University of the West of Scotland

Postgraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/04/2022 15:12:17

Named Award Title:MSc Addiction Psychology

Award Title for Each Award: MSc  Addiction Psychology
PG Cert  Addiction Psychology
PG Dip  Addiction Psychology

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:
Maximum Period of Registration:4 years
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Paisley

School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Programme Leader:Adrian Parke

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
An Honours degree in Psychology with a classification of 2:1 or above (normally). Applications will be considered from applicants who have a 2:2 classification if they can demonstrate relevant professional experience that indicates a capability to meet the required academic demands within the course.
Other Required Qualifications/Experience

English language proficiency is also a requirement, with candidates expected to achieve IELTs average standard of 6.0.

Admission based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will comply with the University’s Regulatory Framework (Chapter 2), as well as University regulations on postgraduate study and guidance on RPL. Credit transferred into the programme through Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) must have been subject to reliable and valid methods of assessment at a recognised HEI. Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) entry is also permitted. The amount of credit transferred though RPL (APL and APEL) will comply with the maxima set out in the Regulatory Framework. Candidates should note that transferred credit does not carry a grade, therefore, award with distinction cannot be granted for awards where credit is transferred in at level 11.


Further desirable skills pre-application


General Overview

General Overview

Introduction to the Programme

The programme offers the opportunity for psychology graduates to develop their knowledge and understanding of Addiction and related disorders at a specialist level.  This course will be particularly suitable for psychology graduates who are intending to enter professions that aim to understand and address addiction related disorder and harms at both an individual and social level.  By completing this postgraduate course, students will have obtained substantial specialist knowledge in the psychological mechanisms involved in the development, maintenance and treatment of Addiction disorder.

Key Features of the course include:

  • In addition to traditional forms of substance addiction, this course will cover behavioural addictions such as Gambling Disorder, Internet Gaming Disorder and Binge Eating Disorder
  • Coverage of up-to-date emergent findings in the field, and current controversies and academic debates regarding application of psychological principles to intervention approaches (such as the emergence of e-cigarettes)
  • An opportunity to acquire real-world experience in the domain of addiction and addiction-related disorders via a Work-Based Learning (WBL) module

Programme Delivery

The programme will be delivered via a blended learning approach with a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops alongside asynchronous independent study.  Students will be introduced to core addiction psychology theory, psychological interventions for addiction, recent advances in addiction psychology and a range of psychological research skills and methods for investigating addiction psychology. 

The course is designed to equip students with the skills to identify, comprehend and critically evaluate addiction psychology research literature, with the ultimate aim of attempting to apply such psychological principles to reduce addiction disorder and minimise associated harms in this domain.

A core element of the MSc Addiction Psychology course will be the requirement of students to identify a knowledge gap, propose and conduct a research design that will generate knowledge and provide a contribution to the research field.  Students will work closely with their dissertation supervisor to design an appropriate research project and to develop their postgraduate psychological research skills. 

Research Underpinnings and Links to Teaching

In line with the learning outcomes specified, teaching across the modules will be research-informed.  Addiction Psychology is a dynamic and rapidly expanding academic field, and within the course the student will be introduced to current developments within each module.  Addiction is one of the primary research themes and specialisms within the Division; with core staff actively contributing research to the field of study via research at UWS.

Consistent with the programme aims, students will not only be introduced to emergent theory but also develop their own addiction psychology research skills within the core modules of Investigating Addiction and the Addiction Psychology Dissertation module.  Furthermore, students will discuss and make evaluations of how to effectively apply current research to developing real-world addiction-related problems at an individual and community level.

Internationalisation:

Supporting UWS’ Corporate Strategy for global engagement MSc Addiction Psychology takes an international perspective regarding the research and content covered within the course.  Knowledge discussed and evaluated within the programme will be put in the context of global addiction-related challenges, as well as local and national concerns.  Moreover, in line with UWS’ Global Reach Enabling Plan, the programme is designed to be a transformative experience that will equip students with the postgraduate skills that will enable them to be researchers and professionals internationally, and more broadly speaking, global citizens. 


