Midwives play a pivotal role in supporting the health and wellbeing of women and their families during all stages of pregnancy, childbirth and the early postnatal period. They often describe their role preparing women for the delivery of new life as ‚privileged’.
Becoming a midwife means undertaking professional education at degree level. Some midwives are qualified nurses who have chosen to change career direction and undertake the extra study necessary to be registered as a midwife. Others begin their career by working their way up via support roles, such as starting as a maternity support worker, before going on to study for a midwifery degree later.
Ranked 7th for Nursing and Midwifery in the Guardian University Guide 2019, you will learn in our multi-million pound Alison Gingell Building with up-to-date equipment and simulators. This course benefits from high levels of student satisfaction – 94% overall and 99% for the quality of teaching in the latest National Student Survey (NSS).
As a midwife, you will care for childbearing women and families in a changing society and, as such, this course addresses knowledge and skills relating to contemporary midwifery practice.
In modern health and social care settings nursing and midwifery students are increasingly required to work towards becoming autonomous practitioners, taking a leadership role in decisions regarding patient care within multi-professional settings. They routinely have the most frequent and intense contact with patients and must be competent in recognising changes in patient condition so that appropriate action can be taken.
This curriculum has been developed as a spiral curriculum with assessment at it’s the core. Placing equal value on practice and theory, undertaking 800 hours of both per year, you will have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, including anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, psychology, sociology and research methods. This course will give you the opportunity to become immersed in learning about the needs of populations, individuals, related health and nursing services with an emphasis on using research to enhance and improve services.
The collaborative curriculum, which you’ll study alongside students from other health-related courses, has been developed in response to the need to produce professionals who are effective communicators, caring and compassionate, with good relationship building skills. It recognises the importance of inter-professional working within the health and social care workforce and comprises five core modules in the areas of: the foundations of communication and professionalism; the social determinants of health and wellbeing; evidence informed practice and decision making; working together to lead service improvement; and enhancing practice through evaluation and research.
Why choose this course?
Helping mothers bring new life into the world must surely be one of the most rewarding professions and a shortage of midwives in the NHS in England alone means that now more than ever they are in great demand.
While there are lots of opportunities for midwives to work on antenatal, labour and postnatal wards and neonatal units in hospitals, more midwives are also now working in the community, providing services in women’s homes, local clinics, children’s centres and GP surgeries.
This exciting course aims to prepare you for the dynamic and fast changing health and social care system, developing you into an adaptable, flexible, reflective, competent and compassionate practitioner. A key benefit of our curriculum is the notion of collaboration across all areas of health and social care: some modules are studied in conjunction with other health and social care professionals; looking at specific issues and challenges they face to broaden your knowledge and expertise.
From the outset, you’ll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced midwife, who will support you to manage a small caseload during the course. You will be encouraged to develop the clinical and care skills to become a professionally competent midwife who can soundly analyse a woman’s needs, plan an appropriate programme of care and then implement it safely, effectively and sensitively.
We emphasise a problem-solving approach, reinforced by the capacity to evaluate the best possible outcome and reflect upon personal performance. You will be taught to place the mother, baby and family at the centre of care and will operate flexibly as a member of the wider inter-professional team.
To increase your employability, the course also incorporates the theory component of the Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE), which delivers the content specific for the knowledge and skills required to cover the NHS Ante natal and New-born Screening Programme as required by the National Screening Committee.
Our links with universities in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Kenya provide opportunities for student exchanges and, through the University’s volunteering schemes, you have the chance to work overseas on ‘live’ projects such as orphanage work in Uganda. European links are also in development with potential field trips to Finland and Spain to compare health courses and nurse training globally.
International experience opportunities
Throughout the course, we provide key insights into cultural diversity and global issues of significance to public health and all fields of nursing practice. For example, we look at what it means to be culturally competent within health care today. There are also opportunities to study specific issues of interest to you, such as people trafficking, working in war torn or developing countries. Some of this is supported by guest lecturers or simulation facilitators and others through topical issues covered within the course.
Global midwifery practice will be discussed in a module on international midwifery perspectives as well as safe motherhood and the targets identified by the world Health Organisation for 2015.
For students who have performed well in their academic studies, it is possible towards the end of the second year to devise a short placement to observe midwifery and/or childbirth abroad abroad within Europe or beyond – typically three to four weeks’ duration (application and additional costs may apply). We have existing links with universities in Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Kenya, as well as agreements with several European institutions which have been utilised for incoming and outgoing student exchanges.
Students and visiting lecturers from other countries provide an input into the course, previously from areas such as Hong Kong, Japan and Africa. We also participate in a number of senior staff exchanges, for example, from India and China, and non-mobility student exchanges using technology, which can provide additional insights to students into children’s nursing in different healthcare systems.
While the course prepares students for registration with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council, this currently provides eligibility for graduates to apply for registration to practise in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
There are thousands of midwives in today’s NHS yet the continued rise in the number of births has led the Royal College of Midwives to predict a 3,500 shortfall of qualified professionals in England.
There is a strong practical emphasis on this course, with 50% of the course expected to be spent on placements. On graduating successfully from this course, you can apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (registration fee may apply), which enables you to practise immediately in either the NHS or independent practice. You’ll have an opportunity to work with a range of other professionals including gynaecologists, GPs, health visitors, neonatal nurses and maternity support workers.
As well as helping you to find suitable work placements and give you advice on how to get the most out of them, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ Employability and Placements Unit will support you when you are ready to begin your professional career.
There will be considerable opportunities for educational and professional development. Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) has always been as essential element within the role of the midwife. A range of continuing professional development modules and courses are available at Coventry University.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.