BMidwif Midwifery / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course description

Erin Brown, student midwife

"I feel that my role has been extremely valued by the women I was able to care for.

I chose midwifery because I wanted to empower women and their families, and at Manchester, I have been given numerous learning opportunities to allow me to do so."

Erin Brown / Student Midwife

This course has been updated for students starting in September 2022 to align with the revised Nursing and Midwifery Councils (2019) Standards for pre-registration midwifery programmes and Standards of Proficiency for Midwives. 

The course is an undergraduate, pre-registration programme over three years for those taking the bachelor's in Midwifery route and over four years for those who choose to take the master's in Midwifery route.

Successful completion of either route will lead to registration as a midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

You will split your time on the course equally between theory study and clinical learning in practice learning environments. The theory component will be delivered in a blend of face-to-face and online teaching, including face-to-face lectures, tutorials and seminars, clinical teaching in our skills laboratories, online lectures and seminars, guided independent and self-directed study.

All teaching is provided by academic staff who are qualified midwives or other professionals with qualifications related to health.

Learning in clinical practice will take place under the supervision of qualified midwives and other health professionals within local NHS maternity services.

To enhance your experience, you will move to a new NHS Trust site at the start of your second year. Your knowledge, attitude and skills will be assessed using a variety of methods, including written academic assignments, written examinations, viva voce examinations, clinical skills examinations in the skills laboratories and assessment of performance in clinical practice using the national, NMC validated Midwifery Ongoing Record of Achievement.

You will be supported by your academic advisor to decide whether to extend your studies by 10 months and take the integrated master's in midwifery, which depends on your performance during Years 1 and 2. Tuition fees apply to the fourth year, and student finance is available.

The integrated master's will support your further development in leadership, clinical practice, critical thinking, education and research through examination of new insights related to and at the forefront of midwifery practice. Successful completion of the integrated master's in midwifery will give you a step-up as you prepare for your career progression. 

What do midwives do?

Midwives are the main providers of care for the majority of childbearing women, people and their families throughout pregnancy, labour and the first few weeks after the birth. Midwives assess their wellbeing and needs, provide information on a wide range of issues, work with them to plan and provide their care, promote the health of the family, teach skills for labour and parenthood and support them and their partners throughout the childbearing process. Midwives work with and refer to a range of other professionals to provide high-quality care to birthing women and people.

Our midwifery course will develop you into a highly employable, compassionate midwife.

You will follow a person-centred approach to midwifery care thanks to a curriculum that has been underpinned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards of Proficiency for Midwives.

Our course also includes themes such as applying bioscience knowledge to practice, tackling health inequalities through continuity of midwifery care and public health and evidence-based practice through research skills.

Your study time will be divided equally between academic and  practice-based learning , enabling you to apply theory to clinical care. You will learn from some of the country's leading midwifery lecturers, health researchers and clinicians, as well as experts from across the University.

Upon graduation, you will be able to register with the NMC and practice midwifery anywhere in the UK, as well as in many other parts of the world.

Aims

We aim to help you develop the clinical, communication and thinking skills needed to provide high-quality, evidence-based midwifery care for women, people and families from a range of diverse backgrounds, as well as to coordinate services from the wider health, social care and voluntary sectors.

By the end of this course, you will have developed into a competent, evidence-based, resilient and compassionate midwife with a unique set of skills in person-centred care, clinical decision-making, leadership, research, education and public health.

Special features

Dynamic structure

The course is structured to nurture and support your transition into clinical practice.

After an initial block of university study, practice time is integrated alongside study each week. As your confidence develops, you will spend longer blocks of time in clinical practice, enabling you to become part of the team.

Excellent support

You will have support from a wide range of sources, including your academic advisor and assessor, link lecturers, practice supervisor, practice assessor, our Peer Assisted Study Scheme and university-wide services.

Inter-professional learning

Enjoy specific learning experiences alongside students studying for other healthcare profession qualifications, such as pharmacists and mental health nurses.

Simulation

Learning through simulation-based experiences including clinical decision-making and home birth scenarios.

Continuity of care

You'll have the opportunity to experience continuity of midwifery care throughout the course, developing proficiency and building confidence in your skills.

Midwifery electives

Choose from specialist options for your Year 2 elective to explore future midwifery careers, including research, education and global midwifery practice (subject to COVID-19 regulations).

Additional qualifications

You will qualify as a Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) practitioner and gain a teaching accreditation with Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy) as an Associate Fellow.

Outstanding research

Manchester is ranked the best for nursing and midwifery research in the UK (Research Excellence Framework), so our undergraduates benefit from studying in a rich learning environment.

Additional course information

You will be allocated to work in practice learning environments in two different NHS maternity services to develop your midwifery skills, working regularly with midwives who have been trained to supervise, support and assess students.

More information can be found on the midwifery practice learning environment page. You can also read a blog post by one of our Midwifery students, Jennifer Pountain, about what it's like to go on placement.

Teaching and learning

Each year comprises 45 weeks of study and seven weeks' holiday. Those who follow the master's in Midwifery will have a 35-week year in their third and fourth years.

