Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies for Health Professionals (H5G)

Overview  2024

Entry Requirements

See entry requirements


Minimum 1 Year, up to a maximum of 3 Years


Duration refers to the minimum and maximum amounts of time in which this course can be completed. It will be affected by whether you choose to study full or part time, noting that some programs are only available part time.


Semester 1

This course may not be available to international students. Please see the list of distance courses (i.e. online and taken outside Australia) that are offered to international students

Addiction and addictive behaviours can take many forms and may have serious psychological and physical effects. Addiction is most commonly associated with drugs (both illicit and prescription), alcohol and nicotine. People can also become addicted to work, shopping, eating or dieting, computer and gaming use, alongside other dependent items.

In 2021, around 20% of Australians experienced a mental health disorder* and people with mental health conditions or high psychological distress are more likely to smoke and use illicit drugs or alcohol. The challenges they face take a severe toll on their quality of life, as well as those around them and the communities in which they live.

In this fully online course you will work with both health and non-health professionals to improve your understanding of dependency and contribute to providing effective care and guidance to help those experiencing overcome their struggle.

Your studies will cover the principals underlying substance use and withdrawal, identification of co-occurring conditions, and the rationale for undertaking bio-psychosocial clinical assessments for clients.

You will also learn about policy and strategies which direct appropriate client management processes, as well as gain an understanding of current legislative requirements.

In a self-directed capstone unit, you will tailor your studies towards a dependency related topic of your choice, gathering evidence and content to produce a professional portfolio to show your demonstrated knowledge relevant to the region, area, occupation, or sector where you’ll be utilising your skills.

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The Graduate Certificate in Addiction studies has been designed to provide health professionals with the knowledge, awareness and skills to work sensitively with clients and families affected by addictive disorders and behaviours.

You’ll gain a deeper understanding of dependency, maladaptive behaviours and epidemiological indicators on a theoretical level. You’ll also develop your communication skills, so you can work sensitively with clients and families from a range of age groups, backgrounds and cultures.

  • 1 Synthesise advanced theoretical and technical knowledge to inform the provision of care in relation to addiction.
  • 2 Critically analyse social ecological factors determining experiences of addiction to help guide evidence-informed solutions.
  • 3 Evaluate strategies used to optimise health outcomes in addiction using evidence informed independent judgement.
  • 4 Communicate specialist knowledge and information to a range of audiences.
  • Tailor your learning with a self-directed project

    As part of your studies, you can tailor your learning in this course towards a focus of your choice through a self-directed project. You will gather evidence and content to produce a professional portfolio which you can use to demonstrate your enhanced understanding of the complex health needs of individuals and families across a range of settings, and best practice interventions in client management.

    Career outcomes

    The costs of addiction are vast, both on the person and our society. The latest report from the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare estimates that the social costs of tobacco use alone in Australia to be $136.9 billion. The personal cost is also high, with addiction destroying lives, affecting families, and impacting communities.

    When you complete this course, you will be better equipped to provide effective and appropriate care for those experiencing  dependencies, directly helping to reduce the costs of addiction for the person  and society.

    If you are a health professional and work with individuals experiencing dependency, the knowledge, and skills you gain can help you upskill and specialise in your current role. It is also great for those looking to move into the addiction care field, in particular registered nurses, and social workers.

    For non-heath professionals such as police officers, this course will help you improve your effectiveness in responding to situations that involve people experiencing addiction, as well as supporting those they interact with and the communities in which they live.

    Course structure

    Students are required to complete four (4) core addiction studies units for a total of 50 credit points, as listed.

    This unit examines the complex needs of the person requiring Addiction Services. You will explore epidemiological theories of substance abuse and identify principles of dependence within a range of maladaptive behaviours. In addition, you will extend their knowledge and understanding…

    Credit Points: 12.5

    LocationStudy periodAttendance optionsAvailable to
    OnlineSemester 1

    Key: On-campus    Off-Campus    International students    Domestic students

    In this unit you will develop the evidence-based assessment and planning skills required in your work with alcohol and other drug dependent clients in a public health framework. This includes clinical assessment of alcohol and drug issues and identification of…

    Credit Points: 12.5

    LocationStudy periodAttendance optionsAvailable to
    OnlineSemester 1

    Key: On-campus    Off-Campus    International students    Domestic students

    In this unit students will further develop their knowledge and skills in the delivery of alcohol and other drug interventions. This unit will focus on current contemporary treatment approaches including psychosocial interventions and pharmacological treatments. This includes the range of…

    Credit Points: 12.5

    LocationStudy periodAttendance optionsAvailable to
    OnlineSemester 2

    Key: On-campus    Off-Campus    International students    Domestic students

    Unit CNA739 introduces students to psychological therapies used in mental health settings, either as stand-alone interventions or in combination with pharmacological interventions. Participants will be involved actively in a series of cognitive behaviour workshops either by synchronous online participation or…

    Credit Points: 12.5

    LocationStudy periodAttendance optionsAvailable to
    OnlineSemester 2

    Key: On-campus    Off-Campus    International students    Domestic students

    Entry requirements

    Students should be working in a health care setting (including but not limited to a hospital, health clinic, aged care setting, department of community services) to be in a strong position to succeed.

    Applicants must have completed an AQF (or equivalent) undergraduate degree qualification in a health-related discipline, or in social work, psychology, social sciences, or police studies.


    This course is not available to international students. Please enquire online for advice on alternative course options.

    Applications for credit can be made in your course application. Find out more information about how to apply for a credit transfer/advanced standing at Recognition of Prior Learning.


    Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies is a specialisation which has an articulation pathway for registered nurses to the Graduate Diploma of Nursing (Addiction Studies) through to the Master of Clinical Nursing (Addiction Studies).


    Fees & scholarships

    Domestic students

    Options for this course

    Cost shouldn’t get in the way of you studying.

    If you’re a domestic student, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place in this course. This means your fees will be subsidised by the Australian Government. You’ll only need to pay the student contribution amount for each unit you study within the course.

    You may also be able to defer payment of the student contribution amount by accessing a HECS-HELP loan from the Government. If eligible, you’ll only have to pay your tuition fees once you start earning above a specific amount.

    Further information is available at Scholarships, fees and costs.

    Student contribution

    Student contribution amounts are charged for each unit of study. This means that how much you’ll pay will depend on which units you choose. Find out more about student contribution amounts.

    Further information

    Detailed fee information for domestic students is available at Scholarships, fees and costs, including additional information in relation to the compulsory Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF).


    For information on general scholarships available at the University of Tasmania, please visit the scholarships website.

    How can we help?

    Do you have any questions about choosing a course or applying? Get in touch.

    13 8827 (13 UTAS)
    +61 3 6226 6200
    Online enquiries

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