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

The programme will enable students to develop I AM UWS graduate attributes including Universal capabilities, being Work-Ready and ultimately Successful. The graduate attributes will not solely be limited to the important traditional academic attributes such as being Knowledgeable, a Critical Thinker and a Problem-Solver. 

From a Personal perspective, the course content will enable the student to understand how cultural factors and variation affect the development and intervention approach to addiction.  Within the core Psychological Interventions for Addiction module the student will have an opportunity to learn and apply essential ethical principles when working with vulnerable populations.  Furthermore, via teaching activities across multiple modules, such as debates and assessment tasks, students will have an opportunity to develop and refine their verbal communication skills. Through the teaching and learning activities students will gain an understanding of the challenges of applying psychological theory to addressing addiction disorder in the real world. 

The course content and assessment structure is designed to develop students’ Professional characteristics that will enable them to be effective and instrumental in their future careers.  Having completed the course, students will become research-minded in their approach to addiction psychology, and in a position to conduct independent academic and professional research.  Students will have opportunities to develop their collaborative skills within group-based academic activities, as well as developing their own initiative and drive when engaging in independent tasks such as their research dissertation.

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

The MSc course will require students to undertake a period of work-based learning as part of the programme of learning.  Experiential learning is a central element of understanding Addiction Psychology, as it will provide students an opportunity to understand theoretical content in a real-world context. A range of opportunities to engage in work based learning in substance or behavioural addiction settings will be available, alongside opportunities in addiction-related research and policy settings.  Work based learning will occur in partnership with stakeholder groups in the field of addiction such as NGO’s, support services, and academic research groups. 

Engagement

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

Where a programme has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:

Students are defined as academically engaged if they attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of each module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/current-students/rights-and-regulations/regulatory-framework/

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

The programme fully supports and embeds UWS’ commitment to enabling all learners, respecting diversity, and promoting equality and inclusion within the programme . The curriculum of the programme includes specific reference to vulnerabilities with respect to cultural or demographic minorities, and those with protected status, with respect to addiction-related harm. Within the programme, cultural sensitivity, and sensitivity to disorder, will be taught in relation to ethical principles of conduct, in both professional and research settings. Students on the programme will be afforded an opportunity to reflect on matters of equality and diversity in relation to vulnerability to addiction relating to hardship, disability and social exclusion factors.

The programme will support equality and inclusivity by applying university inclusive learning policies with regards to supporting assistive technology and applying reasonable adjustments and accommodation in both teaching and assessment delivery.


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate an awareness and critical understanding of psychological risk factors for Addiction Disorder

A2Demonstrate a critical understanding of models explaining Addiction Disorder and related harms
A3Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of research approaches in the study of addiction

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Application of theory to typical, hypothetical real-world addiction-related issues

B2Ability to work with and utilise data that are typical in the field of academic and applied social science research
B3Ability to apply acquired knowledge to evaluate addiction-related research

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Ability to articulate complex evidence-based arguments in written composition and verbal presentations
C2Ability to apply quantitative and qualitative research findings to the domain of addiction psychology

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Ability to assimilate peer-reviewed evidence and develop an evidence-based argument

D2Ability to critically evaluate current empirical research and theoretical models

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Verbal discussion and debate of psychological concepts with peer-learners

E2Adopt responsibility for the completion of own formative and summative assessments, and meeting rolling deadlines

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11POAB11006Applied Psychology Internship20   
11POAB11002Current Advances in Addiction Psychology20   
11POAB11003Investigating Addiction20   
11POAB11004Psychological Interventions for Addiction20   
11POAB11005Psychological Theory of Addiction20   
11CDAS11005Understanding Substance Use20   

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
For the PG Cert, students are required to successfully complete three 20 credit optional modules (overall 60 credits).

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students who successfully complete three optional modules (60 Credits), and who elect not to proceed, are eligible to exit with the Postgraduate Certificate in Addiction Psychology.


