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Addiction Studies Major


Provides students with an understanding of the use and problems associated with alcohol, tobacco and other psychoactive drugs.

Students investigate fundamental concepts about drug use and drug users, psychoactive drug use, the nature of addiction and dependency and behaviour change. Australian and international approaches to drug policy, intervention initiatives, alcohol and other drug counselling skills, and evidence-based approaches to reducing harm are also covered.

Why ECU?

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    ECU was also the top-ranked public university in Australia for undergraduate skills development for the sixth year in a row.

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Unit set overview



Availability & Campus

JO - Joondalup BU - South West ML - Mount Lawley OL - Online



Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
ADS1151Addiction Studies: Fundamental Concepts15
ADS1252Addiction Studies: Psychoactive Drugs15
ADS2253Addiction Studies: Processes of Change15
ADS2356Addiction Studies: Intervention Initiatives15
ADS3355Addiction Studies: Social Action15
ADS3252Addiction Studies: Counselling Skills 115
ADS3351Addiction Studies: Counselling Skills 215
ADS3458Addiction Studies: Preventive Practice15

For more detailed unit information for this Major take a look at our Handbook. To organise your life for next semester visit the Semester timetable.

Student handbook


Important notes

  • Two units within this major require students to attend on-campus classes. Students who are unable to attend classes may, with the permission of the Course Coordinator, substitute two online counselling units from the School of Arts and Humanities.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply broad discipline knowledge to a range of theoretical and practical Health Science situations.
  2. Think critically to analyse, interpret and conceptualise complex Health Science problems.
  3. Think creatively to anticipate challenges and generate discipline specific solutions/responses.
  4. Use digital technologies and literacies to access, evaluate and synthesise relevant information from multiple sources.
  5. Communicate disciplinary knowledge and values in professional and public contexts.
  6. Demonstrate a global outlook with respect for cultural diversity, including Indigenous cultural competence.
  7. Work collaboratively and demonstrate initiative to implement social, sustainable, and ethical values.
  8. Demonstrate autonomy, accountability and judgement for own learning and professional practice.

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities

There are interesting and dynamic addiction studies career pathways available in a range of health promotion agencies, not-for-profit organisations, research centres, welfare agencies, corrective services and the justice sector.

Possible future job titles

Community Health Officer, Drug Rehabilitation Officer, Youth Worker, Child Health Officer, Health Care Officer, Health Promotion Officer, Health Officer, Drug Policy Worker, Quit Smoking Project Officer, Healthy Lifestyle Coordinator, Research Officer, Health Project Coordinator

This Major can be studied in the following courses

Need some help deciding what to study?

Our future student events include a mix of on-campus and online sessions designed to help you decide what to study at ECU.

Become World Ready

Explore your options

Master of Public Health by Research student Nathan Hambly discusses his Addiction Studies major and why he chose ECU.

Student stories

Nicole Wickens

Nicole Wickens

ECU Addiction Studies and Health Promotion student

"I wanted the skills to implement and evaluate health promotion and public health programs"

I decided to study Health Science at ECU, as I wanted to become a health care professional and help improve the lives and wellbeing of others within a community. I have a strong passion for working with people and an interest in the field of Alcohol & Other Drugs, which led me to choose the health promotion and addiction study majors, as they go hand-in-hand. The lecturers have been so friendly and welcoming and I love ECU's facilities, in particular, the library resources and all the caf├ęs.