BMidwif Midwifery

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Tackling Health Inequalities

Unit code NURS13132
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


The link between social conditions and health should be a major focus in the maternity services today. The recent Marmot Review (Marmot 2010) highlighted that health inequalities are a significant factor in our society. This unit provides the student with knowledge and understanding of the underpinning theory related to social processes and challenges in contemporary UK society that impact on the health of women and families during the childbearing process. Health promotion and public health theory are introduced and key public health perspectives such as health needs assessment, and its application to the midwife’s role explained. Students will be able to explore the midwife’s role in the current national public health agenda, and relate this to the maternity services. The unit will contribute to the student’s understanding of the needs of women who have complex psycho-social challenges, and the development of clinical skills applicable to assessment of needs.


Introduce students to a sociological understanding of the social determinants of health and their impact on childbearing and young families.

       Introduce students to public health and health promotion and its applicability to the maternity services, especially in assessment of health needs.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning will be facilitated by key note lectures introducing key theoretical concepts. Seminar groups will be used to explore concepts introduced in lectures and apply sociological and public health theory to midwifery practice. Teaching methods such as group work incorporating case study discussion and reflection on practice will be utilised within seminars. Role play will be developed to support learning about assessment and communication in clinical practice. Learning will be supported by online engagement with materials and directed reading. Students will be encouraged to explore relevant material in self directed study.

Clinical placements will incorporate opportunity to explore resources available in Children’s Centres and Sure Start facilities.

Knowledge and understanding

Discuss sociological concepts, and be able to discuss the impact of inequalities of social class, gender, age and ethnicity on childbearing women and young families.

       Explore the strengths and limitations of demographic health information and statistics for assessing the health needs of women, families and communities, including those that define maternal global health.

       Understand key concepts in health promotion and pubic health practice, and current public health challenges, that are relevant to maternity care, including the relevance of health behaviour change theory.

       Understands maternity service policy and its impact on midwifery practice.

Intellectual skills

       Identify research based journal articles on health promotion and public health

       Show an emergent ability to critically review research based journal articles and sources of data relevant for the maternity services

       Show an emergent ability to analyse theories and evidence related to maternity care.

       Understand the importance of assessment in clinical midwifery practice



Practical skills

       Reflect on the importance of epidemiology and public health concepts and practice and how they contribute to midwifery practice

       Demonstrate an ability to assess needs of women during the childbearing process

       Demonstrate understanding of the role of the midwife in managing the care of vulnerable families

Transferable skills and personal qualities

       Demonstrate an ability to retrieve and review a variety of data sources and evidence

       Demonstrate an ability to reflect on academic reading and writing skills and begin to retrieve, appraise and use a range of information sources

       Develop skills in working effectively with others as a member of a team

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Practical skills assessment 50%

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 15
Seminars 5
Tutorials 16
Placement hours
Placement 142.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Christine Furber Unit coordinator

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