Master of Arts in Addiction Studies

One Year Full-Time
Validated by
NFQ Level
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Course Overview

Looking to enhance your knowledge and expand your career opportunities in Addiction Studies?

This Master's Degree is an ICHAS (Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences) programme. ICHAS are responsible for its delivery & all academic matters pertaining to it.


Students on this programme will have the advantage of being taught across two campuses in Limerick – both at Griffith College Limerick and ICHAS Limerick.


This programme will provide students with theoretical and practical opportunities for working in addiction counselling within various contexts in the statutory, community and voluntary sectors. The programme has been designed to facilitate students who wish to become professionally accredited by Addiction Counsellors Ireland to meet their pre-accreditation criteria.

Why Study with ICHAS?

This programme is designed for those who wish to access evidence-based interventions and create opportunities for high-quality treatment experiences for those who need them. Modules within the course are designed to build personal capacity, collaborative problem-solving skills, and understanding of the systems and context where clients and their families may be best supported. 

As part of this MA programme, learners will:

  • Study the fundamental theories of addiction counselling, psychotherapeutic skills & competencies in Addiction Counselling, community reinforcement approaches, family aspects in addiction, comorbidity and trauma informed care. 
  • Study evidence-based practice and research methods and design, complete a dissertation and may engage in clinically supervised practice with clients. 
  • Enhance their skills and apply them within addiction services (including health promotion/preventative services, treatment settings and policy development and implementation contexts). Students will develop the knowledge and skills to become flexible through a positive openness to change. 
  • Each student will develop the ability to assess, plan, implement and evaluate professional actions and activities from planning through implementation and evaluative stages.

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Intake Dates

  • Limerick - Full-Time - September 2024

Campus(es) Where the Course is Available

Full-Time: Students on this programme will be taught across two campuses in Limerick - both at ICHAS Limerick and Griffith College Limerick.

Course Details

Module Information

The Programme is divided into 11 modules each of which has Educational Credits (ECTS) associated with them (please see a list of the individual module titles and the associated credits below). Each Module may also be taken on a standalone basis. It is also important to note that learners who complete 60 ECTS and who wish to exit the programme without completing their Dissertation may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Addiction Studies.

Module Name


Understanding Addiction


Skills & Competencies in Addiction Counselling


Contemporary Evidence Based Interventions in Addiction Recovery


Research Methodologies & Design


Community Reinforcement Approach & Family aspects in Addiction


Comorbidity & Trauma Informed Care


Elective 1


Elective 2




Total Credits



Elective 1 (students must choose one of the following)


The Recovery Model in Addiction 


Knowing Self



Elective 2 (students must choose one of the following)


Professional Placement 


Behavioural & Process Addictions 


Substance Use Disorders & The Recovery Model 


Gambling Addiction & The Recovery Model 


Neuropharmacological Aspects of Substance Use Disorders


Learners on the MA in Addiction Studies are required to complete 90 ECTS (as outlined above) over one academic year and are required to take two elective module from the list above, one 5 ECTS module and one 10 ETCS module.

The programme has been designed to enable learners to demonstrate their academic and reflective learning in appropriate ways. Each module requires completion of an assessment type which will normally consist of 1 or 2 components. The assessment strategy accommodates different learning styles and therefore the programme assesses learners using a range of practical assignments, including; essays, learning journals, examinations, reflective exercises, and projects.

The completion of a research-based dissertation is a central part of the Masters programme and each student is supported by an academic supervisor for the entire period of their dissertation.



  • The Full-Time programme is conducted during the day in a traditional classroom setting, featuring cross-campus collaboration between Griffith College Limerick and ICHAS Limerick.    

  • Irish residents also have the option of blended learning in the evenings, with classes available both in person and via live online sessions. Lectures are held once a week from 6pm – 9pm, and approximately eight Saturdays per semester from 9:30am to 4:30pm.  

How to Apply

How to apply

Domestic Applicants

  • A minimum of a Second-Class Honours (2:2) award in a relevant Human Science Degree at Level 8 on the NFQ – or equivalent.
  • Those who have completed other relevant education programmes or have relevant professional experience etc., where Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Acquired Prior Learning (APL) can be applied, may apply for admission to the programme by submission of programme content, qualification and assignments equivalent to an appropriate Second Class Honours (2:2) award at Level 8.
  • All applicants are required to be over 23 years of age.
  • All applicants will be required to attend for an interview to ascertain their suitability for the programme. 
  • Successful applicants would be required to complete Garda Vetting at the College.


International Applicants

  • If English is not your native language you must show that your English level is of a suitable standard, i.e B2+ in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which is equivalent to an IELTS score of 6.5.
  • All international applicants must meet the visa requirements for study in Ireland.
  • All applicants will be required to attend for interview to ascertain their suitability for the programme. 
  • Successful applicants would be required to complete Garda Vetting at the College.


This programme is offered on a full-time (ICHAS Limerick & Griffith College Limerick) basis and there are options around the payment of tuition fees with payment plans available to learners.

Please note that not all study modes may be offered at all times; for confirmation, refer to the Intake dates on the Overview tab.

Tuition Fees

Full-Time: ICHAS Limerick and Griffith College Limerick Campus: €6,800.00

Study Mode: Full-Time (only)

Please refer to the Irish/EU Living Abroad Fees section.

Study Mode: Full-Time (only)

Please refer to our Non-EU Tuition Fees section.

Non-EU students: a Student Services and Administration fee of EUR200 is payable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted.

An Academic Administration Fee of EUR250.00 and a 2% Learner Protection Charge is applicable each academic year in addition to the fees quoted.

In addition, students who opt for monthly instalments will incur an extra fee of €100 to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under our Protection of Enrolled Learners Policy.

Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.


Career Progression

The Masters in Addiction Studies will enhance employability and career progression/opportunities in statutory, community and voluntary sectors and Addiction Service environments. It will enable learners to critically evaluate institutionalised practices and values, and act as agents for challenge and change in their professional contexts. 

The programme will address the needs of practitioners and graduates who wish to develop their professional competence in areas of addiction recovery principles and practice through advanced study, and develop personal and professional capacity and collaborative problem-solving skills, underpinned by evidence-based practice and reflection. The programme will also develop leaders in professional practice who are capable of engaging with and initiating necessary professional discourse at policy levels.

Examples of such roles include:

  • Supervisor - Addiction Services
  • Manager - Homelessness Services
  • Manager - Outreach Services
  • Team Leader - Addiction Services
  • Support Services Manager
  • Family Services Multi-Disciplinary Team Manager
  • Adjunct Faculty various Academic Institutions


Academic Progression

This programme provides a progression opportunity to complete a range of Programmes at Level 10 nationally and internationally.

Ready to take the next step?