M.A. in Addiction Studies

M.A. in Addiction Studies

MA in Addiction Studies

This Master’s programme in Addiction Studies is designed for graduates in health and human sciences as well as disciplines such as nursing, social care, social work, psychology and programmes in the cognate area.

This programme will provide students with theoretical and practical opportunities for working in addiction counselling within various contexts in the statutory, community and voluntary sectors. The programme has been designed to facilitate students who wish to become professionally accredited by Addiction Counsellors Ireland to meet their pre-accreditation criteria.

Students will develop the knowledge and skills to become flexible through a positive openness to change. Each student will develop the ability to assess, plan, implement and evaluate professional actions and activities from planning through implementation and evaluative stages.

Equally, the programme is designed to accommodate the educational needs of learners who wish to enhance their skills and apply them within addiction services (including health promotion/preventative services, treatment settings and policy development and implementation contexts).

In the following video Prof. Denis Ryan goes through the key elements of this new masters programme.

  • Award Title: Master of Arts in Addiction Studies
  • Duration: 1 Year Full-Time / 2 Years Part-Time
  • Tuition Fees: €7,200
  • Start Date: Sept 2023

Who is this course for?

This programme is designed for those who wish to access evidence-based interventions and create opportunities for high-quality treatment experiences for those who need them. Modules within the course are designed to build personal capacity, collaborative problem-solving skills, and understanding of the systems and context where clients and their families may be best supported.

As part of this M.A. programme, learners study the fundamental theories of addiction counselling, psychotherapeutic skills & competencies in Addiction Counselling, community reinforcement approaches, family aspects in addiction, comorbidity and trauma informed care. In addition, learners study evidence-based practice and research methods and design, complete a dissertation and may engage in clinically supervised practice with clients.

How can I complete this Course?

The Programme can be completed on a Full time basis over one year ( 3 Semesters) or on a Part-time basis over two years (6 semesters).

The programme uses a blended learning approach. In that regard, learners are required to  engage in classroom-based learning, both traditional face-to-face contact and synchronous (live) delivery through the VIRI classroom, in addition to directed web-based e-learning. Learners have to  engage in work-based learning and independent research and will receive tutorial support for these modules.

These weekly lectures will be delivered primarily through synchronous classroom-based learning and the VIRI classroom, which will be normally timetabled on one evening per week and Saturdays across the Academic Year with Practice Support and Academic supervision extending into the Summer Semester.

This programme will facilitate graduates of programmes to access professional accreditation, where the programme is taken over 2 years
(Part-Time) and where the Knowing Self (5 ECTS) and Professional Placements (10 ECTS) are taken. However, students who specifically want to work towards professional accreditation will be directed to the MA in Addiction Counselling as a more appropriate Award for their specific needs in that case.

Structure of Course:

The Programme is divided into 11 modules each of which has Educational Credits (ECTS) associated with them (please see a list of the individual module titles and the associated credits below). Each Module may also be taken on a standalone basis. It is also important to note that learners who complete 60 ECTS and who wish to exit the programme without completing their Dissertation may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Addiction Studies.

The course covers a range of subjects that are structured to develop competent professional practitioners. The subjects covered are designed to be both practical and theoretical as per the table below:

Masters  in Addiction Studies
Module Name Credits
Understanding Addiction 5 ECTS
Skills & Competencies in Addiction Counselling 5 ECTS
Contemporary Evidence Based Interventions in Addiction Recovery 10 ECTS
Research Methodologies & Design 10 ECTS
Community Reinforcement Approach & Family aspects in Addiction 10 ECTS
Comorbidity & Trauma Informed Care 5 ECTS
Elective 1 5 ECTS
Elective 2 10 ECTS
Dissertation 30 ECTS
Total Credits 90 ECTS
Elective 1 (students must choose one of the following)
The Recovery Model in Addiction
Knowing Self
Elective 2 (students must choose one of the following)
Professional Placement
Behavioural & Process Addictions
Substance Use Disorders & The Recovery Model
Gambling Addiction & The Recovery Model
Neuropharmacological Aspects of Substance Use Disorders

Learners on the MA in Addiction Studies are required to complete 90 ECTS (as outlined above) over one academic year (Full Time) or two academic years (Part Time) and are required to take two elective module from the list above, one 5 ECTS module and one 10 ETCS module. For more details on module aims can be found here.

