Graduate Diploma in Applied Addiction Studies

Designed for those with prior clinical experience. Learn the latest industry models in the assessment and intervention of addictions. Gain an insight into New Zealand’s cultural context. Put theory into practice with a clinical work placement.

What you will learn

  • Integrate theories of use, misuse and addiction into your practice
  • Develop your understanding of differing intervention models
  • Gain an awareness of the prevalence of co-existing disorders
  • Learn about the relational factors between mental illness and addiction disorders
  • Analyse and evaluate the issues presented by different groups and apply a multicultural approach in your practice
Social & Community ServicesSocial
& Community Services

Course descriptors

Compulsory courses

Assessment and Treatment Planning (face-to-face tuition and practice: 48 hours)
Gain the understanding and competence for effective assessment and treatment for clients affected by alcohol and drug related problems.

Becoming Professional: Addiction Practicum III (face-to-face tuition: 60 hours)
Consolidate professional practice and the capabilities of professional knowledge, skilled intervention, cultural safety and diversity, legal and ethical practice, organisation and management and professional development.

Co-existing Substance Use and Mental Health Problems
Develop an understanding of the nature and prevalence of co-existing substance use and mental health problems in New Zealand. Carry out clinical practice according to best-practice principles.

Gambling and other Impulse Control Disorders (face-to-face tuition: 18 hours)
Knowledge of gambling and other impulse control disorders (or ‘process’ addictions such as the various forms of internet addiction), and the appropriate interventions.

Group Work Practice (face-to-face tuition: 66 hours)
Gain a critical understanding of group work theory, group processes, and the skills for working with groups of people in a range of professional contexts.

Working with Diversity
Develop a critical understanding and respect for human diversity. Grow awareness of the social processes of inequality and discrimination. Gain skills in anti-discriminatory practice.


Choose one of the following courses:

Motivational Interviewing (face-to-face tuition: 70 hours)

Cognitive Behavioural Approaches (face-to-face tuition and practice: 72 hours)

Please note: elective courses will only be run if there is sufficient demand. Specialist electives are not offered every year. 

Programme structure

Online/Learning Components

Allow between 5-9 hours of online engagement per course each week to fully engage in the programme.

Professional Supervision

Students will be required to engage in:

  • Professional Supervision (at a cost of between $50 - $120 per hour)
  • 15 hours of professional supervision

Students must have organised a practicum placement before they can start the programme. Before an interview can be arranged, we must receive written confirmation from your placement agency that they will be your work placement during your term of study (this can either be via email or a written letter). The minimum hours for workplace practice are 150 hours.

Programme outcomes

You will be eligible to apply for provisional Practitioner Registration for Alcohol and Drug Workers in New Zealand.

As Neil Gaiman said, 'Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one'.
Robyn, Team Leader Library

Career options

Opportunities exist in addiction, alcohol, and drug services. District Health Boards, public health, non-government organisations. Social, health and community agencies. Specialised addictions opportunities are also emerging in justice roles and in  services such as opioid treatment.

  • Addiction Worker
  • Policy Advisor
  • Social Worker

Further study options

Entry criteria

Under 20

Bachelor degree in health or social services. Or equivalent personal, practical, professional or educational experience.

You will also need to provide the following:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two personal referees
  • Personal statement and health declaration
  • Police check
  • Attend an interview – to assess whether you have appropriate life experience and your likelihood of success on the programme


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: $6,384

    For part-time fees, contact a Student Advisor. 

    Contact us for Trimester 3 fees. 

  • 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 qualifies for student loans and allowances. 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.

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.

As Neil Gaiman said, 'Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one'.
Robyn, Team Leader Library