Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies (Support Work)

Complement your industry experience. Or begin a career in the field of addictions. You’ll gain an understanding of the causes and effects of addictive behaviours. Learn leading strategies in the assessment and treatment of those suffering from addictions and develop a client-centred approach in your practice.

What you will learn

  • Discover theoretical approaches about why and how we experience addiction
  • Explore how theories could be applied in a real life context
  • Build your ability to deliver a client-centred counselling approach
  • Explore ethical issues and professional practice
  • Identify and apply different approaches when conducting assessments of clients
  • Gain a in-depth understanding of intervention strategies so you can select the most appropriate strategy
  • Explore the bicultural origins, values and context within Aotearoa and understand the need for a multicultural approach
Social & Community ServicesSocial
& Community Services

Programme structure

Trimester 1

Introduction to Addiction Studies (Face-to-face tuition: 36 hours)
An introductory overview of the field of drug and alcohol studies.

Client-centred Practice Skills (Face-to-face tuition and practice: 80 hours)
An introduction to the principles and skills of client-centred practice based on the work of Carl Rogers whose concepts and theories of person-centred practice underpin many counselling approaches. An opportunity to practise skills in a supervised learning environment, and competence will be measured at a beginning practitioner level.

Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Face-to-face tuition: 36 hours)
Examine the importance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi for professional practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. Explore ways in which culturally appropriate professional practice is developed within the context of Treaty partnership. This course includes a compulsary marae visit which will be held off campus.

Motivational Interviewing (Face-to-face tuition and practice: 70 hours)
Develop an understanding of the foundation theory and principles of motivational interviewing. Acquire skills in the use of broader strategies and complex techniques in the practice of motivational interviewing. Appreciate the cultural context for motivational interviewing and ensure the cultural safety of clients.

Trimester 2

Society, Social Problems and Social Justice (Face-to-face tuition: 22 hours)
Learn the process of thinking sociologically about contemporary and historical social problems and issues. Explore the social construction of social problems and responses to them Discuss social justice in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand society.

Entering Professional Practice: Addiction Practicum I (Face-to-face tuition and practice: 65 hours)
An introduction to professional practice and the capabilities of professional knowledge; skilled intervention; cultural safety and diversity; legal and ethical practice; organisation and management; and professional development.

Career options

Opportunities for work exist as an Addiction worker, Alcohol and Drug Worker, Case Manager, District Health Board Roles, Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counsellor and Policy Advisor.

  • Social Worker
  • Addiction Worker
  • Substance Abuse Counsellor

Entry criteria

Under 20

NCEA Level 3, including:

  • Three subjects from the NZQA Approved Subjects list at Level 3, made up of 14 credits each
  • Literacy - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing
  • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above Or achieved a level 4 qualification in a related field

Or equivalent personal, practical, professional or educational experience of an appropriate kind, and at the appropriate level.


If you’re 20 years or over, contact us to see if you qualify for special admissions on our programmes.

What it will cost


  • Fee: $4,788
  • Student services fee: $220

    Your student fee is included in your course fees. It is not billed separately. Amount shown is based on full year study. More details.


This programme is not available to international students.

Where will my course be?

The Wellington CBD campus is at 11-17 Church Street, Wellington.

Read more about our Wellington CBD campus.

The Auckland campus is at 450 Queen Street, Auckland.

Read more about our Auckland campus.

Any study question you have, we’ll answer it or find out who can.
Marie, Learning Advisor

Ready to enrol?


Applying online is easy and takes only about 10 minutes.

You will need a few details:

  1. An email address you check regularly.

  2. The phone number of someone willing to be your emergency contact.

  3. Your date of residency if you are a permanent resident in NZ.

If you have your NZQA National Student Number and/or a WelTec Student ID it will help us process your application faster.


Contact our international team to check the suitability of this course for international students.

Any study question you have, we’ll answer it or find out who can.
Marie, Learning Advisor