Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health MSc
2017 - 2018
Master of Science
Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health
Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health
University of Chester
University of Chester
Full-time and Part-time
Classroom / Laboratory,
Minimum of 1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)
Annual - September
Health and Social Care
Health and Social Care
QAA (2011) Benchmark for Master's Awards Health and Social Care.
NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (2004). Core Dimension 6 - Equality and Diversity has a particular bearing on the course and the learning outcomes for graduates who may well work in the NHS.
QAA Handbooks (2012-2013) B1-B10.
NIPE (2008) Newborn and Physical Examination: Standards and Competencies. London : UK National Screening Committee.
Faculty of Health and Social Care, Postgraduate Module Assessment Board.
Sunday 1st June 2014
This programme will prepare participants to progress their careers in a range of contemporary professional specialist areas related to maternal and women's healthcare delivery. The subject areas studied all focus on operating in today's world of economic challenges while continually striving to enhance the quality of these services. The programme is specifically designed for aspiring health professionals working to deliver maternal and women's healthcare in a range of environments. In particular, the programme will attract professionals working in all areas of midwifery and reproductive health.
The programme content is designed for flexible, inter-professional learning, and incorporates international, national and local policies and perspectives relating to maternal and women's healthcare. It is suitable for those wishing to accelerate their professional careers with a deeper understanding of up-to-date knowledge and skills in contemporary maternal or women's healthcare strategies. This will enable participants to function at a high level in these complex healthcare environments. To this effect, the programme offers a wide choice of contemporary subjects in maternal and women's reproductive health that is inclusive of all current national agendas. The programme's overall aims are to:
Offer a flexible, diverse and dynamic programme that prepares students to develop the qualities necessary to become effective leaders within their own professional area of midwifery or specialist women's and social care services.
Develop and promote the skills of synthesis, together with critical, analytical and reflective thinking within academic settings and a wide range of women's healthcare environments, to encourage development in others, and to promote an ethos of lifelong learning.
Enable students to consider the impact of their own professional role on their organisation, and in the wider context of women's health and social care delivery.
Enable students to be cognisant of the depth and breadth of national drivers that impact on governance and leadership strategies in healthcare settings, and to gain higher level knowledge, expertise, judgement, and decision-making and problem-solving skills.
Develop a range of analytical and methodological skills to address the multi-faceted challenges of global health in an ethically responsible manner, and contribute on a broader scale to the design, implementation and evaluation of women's health programmes.
Enhance the ability to operate effectively in delivering multi-faceted specialist care to women in an increasingly global and multicultural environment.
Develop student skills to innovate and apply contributions to the evidence base of maternity and neonatal care and the wider healthcare agenda for women.
Enable students to be proactive in recognising the need for change in the working environment and to contribute, innovate, apply best evidence to promote research-based changes in practice and communicate conclusions clearly.
Offer the opportunity for the completion of an independent research study leading to dissertation and potential for publication.
Students will be able to:
Demonstrate the ability to operate effectively in delivering multi-faceted specialist care to women in an increasingly global and multicultural environment (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Be proactive in recognising the need for change in the working environment. They will develop their analytical and methodological skills to enable them to implement new evidence-based strategies and innovations in their own specific professional field (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7036, NM7059, NM7084)
Consider and critically appraise the impact of their own professional role and that of the inter-professional team to shape service delivery across a wide range of women's healthcare environments (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Have the ability to innovate, apply and contribute to the evidence base in maternity care and the wider agenda of women's health (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Students will be able to:
Synthesise new knowledge and be able to make effective decisions and problem solve within a multi-professional team. They will have developed a higher level of knowledge within their professional field of practice and this will facilitate them to further build on their expertise (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7036, NM7084)
Graduates will have the thinking and cognitive skills to be proactive in recognising the drivers for change, and implement these effectively within their chosen field of practice (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Utilise their cognitive and higher level thinking skills to be able to critically analyse, appraise and reflect upon a wide range of women's healthcare programmes and contribute to the development of research led innovation within their field of professional practice (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084).
Students will be able to;
Utilise their clinical expertise to lead women's health or maternal health programmes based on best evidence. They will be able to effectively deliver multi-faceted specialist care to women/neonates in an increasingly multi-cultural environment (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Employ their sophisticated clinical skills to operate within their chosen field of practice to deliver and critically evaluate specialist women's health or maternity/neonatal programmes and services (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Implement their skills within a multi-professional team, utilising their sound knowledge base and highly developed communication skills (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Effectively evaluate research and apply best evidence to practice (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084).