B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Knowledge of core evidence-based psychological approaches to treating Addiction Disorder

A2Demonstrate a critical understanding of the concept of behavioural addictions
A3Demonstrate an awareness and critical understanding of psychological risk factors for Addiction Disorder
A4Demonstrate a critical understanding of integrative psychological models explaining development and maintenance of Addiction Disorder
A5Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of research designs in the investigation of addiction psychology

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Proposing ethical research designs for Addiction-related research

B2Application of addiction theory to typical, hypothetical real-world addiction-related issues
B3Ability to analyse datasets that are typical in the field of academic and applied social science research
B4Ability to apply acquired knowledge to plan, design, interpret and report the outcome of a research question

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate, using oral or written methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise

C2Ability to articulate complex evidence based arguments in written composition and verbal presentations
C3Written communication of quantitative and qualitative data analyses
C4Use of computer statistical software such as SPSS to analyse and interpret data

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critical evaluation of existing psychological treatment approaches

D2Ability to assimilate peer-reviewed evidence and develop an evidence-based argument
D3Ability to critically evaluate current empirical research and theoretical models

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively in a relevant work based setting

E2Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities
E3Verbal discussion and debate of psychological concepts with peer-learners
E4Adopt responsibility for the completion of own formative and summative assessments and meeting rolling deadlines

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11POAB11006Applied Psychology Internship20   
11POAB11002Current Advances in Addiction Psychology20   
11POAB11003Investigating Addiction20   
11POAB11004Psychological Interventions for Addiction20   
11POAB11005Psychological Theory of Addiction20   
11CDAS11005Understanding Substance Use20   

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
For the PgDip there are no optional modules

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students who successfully complete all six core modules (120 Credits), are eligible to exit with the Postgraduate Diploma in Addiction Psychology.

The award of PgDip shall be awarded to students who have completed 120 credits with a minimum of 100 at least SCQF11 and no more than 20 credits at SCQF10

For information on the award of Distinction please see Regulation 3.25


C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Knowledge of core evidence-based psychological approaches to treating Addiction Disorder

A2Demonstrate a critical understanding of the concept of behavioural addictions
A3Demonstrate an awareness and critical understanding of psychological risk factors for Addiction Disorder
A4Demonstrate a critical understanding of integrative psychological models explaining development and maintenance of Addiction Disorder
A5Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of research designs in the investigation of addiction psychology

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Generate original, empirical findings in the field of Addiction Psychology
B2Proposing ethical research designs for Addiction-related research
B3Application of addiction theory to typical, hypothetical real-world addiction-related issues
B4Ability to analyse datasets that are typical in the field of academic and applied social science research
B5Ability to apply acquired knowledge to plan, design, interpret and report the outcome of a research question

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate, using oral or written methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise

C2Ability to articulate complex evidence-based arguments in written composition and verbal presentations
C3Written communication of quantitative and qualitative data analyses
C4Use of computer statistical software such as SPSS to analyse and interpret data

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critical evaluation of existing psychological treatment approaches

D2Ability to assimilate peer-reviewed evidence and develop an evidence-based argument
D3Ability to critically evaluate current empirical research and theoretical models
D4Planning and evaluation of complex research designs

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate effective time and resource management to achieved desired objectives

E2Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively in a relevant work-based setting
E3Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities
E4Verbal discussion and debate of psychological concepts with peer-learners
E5Adopt responsibility for the completion of own formative and summative assessments and meeting rolling deadlines

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11POAB11001Addiction Psychology Dissertation60   
11POAB11006Applied Psychology Internship20   
11POAB11002Current Advances in Addiction Psychology20   
11POAB11003Investigating Addiction20   
11POAB11004Psychological Interventions for Addiction20   
11POAB11005Psychological Theory of Addiction20   
11CDAS11005Understanding Substance Use20   

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
Students can opt to follow a part-time structure.

The part time student journey is outlined below:

Year 1 - Students must complete four optional modules. In Term 1 students must study two modules and in Term 2 students must complete two modules.

Year 2 –students complete the remaining modules in Term 1 and Term 2 and complete the Addiction Psychology Dissertation in Term 3

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
There are no optional modules for the MSc programme

Criteria for Award

The award of MSc Addiction Psychology shall be awarded to students who have completed 180 credits with a minimum of 160 at least SCQF11 and no more than 20 credits at SCQF10

For information on the award of Distinction please see Regulation 3.25


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework.

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of PgCert/ PgDip in Combined Studies.



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