams. This reciprocal knowledge flow will be facilitated via an online discussion forum whereby participants will be afforded the opportunity to apply the information from teaching sessions to their work cases after sharing information with work-based colleagues.

The programme of study will develop practitioner confidence and skills in the complex areas of substance use and substance use disorders. Candidates will be afforded the opportunity to take each of the three modules of the programme of study as a stand-alone module (20 credits). Alternatively, students can complete six modules (three form the PG Certificate in SUDs and a further three credits from the PG Dip programme and thereby obtain the PG Diploma in Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders.

Please note that this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.

Substance Use And Substance Use Disorders Highlights

The Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders programme responds to the needs of its students with updated, current and evidence-based information which will enhance their PG educational experience through vibrant and interactive learning pathways.

Career Development

Professional Development For all multi-disciplinary students, the programmes offer relevant CPD opportunities as well as recognised qualifications accredited by the University which will augment their professional development and enhance the development of further opportunities in their chosen field of practice. For Social Work students only, the Diploma will meet a number of the professional requirements in the Leadership category in the Professional in Practice framework. For all students. the programme provides the opportunity to enhance special dual diagnosis skills within a multi-disciplinary teaching environment.


This is important for workers in substance use settings to have knowledge as regards the various evidence-based treatment options available for example, pharmacological and psychological/social/educational therapies and options for onward referral for specialist support/intervention. Dividing these modules into three groups of opioid use, alcohol use and poly drug use reflects the most common presentation to treatment services into the three broad areas. Consideration of the three groups in detail will therefore enable students to develop a detailed understanding of the issues associated with each and the treatment options available.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant subject. Equivalent qualifications include the Pre-2007 Post-Qualifying Award in Social Work. Social workers seeking entry to the programme must: Be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC); Hold an Honours Degree in Social Work (2.2 or equivalent), Diploma in Social Work, CSS, CQSW or predecessor equivalent. Social Workers trained outside of NISCC jurisdiction must produce a letter of comparability with these awards or a letter of verification issued by NISCC; Have completed the Assessed Year in Practice or have at least one year post- qualifying experience if graduated prior to the AYE implementation. Non social workers seeking entry to the programme must: Have two years’ experience of working with clients who have experienced substance use or mental health issues. Applicants who do not satisfy the above but who are holders of an equivalent approved professional qualification or work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Department profile

A Community of Scholars We are a busy, multidisciplinary community of learners, dedicated to using the wide range of subjects on the arts and humanities to make a difference in lives locally, nationally and internationally. We are home to some 7600 students and 700 academic and support staff who work in five Schools – Arts, English and Languages, History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Law, Management, and Social Sciences,...more

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