Midwifery is a career ideal for hard-working individuals who can work well under pressure for long periods of time. 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.
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.
Furthermore, particular degree 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.
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. It doesn’t matter which degree a student chooses to take, except that they should check that the degree 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 (Learn more – What if my course has placement).
The first year of the degree provides a solid foundation in key areas of study and aim to build 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.
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.
Candidates will learn how to provide health care 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Students can obtain a postgraduate qualification allowing them to teach others in the subject area.
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