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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/03/2022 18:18:09

Title of Module: Forensic Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Code: NURS11136 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Helen  Walker

Summary of Module

The students will require a comprehensive knowledge of and an ability to appraise the different approaches associated with risk assessment and risk management. There is a further expectation that on completion of this module students will have developed the skills to carry out various risk assessments under supervision, they will also be capable of employing a number of risk management strategies and be able to report these competently.

The origin of risk assessment tools is explored and the many changes and developments that have occurred over the years is discussed.  The topics covered include: Approaches to risk assessment and structured professional judgement; SPJ tools: HCR-20, SARA, RSVP, SAM, SAPROV; Formulation and risk management; Report writing.

This module will develop UWS graduate attributes, such as: critical thinking; effective communicator and daring practitioner.


  • The aim of this module is to enable students to explore the subject of risk assessment and risk management in relation to forensic patients at each stage of the patient journey.

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 1


Term 2check markTerm 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 analyse the approaches to risk assessment and risk management.

L2. Use specialist skills to participate in a multi-disciplinary meeting focused on one of the key risk assessment tools.

L3. Understand the specialist concepts of risk and psychological models /interventions.

L4. Have the skills to carry out a violence risk assessment, sexual violence risk assessment, domestic violence risk assessment and a stalking risk assessment under supervision.

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 11.

Explore and demonstrate critical understanding of both the theory and practice of risk assessment and risk management of forensic patients.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Critically examine the application of knowledge and skills required by professionals during a multi-disciplinary team review.

Using a significant range of professional skills apply the principles of risk assessment and risk management to forensic patients.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Critically assess the links between assessment and implementation of different management strategies.

Critically analyse and reflect upon current literature and practice within this subject area to make informed judgements on options for best practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Critically appraise the communication strategies used to share confidential data in a multi-professional context using multiple technologies.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Develop a reflective analysis of the role in risk assessment and risk management initiatives including the role of other professionals within the multi-disciplinary team and their explicit contribution to a shared approach to improved patient care.

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
This module is delivered by fully distance learning utilising AULA as the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

In this mode of delivery, students are learning fully online and are supported by the VLE. On-line students will receive individual and group tutorial support and directed learning via the VLE system. This will be aided by asynchronous online AULA Community feed discussion posts; virtual learning activities; tutorials (on-line or face to face via Microsoft TEAMS); directed wider reading including access to electronic library and e-books.

All students will be expected to work through the on-line module materials independently via AULA. This will assist in enhancing skills of communication, presentation, problem-solving and critical reflection.
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 Delivery18
Asynchronous Class Activity6
Independent Study176
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:

Douglas, K.S., Yeomans, M. & Boer, D.P. (2005). Comparative Validity Analysis of Multiple Measures of Violence Risk in a Sample of Criminal Offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32, 479-510.

Hart, S.D. & Cooke, D.J. (2013). Another Look at the (im)precision of Individual Risk Estimates made using Actuarial Risk Assessment Instruments. Behavioural Sciences and the Law, 31, 81-102.

Hart, S.D., Sturmey,, P., Logan, C.& McMurran, M. (2011). Forensic Case Formulation. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 10, 118-126.

Risk Management Authority (2006). Risk Assessment Tools Evaluation Directory (RATED). Risk Management Authority, Scotland.

Fazel, S., Singh, J.P., Doll, H. & Grann, M. (2012). Use of Risk Assessment Instruments to Predict Violence and Antisocial Behaviour in 73 samples involving 24 827 people: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. British Medical Journal, 345, e4692.

Douglas, K.S.; Hart, S.D, Webster, C.D. & Belfrage, H. (2013). HCR-20 V3: Assessing Risk for Violence – User Guide. Mental Health, Law and Policy Institute, Canada.

Farrington, D.P., Joliffe, D. & Johnstone, L. (2008). Assessing Violence Risk: A Framework for Practice.

Logan, C. & Johnstone (Eds.) (2013). Risk Assessment and Management: Clinical Guidelines for Effective Practice. Routledge, New York.

Hart, S.D. & Cooke, D.J. (2013). Another Look at the (im)precision of Individual Risk Estimates made using Actuarial Risk Assessment Instruments. Behavioural Sciences and the Law, 31, 81-102.

(**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 AULA VLE, including its Community Feed.

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Supplemental Information

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


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Formative assessment: Using the online AULA Community feed (asynchronus element), students will be presented with a critical statement regarding a live issue present in forensic mental health services (which relates to the learning outcomes). They will be tasked with offering their rebuttal to the statement, supported with robust citation from academic journals. Students will be expected to offer critical comment on at least two other student inputs on the Community feed. They will be provided with feedback with a view to developing their skills and critical thinking linked to the summative assessment.

Summative Assessment: Students will write a reflective diary including eight entries - 500 words each week - written in an academic style with a minimum of 4 references in each diary (100% weighting).
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning logcheck 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

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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
The School of Health and Life Sciences believes that education and practitioner diversity are central to achieving quality of care.

Within this module, quality of care, inclusiveness and employability are achieved by:

• Provision of a welcoming and supportive culture that promotes accessibility and equal opportunities to students and prospective students

• Promotion of confidence and knowledge of their rights as a student and employee

• Promotion of respect and knowledge of client diversity, their needs, rights and associated practitioner responsibilities

The above aims are supported by staff belief in fairness and equal opportunities and thus guide the content, teaching and learning, assessment and evaluation.

Anticipatory’ and ‘reasonable’ adjustments are grounded in ‘competence standards’ – specifically, the core requirements for progression / achievement in placement / module. Anticipatory adjustments have been made and ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made available in teaching and learning strategies to promote accessibility of the module. For students who have disclosed a disability, the UWS Disability Service (DS) will assess the individual’s strengths and support needs and then forward a Student Support Form to the appropriate DS Co-ordinator who will circulate the form to all of the relevant teaching staff. ‘Reasonable adjustments’ may include adapted or specialised equipment or further specialist assessment or support (e.g. assessment by an Educational Psychologist, extended time for presentations or assessments). If funding is required, this can be organised by the DS and funded by the School. Reasonable adjustments, in line with DS recommendations for the assessment of the individual student can be assured.

Processes and procedures have been subject to Equality Impact Screening and where appropriate Equality Impact Assessment. Evaluation by all key stakeholders throughout the life of the module is also central to meeting our commitments.
Students should approach the Disability Service as early as possible to discuss support. Details of the service can be found at:
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

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.