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Undergraduate | LTU-LST2DRU-2023

Drugs, Governance and Modern Society

Study method

100% online


100% online

Entry requirements

Prior study needed


5 weeks

Start dates

  • 12 June 2023

Price from


Upfront cost


HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP available

About this subject

What you'll learn

  1. Distinguish between different drugs according to their classification, composition and effects.
  2. Identify and assess key approaches to the regulation of drugs and drug use.
  3. Recognise and communicate how social, economic and political factors have shaped the development of drug distribution, locally and globally.
  4. Critically reflect in a well-informed manner on the social, political, economic and ethical challenges involved in formulating approaches to drugs and drug use.
    • • What is the “Drug Problem”?
    • • A short history of drug regulation in Australia.
    • • Grand theories of drug use.
    • • Harm reduction and public health.
    • • The global trade in illicit drugs & street-based drug distribution networks.
    • • The drugs-crime nexus & the drug court model.
  • In this online subject students will acquire an understanding of the complexities surrounding drugs and drug use in contemporary Australia. The subject addresses: the classification and effects of licit and illicit substances; the development and nature of contemporary drug distribution networks; major approaches to regulating drugs and drug use; and the key debates and challenges involved in formulating policy and practice in this area. Australia's experiences will be considered from a local as well as global perspective, with attention being paid to how social, economic and political factors influence understandings and practices relating to drugs. Specific topics explored include: alcohol and other drug consumption patterns among young people; pill testing debates; the rise of online illicit drug markets; drug court models; drug education; decriminalization and legalization efforts; and contemporary debates around harm reduction strategies (e.g. safe injecting facilities).

    • One 1,200 word research essay (30%)
    • Online quizzes (equivalent to 400 words) Quizzes included in online modules. (10%)
    • Two short critical responses (equivalent to 1200 words) (30%)
    • One fact sheet (750 words) and statement of intent (200 words) (30%)
  • For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).

  • The third university established in Victoria, La Trobe University has a diverse community of more than 38,000 students and staff. Its commitment to excellence in teaching and research prepares students to make a bold and positive impact in today's global community. La Trobe provides Open Universities Australia with its core tenets, entrepreneurship and sustainability.

    Learn more about La Trobe.

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    QS Ranking 2023: 20

    Times Higher Education Ranking 2023: 16

Entry requirements


Pre-requisites: Students must have completed 90 credit points.

Additional requirements

No additional requirements

What to study next?

Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following degrees

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Bachelor of Information Technology

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Bachelor of Business

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Bachelor of Arts

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Bachelor of Psychological Science

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Bachelor of Cybersecurity

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