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Study Midwifery, why & how to study

Midwives have a key role in public health, aiming to meet the challenges of reducing inequalities and improving the wellbeing of women and their families.

Midwife gives newborn baby to a mother to hold

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Midwifery?

  2. What Midwifery degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a Midwifery degree?

  4. What topics does a Midwifery degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Midwifery?

  7. What do Midwifery graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as a Midwifery graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Midwifery

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Midwifery?

A midwife provides support and care during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period. Midwives are passionate about women's rights, working as their advocate to facilitate and uphold informed choices.

As an autonomous practitioner, the midwife is the lead professional for all women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Midwives have the expertise to facilitate the normal processes of childbirth.

What Midwifery degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in Midwifery include: 

  • Midwifery Practice
  • Midwifery Sciences
  • Midwifery (Pre-Registration)
  • Midwifery with NMC registration 

Options may include an integrated foundation year or integrated master’s. January start dates available.

Courses are around 50% theory and 50% practice. Theory learning includes academic sessions and opportunities to practise clinical skills. Placements can include community and low-risk birth centres and hospital allocations.

Degree apprenticeships are also available, where you work and earn while gaining a qualification. You apply through an employer, so you won’t have access to student loans or grants.

What do you need to get onto a Midwifery degree?

Entry requirements for a Midwifery degree at a university are typically from 104–128 UCAS points. This could include the qualifications below.

  • A Levels: AAB–BCC
  • BTECs: DDM–DMM (sometimes in combination with A Levels)
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB–BBBC
  • International Baccalaureate: 34–27
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied: a science at A Level (or equivalent), usually biology or human biology

Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Some unis accept sciences such as chemistry, psychology or physics; others may require an essay-based subject like English
  • General studies or critical thinking A Level may be excluded
  • You’ll also need at least five GCSEs (grade C/4 or above) including English, maths and science

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Work or volunteering experience in a maternity unit, health or social care setting
  • Talking to a midwife about their day-to-day work
  • Online research to learn more about the role and its challenges – check out the websites of the Royal College of Midwives, Nursing & Midwifery Council, or the NHS-run Health Careers website and YouTube channel

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of sciences
  • Interview, which may include scenario tests
  • You’ll also need to complete Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks (PVG scheme in Scotland)

What topics does a Midwifery degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Foundations for midwifery practice
  • Complicated maternities
  • Professional and legal frameworks regulating midwifery practice
  • Knowledge and evidence informing midwifery practice
  • Emergency management in midwifery practice
  • Antenatal and postnatal care of mother and baby
  • Labour and birth
  • Medicines management

How will you be assessed?

Courses are assessed in a variety of ways, depending on the module:

  • Case studies
  • Essays
  • Exams (written and clinical)
  • Presentations
  • Research critiques
  • Final year dissertation

You're required to pass all elements of the course and demonstrate professional behaviour throughout.

Why study Midwifery?

Midwives have to be responsive to the needs of women in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, with challenges such as an increasing birth rate and advances in research and technology. It's intellectually, physically and emotionally engaging.

Career-specific skills:

  • Clinical midwifery skills and the competence to manage normal labour and birth
  • Ability to support and communicate well with people from diverse backgrounds, including when under pressure
  • Skills to support breast feeding and the relationship between mother and baby

Transferable skills:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Decision making
  • Planning and time management
  • Reflective and critical thinking
  • Team working

Professional accreditation: 

  • Degrees must be approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council to enable you to register as a midwife with the NMC on completion of your course
  • Some unis may also offer UNICEF UK Baby Friendly accreditation to equip students with a level of knowledge and skill in to support breastfeeding and relationship building

What do Midwifery graduates earn?

Midwifery graduates can expect an entry-level salary of around £25,500 (NHS Band 5). Moving to Band 6 requires the completion of post-qualification competencies, which typically takes a year. Band 6 salaries range from £32,300–£39,000 with experience.

You could also progress to senior roles such as team leader, specialist midwife or manager, and move further up the salary bands. A consultancy role could offer an income in excess of £63,000 (NHS Band 8b).

What jobs can you get as a Midwifery graduate?

On qualifying as a midwife, you may choose to work within the NHS or privately in a hospital or community environment. Or you could move into education, management or research. Roles could include:

  • Antenatal clinic midwife
  • Community midwife
  • Equality and health inequalities midwife lead
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Health visitor
  • Intensive care neonatal nurse
  • Maternity nurse
  • Midwife sonographer
  • National Childbirth Trust accredited teacher
  • Practice development midwife in obstetrics
  • Social worker

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

If you have a first degree in a related subject, you can take a graduate-entry pre-registration course to qualify as a Midwife. Alternatively, if you’re a Midwifery graduate, postgraduate degrees offer the chance to specialise. Examples include:

  • Midwifery MPhil/PhD
  • Midwifery Studies, Maternal and Newborn Health MSc
  • Midwifery (with registration as a midwife) MSc
  • Enhanced Professional Midwifery Practice PGCert/PGDip/MSc

Similar subjects to Midwifery

Other subject areas that might appeal to you include:

Have any questions?

Ask our experts! You can email ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk with your question about studying Midwifery – we’ll be happy to hear from you.

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