Drugs, Risk and Play

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Drugs, Risk and Play

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Criminal Justice, Criminology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    CRIM 111; one course from ANTH, HIST, LAWS, MDIA, PSYC, PUBL, SOSC or SPOL

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This course will examine the place of drugs, both legal and illegal, in contemporary society through a critical exploration of the socially constructed boundaries between use and misuse. The course will also critically interrogate the use of drugs in a recreational setting, focusing on the socially constructed boundaries between recreational and 'problem' drug use, as well as the separation between licit and illicit use.

    Course content
    This course will focus on exploring some of the key issues related to the use of drugs in contemporary society. Topics to be critically discussed include; how addiction is constructed, the issues surrounding drug related crime, how drugs are defined, as well as the socially constructed boundaries between drug use and misuse. The central aim of this course is to equip students with a good understanding of the nature and context of legal and illicit drug use in society, and to explore the complex and contested debates in this area.

    Course learning objectives
    Students who pass this course will be able to:

    • Critically evaluate the social construction of recreational and ‘problem’ drug use and drug users
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the key theories and concepts associated with recreational drug use risk and leisure
    • Critically analyse political debate concerning legal and illegal drugs
    • Evaluate the contested and complex relationship between drug use, context, harm, risk and pleasure

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.