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.
Closing date for applications: Friday 29 July 2022 at 4pm. Late applications may be considered.
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.
- 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.
- The programme leader and lecturers have developed and nurtured subject proficiency via their own practice, teaching and research in relation to their specialist area. They impart this trilateral expertise to the students via teaching on the PG Diploma programme.
The PG Diploma in Substance Use and Substance use Disorders provides graduates form a range of social and health care professions with a variety of opportunities to develop their specific areas of learning and skills in practice. Increasingly, our graduates operate within teams which consist of workers from a range of professional backgrounds and there is a need to hone skills and knowledge which are relevant to the multi-disciplinary environment."
Dr Anne Campbell, Programme Director
The MSc in Substance Use and Substance use Disorders is a modular Master's degree whereby students can complete the PG Cert in Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders and subsequently have the option to enrol on the PG Dip and subsequently to enrol on a Masters by thesis module.
The PG Diploma in Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders is awarded to students who successfully complete six 20 credit taught modules.
Course Details Core Modules (20 CATS points each)
Assessment and Risk Assessment in Substance Use (Alcohol, Opioid Use and Poly Drug Use Contexts).
Assessment and risk assessment are critical elements of practice and must be undertaken in a manner which will encourage the recipient to continue to engage with the worker and also ensure that they are involved in the process in a collaborative and partnership-based approach. The assessment process will include inter-related domains, for example, personal responsibility, social contact, managing physical health, mental and emotional health, daily lifestyle, relations, crime and accommodation. Individuals who experience substance use problems often present with “complex needs” and thus we must consider and reflect on current models of assessment and risk assessment which are flexible and tailored to the needs of the individual.
Interventions in Substance Use: Skills in Practice
It 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.
Substance use Disorders: Working with Specific Groups
Several key priorities were highlighted in the last regional government strategy document: The New Strategic Direction for Alcohol and Drugs 2011-2016 (DHSSPSNI 2011). A new strategy consultation period will begin in the Summer 2019 and will lead to a shadow strategy being formulated but not been afforded policy status as the current hiatus in The Northern Ireland Assembly prevents ministerial assent in relation to all new policy documentation. However, it is anticipated that in the interim, one of the main key areas highlighted in the current policy (vulnerable groups) will continue to be focused on via regional strategies. This is also reflected within documentation in the remainder of the UK, where specific vulnerable groups are referred to in strategy documents in England, Scotland and Wales.
It is recognised that people within the vulnerable groups listed below experience a range of issues and problems which have increased exponentially in recent years. The groupings focused on within the module include older people, offenders / prisoners, young people, homeless, and Hidden Harm (children and families affected by substance use issues).
People teaching you
Teaching will take place in four day blocks for each module. These are usually timetabled for a Friday/Saturday, 10am –4pm, over a two week period.
Continuing professional registration in all areas of health and social care is predicated on continuing professional development.
The Dept. of Health has highlighted that health, social care workers and social workers demonstrate their competence covered in the curricula of the PG Dip in Substance Use programme.
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:
Teaching and learning methods to achieve Cognitive Skills are commensurate with adult learning theory and entail formal lecturing, student led learning, online interaction, seminars and workshops.
Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
Assessment methods include written assignments case study material based on candidates’ practice.
A variety of assessment methods for the Diploma will be used including written assignments, a reflective analysis on how the student applies relevant theory to their practice in two different cases and an assignment critically reflecting on how the student has enhanced the practice of colleagues drawing on the knowledge in this module.
The School is situated across a suite of three buildings in Belfast's Queen's Quarter. We provide student and staff common rooms, computer suites and designated study spaces.
Explore the teaching and social spaces in our School through our 360 Virtual Tour:
The Graduate School
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:
a) Be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC);
b) 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;
c) 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:
a) 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.
Application deadline: Friday 29th July 2022 at 4pm.
Late applications may be considered.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,300 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,300 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,834 EU Other 3 £11,800 International £11,800
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Fees for 2022-23 will be published in December 2021.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders costs
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How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
When to Apply
The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding