Specialise in supporting people with addictions issues at Otago Polytechnic and learn to facilitate client recovery and strengths in a mental health and wellbeing context.

Otago Polytechnic Study Social Services Addictions

Gain the knowledge and understanding to recognise characteristics and impacts for a range of wellbeing and addiction issues. You’ll learn how to access and draw on support and resources to enhance recovery, build resilience and help make a real difference in people’s lives.

Our Addiction-related programmes help give you the specialised technical knowledge and skills to provide treatment to people seeking assistance with problems of gambling, alcohol and drug use. You will graduate as an ethical, more self-aware and reflective practitioner.

The biggest point of difference at Otago Polytechnic is our real-world approach to learning. The experience you’ll gain on clinical placement as part of your programme will give you the skills to seamlessly transition from study to employment or promotion.

In our Certificate in Health and Wellbeing, you will study core social services subjects followed by mental health and addiction as your chosen elective. In our Diploma in Applied Addictions Counselling, you will study compulsory courses to give you a baseline of industry essential skills followed by four elective courses to widen your knowledge.

Addictions qualifications

Community Services

Aligned with community and industry needs, and national strategies, this qualification will provide you with the practical knowledge and skills you need for a career in social support work. This is a holistic programme, that develops your knowledge and skills to facilitate wellbeing across the four dimensions; hauroa (health) including tinana (physical), hinengaro (mental and emotional), whānau (family and social) and wairua (spiritual and connection).


1 Year Full-time


On campus, Online


Dunedin, Online

Career potential

Facilitator, Social Support Worker, Wellbeing Advisor, Wellbeing Coach

Community Services

This programme is designed for people who are already working in the mental health and addictions sector. You will gain the specialised technical knowledge and skills to provide treatment to people seeking assistance with problems of gambling, alcohol and drug use. While you learn to apply specialised knowledge, Te Taketake is also about promoting your own personal growth. This is a Moana House Training Institute qualification, offered in partnership with Otago Polytechnic, and is recognised by DAPAANZ (Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand).


2 Years Full-time


Blended learning


Dunedin, Rotorua

Career potential

Addiction Counsellor, Health Promoter, Senior Support Worker

Specialise in supporting people’s health and wellbeing

Our Certificate in Health and Wellbeing will give you a solid grounding to prepare you for this industry before you decide which discipline to focus on. You will complete six compulsory courses and choose one specialty strand from the following electives:

  • Community Facilitation
  • Mental Health and Addiction
  • Social Services

If you choose to complete one specialty at the certificate level, you are not restricted to that specialty should you choose to progress to the Bachelor of Social Services.

Contact us

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.