Master of Science in Addiction Studies

Master of Science in Addiction Studies

Course information

Course title Master of Science in Addiction Studies
Course code PMSCADCPET9
Postnominal M.Sc (Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 6 Semesters
Mode of attendance Part-time Evening
Total ECTS credits 90
Coordinator Marilyn Clark
Richard Muscat
Delivered by Faculty for Social Wellbeing
Given the multifaceted, transdisciplinary nature of addiction, the programme of study explores the phenomenon of addictive behaviour from a number of disciplinary positions. The programme recognizes that while addictive behaviour has clear biological foundations, it manifests itself in culturally and socially contingent ways, is subject to different constructions in different societies and is also subjectively experienced as a psychological experience. The programme of study will therefore explore a number of conceptual models that have been developed to examine the phenomenon of addiction and will trace the evolution of the social logic and history of the term addiction. It will explore addiction as a biological, social, psychological construct and also engage with rational choice positions and the influence of human agency. The common cognitive neurological basis of addictive behaviour will be explored in detail. The course will also go beyond the examination of chemical dependency to explore behavioral or activity addictions. Today it is recognized that addiction may exist even in the absence of the ingestion of substances. This increases the scope of the study of addictive behaviour. The programme of study will also engage significantly with advances in evidence based policy prevention and intervention and examine both national and international legal provisions in the area. The programme will also allow course participants to follow areas of interest through the selection of electives and through the dissertation. The programme will also be geared towards developing students research skills and producing high quality publishable research projects in the area.

This programme is offered as an interfaculty programme of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing and the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

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The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of a first cycle degree, obtained with at least a Second Class classification, in an area of study deemed relevant by the board.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2020.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 7,500
Fee per semester: Eur 1,250

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 13,400
Yr 1: Eur 6,700 - Yr 2: Eur 6,700 - Yr 3: NIL
Course participants may be expected to benefit from the course programme in a number of ways through a heightened understanding of the issues, significant theoretical and intellectual engagement and the development of skills.

Subject knowledge and understanding:

At the end of the Postgraduate Diploma in Addiction Studies, participants should be able to:

- critically engage with the conceptual complexities of the construct of addiction
- be conversant with the theoretical frameworks developed to explain addiction and the advantages and disadvantages therewith
- explain brain systems that give rise to cognition and behaviour both in a normal context and that associated with addiction and hence have a better insight on what works in prevention, treatment and reintegration.
- become conversant with national and international legal provisions regulating behaviors which are potentially addictive e.g. gaming, substances, gambling
- critically evaluate the evidence on effective policy addressing addictive behaviour
-critically evaluate the evidence on effective interventions addressing addictive behaviour
- explain the patterns of addictive behaviour as they present themselves in the different periods of the lifespan
- explain how structural variables such as gender, age, ethnicity etc. impact on addictive behaviour

Intellectual development:

- develop critical thinking
- gather and evaluate facts and assumptions about addictive behaviour
- engage in a reflexive analysis of the complex and often contradictory theoretical positions on addictive behaviour and how they inform policy, practice and prevention
- develop an evidence based understanding of addiction
- develop an evidence based understanding of programmes in the areas of prevention, treatment and reintegration
- critically engage with the strengths and weaknesses of different research paradigms
- relate a research question to a research paradigm
- discuss key ethical issues in conducting research in the field of addictive behaviour

Key/transferable skills:

- conduct research independently
- present and argue their positions on addictive behaviour
- apply research and theory to policy
- apply research and theory to practice

Other skills relevant to employability and personal development:

- synthesise knowledge on addictive behaviour with the competencies developed in a first cycle degree
- apply an understanding of addictive behaviour to the context of current employment/ further education

Learning outcomes for M.Sc. in Addiction Studies:

In addition to the above learning outcomes, at the end of the M.Sc. Addictions Studies, following the writing of the postgraduate dissertation, students should be able to:

- become familiar with a specialised area of addiction studies through immersion in the subject matter while writing a dissertation
- develop a research agenda and more specific research questions and locate their research agenda within a research paradigm
- critically engage with the strengths and weaknesses of different research paradigms
- discuss key ethical issues in conducting research in their chosen area within the field of addictive behaviour
- demonstrate a critical attitude to research
- design and implement a study effectively
- use the existent literature effectively
- collect and analyse data in a scholarly manner
- arrive at evidence based conclusions
- write a dissertation that may be adapted for publication
- adhere to ethical principles at all stage of the research project.
The target group for recruitment into this programme of study include graduates in a number of health, social, policy, legal and medical disciplines who wish to develop a specialisation in addiction as well as all those currently working in the addiction field who seek to further develop their competencies.
Graduates of the programme will be geared for the exciting diversity of the addictions field. The M.Sc. will also foster eligibility of potential PhD candidates in the area of addictions.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2020/1.

Last Updated: 16 November 2020

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.