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Contemporary Drug & Alcohol Studies MSc

University of the West of Scotland

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    Paisley Campus

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary


Our MSc Contemporary Drug & Alcohol Studies takes a critical social science approach to explore the use of psychoactive substances in society.

You are introduced to a range of cross disciplinary theories, concepts and evidence to analyse:

the use and effects of psychoactive substances
patterns of consumption differentiated across social groups
responses to drug and alcohol-related harms from a range of perspectives, such as criminal justice, treatment, harm reduction, public health, and health inclusion

You will critically examine substance-related harms for individuals, families and communities and how harms are mediated by gender, class, race and ethnicity. You will pay particular attention to the social, economic and political contexts of inequality and risk environments and how issues such as housing, homelessness and welfare state reforms may contribute to harms. Throughout the course, you will assess the influences of the alcohol industry; the drugs economy; and prohibition on policy and practice, and engage with current debates on alcohol and drug law reforms nationally and internationally.


The range of experiential learning and skills development embedded in the MSc Contemporary Drug & Alcohol Studies provides graduates with a wide variety of employment options. Our graduates have gone on to take up employment in drug/alcohol services (in the statutory/voluntary sectors) and in broader health, community, youth, criminal justice, housing, social work and social care professions as well as policy and research environments.

If you are already employed in services our course provides specialist knowledge of theory and contemporary evidence-based developments in the field and is useful for career advancement and continuing professional development.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 13,000overall cost

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of the West of Scotland

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  • Campus address

    University of the West of Scotland, Paisley Campus, High Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire, PA1 2BE, Scotland

Suggested courses

University of Hertfordshire

MSc Drug Discovery and Toxicology with Advanced Research

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