module specification

PC6063 - Drug and alcohol counselling (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Drug and alcohol counselling
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
111 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Open Book Examination 100%   Open ebook examination based on the modules discussion board
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module is aimed at raising awareness among healthcare practitioners about working with substance misuse problems and/or compulsive behaviours. Counselling and healthcare interventions are critical components in supporting individuals with a substance misuse problem in drug detoxification or rehabilitation programs whether prescription medication/illicit drugs and adherence and/or towards abstinence. This extra skill set will enable students to work with vulnerable clients with complex needs in different healthcare working environments. Whilst CBT has been the preferred modality in supporting this cohort, this module aims to incorporate an integrative approach towards intervention so that service users’ needs are supported via an in-depth and holistic approach. Factors such as mental health, childhood abuse and domestic violence sometimes intertwined with substance misuse will be addressed.


Counselling, substance misuse, addiction, detoxification, rehabilitation, compulsive behaviours, sexual abuse, domestic violence, integrative approach, psychopharmacology

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery and discussion of the module syllabi will be via interactive lectures and workshops. In addition to the weekly seminar workshops which will provide a forum for the application of theory to practical problems, students are expected to work in groups to learn from each other and learn how to independently use other resources available, e.g. library, the internet, WebLearn and own organisation. The module will also have its own dedicated Web Learn site to enables staff and students to readily contact each other and offers an on-line support/learning.


Information and materials relating to the workshop will be circulated once the course has commenced.   The workshops will familiarize students with various aspects of the course.  All workshops will relate to lecture topics and may be tested in the examination.   Hence, each student is expected to do the prior reading and consult a few recommended texts, and be actively involved in the seminar activities and group discussion.

The usual programme each week will comprise of a lecture followed by workshop activities and group discussion. The workshops will use the content of the lecture and pre-circulated material for class discussion and group work. 

Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of the topics through lectures, but deeper understanding, evaluation and skill development will be promoted through directed study of recommended reading material, and online resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

1) Have a critical awareness of a range of core topic areas and related research in pertaining to substance misuse and compulsive behaviours;
2) Be able to demonstrate counselling skills including cognitive, behavioural, humanistic and psychodynamic modalities in supporting the needs of this cohort
3) Be able to demonstrate an understanding the role empathy and understanding has in supporting service users with substance misuse problems.
4) To develop competencies in working with vulnerable clients with complex needs among diverse socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, LGBQIA+ and disability groups.

Assessment strategy

A two-hour open ebook examination based on the modules  discussion board (100% weighting)



American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th Ed.  Arlington. American Psychiatric Publishing. Washington

Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M.D., (2014).  Foundations of Addictions Counselling. 3rd eds. Cambridge: Pearson. (Core)
Chandler, C & Andrews, A., (2018). Addiction: A biopsychosocial perspective. Los Angeles and London: SAGE. (Core)