PSY3190 - Addiction studies - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Psychological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Swati Mujumdar


Mr Jake Hoskin

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (Off-campus)
  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


PSY1011 and PSY1022.


The unit gives students an overview of issues related to addictive behaviours. While the primary emphasis is on substance use, behavioural addictions such as gambling are also addressed. Students are introduced to problems in defining addiction and will be introduced to a range of theories which attempt to explain addictive behaviours. Issues relating to treatment of addictive behaviours will be introduced including prevention of addictive behaviours, assessment and various treatment options available. Students will be introduced to drug policy options in Australia and around the world.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. discuss the complexities in defining addiction, and the many behaviours which may come under this heading;
  2. critique competing theories of addictive behaviour;
  3. critique competing policy options;
  4. discuss specific issues facing particular groups of substance users and situate these issues in a broader social context; and
  5. evaluate the evidence for various models for preventing and treating addictive behaviours.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Literature review plan and summary (800 words) (20%)
  • Critical literature review (3,000 words) (45%) (hurdle)
  • Examination (2 hours) (35%)

Workload requirements

2 hour lecture each week and 2 hour seminar every second week.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Psychological science

Addiction studies

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: