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Mother and baby with student midwife from the University of Manchester

Midwifery (BMidwif)

Midwives offer vital support during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period.

Midwifery (3 Years) [BMidwif] Course details

Year of entry: 2016show 2017

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Course details

Course description

Our three-year Midwifery (BMidwif) course takes a contemporary, innovative and woman-focused approach that will help you train as a midwife.

Our curriculum, which has been running since September 2013, has been highly commended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and other external reviewers.

Successful graduates can register as a midwife with the NMC and will be eligible to practice as a midwife anywhere in the UK and in many other parts of the world (although professional registration requirements vary in different countries).

The course is underpinned by a commitment to:

  • the integration of theory and practice;
  • high standards of clinical competence;
  • partnership working with women ;
  •  keeping birth normal;
  •  midwifery support for women with complex needs;
  • multidisciplinary teams working to benefit midwifery clients;
  • the appreciation of diversity and the principles of equity;
  • tackling health inequalities through effective public health interventions;
  • evidence-based midwifery practice and developing new knowledge through research;
  • improving service provision through effective professional leadership;
  • being responsive to service users¿ needs and future service development.

The course is taught predominantly by a team of midwifery lecturers with wide-ranging clinical experience, well-developed teaching expertise and established research skills.

Where appropriate, we also draw on the expertise of clinical specialists and other lecturers from across the Faculty.

Half of your time on this course will be spent in university-based learning, including lectures, reading, tutorials, seminars, enquiry-based group work and online activities.

The other 50% of your time will be spent learning in practice, working alongside midwives and other professionals. See the Midwifery programme information booklet (PDF, 147KB) for further information.

Aims

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

We develop compassionate, competent midwives by:

  • focusing on the needs and experiences of women and families;
  • stimulating self-awareness and reflection on own values;
  • constantly applying theory to practice;
  • using simulation, including skills laboratories;
  • sending students on midwifery placements;
  • running well-designed course units that foster effective learning;
  • using student case-holding;
  • offering effective student support;
  • continuously developing our clinical mentors.

We develop leadership skills through:

  • our leadership in action unit
  • leadership shadowing;
  • inter-professional learning;
  • promoting skills for lifelong learning;
  • the entrepreneurship option.

We develop research skills through:

  • teaching underpinned by current research;
  • research processes taught by leading national and international researchers;
  • completion of a research dissertation;
  • the opportunity to explore a research career.

We develop effective clinical decision-making skills through:

  • the enhancement of interpersonal skills;
  • critical analysis of decision-making processes;
  • use of simulation-based learning
  • regular reflection on real-life practice scenarios;
  • sound ethical frameworks for problem-solving.

We develop effective public health skills through:

  • exposure to the varying needs of Manchester's diverse population;
  • developing awareness of social, political, cultural and environmental issues;
  • planning and reviewing strategies to reduce health inequalities;
  • emphasis on supporting breastfeeding and early parenting.

Special features

The elective at the end of Year 3 offers a number of options to enhance your future career development. These may include:

  • International midwifery ¿ You can observe midwifery care provided in another country. We have close links with midwives around the world, in both developed and developing countries. This is a unique opportunity to experience midwifery in another culture, and to utilise leadership skills acquired previously on the course.
  • Investigating a research caree r ¿ You can be mentored by a midwifery researcher. You will shadow experienced researchers and be involved in a range of relevant experiences that may include working with service users, developing data collection tools, research governance, grant writing and report writing. You will be supported to write for publication.
  • Midwife entrepreneurs - Some midwives currently provide maternity care outside the NHS via social enterprises. This option will let you experience an alternative model of maternity care provision. You can also attend a workshop on developing entrepreneurship skills to aid you in the establishment of innovative midwifery services.
  • Professional consolidation of practice - This option lets you further enhance your midwifery skills and explore employment options through appropriate placements in Greater Manchester and the rest of the UK.
  • Investigating midwifery education ¿ This will give you the chance to explore the role of a teaching-focused midwifery lecturer and try your hand at some classroom or skills-lab teaching.

Department course information

The course will require you to work at a range of different trusts around the North West, you must be prepared to travel around the different sites. Further information about the placement sites and brief introductions to the various trusts can be found on the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work website:

Additional course information

We have excellent relationships with our local NHS Trusts, where you can undertake a wide range of placements.

These include community midwifery, antenatal clinics, day care facilities, delivery suites, midwifery-led birth centres, antenatal and postnatal wards, neonatal special care and short experiences in medical and gynaecological settings.

You will also visit a range of community services and specialist clinics, and work with other professionals such as social workers and medical staff.

Your first placement will begin in Week 9 of the course, helping you to apply your learning to the real world of midwifery practice.

There will be a mixture of campus-based and full practice weeks, but most weeks will include two days at the University and three days in practice.

You are provided with supervision in practice by a midwife mentor, trained to support and assess students learning.

You will be expected to work the same shifts as your mentors, including early, late and night shifts.

Start and finish times vary. Early shifts may start at 7.30am and late shifts finish at 9.30pm. Night shifts may be from 9pm to 8am.

Increasingly, NHS Trusts are using a system of two long shifts to cover the 24-hour period ¿ times vary, but these may be, for example, 7am to 8pm and 7pm to 8am.

As we have stringent attendance policies, you should consider your ability to meet the demands of travelling to placement, working shifts and completing the rigorous study requirements of the course before you apply.

You will complete your Year 1 placements in the maternity services of one NHS Trust before moving to complete your Year 2 and 3 placements in another Trust.

Experiencing care in two different localities will give you a wider experience of the cultural diversity of Manchester, deeper understanding of the different ways NHS services are provided and greater confidence when applying for a post as a newly-qualified midwife.

Teaching and learning

You will learn from leading midwifery lecturers, researchers and clinicians who teach on this course

. Experts from the wider University will also contribute to your learning, especially in relation to life sciences and leadership theory.

You will engage in a range of activities designed to make learning enjoyable, challenging and effective. Simulated learning sessions in the skills laboratories are very popular.

Learning in clinical practice is a key feature of this course - you will spend half of your time engaged in learning in hospital and community settings.

You will be supervised and supported by qualified midwives who have also completed an additional teaching and assessing qualification. You will also be supported by university lecturers and peer mentors.

Each year comprises 45 weeks of study (37.5 hrs per week) and seven weeks' holiday.

Your first placements begin within a few weeks of starting the course, as this will help you to apply your learning to the real world of midwifery practice.

You will experience a mixture of on-campus weeks and clinical weeks, but most weeks will include two days of theoretical learning and three days of practice.

In line with NMC requirements, we have very stringent attendance policies.

As such, you are encouraged to carefully consider the demands of working long shifts (including some night duty) and travelling to clinical placements alongside completing the rigorous study requirements set by the University before you apply.

Dedicated student support to enhance student experience

Our final-year students have very high levels of overall satisfaction with our programme, according to results from the National Student Survey.

This reflects our well-established culture of student-centred working and partnership.

As the course combines academic study with working in a physically and emotionally demanding environment, we will ensure that you benefit from caring and robust support systems for the best quality learning and your enjoyment of the course.

Student support comes in many forms including the following:

  • An academic advisor assigned at the beginning of the course provides regular academic and professional guidance and pastoral support. You will get to know them really well over the three years.
  • Well-evaluated student-led support networks provide excellent support for first-year students from more experienced students.
  • The split week design of the course allows regular contact with your tutors and fosters mutual support, as you meet with your friends on campus most weeks.
  • Regular `student experience¿ sessions are held through the year, allowing you to give feedback and enabling us to take action on issues affecting the group.
  • The University has well-developed student support services, including the Disability Support Office, the Occupational Health Service and the Counselling Service.
Elected student representatives attend committee meetings, ensure student issues are addressed and are closely involved in course developments within the School.

Coursework and assessment

A range of strategies are used to assess your knowledge, understanding and skills, including assessments in practice, online discussions, essays, examinations, presentations and the dissertation.

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 unit details

This course is taught by, leading midwifery lecturers, researchers and clinicians. Experts from the wider University contribute to your learning especially in relation to life sciences and leadership theory.

You will engage in a range of different activities designed to make learning enjoyable, challenging and effective. Each unit will be taught using a mixture of face-to-face lectures, small group tutorials, on-line learning activities, directed reading, group presentations and discussions. Simulated learning sessions in the skills laboratories are very popular.

Each year comprises 45 weeks of study (37.5 hrs per week) and 7 weeks holiday. Your time is equally divided between academic and practice-based learning. Some weeks are campus-based and others placement-based, but most will include 2 days in university and 3 days in practice.

Learning is divided into a number of units in each year. The course and assessments for each unit are planned and delivered by a small team of lecturers with the relevant expertise related to those topic areas.

Unit assessments vary and include written and multiple-choice exams, essays, case studies, poster presentations, on-line work and a skills lab-based exam. Most units of learning also include the assessment of relevant skills in practice which are carried out by the midwifery mentors during the clinical placements. All assessments must be passed in order for you to progress onto the next stage of the course and so achieve their professional registration. Course regulations govern the decision to offer a second or subsequent attempt at any failed assessment.

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

Each unit will be taught using a mixture of face-to-face lectures, small group tutorials, online learning activities, directed reading, group presentations and discussions. Simulated learning sessions in the skills laboratories are very popular.

Each year comprises 45 weeks of study (37.5 hrs per week) and seven weeks¿ holiday. Your time is equally divided between academic and practice-based learning. Some weeks are campus-based and others placement-based, but most will include two days in university and three days in practice.

Learning is divided into a number of units in each year. The course and assessments for each unit are planned and delivered by a small team of lecturers with the relevant expertise related to those topic areas.

Unit assessments vary and include written and multiple-choice exams, essays, case studies, poster presentations, online work, a viva and a skills lab-based exam.

Most units of learning also include the assessment of relevant skills in practice, which is carried out by midwifery mentors during clinical placements.

All assessments must be passed in order for you to progress onto the next stage of the course and achieve professional registration.

Course regulations govern the decision to offer a second or subsequent attempt at any failed assessment.

Course content for year 1

You will focus on on developing the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality women-centred midwifery care for women experiencing a straightforward pregnancy and birth in Year 1.

You will explore a number of key aspects of childbirth, midwifery theory and evidence-based holistic practice, as well as core topics such as microbiology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and essential communication skills.

We will also encourage you to consider some of the social factors that affect women's lives and contribute to inequalities in health for them and their families.

Areas of study include: 

  • midwifery theory and practice (antenatal, intranatal and postnatal care);
  • anatomy, physiology, microbiology and pharmacology;
  • communication skills; ¿ health inequalities, public health, infant feeding;
  • sociological and psychological theory underpinning practice;
  • women's experiences and needs during childbearing;
  • foundations for research.
Clinical placements in Year 1 focus on the development of essential midwifery skills in a range of settings including community, antenatal clinic, delivery suite and postnatal care.

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, you will build on the midwifery knowledge and skills acquired in Year 1.

You will examine the impact of complex health and social issues on women's needs, aspects of complicated childbirth and the specific roles, responsibilities and skills of midwives in these areas, including the therapeutic use of medication.

You can also develop leadership skills by completing the Manchester Leadership Programme .

Learning how to understand research will provide you with a sound foundation for critically appraising research studies as a basis for evidence-based approaches to midwifery practice.

You will study progressive models of midwifery-led care, with a focus on midwifery case holding and caseload management. Areas of study include:

  • complex childbirth and midwifery responsibilities and skills;
  • medicines management;
  • evidence-based midwifery practice;
  • models of midwifery-led care;
  • Professional leadership

You will develop practical skills in antenatal care, community placements and delivery suite, as well as in postnatal and neonatal unit/transitional care, through clinical placements in Year 2.

You will also undertake short visits or 'spoke' placements with a range of other professionals and in other healthcare settings.

Course content for year 3

In your third year, you will consolidate and extend your existing knowledge and skills to help you move into the role of the contemporary midwifery practitioner.

To do this, you will build your knowledge and skills in caseload management, clinical decision-making, responding to and managing midwifery emergency situations, and examining strategies for tackling health inequalities within the diverse population of Manchester.

The dissertation component of Year 3 focuses on the application of midwifery and health-related research to practice.

This involves a considerable piece of work that enables you to demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking skills to 'real world' challenges in midwifery practice.

Areas of study include:

  • student case holding;
  • managing midwifery emergencies;
  • promoting wellbeing for families;
  • research-based dissertation;
  •  clinical leadership in action;
  • elective opportunities to explore career options in research, international practice, education, entrepreneurship or practice development.
A full range of clinical placements are available in this final year.

Scholarships and bursaries

Fees for this course are usually paid by the NHS.

UK students starting on NHS-funded programmes after 1 September 2012 can apply annually for an  NHS Student Bursary .

UK students may also apply for a student loan . Loans are normally reduced for midwifery students, as they receive the NHS bursary.

You may also qualify for other grants and bursaries from your local education authority. The University of Manchester offers some bursaries and awards. For more information about qualifying criteria, see Student Finance .

Travel to placements can be expensive and should be included in your calculations. If you qualify for a means-tested NHS bursary, you may also be able to reclaim some of your travel costs.

At the end of the course, you may opt to complete an elective placement, overseas or in a different UK setting. You must self-fund any additional costs.

Some students have been successful in applying for funding support from The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust or The Cavell Nurses Trust .

What our students say

Our final-year midwifery students continue to indicate their very high levels of satisfaction with the programme in the National Student Survey (90-100% overall satisfaction).

This reflects our well-established culture of student-centred education, participation and partnership.

Watch videos featuring Midwifery student perspectives to find out more.

Facilities

The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work is based in a state-of-the-art building housing seminar rooms, IT facilities, clinical and interpersonal skills laboratories and lecture theatres. Midwifery students will also be taught in other facilities across the campus.

Disability support

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