PP0543 - Children, Young people, families and Substance Use

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about yourself, your attitudes and values in the context of children, young people and families and contemporary substance use. You will be given the opportunity to explore your own and others concerns around different discourses or big ideas about addiction: you will be introduced to a number of different theoretical frames or paradigms that will give you a sound understanding of substance use. You will also explore in detail some of the main theoretical and empirical ways in which substance use and its impact have been researched and understood by different theorists, in a range of different discipline areas. You will be invited to explore a broad curriculum of topics and concerns such as policy, myths around addiction, causal factors and determinants of use, safeguarding and parenting, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), gateway and normalisation, professional competences, as well as different interventions. You will be taught by a range of academics, service users and service managers during the module.

How will I learn on this module?

In many ways you will be responsible for much of your own learning. During the module you will be introduced to a number of different key theoretical concerns during lectures; in this context you will be invited to explore concepts and concerns through reflective exercises with your peers. You will also be given directed reading which you will be expected to discuss in lectures and seminars. You will also work in small groups and prepare a presentation for your peers. In this context you will learn how to summarise and critically analyse research data and different theoretical perspectives. You will learn about general core curriculum concerns as the module progresses but in seminars you will be expected to take the lead in your own learning and engage in discussion around more specific areas that interest you in the module and your summative assignment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

All lectures and seminars will begin with a participatory exercise around the work you will have been set to read, all lectures will also have a plenary session in which the key points of learning and discussion will be summarised for you by your lecturer. You will be given feedback at different points during the module and your formative assignment has been specifically designed to enable you to work in a more planned way towards completing your summative assignment. Throughout the module there will be time allocated for working in smaller groups and individual time to explore any concerns that arise for you in the context of the module. You will also be provided with a comprehensive reading list and additional materials during lectures and be able to explore exemplars of work that have been submitted by students in previous years. Contact details for all tutors for this module are available in the module handbook and via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key discourses of substance use and addiction that are associated with children, young people and families. [LO1]

2. Compare and contrast different theoretical and empirical perspectives that have been used to explain the needs of children, young people and families. [LO2]

3. Analyse the different impacts that substance use can have on children, young people, parents and family functioning [LO3]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

4. Critically appraise the appropriateness of different interventions that are used to reduce the harms associated with substance use. [LO4]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Explore the concepts of resilience and capacity in children, young people and families in the context of substance use [LO5]

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assignment
Students will organise themselves into small study groups and select a substance to research. In this group they will prepare a 15 minute presentation to the rest of the group. To prepare students will be given the following guidance:
• Identify the drug
• Type usage how is it used
Explore its impact on
Children and young people: research and include the following:
Physical wellbeing
Social and psychological functioning
Individual functioning
Short and long term concerns
(MLOs 1,2,3,4,5)
Summative Assignment
(3,000 word assignment which is 100% of the mark)
Critically discuss the reason why individuals use drugs and the potential impact substances can have on either:
children, young people or families, and:
Explore how different professional approaches can help build on resilience and capacity in contexts were substance use is a concern. (MOs 1,2,3,4,5)

You will receive feedback via:

Written comments on assessed work, highlighting strengths and weaknesses and indicating pathways to the further development of knowledge and skills. Areas of concern will be linked to positive advice on how to address issues.





Module abstract


Course info

UCAS Code W3P9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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