BMidwif Midwifery / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Foundations of Midwifery Practice: Microbiology and Pharmacology

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS14112
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will equip you with knowledge and understanding of relevant microbiology and principles of pharmacology.  This will include foundational knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug therapeutics with consideration of the adaptations to physiology that take place in the childbearing continuum.  You will develop your knowledge of medicines management encompassing the practical aspects of the handling, calculation, safe administration and storage of drugs. In addition, you will build on your knowledge of the principles of infection control and best-practice measures to prevent the spread of infection.


The unit aims to:

  • enable learners to gain knowledge and understanding of relevant microbiology and pharmacology and apply this to the role of the midwife in safe drug administration.
  • support learners in acquiring and developing the skills for safe administration of medicines.

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
  • Online study using Safe Medicate
  • Guided study
  • Quizzes
  • Revision workshops
  • Mock examinations
  • Peer reviewed presentations
  • Laboratory visit
  • Clinical practice

Clinical practice hours are included in this unit to enable learners to apply theoretical concepts to practice and reflect on practical experiences in relation to that learning.


• E-Learning safeMedicate Year 1 modules:

– 1. Essential skills module

- 2. Healthcare numeracy assessment

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specific infections that commonly affect pregnant and postnatal women and people, and neonates.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the best strategies for preventing and treating infections in pregnancy, including best practice infection prevention and control measures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic principles of pharmacology and drug therapeutics as applied to midwifery practice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of medications commonly prescribed or recommended for pregnant and postnatal women, people and neonates.

Intellectual skills

  • Show an emergent ability to evaluate the evidence in relation to pharmacology and safe drug administration.
  • Show an emergent ability to evaluate the role of the midwife in the storage, handling and administration of drugs in pregnancy.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate accurate use of microbiological and pharmacological terms and be able to pronounce them correctly.
  • Ability to accurately calculate drug dosages for the preparation and administration of medications.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of the midwife in relation to the storage, handling and administration of medicines to birthing women and people and neonates in accordance with relevant midwifery legislation.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate numeracy skills for basic drug calculations.
  • Effectively utilise a range of learning resources including information technology.
  • Take responsibility for their own learning and the completion of appropriate learning activities.
  • Demonstrate skills in working effectively with others as a member of a team.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Oral assessment/presentation 100%

Feedback methods


Presentation of topic to small groups with peer and lecturer feedback.

Recommended reading

  • Barber, P. & Robertson, D. (2020). Essentials of Pharmacology for Nurses.  4th edn.  Berkshire UK:Open University Press.
  • British National Formulary (2021)
  • Davison, N. (2015). Numeracy and Clinical Calculations for Nurses. Banbury: Lantern Publishing Ltd.
  • Dimond, B. (2013). The legal aspects of midwifery. 4th edition. London: Quay Books.
  • Hill, B. & Peate, I.  (2021). Fundamentals of Pharmacology: For Nursing and Healthcare Students. Chichester, UK:Wiley-Blackwell
  • Jordan, S. (2010). Pharmacology for midwives: the evidence base for safe practice.  2nd edu. Hampshire, UK:Palgrave Macmillian.
  • Lapham, R. (2021). Drug calculations for nurses: a step by step approach. 5th edu. Oxon, UK:Routledge.
  • Presterl, E., Diab-El Schahawi, M. & Reilly, J.S. (2019). Basic Microbiology and Infection Control for Midwives. Cham, Switzerland:Springer.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 18
Practical classes & workshops 6
Seminars 2
Work based learning 15
Independent study hours
Independent study 71

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Catherine Anders Unit coordinator

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