module specification

PC6063 - Drug and alcohol counselling (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
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
Unseen Examination 100%   Unseen exam
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces students to issues related to counselling people with substance misuse problems and/or compulsive behaviours. Counselling is a critical component in supporting individuals with a substance misuse problem in drug detoxification or rehabilitation programs, whether prescription medication/illicit drugs adherence and/or towards abstinence. Knowledge of this will enable students to understand issues related to working with vulnerable clients with complex needs in different counselling working environments. The model aims to present an integrative approach towards counselling which helps to ensure that service users’ needs are supported via an in-depth and holistic approach. The module will help students to understand how factors such as mental health, childhood abuse and domestic violence are sometimes intertwined with substance misuse and cultural factors, and will highlight the implications for counselling practice.


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

LO 1 - 5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery of the module content will be via interactive lectures, tutorials and workshops. In addition to weekly 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). The seminars and workshops will familiarize students with various aspects of the module and the topics covered. Student are expected to engage in prior reading and be actively involved in the seminar activities and group discussions. Students will gain core knowledge and critical understanding of the topics through scheduled teaching sessions, but deeper understanding, evaluation and skill development will be promoted through self-directed study of recommended reading material, active participation in seminars, and directed and self-sourced digital resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

1) Have a critical awareness of a range of core topics and related research pertaining to substance misuse and compulsive behaviours;
2) Have an understanding of 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 that empathy and understanding have when counselling service users with substance misuse problems.
4) Be able to respect differences and cultural values of minority groups and those from varying socioeconomic backgrounds.

Assessment strategy

A two-hour examination (unseen) based on the assessment and development of two case presentations/practices from four case study examples (100% weighting)


Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M.D., (2014).  Foundations of Addictions Counselling. 3rd eds. Cambridge: Pearson. (Core)

American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th Ed.  Arlington. American Psychiatric Publishing. Washington
Chandler, C. & Andrews, A., (2018). Addiction: A biopsychosocial perspective. Los Angeles and London: Sage.