The MSc is a well-established route to a professional career in counselling in the addictions field. Accredited by the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) it meets the training needs for you to become accredited as an addiction counsellor.
You'll normally have a professional, employment or voluntary work interest in addiction but will not necessarily be a graduate. However, if you have an interest in the psychology of addiction and seeking a career in counselling, you'll have a particular interest in this programme. Some work experience in health, community and social services settings is normally required, and it is expected that in the first year you'll seek experience in appropriate work settings related to addiction. In the second year, students must have a counselling placement sufficient to provide 100 hours of supervised practice before entering the final year.
This course distinctively:
- explores the psychological basis of generic and counselling strategies
- equips you to assess psychological models of counselling approaches;
- provides for a supervised professionally-oriented empirical research dissertation in the final (MSc) year.
These professional aims are underpinned by a detailed study of the psychology of addiction embracing the main theories of the development of addictive behaviours; the principal approaches to counselling and treatment of addictive disorders; and training in research in the field of addictions.
Key course information - ordered by mode
All modules are assessed by coursework including essays, observational assessments and reports, professional logs, a case study and project proposals.
- Theoretical foundations of addiction and counselling psychology
- Therapeutic counselling theory and practice
- Professional practice in addiction counselling
- Advanced addiction psychology
- Advanced theory and practice in therapeutic counselling
- Research methods in professional practice
- A research project in addiction psychology/therapy
There is a rapidly increasing demand for addiction counsellors in health and social services and a variety of community settings. Students may apply to the Alcohol Research (UK) for financial support to cover the cost of fees. Employers are also frequently prepared to give financial support to those counsellors, nurses, social and community workers and others whose employment involves working with those who are experiencing problems associated with addiction.
We are the University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
The PgDip Addiction Psychology and Counselling meets the required training component for professional accreditation by the FDAP.
Recent guest lecturers include:
- Professor Stephen Sutton, University of Cambridge;
- Professor Robin Davidson, Chairman of the Alcohol Education and Research Council.
The Federation of Drug & Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) is the professional body for the substance use field and works to help improve standards of practice across the sector.
The course has developed close links with leading treatment providers, e.g. drug and alcohol teams in the public and charitable sectors, residential and day care treatment providers in the private sector, thereby facilitating the clinical placement of our students. This has also ensured that the course, whilst remaining intellectually stimulating and academically well informed, has a firm foundation in practical application. As a consequence, our students are normally able to secure the required professional placements during the course and appropriate employment in addiction services operated by the public, private or independent sectors.
Teaching and learning
As an undergraduate Applied Sciences student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.
Your tutor should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will have appointments with your professional tutor a minimum of once per semester for 30 minutes throughout your course. This is often supplemented with additional meetings arranged via email as and when students need support. In addition to this Learning Support, hours for all teaching staff will be advertised and available for you to book additional time for support related to a specific teaching session.
Typical applicants are working within drug/alcohol or related fields, with the intellectual competence to work at postgraduate level, and demonstrable character strengths for counselling. Desirably, you would have previous training in psychology/counselling and an inclination towards research.
Prospective students will need demonstrable ability to undertake work at a Masters level. For example Honours degree or professional qualifications at 2:2 level/Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division/ Plus relevant experience indicative of a motivation to specialise in the addictions area.
How to apply
International (non-Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
Instructions for Home/EU applicants
||Direct to LSBU
Postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.
Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses.
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Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session, they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience.
Prepare to start
We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read How to apply tab for this course.
Enrolment and Induction
Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.
In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.
Suggested reading list
- West, R. (2006) Theory of Addiction. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Anthony Moss & Kyle Dyer (2010) Psychology of Addiction. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
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