Delivering Excellence in Lifelong Learning
Mike Hughes, McMaster University Continuing Education Addiction Education graduate Mike Hughes, McMaster University Continuing Education Addiction Education graduate

Addiction Education

Bridging the gap between theory
and practice.

Applications for this program are no longer being accepted.
Please see new program: Professional Addiction Studies

*Please note: the Addiction Careworker Diploma and Addiction Studies Certificate programs are now closed and applications are no longer being accepted. If you are currently enrolled in either of these programs, you will have until August 31, 2019 to complete outstanding courses. 

As a result, a new program called Professional Addiction Studies (Certificate and Diploma) will launch in Fall 2018.

For more information about the program closure and timelines, please visit the Program Closure Information page. 

Formats (Online / In-Person)

The Addiction Education program offers courses in two different learning formats.  
It is important that you consider the learning format and its suitability for you in order to ensure that you have a successful learning experience.


McMaster's online course management system is called Avenue to Learn. If any portion of your course will be delivered or available online through Avenue to Learn, we will notify you. Learn more about the system and software requirements here.

In-Person Format:

*As of July 2018, courses will no longer be available in-person. 

Courses are held at McMaster’s Downtown Centre, Hamilton, unless
otherwise indicated.

Condensed Weekend Block

  • Courses are condensed over two full weekends (Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 -  5:00).  Typically, there are two weeks free in-between the two weekends.
  • Class size ranges from 12 to 50 students.
  • Teaching methods include lecture, case studies, individual and group projects, group discussions, etc.
  • It is expected that students will have done the readings in advance of each weekend.
  • Weekend block courses typically have a pre-course assignment due on the first day of class.
  • It is critical that students be able to attend all four days, as the classroom work is an important part of the learning experience.

Considerations for Taking a Condensed Weekend Block Course

  • Your schedule allows you to attend all four days of class.
  • You have time set aside before the class begins to complete the readings and pre-course assignment.
  • You have time set aside during and after the course dates to complete the other  assignments. The final assignment is typically due two weeks after the last class.
  • You prefer the condensed delivery because you are travelling from out of town or have other commitments.

Online Format (self-study):

  • Courses start the first of every month.
  • A 2-unit course runs for four months, while a 3-unit course runs for six months.
  • Assignments are due on specified days throughout the course duration.
  • Students are welcome to submit assignments ahead of schedule and complete the course at a faster pace, if desired.
  • Students receive course material to accompany the required readings. The material presents the content to the student with exercises and self-reflection questions. Each unit concludes with the assignment that is submitted for grading.
  • Some courses use McMaster’s online learning management system called Avenue to Learn (A2L) to access content, videos, electonic readings, resources or tools. A2L is web-based and can be accessed from any internet connection. Learn more about the system and software requirements here
  • You have access to the course grader through email for clarification and questions.
  • You should expect to allocate approximately eight hours per week to complete your work.
  • The courses were designed to be flexible for students who are juggling life, work, family, etc. 
  • A pre-course email with information on the course, course materials, etc. is sent the week prior to the course start date. 

Considerations for Taking an Online Course

  • You are good at keeping yourself on task to complete a project.
  • You are comfortable asking for clarification when needed and expressing yourself in written form through email or a discussion board.
  • You are able to read the textbook (and the assignments) on your own and understand the concepts.
  • You are able to work independently.
  • You are comfortable using technology.
  • You have regular access to a computer and a reliable email address.


Students have until August 31, 2019 to complete their courses. Applications are no longer open.