Subject Guide

Midwifery Degree

Uni Compare  · Oct 7th 2020

Midwifery is a career ideal for hard-working individuals who can work well under pressure for long periods of time.

Midwife practising on dummy

On completing a midwifery degree, UK students can register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This professional registration allows you to begin working as a midwife straight away, which is what the vast majority of graduates with a midwifery degree go on to do (it’s a vocation based degree so the primary career route after graduating is to become a midwife).

What is an MBA?

What can I do with a midwifery degree?

Because it’s such a specific role, some students choose to study a foundation year such as health science before embarking on their full midwifery programme. Students on a midwifery foundation degree or a midwifery degree online may find that the more generalised healthcare topics in their foundation year set them on a different course or a different foundation degree midwifery, so they might choose to change which BSc they go on to study or which online midwifery degree they want to look into.

Midwives are trained to look after expectant and delivering mothers, rather than the babies themselves, so a midwifery degree UK would be the wrong route for someone hoping to work on the premature baby ward, or similar.

A midwife can work in a variety of settings, from GP practices to home visits and deliveries, to midwife-led birthing centres or on more traditional hospital wards (prenatal, delivery ward, or post-natal ward). You might even consider charity work abroad. A midwifery degree London, Aberdeen or Salisbury graduate should all have the same career opportunities, as babies are born everywhere!

After your main midwifery degree, you might choose to continue studying for a while. If a midwife decided not to stay on in the profession, though, there are several other jobs that they would be well-qualified to consider and a midwifery degree apprenticeship or a part time midwifery degree (and there are plenty of part time midwifery degree courses, so speak to your university about a midwifery degree part time). We’ll look at these more in the next section, ‘What can you do with a midwifery degree?’

What can you do with a midwifery degree?

Almost all graduates with a midwifery degree go on to become midwives, but there are various other opportunities that would complement a midwife’s skillset.

Taking a less medical role, a midwife might choose to become a doula or birthing partner, which may potentially require a masters degree in midwifery as well, although it’s not essential to have a midwifery masters degree. This is an increasingly popular element of the birthing process, and most women would feel extra reassured if their doula was medically qualified. Similarly, a health visitor role involves the expertise and advocacy developed as a midwife.

You could deliver pregnancy and birthing classes either privately or through an organisation such as the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). This role involves teaching women about breathing techniques, birthing positions, healthy eating, and what to expect during labour and taking care of a newborn.

Alternatively, a role as a care worker would make good use of the empathy, communication skills and medical expertise gained in a midwifery degree. If you enjoy writing, then the subject knowledge and communication skills from your degree could enable you to become a health writer for journals, textbooks, NHS guides etc.

Finally, with a strong understanding of patients’ needs, you might consider entering politics or the public sector to make a difference on a larger scale, which is also covered on a foundation degree in midwifery.

It is a very rewarding career as it involves welcoming new life into the world and preparing mothers for one of the most important days of their life. Midwifery focuses on both antenatal (pre-birth) and postnatal (post-birth) care.

Midwifery is concerned with all aspects of childbearing and every stage of a woman’s pregnancy and birth.

What A Levels do I need?

Each university will ask for varying grades that are essential to gaining admission to a midwifery course, from 280 UCAS tariff points, which is equivalent to BBC grades, to another institution, most likely the Russell Group universities, which will ask for AAA. Midwifery, which is similar to medicine and nursing due to its concern regarding healthcare, is a tough course to study and requires lots of hard work, dedication and smarts.

Students are advised to check with their universities and chosen courses to establish what prerequisite grades they need to acquire prior to applying, to ensure they get a place on the course and to find out more about midwifery degree funding and the general cost of midwifery degree.

Furthermore, particular degree in midwifery UK programmes require prospective candidates to obtain decent grades in specific subjects, such as a ‘related’ science subject, including health and social care, psychology, biology or chemistry. However, students can phone the university, check the institution profile or refer to the paper prospectus to check the requirements listed and see what the midwifery degree requirements are.

What are my study options?

There are two main types of degree programmes available in this subject area: a Bachelor’s of Science (BSc) and a Bachelors of Midwifery (BMid/BMidwif) degree, but not just any pre-registration Midwifery degree. It doesn’t matter which degree a student chooses to take, except that they should check that the midwifery degree course they are researching is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and leads to a qualified midwife status. This status will allow graduates to practice in the UK or abroad within the world of midwifery.

The majority of midwifery courses are three years in length, although some universities will offer a programme that is longer due to part-time study, which includes theory and practical work and takes longer to complete. Midwifery part-time degrees tend to involve students working a certain number of hours on a placement at a hospital or ward every term, and these contact hours are assessed as part of the course.

What is an MBA?

What should I expect from studying Midwifery?

The first year of the degree provides a solid foundation in key areas of study and aim to build an individual's knowledge of the subject. Clinical skills and midwifery care modules prepare students for placements and biology modules, underpin the physiological changes that childbirth brings.

Can I do a midwifery degree part time?

It is possible, this means that your course will be a bit longer than the usual three years that it takes for a Midwifery degree, but you will be able to still work part-time or take care of any other needs without any further complications.

How will I be assessed?

Depending on what type, of course, individuals choose, the majority of courses will assess students through written and practical methods, including examinations, coursework, presentations, case studies and practical assessments.

How long is a Midwifery degree?

A Midwifery degree is usually around three years, but if you study Midwifery at a Masters level, it can take a bit longer, as you will be studying the course at a postgraduate level, which is a little different to what you're used to at an undergraduate level or any other kinds of postgraduate midwifery degree courses or a master degree midwifery.

What skills will I learn from studying Midwifery?

Candidates will learn how to provide healthcare for women before, during and after birth, as well as delivering babies, caring for them immediately after birth and the care needed after that. Students will also develop skills in communication which are vital for their contact with women, the babies and their families.

Students who attend university also gain transferable skills which they can utilise throughout all aspects of their life, especially employment, such as organisation and time-management skills from working to deadlines and completing coursework and social skills through working with others and group work.

Because it’s such a specific role, some students choose to study a foundation year such as health science before embarking on their full midwifery programme.

Why study Midwifery?

Midwifery is concerned with all aspects of childbearing and every stage of a woman’s pregnancy and birth. This course is ideal for those that have an interest in childcare, and children and wish to study the subject further. There will always be a need for graduates in this area too, meaning there will be employment opportunities after obtaining the degree; you'll also be asked about these in your entrance interview among other midwifery degree interview questions.

What happens after I graduate?

Graduates will register with the NMC allowing them to practice anywhere in the United Kingdom, including private hospitals and clinics, or to work for the National Health Service (NHS). Alternatively, individuals may choose to work abroad, or to volunteer in a developing country where maternal care is not only as advanced but in dire need. Others decide to study a postgraduate course which directs them towards the path of becoming an academic, lecturer, or the training of midwifery.

Will it help me get a job?

If the course is NMC accredited, then yes, it will provide graduates with all the qualifications, knowledge and experience they need to obtain employment in the career sector. Nursing and Midwifery degree programmes that do not lead to qualified midwife status may not prove as useful as students of these types of degrees won’t be allowed to practice in the UK or internationally, and may need to complete a separate course to gain this status.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Midwifery?

There are a lot of jobs with a midwifery degree apart from stating the obvious, but a fully qualified midwife is the primary and direct employment opportunity that graduates choose. If students gain a postgraduate qualification, they will be able to train other undergraduates in midwifery, but only if they are doing a postgraduate degree in midwifery.

What can I study after Midwifery?

Students can obtain a postgraduate qualification allowing them to teach others in the subject area.

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