Substance Misuse: Assessing Prevalence and Evaluating Policy (SW4723) Short Course

Substance Misuse: Assessing Prevalence and Evaluating Policy (SW4723) Short Course
This module aims to provide existing practitioners, or those considering practice within a substance misuse setting, with a critical understanding of policy and legislation as it applies to substance misuse.

A range of modules are available to enhance your knowledge, develop skills and further your CPD. Credits can be gained on a standalone modular basis or used to achieve one of the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s CPD target awards.



Entry and Admissions

Award Type:

Short Course

Ancillary Award:



Short Course / CPD

Study Mode:

Part time

Delivery Method:


Course Length:

Part-time within one semester: weekly 3 hour lecture for 10 weeks, along with self-directed study time to complete assessment.


School of Social Work, Care and Community

Partner Colleges:

No Partner College



Start Date:

September (bespoke options for group bookings available)

Entry Requirements:

This module is aimed at existing Substance Misuse practitioners and social care practitioners considering practice within a substance misuse setting, or seeking to enhance existing understanding of substance misuse issues.

All candidates need to ensure that they have a relevant undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above, or evidence of their ability to study at postgraduate level.

Course Content

Course Outline:

This module aims to provide existing practitioners, or those considering practice within a substance misuse setting, with a critical understanding of policy and legislation as it applies to substance misuse. The module provides a detailed exploration of the historical context of substance misuse within societies, a critical understanding of the scale of current drug use and trends together with a detailed analysis of associated issues relating to legal and policy responses at both national and international level. The module aims to provide participants with a critical understanding of key issues relating to substance misuse in contemporary society and their interconnection with the social issues that confront substance misuse practitioners in the practice setting.

The module covers topics including:

  • Prevalence of problematic drug use and current trends
  • Historical development of national and international drugs policies
  • Policy outcomes for substance misusers and communities
  • The ‘War on Drugs’ and the future of abolition.

20 Credit Module at Level 7

Learning Environment & Assessment:

The module is assessed using two assessment elements. The first element is a 3,000 word essay and represents 60% of the overall total for the module. The second element is an Unseen Examination of one hour in length and represents 40% of the overall total for the module.

Academic Expertise

Mike Blackmon, Module Leader

Learning outcome & aims

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Assess and evaluate prevalence and trends of substance misuse both within a contemporary and historical context.
  • Critically appraise key issues and debates associated with the development and delivery of drugs related policies and strategies.
  • Compare the effectiveness of national and international drug related policy/strategies in reducing drug related harm in society.
  • Reflect on the application of knowledge acquisition to current or future practice delivery.

Industry links & professional accreditation

The School of Social Work Care and Community has worked closely with some of the key local statutory and independent employers in the development of this module. The learning from this module can be used to requirements for continuing professional development and continuing education.


Work experience and international opportunities

At UCLan we work with a range of businesses and organisations, many of which provide work experience opportunities and project briefs to enable to you gain real work experience whilst you undertake your postgraduate programme. Your course tutor will advise on opportunities available within your course and the UCLan Careers Team can provide help, advice and guidance on how to apply for them and how to make the most of these opportunities.

Graduate Careers

The UCLan Careers Team offer ongoing supportive careers advice and guidance throughout your course and after graduation, along with a range of modules, work experience opportunities and events to help you acquire the skills to make you stand out to potential employers in today’s competitive market.


UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers. To find out more about the experiences of our students, read our success stories.

Progression Routes

This module can be completed as standalone or towards the Postgraduate Certificate in Substance Misuse

For full details on the school’s CPD offering and progression routes please visit


Fees & Funding

You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892440
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE

Fees 2018/19: £725 per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)

For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

How to Apply

Please contact the CPD team for specific guidance to support you in completing an application and to ensure it is directed appropriately once submitted. You will be advised to apply through the University Online Application System.

Individuals should initially discuss their application with their employer as arrangements may be in place for financial and study leave support.

Should you have any further questions about the application or enrolment process please contact the CPD team on:
Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361/3408

This module can be delivered on site for groups of staff, to help meet your workforce development needs. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.





About UCLan

Centre for CPD

School of Social Work, Care & Community

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361