Why study this course?

Gain the tools needed to understand the intersections between addictive behaviours and mental health, in relation to life. Learn how mental health issues and addictive behaviours can be understood and are culturally framed.

This master’s degree will allow you to pursue or advance a career in a range of fields including addiction and substance use, mental health and medical disciplines. Our multi-disciplinary approach will give you a rounded, holistic understanding of the complexities of addiction within a mental health context.

More about this course

On this Addiction and Mental Health MSc you’ll develop a broad scientific knowledge base, learning how to critically approach addictive behaviours, mental health conditions and understand how the two interact.

At the core of this course are theoretical models and critical approaches around addictive behaviours and mental health conditions. Knowing how to intervene in an addiction and mental health context is key and complex. This master’s course allows you to build your understanding of intervention and learn about neuroscience and pharmacotherapy in relation to addiction.

In order to develop a broad knowledge base, we’ll guide you through the legal framework, relevant policies and ethical arguments to give you a complete, holistic understanding from a societal perspective.

By engaging with evidence, you’ll learn to determine for yourself what counts as robust and forward-thinking in the field.

We focus on your career development and giving you the knowledge and skills to work in areas across the addiction sector. You'll be taught by practitioners and researchers in the addiction and mental health fields about the assessment, management and treatment of addiction.

We’ll also show you how to become a member of the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) so that you can become an active participant in the creation of knowledge.


The course is assessed through a variety of methods that give you the opportunity to demonstrate your academic knowledge and the career skills you’ll have acquired.

Assessment methods include essays, critical reviews, case studies and oral presentations. Your research methods studies will progressively build your understanding of how to present research findings in reports where you'll write-up qualitative and quantitative research. You’ll have the opportunity to choose your own specialist area of study when it comes to your research project (ie dissertation). All assessment is supported with a framework of formative assessment opportunities and academic support.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a minimum of a lower second-class (2.2) honours degree in social sciences, health, education or human sciences.

Graduates from other disciplines who have extensive relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Accelerated study

Students can be accepted on the basis of relevant education and experience. Accredited prior learning can also be accepted for modules in a relevant subject. 

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. This course requires you to meet our standard requirements

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

This module provides a broad introduction to definitions, prevalence, theories/models and treatments of addictive behaviours.

The module aims to:
● critically examine definitions of different types of addictive behaviour.
● critically evaluate major psychological theories proposed to help explain different types of addictive behaviour.
critically evaluate major psychology-related treatments/interventions used in the context of different types of addictive behaviours.
● To consider comorbidity, contextual and social justice factors linked to the prevalence addictive behaviours and to varied understandings of addiction.
● To appreciate links between methods used, and types of knowledge produced, in the context of studying addiction.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

This module allows students to explore the relationship between key aspects of the law, rights and code of professionals’ ethics within mental health. This module will look at the science base behind legal and policy developments across a range of mental health problems.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday morning

This module focuses on the neuroscientific explanations for addiction and the action of drugs in the nervous system. This module aims to:

• examine the action(s) of substances in the brain
• examine and evaluate the use of animal experiments in addiction theory and studies
• examine neural mechanisms that are involved in the addiction process and treatement
• investigate the contribution of genetics to addiction

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Thursday morning

This introductory module will focus on the theoretical explanations of psychopathology from a biological, social, behavioural and cognitive perspective across the lifespan. Using formal classification systems including the DSM-5, it will provide an eclectic and multidisciplinary approach to understanding psychopathology. Various theoretical frameworks in both understanding and management of psychological problems will be explored.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

You will be introduced to methods of psychological investigation and develop your ability to design such investigations, to understand the ethical implications of the methods used, and to assess the data collected. Each of these aims is associated with general competencies that are highly valued in employment settings (e.g., communication, numeracy, critical thinking). The module also aims to facilitate integration of students’ knowledge and understanding of research methods with their knowledge and understanding in core areas of psychology, e.g. cognitive or developmental psychology) and to provide students with a firm foundation for their Master’s level project.

This module currently runs:
  • all year (September start)

This module supports the process of planning and executing a research project.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Wednesday morning

This module is aimed at developing students’ professional & practitioner skills in Motivational Interviewing and Therapeutic interventions, which may support their current working practices and/or assist and develop their employability. The module presents, discusses, and critically evaluates evidence-oriented interventions for substance misuse and psychological distress. Motivational interviewing, Therapeutic techniques, and evidence-based interventions, will be described, demonstrated, used and evaluated with targeted clients. Clients in this context will include other students and teaching & examining team only. For students with no core psychology/healthcare training additional training would be necessary to pursue a clinical/counselling career.

By the end of the module you will be able to:
1. Understand Motivational Interviewing skills in a therapeutic context.
2. Use scientific evidence to evaluate critically Motivational Interviewing and Therapy skills across the lifespan.
3. Specify the theoretical principles underlying these interventions.
4. Manifest a detailed grasp of Motivational Interviewing and Therapy skills for mental health problems.
5. To be able to utilise Motivational interviewing and Therapy skills in a professional context

What our students say

"My understanding of addictive behaviour has been shaped and grounded from my time at London Met.

"The real highlight was being able to discuss and explore my subject with other students and experts in the field."

Sharon Cox, Addiction and Mental Health MSc graduate

Where this course can take you

Completing this master’s degree will help you identify and pursue a career that’s important to you.

Our programme of studies will strengthen pathways toward a career as an addictions practitioner or a career in research studying addictive behaviours. Many of our graduates have found that their studies help them enter a range of careers, including clinical psychology, social work and para-medical disciplines.

Alternatively, you may already work in addiction services and therefore this course aims to strengthen your career progression.

Additional costs 

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Important information for international applicants

Due to unprecedented demand for our courses for the autumn 2023 intake, international admissions are now closed for this postgraduate course. Please check back at a later date to view future available intakes.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

If you require a Student visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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