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Addiction Studies MSc

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New scholarships for 2020 entry. Find out more and apply here.

The Society for the Study of Addictions also offers bursaries for MSc students, full information:

We are proud to have been awarded an IoPPN Excellence Award in 2018 for student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Education Survey (PTES).

Attitudes to drug use and addiction are constantly evolving. You’ll need a strong understanding of the theory to work in the field – whether you’re aiming for a new position developing policy or want new tools to treat your patients. 

As well as the biology and psychology, you’ll explore socio-environmental aspects of drug addiction and its prevention. And throughout the course we’ll explore how this knowledge transfers to different workplaces.


Key benefits 

  • Study all aspects of addiction from policy to psychopharmacology 

  • Go on placement in a clinical setting to really understand the subject in context 

  • Learn from leading clinicians and experts from King’s renowned National Addiction Centre

Key information

Application status Closed

Duration One year FT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders

Dr Leonie Brose

Further details

Course contact for further information

Mr Karl Doyle,
Programme Administrator
t: 020 7848 0823


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Addictions Department Division of Academic Psychiatry



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Course detail


We designed this course to extend your theoretical knowledge and practical skills – whatever your background. Maybe you’re a nurse wanting to understand the psychopharmacology. Maybe you’re a psychology graduate looking to explore treatment options. You might even be working in government or policy and want to get a real grasp of the issue. Since we have such a diverse mix of people, you’ll get a unique insight into perspectives from other disciplines. 

A real highlight of the course is its broad scope. Our modules cover areas of the subject you might not learn about on a more specialised programme. You’ll still have a chance to explore your own interests in a research project and by picking either a clinical- or policy-based optional module. 

With our links to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, you’ll have a great opportunity to experience life on the front lines of addiction issues. Shadowing clinical experts and working with a wide range of patients and their families, you’ll really get to grips with the challenges we face as a society. 

At King’s we’ve been at the forefront of developing new treatments for alcohol, smoking and drug problems. So whether you want to understand the biology of addiction, or work on a new therapy, we’ll help you achieve your goals. 

“We have really close ties with the South London and Maudsley  NHS Foundation Trust, so several of our modules focus on clinical aspects of treating addiction. Quite a few of our lecturers work as clinicians in the trust. That means we can also offer the rare opportunity for a clinical services placement.” 

Professor Michael Lynskey, Course Leader 


The multi-disciplinary team have experience in a wide range of clinical and academic areas. They’re active in research at the National Addiction Centre, so you’ll always be up-to-date with the latest thinking. 

You’ll also learn from the experts at the NHS trust where you do your placement, and the guest lecturers we bring in to discuss their specialisms.

Course format and assessment

MSc Format

You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

Introduction to Addiction Science and Theory

Lectures (20 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (15 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (5 hours) | Self-study time (260 hours)

Psychopharmacology of Drug Action and Addiction

Lectures (10 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (10 hours) | Self-study time (130 hours)

Research Methods, Critical Appraisal and Statistics

Lectures (10 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (10 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (15 hours) | Self-study time (115 hours)

Contemporary Advances in Evidenced Based Policy, Prevention and Practice

Lectures (15 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (15 hours) | Self-study time (120 hours)

Advanced Addiction Practice

Lectures (10 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (15 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (40 hours) | Self-study time (85 hours)

Research Project

Lectures (2 hours) |Seminars / Tutorials (8 hours) | Field/lab/studio/ supervised learning (10 hours) | Self-study time (580 hours)

Advanced Clinical Management of Addiction

Lectures (20 hours) | Seminars / Tutorials (20 hours) | Self-study time (260 hours)


Contact time is based on 24 academic weeks.Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Course Assessment

The primary methods of assessment for this course are written examinations, coursework and practical work. The study time and assessment methods typically give an indication of what to expect. However, these may vary depending upon the modules.

Extra information

Regulating body
King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.

Other related courses:

Affective Disorders MSc


Year 1

Required Modules
      Students on this course are required to take:
  • Introduction to Addiction Science and Theory (30 Credits)

  • Psychopharmacology of Drug Action and Addiction (15 credits)

  • Research Methods, Critical Appraisal and Statistics (15 credits)

  • Contemporary Advances in Evidence-Based Policy, Prevention & Practice (15 credits) 

  • Advanced Addiction Practice (15 credits

  • Advanced Clinical Management of Addiction (30 credits)
  • Research Project (60 Credits)


Optional Modules
There are no optional modules for this course. King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest 3you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates

Entry requirements & how to apply

Addiction Studies Entry requirements
Minimum requirements   2:1

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in either medicine or psychology; or in any subject related to the addictions.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements    Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements. 


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Selection is made upon the basis of the application and references. An interview may be required based upon the applicant’s qualifications and experience.


Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Addiction Studies checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). Your personal statement should include your reasons for applying for the course and your goals. Please also detail any post-qualification clinical experience you have, for example working with children and young people in a mental health setting. You should include details of the employment dates, the number of children seen and the types of disorders that you have had experience in managing. 

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Yes Please include a full CV (Resume) including details of the employment dates, the number of children seen and the types of disorders that you have had experience in managing. 

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

Please note you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline and places are filled before the final deadlines above and we are unable to process more offers.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £12,750 per year (MSc 2020/21); £4,100 per year (PG Cert 2019/20)
  • Full time overseas fees: £29,850 per year (MSc, 2020/21); £9,500 per year (PG Cert 2018/19)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,250 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,950 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer. 

  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 


  • books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • DBS checks
  • library fees and fines
  • society membership fees
  • stationery
  • travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • graduation costs.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Because of the range of topics we cover, there are lots of potential career options for our graduates. Many people join the course to build on their existing career – whether a drug worker, nurse, or manager of addiction services. Others join us to work towards a particular career goal, like clinical psychologist or policy director. 

With the strong research element, you might also decide to continue your studies with a PhD and go into a research career. Our department was rated as the leader in substance abuse research by RAND Europe, so it’s a great place to begin your career.

Career destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of organisations including: 

  • The Priory Hospital 

  • High View Care Services 

  • Lifeline Project

  • Clinical Commissioning Group 



Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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