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    Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    One year FT

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    08 November 2019

The Society for the Study of Addictions also offers bursaries for MSc students, full information: https://www.addiction-ssa.org/funding/bursaries

We are proud to have been awarded an IoPPN Excellence Award in 2018 for student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Education Survey (PTES).

Attitudes to drug use and addiction are constantly evolving. You’ll need a strong understanding of the theory to work in the field – whether you’re aiming for a new position developing policy or want new tools to treat your patients. 

As well as the biology and psychology, you’ll explore socio-environmental aspects of drug addiction and its prevention. And throughout the course we’ll explore how this knowledge transfers to different workplaces.

Key benefits 

  • Study all aspects of addiction from policy to psychopharmacology 
  • Go on placement in a clinical setting to really understand the subject in context 
  • Learn from leading clinicians and experts from King’s renowned National Addiction Centre


We designed this course to extend your theoretical knowledge and practical skills – whatever your background. Maybe you’re a nurse wanting to understand the psychopharmacology. Maybe you’re a psychology graduate looking to explore treatment options. You might even be working in government or policy and want to get a real grasp of the issue. Since we have such a diverse mix of people, you’ll get a unique insight into perspectives from other disciplines. 

A real highlight of the course is its broad scope. Our modules cover areas of the subject you might not learn about on a more specialised programme. You’ll still have a chance to explore your own interests in a research project and by picking either a clinical- or policy-based optional module. 

With our links to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, you’ll have a great opportunity to experience life on the front lines of addiction issues. Shadowing clinical experts and working with a wide range of patients and their families, you’ll really get to grips with the challenges we face as a society. 

At King’s we’ve been at the forefront of developing new treatments for alcohol, smoking and drug problems. So whether you want to understand the biology of addiction, or work on a new therapy, we’ll help you achieve your goals. 

“We have really close ties with the South London and Maudsley  NHS Foundation Trust, so several of our modules focus on clinical aspects of treating addiction. Quite a few of our lecturers work as clinicians in the trust. That means we can also offer the rare opportunity for a clinical services placement.” 

Professor Michael Lynskey, Course Leader 


The multi-disciplinary team have experience in a wide range of clinical and academic areas. They’re active in research at the National Addiction Centre, so you’ll always be up-to-date with the latest thinking. 

You’ll also learn from the experts at the NHS trust where you do your placement, and the guest lecturers we bring in to discuss their specialisms.

Course Assessment

The primary methods of assessment for this course are written examinations, coursework and practical work. The study time and assessment methods typically give an indication of what to expect. However, these may vary depending upon the modules.

Career prospects

Because of the range of topics we cover, there are lots of potential career options for our graduates. Many people join the course to build on their existing career – whether a drug worker, nurse, or manager of addiction services. Others join us to work towards a particular career goal, like clinical psychologist or policy director. 

With the strong research element, you might also decide to continue your studies with a PhD and go into a research career. Our department was rated as the leader in substance abuse research by RAND Europe, so it’s a great place to begin your career.

Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of organisations including: 

  • The Priory Hospital 
  • High View Care Services 
  • Lifeline Project
  • Clinical Commissioning Group 

Sign up for more information. Email now

Have a question about applying to King’s? Email now

Visit the Addiction Studies MSc page on the King’s College London website for more details!





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