Your time is equally divided each year between academic and practice-based learning. In Year 1, the majority of your weeks contain integrated academic and practice learning.

Years 2 and 3 follow a block model of theory and practice to enable you to embed yourself in the clinical team and to enhance your opportunity for providing continuity of midwifery carer.

Year 4 comprises integrated academic and practice learning.

Teaching

You will be taught by experienced midwifery lecturers who are qualified midwives and who work closely with our clinical practice sites through direct clinical work or as link lecturers or midwifery researchers.

Where appropriate, we draw on the expertise of a range of clinical specialists and lecturers from across the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at Manchester.

Learning

You will engage in a range of different activities designed to make learning enjoyable, challenging and effective.

This includes integration of high-quality face-to-face and online learning activities, such as lectures, small group seminars, skills simulation, directed reading and case studies.

Simulated learning activities and sessions in the skills laboratories are part of the curriculum and are very popular. Find out more about midwifery teaching and learning at Manchester .

Dedicated student support

As the course combines academic study with working in a physically and emotionally demanding environment, we ensure that you benefit from caring and robust support systems to create a quality learning experience and an enjoyable time at Manchester.

At the beginning of the course, you will be assigned an academic advisor who will provide you with regular academic and professional guidance and pastoral support. You will get to know them really well over your three years at Manchester.

Your academic assessor will support the assessment of your progress in the practice learning environment. 

The Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) Groups run by our Year 3 students are very helpful for supporting students throughout the first and second years of the course. You will have protected time for peer support throughout the whole course.

The University also provides many additional student support services .

Coursework and assessment

Unit assessments vary and include written and multiple-choice exams, essays, case studies, online work, vivas, blogs or vlogs, and skills-based exams.

Your developing competency in clinical practice will also be assessed holistically in each year of the course by a qualified midwife practice assessor.

All assessments must be passed in order to meet the professional requirements of the NMC. Course regulations govern the decision to offer a second or subsequent attempt at any failed assessment.

Course content for year 1

The year begins with eight weeks of university-based learning activities to prepare you for your first experiences in the practice learning environment.

For the remainder of Semester 1 and 2, theory and practice will be integrated within each week, enabling immediate application of theory to practice and vice-versa, and access to academic and peer support.

In the extended Semester 2, you will have longer blocks of practice learning to enable you become part of the clinical team.

Year 1 lays the foundations for you to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills for competent midwifery practice. Professional Midwifery is the basis of a clear thread that runs through the course, enabling you to develop study and research skills, and introduce the concepts of professionalism and ethical practice.

You will experience interprofessional education by joining together with learners on the BNurs/MNurs course for the research thread of this unit.

The Foundations units support your knowledge of anatomy and physiology, microbiology and pharmacology to underpin your understanding of the physiology and later pathologies related to childbearing.

The Universal Midwifery Care units directly reflect Domain 3 of the Standards of Proficiency for Midwives (NMC, 2019), related to the care and support provided to all women/birthing people, their newborn infants and their families.

Midwifery Practice 1 supports you through your first experiences of caring directly for women/birthing people, their newborn infants and their families throughout the childbearing continuum through participation in continuity of midwifery carer.

In the clinical learning environment, you will participate in the universal care of women/birthing people and their families and some individuals with different additional needs. You will use these experiences to consolidate and apply your foundational knowledge of universal care and support.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Professional Midwifery NURS14100 20 Mandatory
Midwifery Practice 1 NURS14110 40 Mandatory
Foundations of Midwifery Practice: Anatomy and Physiology NURS14111 20 Mandatory
Foundations of Midwifery Practice: Microbiology and Pharmacology NURS14112 10 Mandatory
Universal Midwifery Care: Pregnancy and Health Promotion NURS14121 10 Mandatory
Universal Midwifery Care: Birth, Following Birth and Infant Feeding NURS14122 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

Throughout Year 2, you will study in blocks of theory-focused weeks, and gain clinical experience and skill development in blocks of practice.

Year 2 supports you to build on and develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in order to apply these in more complex scenarios and competently care for those with additional needs.

Professional Midwifery: Being Evidence-based continues the thread of developing your research skills with direct application to your clinical roles.

The Additional Care units reflect the Domain 4 of the Standards of Proficiency for Midwives (NMC, 2019), and build on the Universal Care units to support you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to care for and support those with additional needs.

The Healthy Teams in Maternity Care unit reflects the midwife's role as part of the multidisciplinary team and in providing an immediate emergency response and first-line management when complications arise.

Midwifery Practice 2 supports you to apply your knowledge of universal and additional care and support by contributing to the care of all women/birthing people, their newborn infants and families, including contributing to providing continuity of midwifery carer.

The Midwifery Practice 2 unit will also enable you to experience clinical practice in another setting through an elective placement and to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in performing the Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE).

