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Critical Approaches to Dual Diagnosis

Module MHR4504
Level Level 7
Credits 30
FeesSee fees and funding below
Start date September 2024
Delivery mode Online (via mixture of virtual classroom and blended activity where possible) Distance Education
Module leader David Garcia


This module has been designed to increase your skills and knowledge in the practise of identifying, assessing, and managing individuals with substance use and mental health problems. You will ensure and promote high standards of clinical and patient safety in the screening and management of individuals with co-morbid mental health and substance use conditions.

This module is ideal for health care professionals, particularly those working with individuals with identified co-morbid mental health and substance use conditions.

The purpose of this module is to critically explore issues influencing the approach to the care of individuals coping with co-morbid mental health and substance use conditions (i.e. dual diagnosis) with due regard to policies, research, evidenced based practice, and workforce development/training. Students will have the opportunity to explore the subject with due regard to international perspectives.

Course content

Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise the concept of dual diagnosis, comment on aetiology, prevalence, risk, and policies relevant to current ‘dual diagnosis’ practice and research
  2. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to co-morbid mental health and substance use
  3. Critically examine the complexities surrounding the relationship between mental health and substance use symptoms and substances
  4. Critically assess the benefits of co-production and collaboration with service users and carers in delivering co-produced care and services.

Teaching dates

Date Study unit title
Monday 25 September 2023Unit 1: The complexity and challenges of the term dual diagnosis. Online session: Introduction to the module
Monday 9 October 2023Unit 2: Current Policy, Service Models and Coproduction
Monday 23 October 2023Unit 3: Critical Approaches to co-morbid mental health and substance use (dual diagnosis)
Monday 6 November 2023Unit 4: Complexities surrounding the relationship between mental health and substance use and symptoms and substances
Monday 11 December 2023Online drop in assignment advice session

Learning and teaching

The current COVID-19 situation and ongoing uncertainty and challenges surrounding social distancing rules has impacted on how we deliver learning and teaching. To this end, all our short courses, modules and programmes will be delivered this autumn onwards through a mix of online/virtual and face to face modes where possible.

A variety of learning strategies are employed. Lectures are interactive and may include videos, group discussion and student led seminars. For distance learning students there are online activities and opportunities to discuss topics on the discussion board. Students will be guided to supplement their lectures through additional flexible / self-directed learning via extensive module related materials on the virtual learning platform, myLearning.

When not in class, you will be able to apply your new and developed skills and knowledge in your current organisation and further develop and reflect upon the classroom learning in practice.


Summative assessment scheme

You will submit a 2,500 word essay in relation to the syllabus covered by identifying challenges facing people with dual diagnosis (at the level of practice, policy, and service delivery). You will be required to select, justify, and evaluate their choices/focus and offer solutions to the challenges.

How to apply

To be eligible for this module, you must provide evidence of an ability to study at Level 7.

For application information, please see our Information for Practitioners page.

Fees and funding

The fees* below refer to the 2023/24 academic year unless otherwise stated.

Per credit: £63
15 credits: £945

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

There are several funding options available:

  • receiving course fees via CPPD contracts between NHS trusts and Middlesex University
  • paying your own fees
  • sponsorship by your employer (but not under a CPPD contract).

For more information for any of these options, including fee rates for self-funding/employer-sponsored students, please visit our dedicated funding page.

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