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Applied Psychology (Addictions)


School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Psychology and Public Health

Start Date(s): September


MSc (one year full-time or three years part-time)
PgDip (eight months full-time or two years part-time)
PgCert (four months full-time or nine months part-time)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,560

In Brief:

  • You will gain knowledge and understanding of drug use and addiction relevant to a range of roles and environments
  • The course emphasis is on application of theory and skills and transfer of this learning to the workplace
  • You have the ability to focus on your own interests for the dissertation
  • Part-time study option

Course Summary

This course will equip you with valuable insights into topics including the psycho-pharmacology of addiction, the recent interest in addictive behaviours and the wide ranging implications of addiction for society.

You'll find the course particularly relevant if you are working in the NHS or healthcare independent sector, including addiction clinics, and want to develop your knowledge and understanding of substance misuse and dependence, and other addictive behaviours.

To find out more about our courses, please visit our Psychology blog.

Course Details

The aim of this course is to enable you to develop a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of applied psychology in the context of addiction and addictive behaviours. You will consider psycho-pharmacological and biological mechanisms underpinning drug action and dependence, the more recent conceptualisation of behavioural addictions, and the broader social context of addiction.

The full-time route is structured over 12 months and comprises  three 10 week semesters. In semester 1 and 2 you will complete two taught modules in each semester. In semester 3 you will complete your dissertation under the supervision of one of the course tutors. If you choose to follow the part-time route you will complete the course over three years, completing two taught modules in each of the first two years and the dissertation in your third year.

The dissertation module on this course will also give you the opportunity to pursue an area of applied psychology and psychological therapies directly related to your own work or interest.


You will develop a rigorous approach to the process of research and be prepared to complete research dissertation in the field of applied psychology and addiction.
In this module you will explore the psychopharmacological and biological mechanisms that underpin drug action and dependence.
You will develop a theoretical and evidence-based critique of the psychology and treatment of addictions. You will also critically evaluate the range of addictive and compulsive behaviours to identify the range of complex problems and risks experienced by the 'addict' in western society.

This module will provide you with an opportunity to consider the broader social impact of substance use and misuse.

Provides you with the opportunity to pursue an area of applied psychology and addiction that directly relates to your own work or interests.

Entry Requirements

Upper second class honours degree in psychology or other health/social care related discipline, e.g. counselling, health sciences, nursing.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

Suitable For

Psychology graduates (and graduates in related disciplines) and health and social care professionals who are interested in focusing their interests in the addictions field and may act as a route towards an academic/research career. This course will also be of particular interest to those currently have a role, or wish to have a role, in providing services within addiction across the health, social welfare, education and youth justice services.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section.


This course is taught using a mixture of approaches including the following:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Discussion/debates
  • Video presentation
  • Research seminars and workshops
  • Guest speaker presentations
  • Virtual learning environment, online resources and web based learning / CD-Rom training packages
  • Student presentations
  • Directed study


You will be assessed in a variety of ways including:

*    Theoretical essays
*    Presentation
*    Research proposal
*    Dissertation

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Lynne Marrow
Lecturer in Psychology and Programme leader of the MSc Applied Psychology (Addictions)
Lynne gained her PhD in behavioural neuropsychopharmacology from the University of Reading. Her research interests include: Dopamine systems, movement disorders, schizophrenia, depression, the reward system, substance misuse and aggression.

Dr Simon Cassidy
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is an experienced teacher, receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and an experienced researcher. Current research projects include psychological resilience and self-efficacy and exploring cognitive style through brain imaging and eye movement. Cassidy, S 2012 'Intellectual Styles: Measurement and Assessment ', in: Sternberg, R J & Zang, L & Rayner, S (eds.), Handbook of Intellectual Styles: Preferences in Cognition, Learning, and Thinking, Springer Publishing Co., NY, USA, pp.67-89.

Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall
Lecturer in Psychology
Linda is a HCPC Registered Clinical and Counselling Psychologist and a BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist. She designed the in-house counselling service for the University of Salford. She researches cultic influences, CBT and physical health, technology enhanced psychotherapy and self-care and ethical issues for psychological therapists. Linda is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Career Prospects

This course will help students to progress to leadership positions within the field of addictions and to advance to research roles.

Further Study

The course provides a sound basis for postgraduate research study at MPhil/PhD level.

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