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Module PHP-3002:
Psyc of Addictive Behaviours

Module Facts

Run by School of Psychology

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Steven Hosier

Overall aims and purpose

The module will review the biological and sociocultural determinants of addictive behaviours and how they interact to determine the psychological principles involved in people's misuse of addictive substances. Psychological theories of addiction will be discussed. Assessment instruments and treatment techniques will be reviewed.

Course content

A module syllabus with each of the lecture topics will be provided on Blackboard.

Assessment Criteria


Adequate answer to the question, largely based on lecture material with little understanding of required readings and little evidence of reviewing relevant evidence.


Reasonable comprehension of both lectures and required reading. Organised and structured essay. Good understanding of the material.


Excellent comprehension of both lectures and required reading. Outstanding essay, which reflects excellent comprehension of the literature and is impeccably written.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe a model of addictive behaviours that depicts biological, psychological, and sociocultural determinants and how each of these contributes to the motivational pathway to substance abuse. Identifying and understanding the principle factors underpinning addictive behaviours

  2. Critically appraise theoretical models with respect to the research literature. Evaluate the comparative importance of the range of factors describing and explaining addictive behaviours. Determine the important mechanisms operating in people's use of drugs and how that increases their vulnerability to substance dependence and health problems.

  3. Describe and evaluate examples of current interventions for substance abuse.

  4. Suggest ways to address the problem of excessive alcohol consumption among undergraduate students as well as other populations.

  5. Guidance in writing the set essay is given, which entails deconstructing the essay brief and planning and writing the essay. Time will be spent ensuring that the essay is of the highest quality by communicating coherently and logically.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Class Assignment

The essay asks for a review of the influences on alcohol use among students. Based on a review of the factors, important influences can be determined, generalised to Bangor University students, and addressed by means of effective intervention.

EXAM Final Exam

The exam comprises five short-answer questions from a choice of ten questions. The questions cover the major principles describing and explaining addictive behaviours


Teaching and Learning Strategy


There will be 20 hours of small-group seminar work - 2 hours per week over ten weeks. The seminar work will concentrate on understanding the essay brief and accomplishing the tasks necessary in order to complete the essay.The organisation and structure of the essay will be discussed.

Private study

160 hours of Private Study


The 24 hours of Lectures will cover the range factors underpinning addictive behaviours.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
  • Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
  • Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
  • Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
  • Retrieve and organise information effectively.
  • Handle primary source material critically.
  • Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
  • Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
  • Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
  • Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
  • Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
  • Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
  • Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: