BMidwif Midwifery / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Professional Midwifery: Being Evidence-based

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS24101
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will enable learners to further develop knowledge and understanding of evidence-based practice and the research methodologies that underpin this. Learners will explore research philosophies and related methodologies in order to realise how different methods are suitable for answering different research questions. The ideas, techniques and methods related to the research process will be explored in order to enable learners to fully understand research practice. Learners will review the application of research in evidence-based midwifery practice and use public health as an exemplar to explore how research can be used to develop effective policy.  


This unit aims to:

  • enable learners to develop a practical and applied understanding of key elements in the research process.
  • provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to locate, identify, summarise and critically appraise research evidence, which they can use to inform midwifery and public health 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:

  • Whole group lectures (face to face / online)
  • Online podcasts
  • Online tasks
  • Online resources
  • Workshops
  • Small group

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.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of research design.
  • Apply principles of research processes to epidemiology, health statistics and evidence-based public health policy.

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 focused research question from experience and/or knowledge of an area of practice.
  • Critically analyse health statistics in relation to epidemiology and health challenges.

Practical skills

  • Achieve familiarity with key databases relevant to midwifery practice, within the context of locating and identifying high quality research evidence.
  •  Design and execute a focused search strategy to address a predetermined 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


Draft submission of critical appraisal

Recommended reading

  • Aveyard, H (2018) Doing a literature review in health and social care: A practical guide. Fourth edition. Open University Press, Maidenhead.
  • Cresswell JW Cresswell J David J (2018) Research design: quantitative, qualitative & mixed methods approaches. Sage, London.
  • Greenhalgh T. (2019). How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine. Sixth edition.  Wiley Blackwell.
  •  Green J Thorogood N (2018) Qualitative methods for Health Research. London, Sage 
  • Heaslip V (2019) Research and Evidence-Based Practice for Nursing, Health and Social care Students. Cheltenham, Lantern Publishing Ltd.
  • Harvey M Land L (2016) Research methods for nurses and midwives. Theory and practice. London, Sage.
  • Jadad AR (2007). Randomised Controlled Trials. Questions, Answers and Musings. Second edition BMJ Books.
  • Krieger N (2011) Epidemiology and the People’s Health: Theory and Context. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 
  • Ritchie, J.  Lewis J (2013). Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers. Second edition London, SAGE.
  • Spiby, H. & Munro, J. (2010). Evidence Based Midwifery: applications in context: Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Walters S.J. Campbell SJ (2021). Medical Statistics: a textbook for the health sciences. Fifth edition. John Wiley, Chichester

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 190

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Christine Furber Unit coordinator

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