BMidwif Midwifery

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Life sciences for Midwives

Unit code NURS13111
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will draw on a range of learning strategies, such as lectures, laboratory visits, directed study, workbooks and on-line activities to help students gain a sound understanding of relevant information from the disciplines of anatomy, physiology, microbiology and pharmacology as related to pregnancy and birth. Life science and clinical experts will contribute a number of specialist lectures. Seminar presentations and small group tutorials led by midwifery lectures will be used to help students focus on key topics and begin to relate their learning to safe midwifery practice.


Enable students to develop a sound knowledge of the normal anatomy and physiology of the human body in both the non-pregnant and pregnant state and to see how this information informs our understanding of women’s experience of childbearing and provides an essential basis for safe and effective midwifery practice.

       Equip students with basic knowledge and understanding of relevant microbiology and pharmacology; enabling them to see how this information is essential to help midwives reduce risk and apply treatment strategies for childbearing women and their infants.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught over one semester using a combination of key note lectures from a variety of discipline specialists, on-line learning activities, teacher directed work and self-directed study. Students will be encouraged to develop effective study techniques to help them learn, manage and retain the considerable amounts of information they will be exposed to in this unit. Two laboratory visits will help students gain more concrete understanding of anatomical concepts and microbiology laboratory practice.

Small group tutorials and small group mini-seminar presentations and will be used to help students focus on key topics, re-enforce prior learning and begin to relate their learning to safe midwifery practice.

On-line self tests, tutorials and a mock examination will help students gain feedback about their progress and identify areas requiring further study.

Knowledge and understanding

       Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of normal human (adult and neonatal) anatomy and physiology including reproductive system and related structures.

       Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding about the way key body systems adapt during the process of pregnancy, birth and the puerperium.

       Demonstrate basic knowledge of key physiological changes during potentially life-threatening situations and the assessment of physiological indicators of wellbeing.

       Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of specific infections that more commonly affect pregnant and postnatal women and neonates and of the best strategies for preventing and treating such infections, including best-practice infection control measures employed in the clinical environment.

       Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic principles of pharmacology and drug therapeutics as applied to midwifery practice, including essential knowledge and understanding of medications more commonly prescribed or recommended for pregnant and postnatal women.

Intellectual skills

Develop thinking skills to be able to apply information from one discipline to another, specifically developing their ability to see how best practice in midwifery must take full account of the normal physiological processes affecting pregnancy, birth, the puerperium and the neonate.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate accurate use of anatomical, physiological, microbiological and pharmacological terms and be able to pronounce them correctly.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Develop effective techniques for understanding and retaining amounts of complex factual information.

       Take responsibility for their own learning and the completion of appropriate learning activities.

       Demonstrate effective team working skills.

       Develop skills for presenting information to small groups in a logical and concise way.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all undergraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit.

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 58
Practical classes & workshops 3
Seminars 3
Tutorials 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 127.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Busby Unit coordinator

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