CAO/PAC code : MUA15

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 25 May 2021

View QQI details

The Diploma in Addiction Studies (Level 8) facilitates participants to develop a theoretical understanding of substance use and related issues and to critically appraise current evidence-based practice in relation to substance use interventions while locating substance use within its social, political and cultural contexts. The Diploma also supports participants to explore personal and professional issues as they pertain to work in the field of substance misuse. Participants develop groupwork, facilitation skills and reflective practice competencies for self care, whilst exploring research methodologies related to working with substance misuse in community settings. The course is delivered in six distinct modules, through an adult education methodology, including lectures, presentations experiential group processes, skills practice and participatory group discussion. 

  • Drug and Alcohol Policy 
  • Social Analysis: Beyond Deviance in Modern Society 
  • Groupwork, Facilitation Skills and Reflective Practice 
  • Interventions Skills 
  • Prevention Education: Theory & Practice 
  • Study Skills and Student Support 

The modules for the Diploma will include the following:

Group Work & Facilitation Skills/

Reflective Practice: a) The philosophy of adult learning processes

b) How to facilitate a learning group in a wide variety of contexts, and in particular in the area of addiction.

Prevention Education: Theory & Practice

Students will:

Examine current evidence based drug and alcohol prevention strategies

Identify the most appropriate strategies to be applied in various school and community settings

Identify their own role within the overall context of a comprehensive community based response.

Intervention Skills

Students will:

Critically reflect on current models of best practice in relation to advising, supporting and intervening with substance misuse and other addictive behaviours

Demonstrate a theoretical knowledge and practical skills in motivational interviewing and brief intervention

Demonstrate a theoretical knowledge and skills in assessment, care pathway planning and making referrals.

Drug & Alcohol Policy 5 Credits

Students will:

Critically evaluate public policy service management as it relates to the management of drug and alcohol problems

Identify the role that key national agencies, organizations and Government bodies play in shaping drug and alcohol policy

Analyse the impact of foreign policies and international conventions on Irish drug and alcohol policy making

Identify and critically debate the main components of current drug and alcohol legislation, policies and strategies.


Social Capital And Social Network Analysis 5 Credits

Students will develop a sociological understanding of the importance of social capital and social networks, together with the role they play in understanding and addressing issues of addiction.

Social Analysis: Theorizing Society 5 Credits

Students will be introduced to sociological theory and the major schools of thought and perspectives that shape our understanding of contemporary society.

Community Engagement & Learning 5 Credits

Students will in critical and reflective processes concerning one’s involvement in social or community activities and action, and to put together a descriptive and reflective learning portfolio.

Assessment Procedures Continuous assessment:



Research reports


Learning Journal

 85% Attendance


Course Duration: One academic yr: Every Fri (10 am-5 pm) plus 1 Sat per month (10 am-5 pm) until end date in May 2025

The Maynooth University Diploma in Addiction Studies has been designed for people whose work or voluntary activities brings them in contact with addiction and recovery related issues.

 It may be of specific interest as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for people who work in the wider drug, alcohol and homeless services, health care professionals or people who work in the criminal justice system.

This table displays the requirements for Leaving Certificate applicants.
Subject Required Ordinary Level Grade Higher Level Grade
Irish No N/A N/A
English No N/A N/A
Language No N/A N/A
Math No N/A N/A
Science No N/A N/A

International & EU/EFTA Entry Requirements

Mature Students

25 May 2021

Additional Information


Credits from both the Maynooth University Certificate in Addiction Studies and the Diploma in Addiction Studies can be used for Recognition of Prior Learning to go towards the Degree in Community Studies. 



This course is aimed at people already working or seeking to work in drug and alcohol services or related disciplines: 

  • Community and Youth workers, Gardaí, Teachers, 
  • Social and Health Care workers including doctors and nurses, care centre managers, 
  • Counsellors and psychotherapists. 
  • Policy makers. 
  • Project or outreach workers and practitioners in various services that deal with people experiencing problems with Drugs and Alcohol or Homelessness. 

Applications for the Diploma in Addiction Studies Level 8 are being accepted through the PAC application system at

The deadline for Applications is Friday. 17 May 2024.  Qualifying candidates will be invited for interview.  The course will commence in September 2024. 

For further information please contact Kay Loughlin via email at

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