Our innovative MSc Contemporary Alcohol & Drug Studies course adopts a critical social science perspective to explore the interplay between psychoactive substances and society across a range of areas. Our course will introduce you to a range of:
You will critically examine patterns of substance use across social groups and the contexts and consequences of substance-related harms for individuals, families and neighbourhoods.
You will also examine the social, economic and political influences on substances and their effects. In addition, you will compare and contrast the operations of the alcohol industry with the drugs economy and explore current debates on alcohol and drug law reforms nationally and internationally.
A Postgraduate Certificate, comprising Understanding Substance Use, Contemporary Responses to Substance Use, and The Politics of Drug & Alcohol Policy is available to study on a part-time basis over 9 months.
Our MSc provides you with the opportunity to engage in Work Based Learning (WBL) with a partner organisation in the drug and alcohol field, or in an academic research setting. A variety of external organisations are involved in our WBL, including:
Experiential learning is an important feature of our course, allowing you to apply elements of class based learning to the work place. If you are keen to pursue a career in research or doctoral study, the option to participate in a research WBL experience based within the university is offered. This focuses on the further development of academic research and writing skills.
"Being a clinician, I found that the course helped broaden my knowledge base and my views. The reading material for the first year modules was particularly interesting. The experience of conducting a research study with an experienced supervisor was invaluable."
Saket Priyadarshi, Clinician
Our MSc qualification comprises of six 20-credit modules at SCQF Level 11 and the completion of the MSc Dissertation, in which you undertake an independent research project and present your findings in a thesis.
Teaching and Assessment
A range of teaching, learning and assessment methodologies are used, including:
Our postgraduate course emphasises inquiry-based learning where you are encouraged and supported to develop your critical thinking and communication skills by engaging with your peers in class based and online group work. You are also supported to develop your independent and autonomous learning activities. The modules employ a range of assessment methods and formative exercises with timely feedback to assist you in developing and deepening your knowledge and skills.
The assessments cater for a range of learning styles and skills, and include:
A wide variety of employment options in the drug/alcohol services (in the statutory/voluntary sectors) and in broader youth and social care professions will be available when you graduate.
If you are already employed in services our MSc confers a specialist knowledge of theory and contemporary evidence-based developments in the field and is useful for career advancement and continuing professional development.
Following graduating with an MSc, you may wish to apply to study for a PhD in Alcohol & Drug Studies.
"In 2004 I was enrolled as a PhD student in Alcohol and Drug Studies at the University looking at normative beliefs and 'binge' drinking among University students. I was also a Tutor on one module. Prior to this I spent 9 months working for Greater Glasgow Health Board as an Assistant Psychologist in the adolescent deliberate self-harm service. I successfully completed my PhD in June 2008"
Dr John McAlaney
Recent figures highlight that officers from 27 UK police forces took more than a million sick days over the last three years because of psychological distress (ITV news, 2016). This report suggests that not only are these sickness days due to the stress and psychological distress caused by the critical incidents that they deal with, such as death, trauma, violence and abuse; but also by the behaviours they engage in to cope; such as alcohol use. What is known is that job stress and negative affect (such as depression) are significantly linked with maladaptive behaviours such as alcohol abuse in police officers (Kohan & O'Connor, 2002). It is also noteworthy that there is a 10-fold increase of suicidal ideation in police officers who have elevated levels of stress and alcohol use (Violanti, 2004).
Conversely, there is a protective nature of physical activity behaviour on psychological wellbeing, with more active individuals showing lower levels of stress and depression and a greater satisfaction with life (Penedo & Dahn, 2005). It has long been discussed that poor mental health (depression, anxiety, stress) is significantly linked to illness and disease, particularly in front line staff (Hegg-Deloye et al., 2014). In contrast, evidence confirms that those who hold a positive outlook on life will have a significantly longer life expectancy than those who focus on the negative (Danner et al., 2001) and are less likely to be immunosuppressed (Cohen et al., 2003), making them less susceptible to viral infections such as colds and flu.
Using a mixed methods approach (qualitative, quantitative and experimental design), this programme of research aims to identify health-related risk factors and those of a protective nature in the local police force. Using an online data collection tool, it will identify the level of subjective wellbeing (affect, stress, satisfaction with life), self-efficacy beliefs, and their link with health preventive behaviours, namely physical activity, diet, alcohol use, smoking behaviour and sleep patterns and physical health risk factors (such as obesity) across the Bedfordshire Police force. As a feasibility assessment for a future intervention, it will further test two brief Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs), with the intention to enhance subjective wellbeing, and thus reduce levels of stress and negative health behaviours. Qualitative interviews will be used to support these findings.
