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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 18/01/2023 12:42:51

Title of Module: Theory of Personality Disorder

Code: NURS09203 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Yvonne  Murray

Summary of Module

This module includes: the development of personality and the impact of early childhood experiences on the development of personality; nature versus nurture debate, genetics and temperament; learning theory; attachment and childhood experiences – child and adolescent development; adult experiences and relationships – including gender differences; describing personality- what is it?; the limits of diagnostic classifications and trauma; how do interpersonal difficulties arise; personal relationships and setting boundaries; attitudes and myths regarding treatability of personality disorder; offending behaviour; people with Learning Disability and associated offending behaviour. The concepts of risk will be introduced in this module, including risk to self, others and vulnerability. The full spectrum of personality disorders will be covered.

The continued marginalisation and exclusion of this group of service users will be discussed within this module. Service user perspectives are considered crucial to providing a more balanced and inclusive approach to care and treatment and as such will feature in this module. 

Throughout the module, students will be building on their existing skills in acquiring and developing knowledge and skills while demonstrating graduate attributes. These include being open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking and be prepared to ask crucial questions and use an appropriate rationale to support their ideas.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Critically discuss the development of personality and attachment theory.

L2. Critically discuss the impact of the public image of personality disorder available within a range of media, on public and professional perceptions of people with personality disorder.

L3. Critically evaluate current and future trends that influence working with people with personality disorder.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Understand and critically discuss key theoretical concepts such as attachment theory.
Critically discuss the past current and future demographic, political, financial, ethical and moral issues that impact on the well being and care needs of the person with personality disorder.

Critically evaluate current and future issues that are emerging for the person with personality disorder in relation to treatability.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Apply critical and analytical skills to a range of research papers, reports and policy documents related to people with personality disorder

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Critically appraise multiple sources of information, research and theoretical approaches; applying these appropriately to current issues for the person with personality disorder

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Improve interpersonal and inter-professional understanding and communication.
Become accustomed to and use a virtual learning environment.
To further develop library, e-library and online searching and retrieval skills.
Effective use a range of electronic media to support learning and presentations.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Participate in small groups within the learning environment.
Reflect upon and discuss their own and fellow students experiences in working with people with personality disorder.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module will be deliverd using a blended learning approach, using a combination of on-line and taught sessions.The learning and teaching strategy has been designed to promote graduate attributes and stimulate reflective and analytical thinking. It is envisaged that the student will be at the centre of the teaching process in order to develop skills that facilitate lifelong learning. Learning and teaching will be student centred, recognising the wealth of knowledge and experience students may already have at their disposal. Discussion and group working strategies will be encouraged in order to capitalise on this rich resource. Other learning methods will include lectures, seminars, presentations, case study and enquiry based approaches.The work of the experienced teaching team will be augmented by a group of practitioners from the School of Forensic Mental Health (SoFMH) and across the Forensic Network. Reasonable adjustments will be made for students assessed to require enabling strategies to be put in place.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Independent Study102
Asynchronous Class Activity44
Personal Development Plan6
Practice Based Learning24
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Adshead, G., & Jacob, C. (2009). Personality disorder: the definitive reader. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (2008). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford.

Livesley, W, J, [ed], (2001), Handbook of Personality Disorders, New York.: The Guildford Press

Craissati, J., Chuan, S.J., Simons, S. and Joseph, N. (2011) Working with personality disordered offenders; a practitioners guide. Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in collaboration with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Funded by Department of Health and the National Offender Management Service

Fahy, T. (2012). Personality disorders. Medicine, 40(11), 613-618.

Gross, R. D. (2010). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour (6th ed.). London, UK: Hodder & Stoughton

Johnson, B. (2002) Emotional Health; what emotions are and how they cause social and mental diseases. York, James Nayler Foundation.

Linehan, M.M. (1987) Dialectical Behavioural Therapy: a cognitive behavioural approach to parasuicide. Journal of Personality Disorder, 1, 328-333.

Linehan, M., Dimeff, L., Reynolds, S., et al (2002) Dialectical; Behavioural Therapy versus comprehensive validartion therapy plus 12-step for the treatment of opoid dependent women meeting criteria for borderline personality disorder. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 67, 13-26.

Linehan, M.M., Armstrong, H., Suarez, A. et al. (1991) Cognitive-behavioural treatment of chronically parasuicidal borderline patients. Archives of General psychiatry, 48, 1060-1064.

Livesley, W. J. (2003). Practical management of personality disorder. New York. Guilford.

Tyrer, P. J. (2000). Personality Disorders: Diagnosis, Management And Course. Oxford; Boston: Butterworth Heinemann.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Engagement with module material on AULA, including Community feed posts.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardMental Health Nursing & IP
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelMHN&IP L9-11
ModeratorHelen Walker
External ExaminerN Hallett
Accreditation DetailsNMC
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment one: Formative Peer review (using first 500 words of essay).
Summative: Essay providing a critical appraisal of the impact childhood experiences and societal influences on the past, present and future lives of people with personality disorder. This 3500-word essay will contribute 100% of the overall mark for the module.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
UWS is committed to adhering to current equality, diversity and inclusivity legislation and acknowledge that while the university complies with all relevant legislation, there is a need to move beyond simple compliance to ensure that the principles, strategies and priorities meet UWS' diverse student population needs. Within this programme, quality of care, inclusiveness and employability are achieved by provision of a welcoming and supportive culture that promotes accessibility and equal opportunities to all prospective students whilst exploring issues or marginalization and stigmatization linked to mental health.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.