Students will be able to;
Work with others to problem solve and effect change in their area of professional practice through utilising their highly developed communication skills (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
Develop transferable skills to a high level, and will be able to use their IT and numeracy skills to evaluate research and communicate findings effectively (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7059, NM7084)
They will be able to identify areas for development within service and programme delivery, and be able to effectively lead others (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7036, NM7059, NM7084)
Implement their skills within a multi-professional team, utilising their sound knowledge base and highly developed communication skills (MW7020, MW7021, MW7022, MW7023, MW7024, MW7025, MW7026, MW7027, NM7036 NM7059, NM7084).
The underlying philosophy of the programme is to offer a critically reflective and responsive teaching and learning experience at Level 7. The programme will be built on the student's previous graduate experience and current professional practice.
The programme can be offered on a full and part time basis to support the various stakeholder and student requirements. The programme is modular in design, and adheres to the structure benchmarked by the QAA Master's Degree Characteristics (2010) and QAA Quality Codes (2012). The programme comprises three distinct and equal parts with three exit points.
The programme contains six taught modules (6 x 20 credit modules) and a dissertation module (1 x 60 credit module). Each module in years one and two is worth 20 credits with 200 hours of associated teaching and learning activity. The final year is assigned to the research dissertation, and is worth 60 credits with 600 hours of associated teaching and learning activity.
The programme will be delivered predominantly on University premises at Chester. Some modules have an e-learning component and are designed to have a degree of flexibility in how they are delivered. Modules may be delivered singly or in parallel.
Students will complete three compulsory core modules and four option modules from a choice of eight. The option modules will be chosen depending upon each student's clinical or professional areas of interest and career pathway. Following a meeting with the Programme Leader at the start of the programme, students will be directed to either a midwifery or women's health/reproductive health focused pathway most suited to their career progression and future aspirations. The core modules will develop knowledge and skills specifically in governance, leadership and research. The option modules are designed to build on knowledge gained in the core modules, and also to develop further knowledge and skills in subject areas that are contemporary and dynamic in today's health climate. If demand for some modules at any given time is low (fewer than five students), then students may be required to choose from a smaller number of modules. This will allow modules to be delivered based on demand whilst adhering to University requirements regarding minimum numbers enrolled on a module.
The dissertation module requires the student to produce a research proposal leading to either primary empirical research or a systematic review. This is the culmination of the programme, and is an integrated piece of work of a strategic nature combining a wide range of elements from across the taught modules. It enables the participant to carry out independent research into a current health topic or innovative service development of choice, and to apply both knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues. The programme is non NMC approved and therefore the derogations referred to in this module will not apply in this instance.
There are three clear exit points that will enable participants to gain awards and leave or defer their studies. It is envisaged that the majority of students will gain the MSc in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health award. However, in line with current best practice it is recognised that with the increasing mobility of the working population studies may be disrupted or delayed by work relocations or changing personal circumstances.
For students who are unsure of their long term career pathway or the amount of postgraduate study they want to complete, exiting with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma may offer choice and flexibility. This will provide students with the opportunity to progress with their studies at a later stage, and to capitalise on the career opportunities provided by completion of the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.
Students may exit with a Postgraduate Certificate following successful completion of one core module and two option modules. There will be a choice of option modules which will accommodate various student needs depending upon career pathways in either maternal or women's health:
MW7020 Contemporary Leadership and Governance Strategy Shaping Maternal and Women's Health Care Delivery (core).
MW7021 Women's Health and the Global Agenda (option).
MW7023 Policy and Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) Innovation in Practice (option).
MW7026 Facilitating Normal Birth (option).
NM7036 Learning and Assessment in Professional Education (option).
MW7022 Critical Care in the Maternity Index (option).
MW7025 Examination and Assessment of the Newborn (option).
MW7024 Managing Obesity during the Childbirth Continuum (option)
MW7027Interprofessional management of perinatal mental health
NM7084 Independent Studies (option)
Elective module from faculty's Level 7 portfolio of provision (option); for example, NM7802 Principles of Global Health Epidemiology.
This will provide students with a total of 60 credits at Level 7, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health.
Alternatively students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma having successfully completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Certificate plus the Research module and two of the further option modules as listed above:
NM7069 Research (core).
This will provide students with a total of 120 credits at Level 7, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health.
The final exit point will lead to the award of the MSc in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health. Students will have successfully completed all of the modules required for a Postgraduate Diploma and in addition the dissertation module.
NM7059 Dissertation (core).
This will provide the students with a total of 180 credits at Level 7 and an MSc in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health.
The modules have been designed and structured to meet expectations and indicators as set out in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (Chapter, B1 Programme design, development and approval, 2013).
