The Master program includes:

  • Two on-campus intensive weeks organized by the partner universities in presence (September 2023 and September 2024)
  • Four mandatory modules (distance learning):
    • Substance use and addiction theories
    • Drug and alcohol policies in Europe
    • Research methods
    • Responses to the problem of drug abuse and addiction
  • Three optional modules (distance learning) to choose among:
    • Drugs and crime in Europe
    • Evidence Based Practice
    • Cultural and social aspects of drug and alcohol use
    • Dual Diagnosis
  • Final thesis under the supervision of one of the master’s teachers
  • The graduation ceremony will be held at the EMCDDA in Lisbon (Autumn 2025)

From the 2023-25 edition, it is also possible to enroll in individual modules of the EMDAS Master, at a unit cost of 360 euros, which allows the acquisition of 6 university educational credits (ECTS).

Contents of the educational modules:

Drug use and addiction theories

Module leaders: Franca Beccaria, Kirsten Frederiksen, Sara Rolando

This module critically examines the key theories and concepts relating to drug use and addiction. It aims to provide students with an overview and understanding of how theory and research is linked to policy and practice. The intention is to stimulate critical debate concerning the explicit and implicit theories and understandings which inform policy and practice and to encourage students to consider the relevance of different theoretical approaches within their own cultural, social and policy systems.

Responses to the addiction problem

Module leaders: Franca Beccaria, Augusto Consoli, Sara Rolando

This module is designed to give the students a broad understanding of the multi-disciplinary interventions at clinical and preventive level to tackle problems related to addictive behaviours. It is organized in 4 Units, corresponding to the four main intervention areas in the addiction field: Prevention, Treatment (including Psycho-social and Pharmacological treatment), and Harm reduction. The Units will try to introduce you to the complexity of the responses that are available for the different aspects of the phenomenon.

Drug and alcohol policies: international and European perspectives

Module leaders: Franca Beccaria, Sara Rolando

This module aims to develop a critical approach to analysing how policies are developed, implemented and evaluated at International, European and national levels. Students will draw on a range of policies on alcohol, drugs and smoking to explore and critique the relationship between policy at international and national levels. They will compare and contrast policy approaches across a number of countries and analyse the importance of different cultural, social and political contexts on policy formulation and implementation.

Research methods for drug and alcohol studies

Module leaders: Enrico Petrilli, Kirsten Frederiksen, Julie Brummer

In this module students will learn how to apply knowledge of research methodologies and methods in order to develop their own research skills and knowledge to carry out projects or theses, and to evaluate research-based studies in the drug and alcohol field. This module consists of six units, of different length: Purpose and uses of research Research designs, Research issues, processes and ethics, Developing a research proposal, Surveys, questionnaire design, and sampling methods, Basic quantitative data analysis, Approaches to qualitative research, Analysis of qualitative data.

Evidence Based Practice

Module leader: Fabrizia Giannotta

The main aim of the module is to give the instruments in order to take decisions, in the different aspects of the drugs and alcohol filed, on the bases of scientific evidence.

The module contents will cover all the key knowledge about what Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is, the scientific standards for the evaluation of effectiveness of interventions, other study designs for the evaluation of effectiveness, the research strategy to gather systematic reviews, and the definition of Evidence-based Guidelines of practice.

Drugs and crime in Europe

Module leaders: Sara Rolando, Rosalba Altopiedi

This module critically examines the key criminological theories and concepts relating to drugs and drug use, the relationship between drugs and crime, and the criminal justice institutions (ie. police, courts, probation and prisons), policies and legislation relating to drugs, drug use and offending.

This module aims to develop advanced skills in the application of criminological theories and concepts in relation to drugs, drug use, and drugs control and in critically analysing the relationship between drugs and crime. The module also aims to foster a critical interest in the reform of drugs control policy and institutions at both national and international levels.

Cultural and social aspects of drug and alcohol use

Module leaders: Enrico Petrilli, Sara Rolando

 Building on anthropological and sociological knowledge, this module looks at how the use of drugs and alcohol plays an important part in human social relations. Taking a non-problematizing stance, it aims at discussing some of the theories explaining the omnipresence of drug and alcohol use throughout the world. The module will draw on historical and comparative approaches to analysing differences in substance use, across European countries and across different social groups in Europe. Furthermore, the module will discuss the role of drugs and alcohol in simultaneously creating and reflecting social differences. Finally, the module aims at highlighting not only reasons for substance use but also for abstinence.

Dual Diagnosis

Module leaders: Birgitte Thylstrup, Morten Hesse, Augusto Consoli

The aim of this module is that the students acquire skills in analysing, assessment, and discussion of evidence-based knowledge on dual diagnosis citizens and initiatives and interventions designed for this group. The course consists of three units, focusing on: A characterization of the target group, Challenges in working with citizens with dual diagnosis, Relevant strategies, initiatives, and interventions. Based on concrete cases, we will discuss some of the fundamental challenges that people with dual diagnosis, their relatives, and the support systems encounter, as well as evidence-based initiatives that aim at mitigating these challenges.