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Addiction Psychology and Counselling (MSc/PGDip)

Course Description

The MSc is a well-established route to a professional career in counselling in the addictions field. Accredited by the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) it meets the training needs for you to become accredited as an addiction counsellor.

You'll normally have a professional, employment or voluntary work interest in addiction but will not necessarily be a graduate. However, if you have an interest in the psychology of addiction and seeking a career in counselling, you'll have particular interest in this programme. Some work experience in health, community and social services settings is normally required, and it is expected that in the first year you'll seek experience in appropriate work settings related to addiction. In the second year students must have a counselling placement sufficient to provide 100 hours of supervised practice before entering the final year.

This course distinctively:
- explores the psychological basis of generic and counselling strategies
- equips you to assess psychological models of counselling approaches;
- provides for a supervised professionally-oriented empirical research dissertation in the final (MSc) year

These professional aims are underpinned by a detailed study of the psychology of addiction embracing the main theories of the development of addictive behaviours; the principal approaches to counselling and treatment of addictive disorders; and training in research in the field of addictions.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/addiction-psychology-counselling-pgdip-msc


All modules are assessed by coursework including essays, observational assessments and reports, professional logs, a case study and project proposals.

Year 1:
- Theoretical foundations of addiction and counselling psychology
- Therapeutic counselling theory and practice
- Professional practice in addiction counselling

Year 2:
- Advanced addiction psychology
- Advanced theory and practice in therapeutic counselling
- Research methods in professional practice

Year 3:
- Research project in addiction psychology/therapy


There is a rapidly increasing demand for addiction counsellors in health and social services and a variety of community settings. Students may apply to the Alcohol Research (UK) for financial support to cover the cost of fees. Employers are also frequently prepared to give financial support to those counsellors, nurses, social and community workers and others whose employment involves working with those who are experiencing problems associated with addiction.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes.


The course has developed close links with leading treatment providers, e.g. drug and alcohol teams in the public and charitable sectors, residential and day care treatment providers in the private sector, thereby facilitating the clinical placement of our students. This has also ensured that the course, whilst remaining intellectually stimulating and academically well informed, has a firm foundation in practical application. As a consequence our students are normally able to secure the required professional placements during the course and appropriate employment in addiction services operated by the public, private or independent sectors.

Visit the Addiction Psychology and Counselling (MSc/PGDip) page on the London South Bank University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Esmond Robinson Scholarship - Single Award

This scholarship is funded by Helen Prenn in memory of her son Esmond Robinson. It funds a place on LSBU's highly regarded MSc in Addiction Psychology & Counselling. Ms Prenn explains, "Having had a drug problem in his early life, Esmond devoted the last drug-free part of his life to helping addicts free themselves from their habits and stay drug free. I want this scholarship and future ones to enable Esmond's work to continue. This scholarship provides an opportunity for students accepted onto the course but who can't afford to fund it themselves."We offer a fee discount worth £4,500, spread proportionally across three years:Year One, £1,800
Year Two, £1,800
Year Three, £900One scholarship will be awarded this year.

Value of Scholarship(s)



For further details and to apply contact:
Jacqui Lawrence
Senior Lecturer (Psychology)
Course Director: MSc Addiction Psychology and Counselling
Tel: 020 7815 5416
Email: [email protected]

Application Procedure

For further details and to apply contact:
Jacqui Lawrence
Senior Lecturer (Psychology)
Course Director: MSc Addiction Psychology and Counselling
Tel: 020 7815 5416
Email: [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Typical applicants are working within drug/alcohol or related fields, with the intellectual competence to work at postgraduate level, and demonstrable character strengths for counselling. Desirably, you would have previous training in psychology/counselling and an inclination towards research. Prospective students will need demonstrable ability to undertake work at a Masters level. For example Honours degree or professional qualifications at 2:2 level/Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division/ Plus relevant experience indicative of a motivation to specialise in the addictions area.

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Recipient: London South Bank University
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