POPLPRAC 765 : Coexisting Problems: Theory and Principles

Medical and Health Sciences

2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Develops further knowledge and skills in working effectively with clients who suffer from coexisting mental health and addiction problems. Students will be presented with research and theory on existent problems and will examine recent developments in intervention strategies.

Course Overview

This course is designed to develop students’ knowledge and skills in working effectively with clients who suffer from co existing mental health and addiction problems. Students will be presented with research and theory on co existent problems and will examine recent developments in intervention strategies. This course is designed to build on foundation knowledge acquired in previous alcohol and drug studies and practice. It will provide an advanced overview of the field and also provide an opportunity for students to explore areas of their own interest.  

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: POPLPRAC 708 or equivalent experience

Course Contacts

Course Director
Associate Professor David Newcombe 
Head of Department
Email: d.newcombe@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6557

Course Administrator
Ms Jessica Buxton
Group Services Administrator
Email: jessica.buxton@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 9015

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Practice

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of and appraise the main assumptions and conceptual models used to manage coexisting disorders (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 3.1 and 6.1)
  2. Evaluate the potential impact of co-existing substance use and mental health disorders on clinical practice, service provision, families and the broader community (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 6.1)
  3. Identify and critically evaluate a range of therapeutic strategies and interventions for working with these clients. (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 3.2, 4.2 and 6.1)
  4. Reflect on personal clinical practice and how it might change to best meet the needs of the client group . (Capability 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 5.2 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
DSM Workbook (not mandatory) Individual Coursework
Annotated bibliography 20% Individual Coursework
Essay 30% Individual Coursework
Case Study and Treatment Plan 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
DSM Workbook (not mandatory)
Annotated bibliography
Case Study and Treatment Plan

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

It is suggested for this course that three to four hours be set aside to prepare for each session. Overall, a 15 point postgraduate course is estimated to require 10 hours a week over a 12 week semester, including campus attendance, reading, assignments, study and exams.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
The activities for the course are scheduled as block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

This 15 point course is taught over Semester 1 on five days from 9 am -3.30 pm. The course will consist of approximately 25 contact hours (5 days on campus) comprising the following teaching modes:
  • Lectures of one to two hours
  • Workshop/ Discussion sessions, sometimes based on case study material
  • Presentations by guest speakers, experts in their field .
Between the campus days students are expected to access their course information on CANVAS and receive all information via their University email. Teaching assumes a large component of self-directed learning. Students will be encouraged to develop their own perspectives and interests and to relate these to their work environment.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.


Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.