M6014 - Master of Addictive Behaviours - 2017

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2017 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title


Managing faculty

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Admission and fees


Course type

Master by coursework

Standard duration

3 years PT

Students have a maximum of 5 years to complete this course including any periods of intermission and suspension, and must be continuously enrolled throughout.

Mode and location

Off-campus (Clayton)

This course is taught online.


Master of Addictive Behaviours


  • This course is not available to international students who are holders of an Australian student visa, for study onshore in Australia. However holders of some other categories of Australian visas living in Australia, and students studying off-campus by distance learning (where this option is available) and living outside of Australia, may be eligible for this course.


The Master of Addictive Behaviours is offered in partnership with Turning Point, an internationally renowned clinical treatment and research centre.

The course provides students with a comprehensive overview of addiction science, policy and practice. It is a multidisciplinary, modular post-graduate course that is delivered online but which retains a strongly interactive and dynamic focus. Covering key contemporary issues such as problem drinking and gambling, and misuse of prescribed and illicit drugs, the course is delivered by a team of national and international experts from Monash University, Turning Point and other leading universities. This master's program is built on a strong conceptual and theoretical foundation and covers key topics in epidemiology, public health and policy, prevention and treatment and research methods. The course is suitable for graduates in psychology, criminology, nursing, medicine and social work, and for professionals engaged in criminal justice, mental health, community health and public policy. It enables students to enhance their career development, improve their academic skills and gain a rewarding and satisfying educational experience.

All units in this course are delivered online. Contact with teaching staff is available via forum discussions, announcements, email and telephone.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate Attributes (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/alignmentofoutcomes.html).

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. critically analyse biopsychosocial models of addiction and current discourses around addictive behaviours
  2. identify and describe the historical, political, economic and social factors that influence addictive behaviours in Australia and Internationally
  3. evaluate the impact of addictive behaviours on individuals, families, communities and social systems
  4. examine addictive behaviours in relation to special population groups (dual diagnosis, indigenous, youth, older adult, GLBTI, transcultural)
  5. outline the process by which addiction health policies are formed and reformed
  6. recognise and compare the basic concepts and research methods used in the area of addiction studies
  7. evaluate evidence based models of interventions for various addictive behaviours.

    In addition, students who complete the research stream, will be able to:

  8. design, undertake and write up a research project (minor thesis) in the area of addiction studies.


The course is structured in two parts: Part A. Foundation studies for addictive behaviours and Part B. Advanced practice in addictive behaviours. All students complete Part A. and Part B.

Part A. Foundation studies for addictive behaviours

These studies will enable you to develop your knowledge of the development of addictive behaviours, the current theories of addiction, aetiological and developmental issues related to substance use and evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches. You will gain an understanding of trends in the use of particular substances including tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs and behavioural addictions including binge eating and gambling. You will learn about the history of policy development and the public health measures employed around the world, including prevention, harm minimisation and treatments for managing problem use of substances and other process addictions.

Part B. Advanced practice in addictive behaviours

The focus of these studies is professional or scholarly work that can contribute to a portfolio of professional development. You have two options; a coursework stream or a research stream to suit your interests, skills and career goals.

Coursework stream

In the coursework stream, you will explore the range of evidence-based treatment approaches to addiction including pharmacotherapy approaches such as withdrawal management, psychosocial interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy as well as social solutions such as peer support. You will be provided with a rationale for alcohol, drug and gambling treatment as well as an overview of the effectiveness of a range of treatment interventions for alcohol, licit and illicit drugs and for gambling. In addition, depending on the subjects you choose, you will be able to receive an in depth and broader understanding of specialised areas of the addictive field. Some of the more specialised areas include the recovery movement, co-occurring disorders in mental health and addiction, developmental factors involved in substance use and other addictive behaviours as well as learning about gambling and other process addictions.

Research stream

In the research stream you will further your skills required to conduct professional focused research through the review of existing research literature. You will create a research question, select an appropriate methodology and finalise a research protocol for institutional ethics approval. Through an interactive and collaborative process with your supervisor, you will create a research report which will communicate your research findings to a wider professional audience.


The course comprises 72 points structured into two parts: Part A. Foundation studies for addictive behaviours (36 points) and Part B. Advanced practice in addictive behaviours (36 points).

Units are 12 credit points unless otherwise stated.

Part A. Foundation studies for addictive behaviours (36 points)

Students complete three units:

  • ASC5001 Addiction Science: A biopsychosocial overview
  • ASC5002 Sociocultural perspectives of addiction
  • ASC5003 Addiction policies, prevention and public health

Part B. Advanced practice in addictive behaviours (36 points)

Students complete a. or b. below:

a. Coursework stream

Students complete:

  • ASC5004 Addiction assessment and treatment: Practice and innovation

plus two electives (24 points) chosen from:

  • ASC5007 Recovery principles
  • ASC5008 Co-occurring disorders in mental health and addiction
  • ASC5009 Developmental factors - children and families, youth and early interventions
  • ASC5010 Gambling and other process addictions

Note: Not all units are offered in all semesters or years.

b. Research stream

Students complete three units:*

  • SRH5003 Designing and conducting health research
  • MAP5001 Preparatory minor thesis*
  • MAP5002 Minor thesis

* Note: The proposed minor thesis will need to be discussed with and approved by a supervisor from within Turning Point, before students can enrol in these units.

Progression to further studies

Students can chose to complete a research option including a minor thesis (36 points) that will provide a pathway to a higher degree by research. Students must achieve a distinction (70 per cent) or above to be eligible.