Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/03/2022 18:51:12

Title of Module: Risk assessment and management approaches

Code: NURS09202 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:Mark  Gillespie

Summary of Module

This module includes the holistic (physical, psychological and social) assessment and management of people with personality disorder and /or challenging behaviour in both forensic services and the wider mental health services. The concepts of risk will be explored in this module, including risk to self, others and vulnerability; risk of suicide and self harm will be a particular area of focus. A number of different risk assessment tools and strategies to assess people with personality disorder will be examined. The differences between for example, clinical opinion, actuarial and structured professional judgement tools will be described to aid understanding of the assessment process.  Utility and challenges associated with these assessment and diagnostic tools (PCL-R / IPDE/SCL-90) will be examined. The skills necessary to assess problems including client’s motivation for change and understanding of therapy will be practiced.

Differences in presentation across services will be explored, for example, Accident and Emergency/ Acute units/ Prison/ Low, Medium or High Secure Hospital/ Community/ Police custody.

Key learning is associated with: identifying ‘risky’ behaviours and offence paralleling behaviour; reflecting on how working with people with personality disorder can impact on individuals; team dynamics / working relationships. Graduates will be more incisive.

An underlying aim of the module, is to encourage all students to make use of the best evidence and research available within this field to guide their practice and improve their understanding of the people with personality disorder they encounter.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

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:




check mark




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


Term 2check markTerm 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Critically explore approaches to assessing risk in relation to people with personality disorder.

L2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of multi-agency and interdisciplinary approaches to managing risk.

L3. Analyse and evaluate the assessment and care management models, processes and pathways available to address the needs of people with personality disorder.

L4. Critically examine approaches to maximising potential for people with personality disorder.

L5. Reflect on their own development and skill in being non-judgemental and supporting people’s individuality throughout their care journey.

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.

Demonstrate an understanding of assessment and risk management models and systems used for people with personality disorder.

Develop knowledge about the common experiences for people with personality disorder that lead to changes in their health and social care needs.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Identify appropriate methods of assessment and risk management that could improve the care offered to people with personality disorder in your workplace and elsewhere.

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.

Identify and analyse factors that can impact on the care that is delivered in your workplace.

Make use of a variety of evidence-based resources that may assist you in decision making in the workplace.

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.

Further develop library, e-library and online searching and retrieval skills.

To improve word processing and IT literacy skills.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Promote the use of current best-evidence in working with people with personality disorder.

Identify and critically examine factors that impact on your role and the role of other professionals and carers when supporting 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.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
The programme will be delivered using a blended learning approach (distance learning and taught component). The learning and teaching has been designed to enhance the graduate attributes of learners and stimulate reflective and critical thinking. It is envisaged that a strong student-centred emphasis will ensure that the teaching process will develop skills that facilitate lifelong learning. Participants will be encouraged to take control of their own learning and become self-motivated learners. This approach recognises the wealth of knowledge and richness of experience students may already have at their disposal. Discussion and group working strategies will be encouraged in order to capitalise on this.

The work of the experienced teaching team will be augmented by practitioners from the School of Forensic Mental Health (SoFMH) and the Forensic Network.

Reasonable adjustments will be made for students assessed as require enabling support 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 Delivery36
Independent Study106
Personal Development Plan6
Asynchronous Class Activity52
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:

Bateman, A. and Fonagy, P. (2013) Impact of clinical severity on outcomes of mentalised-based treatment for borderline personality disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203, 221-227.

Hart, S., Randall, K. and Laws, D. with Klaver, J., Logan, C. and Watt, A. (2003) The Risk for Sexual Violence Protocol (RSVP) . Mental Health, Lwa, and Policy Institute Simon Fraser University; Pacific Psychological Assessment Corporation and The British Columbia Institute Against Family Violence.

Kropp, P. R., Hart, S. D., Webster, C.D. and Eaves, D. (1999) Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide (SARA). User’s Manual. Ontario: Multi-Health Systems.

Kropp, P.R., Hart, S, D. and Lyon, D.R. (2008) Guidelines for Stalking Assessment and Management (SAM) User Manual. USA: Proactive Resolutions Inc.

Loranger, A.W. (1999) International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE). Lutz: PAR.

de Vries Robbe, Michiel et al (2013) Risk factors and protective factors: a two-sided dynamic approach to violence risk assessment Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology Volume, 24 (4) 440-457.
Gerace, A. et al (2013) Multidisciplinary health professionals’ assessments of risk: how are tools used to reach consensus about risk assessment and management? Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 20 (6) 557-563

Hare, R.D., Hart, S.D. and Harpur, T.J. (1991) Psychopathy and DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 391-398.

Gerace, A. et al (2012) Multidisciplinary health professionals' assessments of risk: how are tools used to reach consensus about risk assessment and management? Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 20(6)

(**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 the module material on the AULA VLE, including Community feed posts.

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

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


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Will consist of a 4,000 word critical appraisal of a situation involving a person with personality disorder for whom the student currently provides care or a service to meet the person’s needs. If for any reason the person is not currently working in a situation where they can access someone with a personality disorder a case scenario will be provided. This will be worth 100% of the final mark.
(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) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case studycheck markcheck markcheck 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

[Top of Page]

  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
In line with current equality legislation we strive to meet the needs of all students on this module recognising the diversity of our student population. The School of Health and Life Sciences encourages disability disclosure throughout recruitment, selection and throughout the duration of this module. Emphasis is placed on confidentiality of information.
This module has a philosophy of person centred, relationship focussed and rights and values based approaches, which inform all aspects of admission and recruitment, learning and teaching and support of students and staff through the module. The module will aim to challenge many of the stereotypes of people with personality disorder that are encountered within the health and social care system and wider society.
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.