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Graduate Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies GCAD

Program focus

The Graduate Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies is designed
to provide relevant and specialised training in the assessment and
treatment of substance misuse disorders. It is aimed at graduates
already working in the health and medical field who wish to develop
skills for working with the substance using population. The program
is delivered entirely online, with courses aimed at development of
essential knowledge and practical skills that transfer readily to
the practice setting. The program includes four core courses which
cover knowledge of psychoactive substances, assessment methods and
tools, evidence-based intervention, and management of relapse.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available


1 year part-time, 2 years part-time maximum

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Program aims

The Graduate Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies is available
to graduates of medical, nursing, psychology and other allied health
disciplines. The program has been designed to provide graduates from
medical, allied health (including psychology) and nursing degrees
with core skills to respond to substance misuse in a range of health
settings, including those which focus on psychological health, mental
health nursing, medical practice, social work, occupational therapy,
and Indigenous health settings. The primary aim is to improve knowledge
and expertise across a range of health disciplines, regardless of
location, by improving training access for the rural-remote sector
as well as those wishing to study via the distance education mode
for other reasons. Because the range of disciplines varies within
the allied health cluster, the assessment schemes will offer opportunities
for students to develop knowledge and skills pertinent to their practice

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Program objectives

On completion of the award, students will be able to:

  • understand the various types and administration routes of psychoactive
    substances, and the individual and systemic factors that contribute
    to substance misuse

  • conduct a thorough assessment for substance misuse based on
    generic and discipline specific assessment needs

  • conduct an appropriately targeted brief counselling intervention,
    following evidence-based approaches for the substance using population

  • recognise and respond to lapses and manage relapse prevention.

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Program structure

The Graduate Certificate consists of 4 compulsory courses.

Course Offered
PSY5010 Assessment for Substance Misuse S1
PSY5020 Motivational Interviewing S1
PSY5030 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs S2
PSY5040 Relapse Prevention S2

Copyright University of Southern Queensland

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