During Year 2 you will also be supported to make a decision about continuing your study to master's level through our integrated master's in Midwifery.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Midwifery Practice 2 NURS24100 40 Mandatory
Professional Midwifery: Being Evidence-based NURS24101 20 Mandatory
Additional Midwifery Care - Part 2 NURS24102 20 Mandatory
Additional Midwifery Care - Part 1 NURS24111 20 Mandatory
Healthy Teams in Maternity Care NURS24112 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 3

During Year 3, you will continue to study and practice in blocks of theory and clinically focused weeks. You will take a lead role in providing continuity of midwifery carer, demonstrating your proficiency in midwifery skills.

Year 3 enables you to consolidate your knowledge, understanding and skills, encouraging you to think strategically about the role of the midwife, and as an accountable and autonomous clinician, scholar, leader and educator.

Promoting Health for Life is the capstone unit for the public health thread, when you will utilise your knowledge and understanding to think strategically about the midwife's role in promoting a healthy life course for families.

Professional Midwifery: Scholarly Leadership encourages you to apply your research and critical thinking skills to practice-related topics and quality improvement of services.

The remaining units in Year 3 differ depending on which route you are taking.

Those on the BMidwif will take the 30-credit Promoting Excellence in Midwifery unit. This unit considers the many different roles of the midwife, including leader, communicator, professional, change-maker and educator.

Embedded into this unit is guided preparation for you to apply for the Associate Fellowship of Advance Higher Education (HE) (AFAHE), which forms part of the assessment.

Midwifery Practice 3 (BMidwif) supports you to apply your consolidated knowledge and understanding, demonstrating proficiency in all areas and your leadership and educator skills. You will also be supported to complete their NIPE qualification.

Those on the MMidwif route will take the 10-credit Promoting Excellence in Midwifery Unit. This unit also considers the many roles of the midwife, in particular as leaders, communicators, professionals and change-makers. Leadership and education form a major aspect of your Year 4 studies.

Midwifery Practice 3 (MMidwif) also supports you to apply your knowledge and understanding by demonstrating proficiency, and to complete the NIPE qualification. You will be required to step-up to Year 4 through a self-directed reflection on your role within a clinical team.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Professional Midwifery - Scholarly Leadership NURS34100 30 Mandatory
Promoting Health for Life NURS34101 20 Mandatory
Promoting Excellence in Midwifery (BMidwif) NURS34102 30 Mandatory
Midwifery Practice 3 (BMidwif) NURS34120 40 Mandatory
Midwifery Practice 3 (MMidwif) NURS34110 60 Optional
Promoting Excellence in Midwifery (MMidwif) NURS34112 10 Optional

Course content for year 4

The principle focus in Year 4 is leadership, reflecting the national and local goals to deliver improvements in maternity care through strong, effective midwifery leadership (RCM, 2019).

During all three theory units in Year 4, you will learn alongside learners from other professions.

Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis forms part of our master's in research, and enables you to develop a comprehensive understanding of and skills in critical appraisal and evidence synthesis. These skills are essential to midwifery leadership roles in clinical practice, education, management and research.

Leader, Educator, Manager, Coordinator spans two semesters and reflects the enhanced skills you are expected to apply in clinical practice at master's level. Within this unit, you will be supported and guided to apply for the AFAHE accreditation.

You will critically explore perinatal mental health and the impact on parents, families and infants and strategies and interventions to identify, assess and support in the Perinatal Parent and Infant Mental Health unit.

Midwifery Practice 4 supports you to further develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in clinical practice to demonstrate leadership skills to enhance team working and develop others.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Leader, Educator, Manager, Co-ordinator NURS44100 30 Mandatory
Midwifery Practice 4 NURS44110 60 Mandatory
Critical appraisal and evidence synthesis NURS60015 15 Mandatory
Perinatal Parent and Infant Mental Health NURS69772 15 Mandatory

What our students say

Completing the midwifery course at The University of Manchester has been an amazing stepping stone into my career as a qualified midwife. Completing a degree from a research-based university was an advantage in practice as I felt equipped with all the latest research on particular topics, including skin care of a newborn.

At Manchester, completing the case load unit in Years 2 and 3 allows management of a caseload of women throughout the pregnancy continuum, providing continuity of carer. This further supports the vision outlined in better births and leads to better outcomes for women and families.

Completing a degree in midwifery is both challenging and rewarding, but I couldn't be prouder.

Satveer Kaur / Midwifery graduate (2020)

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Facilities

You will practice a wide range of key skills in our simulation facilities to support your learning in the practice learning environment. These sessions will usually relate to infection control processes, assessing blood pressure, basic life support and antenatal abdominal examination of pregnant women and people.

Further sessions in the skills labs are included throughout the course; for example, in a ward-based decision-making simulation and homebirth simulations. These sessions in the skills lab will help you develop and refine your ability to respond appropriately and effectively to situations that you may be faced with in clinical practice.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the  Disability Advisory and Support Office .

If you have a disability or long-term health condition that might affect your ability to meet the demands of the course, we recommend that you contact the Disability Support Office and the Occupational Health Service for advice and support as part of your application process.

Where a disability or long-term health condition may affect your learning in placement, the programme team will work with you to develop a support plan for practice.