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  Contemporary Alcohol & Drug Studies - MSc


Online University of the West of Scotland    Master's courses in Social Sciences

Full time & Part time September MSc 1 year full time, 2 years part time
Nursing & Health (27) Social Work (32) Sociology (33)

FindAMasters summary

Embark on a transformative academic journey with the MSc in Contemporary Alcohol & Drug Studies. Delve into cross-disciplinary theories and evidence to analyse substance use, consumption patterns, and responses to related harms. Explore the impact of social inequalities and policy environments on substance-related issues. Engage with current debates on alcohol and drug law reforms globally. The programme offers a supportive learning environment, encouraging a deep understanding of research evidence for policy and practice. Notably, successful applicants can apply for a bursary from the Society for the Study of Addiction. The course structure includes core modules like Understanding Substance Use and Contemporary Responses to Substance Use, along with optional modules such as Drugs & Culture and The Politics of Drug & Alcohol Policy. Graduates can pursue diverse career paths or continue to a PhD in alcohol and drug studies. Entry requirements include a 2:2 Honours degree in Social Sciences or relevant work experience. Join us to make a difference in the field of substance studies.

About the course

Students are introduced to a range of cross disciplinary theories, concepts and evidence to analyse:

  • The use and effects of psychoactive substances
  • Patterns of consumption differentiated across social groups
  • Responses to drug and alcohol-related harms from a range of perspectives, such as criminal justice, treatment, harm reduction, public health, and health inclusion

We critically examine substance-related harms for individuals, families and communities and how harms are mediated by gender, class, race and ethnicity. We pay particular attention to the social, economic and political contexts of inequality and risk environments and how issues such as housing, homelessness and welfare state reforms may contribute to harms.

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Entry Requirements

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

You are required to hold an Honours degree (minimum 2:2 classification) within the broad area of the Social Sciences or an Ordinary bachelor’s degree with significant and relevant work experience.

If you do not meet these standard entry requirements, you may be admitted to the programme at the discretion of the programme Admissions Officer/Programme Leader to complete the PgCert in the first instance. However, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient relevant professional or practice-based experience.




 Course Content

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Where is University of the West of Scotland

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