These will be consistent with the University's Widening Access and Participation Strategy and the QAA Handbook, chapter B2: Recruitment, Selection and Admission to Higher Education (2013).
All applicants must:
Be a registered health practitioner e.g. Registered Nurse or Registered Midwife.
Possess a first degree (minimum classification of 2:1 or equivalent), or a portfolio of evidence demonstrating personal and professional development equivalent to degree level.
Provide evidence of recent study (within the previous five years) or writing at an appropriate level.
Have at least one year's relevant workplace experience.
Have achieved IELTS level 6.5 in all areas (if relevant).
Students who lack the necessary skills for level 7 study but who wish to enrol on the programme will be directed to NM7081 Engaging with Masters Study. This will prepare students for the programme once successfully completed.
Eligibility will be determined by means of an interview with the admissions tutor, either in person or via telephone or electronic means. This will be subject to confirmation with the MSc Programme Leader. The Programme Leader will advise students regarding choice of modules on an individual basis according to their career pathway and aspirations.
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's UK Quality Code for Higher Education (QAA, 2011) and the QAA UK Quality Code for Higher Education Chapters B1-10 (QAA, 2013) has provided the framework and underpinning ethos for the development of this programme.
The subject benchmark statements from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA, 2011) apply to each of the three exit points for the MSc Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health programme. The following extracts and commentary describe the MSc end point to which the Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma build, and the table below (section 26) details how the principal outcomes apply to each level.
Firstly, from the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (2011):
Master's degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:
A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice;
A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship.
Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
Conceptual understanding that enables the student: o To evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline. o To evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:
Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.
And holders will have:
The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: o The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility. o Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations. o Independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
Much of the study undertaken for Master's degrees will have been at, or informed by, the forefront of an academic or professional discipline. Students will have shown originality in the application of knowledge, and they will understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research. They will be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, and they will show originality in tackling and solving problems. They will have the qualities needed for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, personal responsibility, and initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments.' (QAA, 2011, chapter A1, section 1.4, QAA, 2013, Chapter B4: Enabling Student Development and Achievement)
The students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes at Level 7 within a student-centred approach, aimed at fostering personal, professional and academic development. Learning and teaching methods are in line with the Faculty Teaching and Learning Strategy (2013), University guidelines (2013) and the QAA Quality Handbook, chapter B3: Learning and Teaching (2012).
Within this programme, students will study subjects according to their professional interests and career pathways. This will include examining the breadth and depth of national drivers that impact on governance and leadership strategies in healthcare settings. Additionally students will be professionally and academically developed to be proactive in identifying areas which would benefit from innovation and recognising the importance of the implementation of high quality research-based evidence within practice. A combination of teaching and learning strategies will be used with a strong emphasis on directed, self-directed and independent study tailored to meet the students' needs in practice.
A combination of the following learning and teaching methods are used:
Seminars and group discussions
Group work and presentations
Competency based activities - Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)
Employability focused activities (applied case study and in class formative assessment)
Individual and group tutorials
Writing reports (designed to practise the skills required to construct and deliver reports to senior management in the healthcare context).
Self-reflective learning diaries
Directed and independent study, e.g. using online materials
As the programme progresses the emphasis shifts from conventional knowledge acquisition to the development of concepts, the exercise of judgement and the application of skills. Delivery styles will reflect this: didactic methods will be used less and participant-centred learning processes will predominate.
Although formal teaching styles will be used where appropriate, the responsibility for learning lies with participants. The role of academic staff will be mainly that of facilitators in the learning process. Participant-centred methods will be used whenever possible. The formal teaching processes will make use of directed study, seminars, group exercises, work-based activities and case studies to inform the learning process.
The student experience will be enhanced by the use of critical reflection. A number of modules will use real scenarios generated from the practice setting which facilitate the integration of theory and practice, thus promoting the development of critical decision-making and problem-solving skills. This will encourage the development of lifelong learning. Reflective diaries will also be used for some modules to build and inform learning for the programme.
Problem-based learning is included as a teaching and learning strategy within the programme. The approach adopted within the Faculty of Health and Social Care is termed 'scenario-generated learning' and this will be used as a strategy for learning and teaching within the programme. The future aim is for all modules to be taught as a mixed mode, where students have access to learning materials through e-learning in varying proportions, from fully taught with supporting materials to full use of electronic materials with minimal taught content.
Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which at Level 7 will promote the development of critical thinking skills. Email and other electronic communication systems will facilitate the exchange of information among students and staff. This is accessible externally as well as internally to the University. Special workshops and/or weekend sessions will be arranged as the occasion and demand from students arise. Where online learning takes place, emphasis will be placed on interaction through discussion boards, reflection, module chat rooms, video conferencing, tutorials, group share and group blogs as appropriate.
The assessment strategies and methods selected for the programme are reflective of the nature of an MSc Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health student. The programme will make use of formative and summative forms of assessment, and will be derived from self, peer, mentor (leader and/or manager) and/or lecturer input. Assignments will usually be focused on application to practice and, where appropriate, case studies and simulated activities will be used to reinforce the academic and theoretical underpinnings delivered on the course. Assignments across all modules are designed so that they meet the QAA subject benchmarks (see section 25), the programme's learning outcomes (see section 26), the educational aims of the programme (see section 23) and the QAA handbook (2013) Chapter B6: Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning.
A wide range of methods will be employed in the assessment of participants to demonstrate the range of knowledge and skills needed to meet the academic requirements of the programme, including:
Writing essays that will involve skills of critical analysis, critical appraisal, critical evaluation and interpretation of international and national policy, strategy, guidelines, reports and evidence-based research
Critical reflection on work-based activities, keeping reflective diaries and reflective report writing
Development of/or evaluation of innovation in practice
Written unseen examinations
Practice-based assessment - clinical portfolio and OSCEs
Undertaking assessed presentations
Designing, formulating and producing a research proposal
Undertaking and completing an empirical piece of research.
All modules must be successfully completed in order to gain the MSc in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health qualification.
The philosophy of the MSc in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health has a strong emphasis on professionalism. It is the expectation that students will attend all lectures that have been formally agreed with the University of Chester unless they have made suitable arrangements with the Programme Leader.
Students will be expected to honour obligations to other students and staff when engaged in group work or work placements.
This award is attractive to applicants who have current midwifery, women's health and social care skills and experience, and who wish to progress their career.
This course is designed to support students who wish to move into more senior positions or progress in their established clinical or professional positions within the healthcare industry. It is also suitable for those professionals who wish to complement their previous professional or academic qualifications, or to build upon workplace experience.
The overall outcome from a student engaging with the programme of study will be a professional who is able to add value in the market place by meeting the expectations of employers, via the application of acquired transferable, integrated skills.
The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity, both as employer and as an educational institution, and has an equality and diversity policy to support this commitment.
This programme fully embraces the University's commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender, age, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins), creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles), membership or non-membership of a trade union, and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students. The objectives of the programme include ensuring all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society, and that all students can participate in programme activities to the best of their ability. The programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and that the diverse needs of our students are provided for. In addition, within this programme:
Admissions requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality.
Each module has been developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds, and the Faculty works closely with Learning Support in delivering support through learning support plans where appropriate.
Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The use of anonymous marking also enhances equal opportunity to all students.
In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met, any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curricular) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate student needs.
All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
All tutors and support staff are aware of diversity issues and discharge their roles with empathy. At induction all students are made aware of the department structures, so they can discuss issues should a concern arise. Additionally this programme is designed to address the specific needs of a diverse student body.
All students undertaking the programme will receive support and guidance through a number of service and support mechanisms within both the Faculty and the wider University:
Academic support and assessment guidance from the module leader.
Support throughout from the Programme Leader.
Support and guidance from a nominated person within the supporting organisation.
The Student Futures department, available to all University of Chester students.
The programme handbook, available on Portal (the University intranet).
Module handbooks that give more specific details of each module than contained in the module descriptor e.g. specific breakdown of content including timetabled sessions, and an updated illustrative reading list to ensure that recommended reading remains relevant and current.
Module descriptors, timetables and associated learning materials, e.g. learning packs, accessible via the intranet.
Guidance on APL/AP(E)L is available through the AP(E)L team.
The underlying philosophy of the MSc in Maternal and Women's Reproductive Health is one of self-reliance and professionalism. Students are expected to take responsibility for their continuous professional development. As such it is envisaged that students will be able to apply best practice gained on the programme to their place of work.
Quality Assurance Agency. (2011). Benchmark for Master's Awards Health and Social Care.
National Health Service Knowledge and Skills Framework. (2004). Core Dimension 6 - Equality and Diversity. (This has a particular bearing on the course and the learning outcomes for graduates who may well work in the NHS.)
Quality Assurance Agency Handbooks. (2011). A1 - A6. UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Quality Assurance Agency Handbooks. (2012-13). B1-B10. UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
Newborn & Infant Physical Examination Programme. (2008). Newborn and Physical Examination: Standards and Competencies. London: UK National Screening Committee.
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