The programme has been designed to enable learners to demonstrate their academic and reflective learning in appropriate ways. Each module requires completion of an assessment type which will normally consist of 1 or 2 components. The assessment strategy accommodates different learning styles and therefore the programme assesses learners using a range of practical assignments, including; essays, learning journals, examinations, reflective exercises, and projects.

The completion of a research-based dissertation is a central part of the Masters programme and each student is supported by an academic supervisor for the entire period of their dissertation.

What supports are available to learners? 

At ICHAS, every lecturer and member of staff is committed to excellence in education and professional practice. Each Module has a Module Leader who works with students to enhance their learning and will provide formative and summative feedback throughout their studies. Each programme has a Programme Co-ordinator and in addition, you will have direct access to the Programme Leader and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Who Awards My Qualification?

On successful completion of the programme, your qualification is awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). QQI is one of the principal Irish awarding bodies for 3rd level education in Ireland and sets the standards for awards on the NFQ. As this programme is validated and awarded by QQI, the Award you receive is recognised in Ireland and internationally.

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

On successful completion of the MA in Addiction Studies, students will be qualified to access  Level 10 Programmes on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

Entry Requirements & Selection Criteria

  • A minimum of a Second Class Honours (2:2) award in a relevant Human Science Degree at Level 8 on the NFQ – or equivalent.
  • Those who have completed other relevant education programmes or have relevant professional experience etc., where Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Acquired Prior Learning (APL) can be applied, may apply for admission to the programme by submission of programme content, qualification and assignments
    equivalent to an appropriate Second Class Honours (2:2) award at Level 8.
  • The minimum English language proficiency requirement for this programme is B2+ in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which is equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5.
  • All applicants will be required to attend for interview to ascertain their suitability for the Programme.
  • Garda Vetting is a requirement for all successful applicants.

If you have any queries in relation to this course then please contact the college on 061 216288 or email us on info@ichas.ie. A member of the Admissions team will be happy to assist you

The Masters in Addiction Studies will enhance employability and career progression/opportunities in statutory, community and voluntary sectors and Addiction Service environments. It will enable learners to critically evaluate institutionalised practices and values, and act as agents for challenge and change in their professional contexts.

The programme will address the needs of practitioners and graduates who wish to develop their professional competence in areas of addiction recovery principles and practice through advanced study, and develop personal and professional capacity and collaborative problem solving skills, underpinned by evidence-based practice and reflection. The programme will also develop leaders in professional practice who are capable of engaging with and initiating necessary professional discourse at policy levels.

This programme will facilitate graduates of programmes in cognate areas who wish to study towards and meet professional addiction counselling accreditation requirements where the programme is taken over 2 years (Part-Time) and where the Knowing Self (5 ECTS) and Professional Placements (10 ECTS) are taken. However, students who specifically want to work towards professional accreditation will be directed to the MA in Addiction Counselling as a more appropriate Award for their specific needs in that case.

The MA in Addiction Studies has many distinctive features that make it one of the leading programmes of this type.

For Example;

  • It meets the QQI Award Standards for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland.
  • This programme is part of a suite of programmes that have been validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), ensuring the quality of its teaching and assessment strategies, programme content and quality.
  • It is delivered by lecturers who are experts in the fields of study.
  • Recognised nationally and internationally. On completion, you will receive the Europass Diploma Supplement in addition to your degree parchment.
  • It is recognised by professionally accreditation bodies within the Psychological Therapies Forum.
  • It adopts a Flexible structure, meaning that students may study at a pace and duration that fits in with their lifestyle demands – students may study on a modular basis or spread the period of their studies over a timeframe that is agreed with the College.
  • It focusses on interventions that have a proven evidence base in terms of effectiveness.
  • It combines a well- balanced match of theory and practice.
  • This course facilitates a progression route to PHD and professional doctorate level programmes.
  • It facilitates access to higher-level education thus increasing employment opportunities for graduates in a range of different areas where addiction is problematic.
  • It utilises blended learning approaches offering a flexible approach for all students through face to face and on-line learning.

This programme is offered on a full time and  part-time basis, with a range of options around the payment of tuition fees with monthly payment plans available to learners.

A central component of the ICHAS vision is the provision of flexible and affordable education for all.

The tuition fees for the programme are €7,200 (this includes a 2% PEL levy of €144). In addition, students who opt for monthly instalments will incur an extra fee of €100 to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under our Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy.

Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy. All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.

Click to apply for this programme

Available at our Dublin and Limerick Campuses

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