BMidwif Midwifery

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Evidence-Based Midwifery Practice

Unit code NURS21291
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


This Level 5 unit constitutes the second phase of a three-phase core pathway developing research skills and understanding. It directly extends from the Midwifery Knowledge and Research Unit at Level 4 and forms a direct platform for the Dissertation Unit at Level 6.

Students will examine the nature and philosophies of evidence based practice (EBP) and explore key factors influencing the adoption of EBP in healthcare and midwifery. The unit will consider the key barriers, facilitators and implications of applying research evidence to midwifery practice, including the development of clinical guidelines. Through an exploration of evidence hierarchies, students will extend their knowledge of the different types of evidence underpinning midwifery practice and begin to distinguish between good and bad evidence and their relative value to maternity care and outcomes. The unit will emphasise the clinical question as a key driver of the type of evidence required and enhance students’ awareness and appreciation of research data within the context of qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and different study designs. The unit will seek to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to begin to adopt systematic approaches to critical appraisal in order to answer tutor-led and self-generated questions pertinent to core and discipline specific aspects of practice. Students will be required to apply the knowledge and skills they acquire in order to select, synthesise and critically reflect upon primary research and/or evidence-based guidelines and the implications of this for maternity care


  • Introduce students to the concept of evidence based midwifery practice and its impact on contemporary midwifery.
  • Equip students with the theoretical and practical skills to be able to locate, identify and summarise relevant research evidence applicable to clinical and research questions arising in midwifery practice.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught over one semester (Semester 1) using a combination of live lectures, online tutorials and independent learning under the supervision of the unit team. The unit will be delivered using resource based and self-directed learning.

Students will engage with online materials, online tutorial support and reflective practice. Resources for the unit will reflect both generic research material and research based aspects of midwifery practice. Group discussion boards with peer and tutor-led feedback will be utilised as a means of reviewing students’ ability to cogently articulate evidence-based arguments, disseminate information logically and work collegially and effectively with one another.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Discuss the concept of evidence and the goal of evidence based midwifery practice.
  • Identify and discuss key facilitators and barriers to the implementation of Evidence - based practice in midwifery.

Intellectual skills

  • Debate the relative contributions of quantitative and qualitative research to evidence based midwifery practice.
  • Discuss the rationale for the existence of a hierarchy of evidence.
  • Formulate a focussed research question from experience and/or knowledge of an area of midwifery practice.

Practical skills

  • Develop competence with key databases relevant to midwifery practice, within the context of locating and identifying high quality research evidence.
  • Design and execute a focussed search strategy to address a pre-determined aspect of midwifery practice.
  • Assess the methodological rigour of different research study designs using the appropriate quality assessment tools.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.
  • Develop skills in systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 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 9
Practical classes & workshops 9
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 75

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Cooke Unit coordinator

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