Midwifery is the division of nursing that focuses on the professional help given to women during labour, throughout the delivery and after the birth of their babies. Midwives are present in hospitals and birth centres, but can also deliver babies at home. Those students passionate about childbirth and health care may benefit from studying a midwifery degree at the undergraduate level.
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Throughout a midwifery degree, students will be taught a varied amount of modules each year through lectures and seminars. Students will also be required to spend a significant amount of time on placement within labour suites, birth centres, and antenatal/postnatal wards. Students are assessed through coursework, practical exams, portfolio work, and group presentations.
What will I study?
In the first year of study students will be introduced to modules such as biological sciences for midwifery, principles of midwifery care, midwifery practice, normal childbirth, and breastfeeding. During the second year of study students study a different range of modules including complications in childbirth, developing skills and competence in midwifery practice, public health, and supporting women with complex needs in pregnancy. The final stage of study focuses on developing the skills already gained and learning more about the politics of maternity care, being a professional midwife, and preparing for parenting.
Over 70 universities offer degrees in nursing and midwifery, with the best courses being offered by Keele University, University of Huddersfield, University of Bradford, Edge Hill University and the University of Nottingham. Entry requirements can vary depending on the university you are applying to, however, generally, you will be expected to gain A Level grades ABB with at least one A Level being gained in science/ biology.
Other entry requirements include having gained at least five GCSE grades A – C including maths, English and science. Applicants will be shortlisted and interviewed as part of the application process, where they are required to express their passion for the degree, and showcase any relevant work experience they have encountered.
Once students have graduated, they often opt to work directly in the industry as a midwife. Before becoming a midwife students must register with The Nursing and Midwifery Council, which requires an undergraduate degree in Midwifery. There is also the option for students to continue their studies at the postgraduate level with courses in midwifery and public health being available to those students who have already achieved a 2:1 honours degree in a related field of study.