Course at a glance


This course is accepted by ACCPH at Level 3 and allows you to join as a professional member after graduation.

Addiction involves powerful compulsions to use and do certain things excessively, often out of a need to escape from upsetting emotions or situations. These behaviours can trigger a self-perpetuating process, which can cause pain and suffering not only for those addicted, but also for their family and friends. Addictions can develop from many sources, including drinking alcohol, taking drugs, eating disorders and gambling. Often, addictions begin as a result of how these activities make people feel emotionally and physically. These feelings can be initially pleasurable – triggering a desire to carry out the activity again to recreate this ‘high’. This may develop into a repetitive cycle that becomes very hard to break.

Addiction Counselling is a fast-growing and popular counselling service. This course provides your opportunity to gain a Diploma that will enhance your career and counselling practice. This Level 3 Diploma Course will be of particular interest to those working in healthcare professions. It will also be relevant to people in social work areas, teachers and those involved in pastoral work.

The Level 3 Diploma course is designed to follow on from, and complement a basic or introductory counselling course. However, reappraisal of basic counselling skills and core knowledge will be covered in the first module, together with a detailed examination of the five approaches to counselling.

This course focuses on the assessment and analysis of psychosocial factors associated with addiction, together with the appreciation of how addictive behavioural problems present challenges for the counsellor or helper. The course will specifically address substance and alcohol addiction, although the theories, concepts and working models can be applied to most addictive behaviours and problems.


Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enrol onto our Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma course.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Course Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit.


Optional coursework and final examination.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Course Length

1 Year.

Endorsed By

Students at the college have the option to choose the awarding body of their course.

This course has been endorsed by :

Quality Licence Scheme:


Accord :

This courses’ awarding bodies are recognised for their high-quality, non-regulated provision and training programmes. This course is not regulated by Ofqual and is not an accredited qualification. Your training provider will be able to advise you on any further recognition, for example progression routes into further and/or higher education. For further information please visit Quality Licence Scheme website or Accord website

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Course Content

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 1: Introduction to addiction, discussion and reappraisal of counselling skills

This module explores the subject of addiction in broad terms. It summarises basic counselling knowledge and skills. These include how theories and approaches of counselling have developed from the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Egan. Corresponding counselling approaches and the evolution of modern approaches are also examined.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 2: The psychodynamic approach relevant addiction therapy

In this module, students will examine the psychodynamic approach to counselling, learning how to identify counselling situations in which this approach may be suitable. Concepts such as defence mechanisms, transference and counter-transference will be explained. Students will gain knowledge of the relevance of the psychodynamic approach in the context of addiction therapy.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 3: The cognitive behavioural approach relevant to addiction therapy

This module explores the popular cognitive behavioural approach and how it can be applied to the addiction counselling field. The student will gain insight into the depth of behavioural change in this area of therapy. Specific examples and activities will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 4: The person-centred approach relevant to addiction therapy

This module examines the key concepts of the person-centred approach to counselling. These include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, specific techniques and their relevance and application to counselling. Areas of application where underlying problems and situations are present will be discussed.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 5: Client-counsellor relationships in addiction therapy

This module addresses ethical strategy, boundaries or limitations and will reinforce recognition of active listening, empathy and unconditional positive regard. The integration of approaches to suit client needs are described, as group dynamics.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 6: Understanding addiction: part 1

This module focuses on the physiological and psychological changes and effects of addiction. Students will gain understanding of reinforcement in addictive behaviour, and of the basic action of drugs and their effects. This includes knowledge of the central nervous system in relation to addiction.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 7: Understanding addiction: part 2

This module continues with the physiological and psychological themes that have been already discussed. The categorisation and classification of commonly taken drugs are described. Students will learn about the common psychological disorders that relate to causes and effects of addiction. Models of counselling are explained in their context with addiction.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 8: Focusing on substance addiction

This module defines and categorizes the most commonly use drugs that exist in society today, and the factors that may contribute to substance misuse. In addition it will discuss the effects of these drugs on the person and how behaviours are changed as a result of becoming an addict. The specific and specialised counselling skills necessary for working within this field of therapy will be outlined and discussed.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 9: Focusing on alcohol addiction

This module examines the factors that contribute to alcohol abuse and the physiology behind alcohol addiction. It explores the growing issue of alcohol usage, its effects on both the clients and those around them, including their families, colleagues and friends. Students will gain knowledge of specialised counselling skills.

Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma Module 10: Discussion on other addictions such as smoking, food and shopping

This module provides information about other more common addictions. Students will gain understanding of the factors that contribute to addictions that including smoking, shopping, gambling, food and sex. Comparisons will be drawn between various addictive behaviours that have been examined throughout this course, and the complexity of some addictions will be addressed, including multiple addictions, or serious contributing and underlying problems. The student will gain confidence in drawing up appropriate counselling programmes that present in the therapeutic environment.


This Level 3 Addiction Counselling Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: