Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 28/02/2022 17:30:56

Title of Module: Drugs and Alcohol

Code: NURS11135 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 10 ECTS: 5
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:James  Taylor

Summary of Module

Working with those who misuse drugs and alcohol can be a challenging task.  Throughout this module, students will be given the opportunity to explore the pathology associated with substance misuse, allowing a deeper and critical understanding to be developed.  Models of care will be explored, with support given to allow students to critically reflect on their organisations’ practices and the influences behind this.

It is expected that students will have an understanding of, or access to, local, national and international policies associated with substance misuse. Additionally, while social policies associated with offending and substance misuse are likely to be discussed, the primary focus of the module is not to examine and critique these in detail.  Instead, the students will be encouraged to critically examine and reflect on the intrapersonal and interpersonal aspect of supporting a person who uses/misuses substances.

  • The aim of the module is to develop a critical understanding of drug and alcohol misuse, with a particular focus on their relationship with health, social and criminogenic needs.

  • Students will be encouraged to explore ethical and moral dilemmas associated with drugs and alcohol, as well as the range of forensic issues concomitant with the use and procurement of a range of psychoactive substances (including ‘legal highs’), alongside the continuum of offending behaviour.

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 2


Term 3check mark

[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the moral, ethical and legal processes associated with problematic drug and alcohol misuse.

L2. Critically compare and contrast models of substance misuse, and critically analyse their association with offending behaviour.

L3. Critically reflect on societal, organisational and interpersonal perceptions of those who misuse drugs and alcohol and how their holistic needs, including criminogenic, are supported.

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.

Have a critical awareness of the current issues (moral, ethical and legal) in working with people who misuse psychoactive substances.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Critically review new approaches to address health, social and criminogenic problems and issues associated with people who misuse psychoactive substances.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues associated with people who misuse psychoactive substances.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate leadership and/or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking.

Practice in ways which draw on critical reflection on own or others’ roles and responsibilities.

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 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. While Masters level students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, students will receive individual and group tutorial support and directed learning via the VLE system. This will be aided by asynchronous/synchronous online discussion via 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 work through the on-line module materials independently via AULA. This will assist in enhancing skills of communication, presentation, problem-solving and critical enquiry 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 for studying e.g., specialised software.

The learning and teaching strategies on this module contribute to the development of UWS graduate attributes as outlined in “I am UWS” see link:
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 Activity6
Lecture/Core Content Delivery8
Independent Study82
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity4
100 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:

Casey, S and Day, A (2014) Prison Substance Misuse Programmes and Offender Rehabilitation. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 21(3) pp360-369

Elison, S., Weston, S., Dugdale, S., Ward, J. and Davies, G. (2016) A Qualitative Exploration of U.K. Prisoners’ Experiences of Substance Misuse and Mental Health Difficulties, and the Breaking Free Health and Justice Interventions. Journal of Drug Issues 46(3) pp 198-215

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2010) Alcohol Use Disorders: Prevention (Online) Available: Accessed: 1st February 2017

Robinson, A. and Hamilton, P. (eds) (2016) Moving on from Crime and Substance Use: Transforming Identities Policy Press: Bristol

Sariaslan, A., Larsson, H., D’Onofrio, B., Långström, N. and Lichtenstein, P. (2014) Childhood family income, adolescent violent criminality and substance misuse: quasi-experimental total population study British Journal of Psychiatry 205(4) pp286-290

Scottish Government (2008) The Road to Recovery: A New Approach to Tackling Scotland’s Drug Problem (Online) Available:

Scottish Government (2009) ALcohol Framework 2018: Preventing Harmn (Online) Available:

(**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 in the module content via AULA, including online discussion activities.

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

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


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Summative peer assessment (20%)

This peer assessment will be worth 20% of the overall mark for this module. It will be undertaken in pairs/small groups and will consist of students presenting their idea(s) for a campaign/briefing paper to change public perception of those who offend to fund drug and/or alcohol misuse. Students will use online forums to complete this, such as WebEx, Skype, etc.
The peer assessment will be the student’s opportunity to develop their campaign idea through support and discussion with peers and teaching staff.
Summative assessment (80%)

For the summative assessment, which is worth 80% of the overall mark for this module, the student will further develop their campaign idea/briefing paper, taking into account theories, models, and policy and public/professional perspectives. Students will be expected to give a well thought out rationale, supported by evidence, for negative viewpoints held by a range of individuals and organisations and will make reference to the impact of the same. The student will also be required to outline how their idea will improve outcomes for people who misuse substances, taking into consideration that the outcome of such change may not be immediately visible. This aspect of the assessment will be in the form of a presentation, which will be recorded and will last 20-30 minutes. It can be delivered using any medium (poster, PowerPoint, etc.).
(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
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oral  check mark200

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck mark 800
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
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.