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 15:53:07

Title of Module: Problem Behaviours

Code: NURS11140 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 30 ECTS: 15
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:James  Taylor

Summary of Module

The module will introduce students to a variety of assessment and risk management strategies to deal with problem behaviours in sexual offenders, violent offenders and personality disordered offenders. There is a further expectation that on completion of this module students will have developed the skills to identify key features of offenders and understand the complexity associated with the legal and ethical implications in practice.

The module covers the development of ‘personality’, definitions and theories of personality disorder (including myths surrounding personality disorder) – developing a shared understanding and universal definition. It also looks at the prevalence of people with personality disorder and diagnosis and assessment methods are presented including people with psychopathic personality disorder. Interventions and risk assessment are introduced, including a focus on legal and ethical issues. The management of personality disorder in the community is explored, incorporating organisational and supervision requirements for those working with complex health needs.

An introduction to sexual offending is offered - including prevalence, aetiology, typologies and impact. Mental disorder and sexual offending is explored.Special groups are considered, such as females, young people, internet and sexual homicide. Violent and aggressive behaviours are also covered in this module, although not as extensively as sexual behaviours.

The learning and teaching strategies on this module contribute to the development of UWS graduate attributes as outlined in “I am UWS” see link:

  • The aim of this module is to enable students to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the theory and empirical evidence linked with sexual or violent offending and with personality disordered offenders.

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 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Critically analyse literature relating to people with personality disorder and formulate specific hypotheses.

L2. Critically appraise risk assessment and risk management models and appreciate different treatment approaches.

L3. Participate and critically reflect upon a multi-disciplinary meeting focused on clients with PD / Violent and aggressive behaviour or Sex offending.

L4. Understand the issues of relevance to the assessment and management of special groups e.g. internet offenders, adolescents, females.

L5. Be able to demonstrate the application of academic knowledge to their own practice.

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.

A critical understanding of the theories and principles of personality disorder, sexual and violent behaviours in forensic mental health services.

Extensive and critical knowledge of some specialized areas of treatment for forensic patients.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Apply critical knowledge to clinical situations, for example at multi-disciplinary team reviews.

Plan and execute the analysis and presentation of the findings of a case study.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Indentify and define abstract problems and issues and develop creative responses when applying new academic knowledge to own area of practice

Critically analyse the links between diagnoses and treatment and management approaches.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Communicate effectively and appropriately in speech and writing.
Interpret complex secondary materials.
Make effective use of information retrieval systems and use information technology applications.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Work effectively, together with others in groups or teams, taking a leadership role where appropriate.
Reflect on leadership style, and ability to contribute to the group processes.

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
This is a 30 credit level 11 module. The current position is a that 10 hours per credits is the accepted working norm - thus a 30-credit module is 300hours of notional student study effort. This module is delivered by fully distance learning utilising AULA as the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Distance learning students: In this mode of delivery, students are learning fully online and are supported by the VLE. On-line students will receive core module resources; individual and group tutorial support and directed learning via the VLE system. This will be aided by asynchronous online discussion using AULA; 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 take responsibility for their own learning and work through the on-line module materials independently via AULA. This will assist in enhancing skills of communication, presentation, information abstraction and problem-solving, and critical analysis and reflection. Module content reflects societal diversity and a rights-based approach to practice. To promote accessibility, anticipatory adjustments have been made to teaching and learning strategies e.g. availability of electronic copies of lecture materials. Further reasonable adjustments can be made for students who have been assessed as requiring specific adjustments e.g., specialised equipment or software.
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)
Asynchronous Class Activity9
Lecture/Core Content Delivery36
Independent Study255
300 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:

Laws DR, O’Donohue WT. (2008) Sexual Deviance 2nd edition. The Guildford Press, New York.

Beech A, Craig L, Browne B (2009) Assessment and Treatment of Sex Offenders. A hand book. Wiley-Blackwell.

Saleh FM, Grudzinskas, A.J., Bradford, J.M., Brodsky DJ (2009) Sex Offenders: Identification, Risk Assessment, Treatment, and Legal Issues. Oxford University Press.

Bandura A (1999): Social cognitive theory of personality. In Pervin L, John O (eds), Handbook of personality: Theory and research, 2nd ed. N.Y: Guilford Press, pp 154-196.

Howells, K., & Day, A. (2007). Readiness for treatment in high risk offenders with personality disorders: Psychology, Crime and Law, 13, 47-56. Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group.

Coid J. (2003) The co-morbidity of personality disorder and lifetime clinical syndromes in dangerous offenders. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 14:341-366.

Hare, R.D., & and Neumann, C. S., (2008 Psychopathy as a Clinical and Empirical Construct Annual Review of Clinical Psychololgy 2008. 4:217–462.

Olson, M., & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2010). An Introduction to Theories of Personality (8th ed.).Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Ogloff, J. R. (2006) Psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder conundrum. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40(6-7):519-28.

(**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:
Engaging with module content on AULA, including discussion activities

[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)
Summative assessment category 1: Case study - 4,000 words (60%).
Summative assessment category 2: Annotated bibliographies x12 (40%).
(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 study check markcheck markcheck markcheck mark600

Component 2
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
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck mark    400
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
This module is appropriate for any student. The learning activities include a spoken presentation for which appropriate support can be provided where required. In accordance with the University's Single Equality Scheme every effort will be made to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the school.
(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.