Course information


Provider: City Colleges

Address: Wicklow House, 84-88 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2


Contact: Administrator



Telephone: 1850 252740 or (01) 4160034

Category C : Courses leading to a professional or academic qualification (NFQ level 6 and higher)

The module in addiction studies gives a comprehensive overview of current thinking and practice in the area of addictive behaviours and substance use/abuse. It focuses on the historical evolution of the various conceptualisations of addiction, the underlying causes attributed to the development and maintenance of addictive behaviours, models for understanding patterns of addiction and the treatments of addiction associated with those models. It further addresses the impact of addictive behaviours on society in terms of health, culture and criminality, paying particular attention to the Irish context.


Week 1: Meaning and Nature. Multiple conceptions of addiction in current practice, reflecting more than substance-related issues. Addiction and Psychiatry

Week 2:  Current neuro-biological, psychological, sociological and cultural understanding of the causes of addiction. Overview of different theoretical positions in conceptualising addiction (i.e. Medical, Religious, Psychological etc.)

Week 3: Focus on disease models of addiction

Week 4: Understanding addiction from a psychoanalytic perspective

Week 5: The bio-psycho-social model

Week 6: Overview of treatments of addiction: Psychotherapeutic, Pharmacological, etc

Week 7: Focus on conditioning models of treatment: Behaviourism, contingency management; cognitive-behavioural models of treatment: Self –regulation, relapse prevention; Emotion-regulation and mindfulness-based models of treatment

Week 8: Stages of change in the treatment of Addiction

Week 9: Addictive behaviours from the perspective of family systems theory

Week 10: Impact of addictive behaviours on society: health, culture and criminality – the Irish context

Target Group

The module would be of interest to practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines (Psychology, Social Care, etc.) who may wish to deepen their knowledge of current thinking in addiction studies, to those who may be considering future study in the area of addictive behaviours and wish to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the area, and indeed, anyone who wishes to learn more about this pervasive and disabling condition.

Entry Requirement

For more information please see website or contact 01 4160034 or email

City Colleges Diploma (NFQ - not applicable)
A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding of the Diploma. The assignment/project must be handed in on the due date unless a sound reason for lateness is provided. In such instances, an extension may be awarded at the discretion of the lecturer.
9 CPD credits for members of the Psychological Society of Ireland

Dr Aoife Quinn completed a BA in Psychology at National University of Maynooth followed by a PhD at the School of Psychology, University College Dublin.

Dates / Availability
10 weeks, one evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm. Contact the course provider for upcoming dates.
Option of live online or in the classroom (Dublin)
Apply online
Course fee: classroom-based €995 (€1,095 in instalments), online course €895 (€995 in instalments). Non-EU students: €1,295. A fee of £76 will be payable to The Institute of Commercial Management on successful completion of this course.