This studentship will cover fees for a full year-long MSc by Research alongside costs towards the dissemination of the findings (i.e. conference attendance, publication fees).
Applicants should be available for a 19th March 2018 start date.
Interviews will be held week commencing 19th February 2018 and/or week commencing 26th February 2018.
The successful candidate and the experienced supervisory team of Dr Angel Chater ([email protected]), Dr Julia Fruer ([email protected]) and Dr Daniel Bailey ([email protected]) will be responsible for developing the final project outline.
*Subject to satisfactory progress on PP1 and PP2.
This degree is available as a top up degree (level 6 only)
Students applying for this programme should be those working in health, social care or related fields, from a variety of organisational or community settings. This includes hospital, community-nursing staff, paramedics, those in professions allied to medicine, health trainers, smoking cessation advisors, public health or health promotion practitioners, drug and alcohol workers.
For students with substantial experience who already have an existing Nursing diploma and professional qualifications this is a way to enhance their professional development and career opportunities by attaining an honours degree.
This programme focuses on the professional development needs of the student .It provides the opportunity for students to source learning that meets both immediate and future practice needs. Designed to facilitate flexible,intra and inter-professional learning opportunities, this degree programme can be studied at a pace suitable to the student (minimum normally two years, maximum normally three years).
-A flexible, challenging programme of learning, which will develop skills and knowledge pertinent to the students’ health and social care practice and professional development needs.
-A contribution to students’ practitioner-development, facilitating engagement with evidence-based change within service provision and delivery of care.
-Engagement with life-long learning and development of transferable professional and intellectual skills necessary to ensure enhancement of contemporary health and social care practice.
-There may be opportunities for students to bring existing level 6 units into the programme (Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning - APCL) - subject to regulations under the university APL policy.
The BSc (Hons) Contemporary Health Practice (CHP) provides a programme of Level 6 study that focuses on the professional development needs of a broad range of practitioners from the health services, social care services, professions allied to medicine, ‘non-professional’ managers, health promotion and drug & alcohol workers. It is an accessible ‘top-up’ for those with an existing diploma, or equivalent (see under entry requirements), who wish to enhance their professional development and career opportunities by attaining an honours degree.
The programme provides the opportunity for students to source learning that meets both immediate, but also future, practice and career development needs. This degree programme contributes to the growth of the ‘knowledge economy’ with learning linked to real-world needs, thereby enhancing professional as well as personal development. With the professional/practitioner in mind, the programme is designed to facilitate flexible, inter-professional, learning opportunities (as appropriate) and can be studied at a pace, and sometimes a place, suitable to the student.
Healthcare is changing rapidly to meet the needs of the client, family and communities, placing an emphasis on integration within the health and social care services. Our online MSc course in Health Studies (Family Health) focuses on the complexities of working with families in the community and the promotion of case management skills required to achieve excellence in care.
While on our course you will have the opportunity to explore current and alternative ways of working within family health, whilst building on existing knowledge and expertise through the development of strategic critical thinking.
Building on family health practice across Europe, the course takes a proactive approach to the development of a highly effective community workforce, examining real opportunities to meet the challenges of contemporary global healthcare within practice.
It also examines the global health challenges of an increasingly ageing population and the complexity that multi-morbidity of non-communicable disease presents, as well as exploring the significant health challenges of smoking, alcohol, widespread obesity and the associated impact on health resources.
Our course takes a proactive approach to the development of a highly effective community workforce, examining real opportunities to meet the challenges of contemporary global healthcare within practice.
It also examines the global health challenges of an increasingly ageing population. In addition, it looks at the complexity that multi-morbidity of non-communicable disease presents, as well as exploring the significant health challenges and associated impact on health resources of:
There are core, option and independent study modules. The Postgraduate Certificate requires you to complete 60 credits; two core and one option module.
To qualify for the Postgraduate Diploma you must complete a further 60 credits; two core and one option module. For the MSc you will also complete a Research and Enquiry Dissertation module. To gain the award of MSc Health Studies (Family Health) you must complete 180 credits.
Optional modules you may select include:
Teaching & Assessment
Our learning, teaching and assessment methods enable the learning outcomes to be achieved. A range of learning and teaching strategies are employed by online delivery and include:
Our assessment methodology is influenced by the learning outcomes to be tested and employs a range of methods including:
Our MSc Health Studies (Family Care) course offers a variety of career opportunities and destinations. Upon graduation you could seek employment in a range of health-related work areas such as:
Our School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery offers academic and professional courses which include the following examples of further study/progression routes: