Women & Substance Use

ProfCert Women and Substance Use
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 10)
Problematic substance use continues to be a major social issue within society, with increases in consumption and use of drugs, increases in drug related deaths and increases in dependency on existing and emerging substances. International and national drug policy is also heavily contested, with pressure to develop harm reduction based policy rather than the more punitive and abstinence based approach. This course will explore current and emerging issues in relation to women and substance use, within the Irish and international context.

This course is delivered online, so it is very well suited to professionals as part of continuing professional development.

Increasingly issues in relation to women's substance use, have emerged especially in relation to trauma histories, domestic violence, maternal roles and impact on family, children, yet there has been little educational response to develop practitioner and policy maker knowledge, awareness and skills to address these issues effectively.

Women's problematic substance use is explored in the context of the inter-related and sometimes unique factors that may impact on women's substance use trajectories, with a particular focus on effective intervention, and innovation in practice and policy responses. The role and impact of intimate partner violence, sex working, trauma histories and pregnancy and mothering on women's substance use are considered and explored. The development and provision of innovative responses and interventions are presented, together with the implications for drug and social policy.

Vision and Values Statement
The Community Drugs Programme within the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, has a long standing history of delivering undergraduate and graduate education to a range of students. This programme has been designed and is delivered in partnership with Urrus, Ballymun Youth Action Project and aims to build on students' existing knowledge, interest and expertise in order to support their ability to critically consider, engage and address the complex issues surrounding women and substance use.

The programme draws on a range of expertise in relation to policy, theory and intervention and seeks to include and integrate lessons and understanding from relevant community agencies, as well as emerging research and evidence. This approach aims to both ensure content relevance to a range of professional fields, and utilize this breadth of expertise within the learning environment through tasks that allow for collaboration and discussion between students.

This programme is provided online to promote accessibility and flexibility within the learning environment. Online tutorials are combined with recorded lectures and tailored tasks and exercises to engage students and develop in-depth critical analysis. Students are encouraged to utilise their own lived and work experience, as well as collaborate with others in generating ideas and discussing concepts, theory and intervention.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 Core
Women and Substance Use SPOL40850




4 months, Part Time


ProfCert Women and Substance Use (W402) Part Time
EU fee per year - € 1055
nonEU fee per year - € 2215

***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
This Professional Certificate should offer career enhancement by developing students' knowledge and expertise in regard to the complex health and social issues that surround women and substance use.

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  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Certificate (Level 9 NFQ)

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