If you've attended an Open Day or looked at the course page for midwifery, you will have seen that we study a number of modules over three years. Here's my insider's guide to the modules' content.
Course modules are subject to change, but here is a short description of each BSc (Hons) Midwifery module as they are now, including the assessment method.
What will I study on a midwifery degree course?
Fundamentals of Midwifery Practice 1 (FUN1): the basics of midwifery from human anatomy to processes of labour. Assessment: group presentation + written reflective essay.
Knowledge, Research and Evidence in Midwifery Practice (KREM): you’ll be learning to analyse evidence used in midwifery. Everything we are taught is evidence based and all advice given to women must be backed up with evidence/research. Assessment: essay.
Fundamentals of Midwifery Practice 2 (FUN2): you’ll build on your FUN1 learning, including skills and knowledge to teach and support women who choose to breastfeed. Assessment: Breastfeeding OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination – practical exam) + multiple choice questions (MCQ – exam).
Fundamental Midwifery Skills: Working in the skills labs, you will have a chance to practice skills that will be used in placement, including Vaginal Examinations and Abdominal Palpations (practiced on mannequins of course!) Assessment: Skills to be signed off whilst on placement in your PAD (Practice Assessment Document) including fine grading on placement + Safemedicate Exam (must be passed with 80%).
Midwifery Care for the Woman and Infant with Complex Needs: after learning about the normal processes of pregnancy and birth in the first year, you will build on this knowledge by looking into the more complex needs of the woman and infant, such as hypertension and obstetric cholestasis – including learning to analyse a CTG (Cardiotocography). Assessment: 2 x written exams.
Public Health: during your midwifery career you will be involved in providing public health information to women and their families. You’ll learn about the importance of public health and the role the midwife has in this sector. You will be creating your own initiative related to your chosen sector of public health within midwifery. Assessment: written essay.
Emergency Midwifery Skills: after learning the complex needs of the woman and infant, it’s time to learn to deal with the emergencies that occur in midwifery including neonatal life support (NLS) and managing a post-partum hemorrhage. Assessment: 2 x OSCE – NLS (pass or fail exam) and 1 Emergency (fine graded).
Developing Professional Midwifery Skills: building on the skills you have learnt in first year and learning new skills including venepuncture (taking blood) and cannulation. Assessment: skills to be signed off whilst on placement in your PAD (Practice Assessment Document) including fine grading on placement.
Undergraduate Major Project: selecting an aspect of midwifery that interests you, you will research the topic and construct an in-depth literature review. Assessment: dissertation/literature review (essay).
Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE): an extra qualification that not all midwives have and one that only certain universities offer. You will be learning to complete a thorough, holistic examination of the newborn. Every newborn needs this examination before 72 hours of age and it includes examination of the heart, lungs, eyes and hips. Assessment: VIVA (oral exam – spoken) + assessment of NIPE to be completed in practice, with a midwife on placement.
Safeguarding: a self-taught module to be completed during SML time (student-managed learning). Includes assessing case load documents and issues that need to involve safeguarding measures. As midwives, we have a responsibility to safeguard all women, infants and their families. Assessment: essay.
Advancing Midwifery Practice: again, building on past knowledge to improve skills on placement including the harder skills of suturing and theatre skills. Assessment: skills to be signed off whilst on placement in your PAD (Practice Assessment Document) including fine grading on placement + Safemedicate Exam (must be passed with 100%).
Although seeing the modules in a list like this makes it look like a super lot to learn, the course is designed to spread the workload out over the years so that it's manageable. There is a great balance between learning in University and time at home (student-managed learning, or SML). The course builds on previous knowledge you'll have learnt, so don’t panic!
I particularly love the fact we gain the extra NIPE qualifications as the other universities I looked at didn’t offer this.
There is fantastic support from such a knowledgeable team of lecturers as well as midwives in practice. The course can be intense at times but the support is just amazing.
By Amber Sage
BSc (Hons) Midwifery
If you’re interested in this, or other undergraduate degree courses, find out more at an Open Day.