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Applied Social Studies - Dual Diagnosis

These programmes are designed to meet the continuing professional development needs of those staff working in the care professions (social work, psychology, education, nursing, teaching, medicine, etc). They present opportunities to study a range of areas including direct practice in child care, management and leadership within organisations, family therapy and adult mental health at postgraduate level. In addition, they aim to maintain educational coherence whilst covering diversity and choice. Students can access a range of modules that accumulate into an award, affording the flexibility to work within their own time schedules.

Why Queen's?
These programmes have been accredited by the Northern Ireland Post-Qualifying Education and Training Partnership and the Association of Family Therapy (for the Family Therapy pathways) and offer a range of professional awards and requirements at the specific, specialist and leadership levels. On these pathways there will be restricted access to relevant data by employers, the NISCC, DHSSPS, HSC Boards and any successor bodies.

Entry requirements

MSc Applied Social Studies
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Equivalent qualifications include the Pre-2007 Post-Qualifying Award in Social Work. Where this is not met, applicants must show that their experience and qualifications enable them to study at postgraduate level through the uptake of references and through completing a reflective assignment on their practice.

Please note that this programme is only open to applicants who are working as Social Care Professionals within NI/UK. Social Work applicants must have a recognised social work qualification and be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council. It is important that Social Work applicants include their NISCC Social Care Registration Number in the Additional Information section of the application form. Please note that pathways within the programme have additional entrance requirements in relation to qualifications or experience that need to be met by applicants, see the relevant pathway for details.

Please note: The closing date for applications to this programme is Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 4pm. Applications received after the closing date will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by the closing date have been processed.

International Qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.

*Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

•English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

•Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

Additional Entrance Requirements: the programme is open to prospective applicants from a range of allied health and social care professions and from those employed within the voluntary and statutory sectors. Social work applicants will normally hold a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, or the Pre-2007 post-qualifying award in social work. Where this academic requirement is not met, applicants must satisfy the Programme Director that their experience and qualifications equip them to undertake postgraduate study through the completion of a written assignment. Social work applicants must also possess a social work qualification recognised by the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, be registered with the Council and should have completed the Assessed Year in Employment or have at least one year post-qualifying experience if graduated prior to the AYE implementation. All non-social work applicants must hold a 2.2 Honours Degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a cognate area. Applicants not holding one of these qualifications are required to satisfy the Programme Director of their suitability for postgraduate study by completing a 2,000-word assignment. In addition, prospective applicants must have experience of working with clients with a mental disorder and/or substance misuse problems. Where an applicant does not have prior experience of working with people with a mental disorder and /or substance misuse problems they should undertake appropriate preparation before and/or during Module 1 of the training programme.


Part-time PgCert 1 year.

Learning and Teaching
A variety of teaching methods will be employed to enhance candidates’ knowledge, skills and values including didactic and experiential forms of learning concentrating on the use of small group work and reflective inquiry. Candidates will be supported by an agency mentor.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Continuing professional registration in social work is predicated on continuing professional development, which this programme and its pathways offer. The DHSSPS has directed that social workers demonstrate their competence covered in the curricula of this programme and its pathways.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

School Postgraduate Office
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Tel: 9097 5117

Subjects taught

This multidisciplinary pathway is designed to enable social workers, addiction professionals, mental health workers and workers from allied health and social care sectors to gain an understanding of dual diagnosis, including definitions, UK and regional contexts and the application of theory in practice. The programme consists of three modules ( 20 CATS each ) including Introduction to Dual Diagnosis, Assessment and Intervention and working with Specialist Groups. The modules are delivered on a multidisciplinary basis and tutors come from social work, nursing, mental health and addictions specialist professions. For Social Work candidates only the Certificate meets all six of the professional requirements in the 'Specific' category in the Post-Qualifying framework, and on completion candidates will be conferred with the Specific Award. This Award is intended to enable practitioners with a basic qualification in social work to develop the range of knowledge and skills associated with competence 'in-depth' in a specific area of work.

•Assessment and Intervention in Dual Diagnosis
•Introduction to Dual Diagnosis
•Working with Specific Service User Groups

Assessment method

A variety of assessment methods for the Certificate will be used including written assignments, a reflective analysis on how the student applies relevant theory to their practice in two different cases and an assignment critically reflecting on how the student has enhanced the practice of colleagues drawing on the knowledge in this module. The dissertation is undertaken for a full academic year in the final year.

Application date

Postgraduate Taught

In general, there are no closing dates for the majority of courses (those with closing dates will be highlighted in the Course Finder). However we advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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