Course structure


This course lasts two years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2020. Induction week starts on 4 September 2018.


Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with the University of Bath’s Terms and Conditions.




As part of your course, you will take compulsory units covering key concepts. You may also be able to take optional units which assist you in developing your own interests.


You need to take 60 credits in each year of your course (usually split equally into 30 credits for each semester), so the number of optional units you can take depends on the number of compulsory units in each year of the course.


Six credits are the equivalent of at least 120 hours of study, including contact time with staff and independent study.


Compulsory course units


These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.


Year 1 

Study skills

Alcohol and drug problems and societal responses

Treatment and counselling approaches and models of recovery

Counselling skills in an addictions context

Diversity issues in addictions treatment

Introduction to assessment

Introduction to treatment planning

Interpersonal group therapy

Personal and professional development 1

Motivational interviewing


Year 2

Personal and professional development 2

Research project

Harm reduction approaches

The 12 step programme

Cognitive therapy and substance misuse

Understanding the research literature

Preparing a small scale research project

Working with the family and significant others

Relapse prevention

Dual diagnosis and complex needs


Year 3 (BSc route)


If you complete the two-year foundation degree to the required academic standard, you may be invited to study for a BSc (Hons) one year full-time degree in Year 3.


Research methods


Motivational interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for addictions – theory, models and research

Developing motivational interviewing

Work-based research project

Developing cognitive-behavioural counselling

Meeting stakeholder and quality requirements

Managing performance

Developing group leadership


Work-based learning


The addiction counselling degree programmes are work-based learning degrees. This means students apply the theoretical learning gained in the classroom to practice through a work based placement. Placements start in semester two (normally February) of year one and continue into semesters one and two in the second year. Students who are eligible for the third BSc (Hons) year are also required to attend placement in semesters one and two.


Students are required to attend CATS for teaching but can find a suitable placement close to home so they do not have to relocate. The team at CATS will provide you with support to help you identify a suitable placement in the area of your choice. All placements must be approved by CATS. Read our placement approval policy.


We are proud of the high professional standard of our practice placements, which are hosted by the UK’s best known and most effective treatment organisations. We have very strong links with the organisations that employ our graduates and can secure placements for students in our own community and residential treatment centres. Read our placement provider guides for the FdSc course and the BSc course.  

Read an example teaching timetable.

Student support


Our student population is a very diverse community, united by a shared passion for developing the highest levels of expertise, and learning more about, and standing up against, the complex and life-stopping condition of addiction.


Personalised tutor support and limited class sizes are at the bedrock of a superior learning experience at CATS which achieved 100% in the National Student Survey in both 2016 and 2015. Whilst studying on the degree programme students have the support of a personal tutor, a unit tutor (subject specialist for each area of teaching) and a pastoral care tutor to support individual health and wellbeing. Meet our tutors.


All of our tutors are highly qualified in subjects such as interpersonal group therapy, counselling, psychotherapy and psychology, and have both long-term and recent experience of working in a range of settings including in therapeutic communities, residential and community-based treatment centres, integrated substance misuse teams, private practice, and the prison estate.


You will be able to use the facilities at both the University of Bath and the Centre for Addiction Treatment Studies.


At the University of Bath, you can use the campus library and the sports and recreation facilities. You are also eligible to join the University of Bath Students’ Union.


All our students are eligible for premium membership with SMMGP once they start their degree. You need to email [email protected] to activate your account. Your membership with FDAP will also last for one year following the end of your course.

Student stories


The degree programme has spawned the careers of leaders in addictions treatment across the world, including in the UK, Canada, Portugal, Thailand and Spain. Whereas some of our graduates have gone on to mastermind their own extremely successful enterprises, others are now working in the very best treatment centres worldwide or teaching and inspiring others about addiction and related subjects. They have also worked in related fields such as the prison service, mental health and homelessness.


Fees and funding




Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a home, EU, island or overseas student.


Learn how we decide fee status.


See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.


Extra costs


Transportation and accommodation


Teaching on this course is delivered in three, four and five day blocks in Warminster. You will be responsible for payment of your transportation or accommodation costs.


How to pay


Tuition fee loans


If you are studying an undergraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.


Read more about tuition fee loans.


Scholarships and bursaries


You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. This is in addition to your student loan and you do not have to pay it back.


Read more about bursaries and scholarships.


Other payment options


You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.


Read more about your payment options.




You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.


Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.


If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.