Graduate Diploma in Applied Addiction Studies

For returning students only.

Designed for those with prior clinical experience. Learn the latest industry models in the assessment and intervention of addictions. Gain an insight into New Zealand’s cultural context. Put theory into practice with a clinical work placement. Gain and insight into New Zealand's cultural context.

What you will learn

  • Integrate theories of use, misuse and addiction into your practice, providing support to those with addiction and other impulse control disorders
  • Develop your understanding of differing intervention models in the field of addiction studies
  • Gain an awareness of the prevalence of co-existing disorders and learn about the relational factors between mental illness and addiction disorders
  • Analyse and evaluate the unique issues presented by different cultural groups and develop your ability to apply a multicultural approach in your practice
  • Critically evaluate the philosophies and practice frameworks of prevention and health promotion
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of systems theory with particular emphasis upon the structural concepts in families and family life cycle theory

Course Descriptors

Compulsory courses:
Assessment and Treatment Planning

Gain the understanding and competence for effective assessment and treatment for clients affected by alcohol and drug related problems.
(Face-to-face tuition and practice: 48 hours)

Becoming Professional: Addiction Practicum III 

Consolidate professional practice and the capabilities of professional knowledge, skilled intervention, cultural safety and diversity, legal and ethical practice, organisation and management and professional development.
(Face-to-face tuition: 60 hours)

Co-existing Substance Use and Mental Health Problems

Develop an understanding of the nature and prevalence of co-existing substance use and mental health problems in New Zealand. Carry out clinical practice according to best-practice principles.

Gambling and other Impulse Control Disorders

Knowledge of gambling and other impulse control disorders (or ‘process’ addictions such as the various forms of internet addiction), and the appropriate interventions.
(face-to-face tuition: 18 hours)

Group Work Practice

Gain a critical understanding of group work theory, group processes, and the skills for working with groups of people in a range of professional contexts.
(Face-to-face tuition: 66 hours)

Working with Diversity

Develop a critical understanding and respect for human diversity. Grow awareness of the social processes of inequality and discrimination. Gain skills in anti-discriminatory practice.


Choose one of the following courses:

  • Motivational Interviewing (face-to-face tuition: 70 hours)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Approaches (face-to-face tuition and practice: 72 hours)

Please note: elective courses will only be run if there is sufficient demand. Specialist electives are not offered every year. 

Programme structure

Online/Learning Components

Allow between 5-9 hours of online engagement per course each week to fully engage in the programme.

Professional Supervision

Students will be required to engage in:

  • Professional Supervision (at a cost of between $50 - $120 per hour)
  • 15 hours of professional supervision

Students must have organised a practicum placement before they can start the programme. Before an interview can be arranged, we must receive written confirmation from your placement agency that they will be your work placement during your term of study (this can either be via email or a written letter). The minimum hours for workplace practice are 150 hours.

Programme outcomes

You will be eligible to apply for provisional Practitioner Registration for Alcohol and Drug Workers in New Zealand.

Career options

Opportunities exist in addiction, alcohol, and drug services. District Health Boards, public health, non-government organisations. Social, health and community agencies. Specialised addictions opportunities are also emerging in justice roles and in services such as opioid treatment.

  • Addiction Worker
  • Policy Advisor
  • Social Worker

Entry criteria

Only returning students can apply to re-enrol for this programme. Please contact us if you need further information.

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