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 2023/24 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 comprehensive introduction to definitions, prevalence, theories/models and treatments of addictive behaviours. It allows you 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; consider comorbidity, contextual and social justice factors linked to the prevalence addictive behaviours and to varied understandings of addiction; and to appreciate links between methods used and types of knowledge produced in the context of studying addiction.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Thursday morning

This module is designed to equip you with a range of practical academic and professional skills enable you to study and conduct scientific research at postgraduate level in line with the principles of open science. It will provide opportunities for you to develop the reflective skills required for working in mental health settings. More specifically, through experiential learning methods, the module will equip you with: (1) core intellectual and academic skills to assist your progression through the course and into further study or employment (e.g., written and oral communication skills); (2) professional skills to prepare you for research methods and dissertation modules (e.g., numeracy skills; data management); (3) reflective skills required for employment in mental health settings; and (4) the ability to apply the skills developed in the module – along with your knowledge of ethics, research and specific clinical issues – in different academic and employment contexts. The module thus provides you with a firm foundation for your progression through the course and into further postgraduate training or employment in a range of social or healthcare professions.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday morning

This module will allow you to develop and integrate knowledge of biological psychology. 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 and human studies in addiction theory; examine neural mechanisms that are involved in the addiction process and treatment; and investigate the contribution of genetics to addiction.

This module currently runs:
  • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

This module will introduce you to core topics in psychopathology and clinical practice, including treatments for a range of mental health conditions and neuropsychological disorders. It will allow you to explore the nature of mental health conditions and neuropsychological disorders through biological, social, behavioural, and cognitive perspectives, as well as mental health service users’ experiences. You will learn how to diagnose and assess a range of mental health disorders and to appreciate how social and cultural factors can influence these practices. The module will utilise a variety of teaching and learning methods to provide an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to understanding psychopathology. These features will include introduction to formal classification systems such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) and skills in research and professional practice.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

The aim of this module is to introduce you to a wide range of methods of psychological investigation. You will learn how to design different types of psychological studies, create materials for data collection, collect and analyse data, summarise, and present results in line with professional publication standards and the principles of open science. You will learn how to manage and manipulate different types of data (qualitative and quantitative) and to conduct different types of data analysis using appropriate software where appropriate. The module will develop your ability to integrate and evaluate different lines of theory and research and to reflect on the ethical implications of different research methods in line with professional standards and principles of open science. Each of these aims is associated with general competencies that are highly valued in employment settings (e.g., communication, numeracy, data management, critical thinking).

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

This module will support you with the process of planning, carrying out, and writing up an independent research project in psychology. You will be allocated a research supervisor who will guide you through each stage. The module equips you with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for completing a research project and which are essential for employment in different settings. This includes (1) independent study, self-management, time keeping, and digital literacy skills; (2) in-depth understanding of a selected topic; (3) critical thinking skills; (4) creative problem-solving skills; (5) ability and willingness to work with a supervisor and peers as a team; (6) understanding of the scientific method; (7) ability to collect valid and reliable data through an ethically sound process; (8) understanding of statistics and/or qualitative data analysis using appropriate software and platforms and ability to apply them to real data; (9) ability to write a complete report of research findings in line with professional publication standards; (10) ability to present research findings in different ways to different audiences.

This module currently runs:
  • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of evidence-based interventions used in mental health services (e.g., substance use; trauma; anxiety; psychological distress). This includes motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, and other interventions for a range client needs (e.g., substance misuse and psychological distress). You will learn about the theoretical frameworks and research evidence on which these interventions are based and be able to apply them in different treatment contexts. You will also develop your understanding of ethical practice in the context of treatment interventions. These skills will help to prepare you for employment in different clinical and healthcare settings.

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.

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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