BMidwif Midwifery / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Foundations of Midwifery Practice: Anatomy and Physiology

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS14111
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will provide you with a foundational knowledge of the normal anatomy and physiology of the non-pregnant and pregnant human body on which to build your understanding of safe and effective midwifery practice. You will develop study skills and techniques to help you to secure complex scientific concepts and information. This knowledge will form the basis of your understanding of the midwife’s role in providing universal care to all and additional care to those with complex needs. You will learn through a variety of formats including lectures, small group tutorials, online activities and quizzes, and self-directed learning.


Enable learners to develop essential knowledge of anatomy and physiology in pregnancy and early neonatal life as a foundation for safe and effective midwifery practice.

Teaching and learning methods

The intended learning outcomes (ILOs) and aims are all constructively aligned to ensure the teaching and assessment methods support the learners’ achievement of these to the highest standard. The assessment ensures that all aims and ILOs can be demonstrated as met during the assessment task and in order to facilitate learners’ understanding of the ILOs the following teaching methods will be used:

  • Lectures – face to face and online (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Small group workshops and seminars
  • Guided study
  • Quizzes
  • Revision workshops
  • Mock examinations
  • Peer reviewed presentations
  • Clinical practice

Clinical practice hours are included in this unit to enable learners to apply theoretical

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of normal human anatomy and physiology for key body systems.
  • Demonstrate essential knowledge of genomics.
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding about the way key body systems adapt during the process of pregnancy, birth and the puerperium.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system and related structures.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the anatomy of the breast and the physiology of lactation.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of key aspects of neonatal anatomy and physiology.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of key physiological changes during potentially life-threatening situations and the assessment of physiological indicators of wellbeing.

Intellectual skills

  • Develop their necessary 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 physiological processes of pregnancy, birth, the puerperium and the neonate.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate accurate use of anatomical and physiological terms.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop effective techniques for understanding and retaining complex scientific 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%

The exam is a mix of Multiple Choice and Open Book questions.

Feedback methods


  • Group presentations
  • Small group activities
  • Revision workshops
  • Mock exam

Recommended reading

Indicative Reading List

  • Rankin J (2017) Physiology of Childbearing 4th Edition Edinburgh, Elsevier.
  • Derrickson B & Tortora G (2019) Introduction to the human Body 11th Edition, Wiley Plus Textbook & on-line resources
  • Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 36
Seminars 6
Tutorials 6
Work based learning 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 122

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alison Busby Unit coordinator

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