Master of Science in Addiction Studies

The Master of Science in Addiction Studies degree is designed to develop professionals who are fully prepared to assume leadership roles in the addictions field.  The programme provides students with an advanced educational experience covering scientific methodology, the latest treatment recommendations, public health issues such as global burden and prevention findings, and addictions policy.  Leading authorities in each of these subject areas provide online lectures.  The firm scientific grounding of the programme covering a range of areas from basic science to policy makes it appropriate for recent graduates and professionals working in addiction-related fields such as mental health / substance abuse, counseling, healthcare and addiction prevention and policy.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the International Program in Addiction Studies leading to a Master of Science in Addiction Studies degree is to offer students cross-cultural exposure to the critical prevention, treatment, research and policy issues facing the field. Through a collaboration arrangement including VCU, King’s College London and the University of Adelaide in Australia, students complete a program of study using distance-learning technologies to obtain the degree. The program is designed to prepare students for local, national and international policy positions, prevention/treatment program management and other leadership positions in the addictions field. This program will speed the dissemination of the latest international addictions-related knowledge, especially to remote locations around the world, and help students compare international perspectives and translate this knowledge into more effective prevention and treatment practices and evidence-based policies within their own countries.

The Master’s programme requires 36 credits including an analytic research project.  Research projects encompass activities such as secondary data analysis or meta-analyses.   Full-time (12-month) or part-time (24-month) programme options are available with classes running consecutively from August to July.  

Students who complete the Master’s programme will receive a diploma conferred by all three partner universities.

Graduates of the programme will:

  • Develop a detailed knowledge of the field of addiction science (including comparative international policies and practices) to prepare them for leadership roles in a variety of settings (including addiction research, policy and treatment venues).
  • Be able to synthesize and apply addiction-related knowledge, including comparative international perspectives and approaches, to address key issues related to the advancement of addiction science.
  • Develop skills in communicating both core knowledge of addiction as well as experimental design, result, and interpretation in a variety of formats.
  • Think critically about issues and controversies in the field of addiction treatment and policy.
  • Be able to design, implement and interpret experimental approaches, which address key questions in addiction science.

As with the Advanced Certificate, these skills will assist the professional in critically appraising the research literature and translating the findings on addiction into more effective treatment, prevention practices and policies.  The additional familiarity with research methodology will enhance critical review skills and increase the ability to integrate the latest addiction knowledge into professional practice.