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. It is run in partnership with Urrus, the Ballymun Youth Action Project.

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.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Women and Substance Use SPOL40850

Entry requirements

This course has been designed for those working or seeking to work within the fields of substance use intervention, social care, social work nursing, health and related field who wish to deepen their knowledge and expertise in relation to this complex social issue. This programme provides key workers, social care workers, addiction counsellors and those in related policy and health fields with the knowledge and expertise to respond to the complexity of women and substance use. A Bachelors Honours qualification (NFQ Level 8) in a relevant area is a requirement of the programme.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Application dates

How to Apply
The following entry routes are available:

Professional Certificate Women and Substance Use PT (W402)
4 Months
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised




4 months part-time. Mode of Delivery: Online.


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: 2024/2025 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.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Professional Certificate

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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