University of Chester

Programme Specification
Midwifery BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)



University of Chester

University of Chester

Sites determined by the Faculty of Health and Social Care

Professional/ Specialist/ Community/ Advanced Practice (Nursing & Midwifery)


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years (see Section 32)

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

NMC (2009) Standards of Proficiency for Pre-registration Midwifery Education 

QAA for Healthcare Programmes: Midwifery 2001

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Undergraduate Midwifery Subject Assessment Board

Tuesday 1st May 2012

By the end of the programme, students will be able to:

  1. Perform as accountable and autonomous practitioners within health care teams or independently in accordance with: (i) European Community Midwives Directive, 80/155/EEC.

    (ii) European Community Midwives Directive, 89/594/EEC - Midwives Rules and Standards (2012) Nursing and Midwifery Council, London.

    (iii) QAA Academic and Practitioner Standards for Midwifery (QAA August 2001) - Standards of Proficiency for Pre-registration Midwifery Education (2009), Nursing and Midwifery Council, London.

    (iv) Standards to support learning and assessment in practice (2008) Nursing and Midwifery Council, London

    (v) Quality Assurance Handbook (2014) Nursing and Midwifery Council, London

    (vi) The Code Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives (2015) Nursing and Midwifery Council, London.

  2. Utilise the skills of analysis and reflection to appraise the basis of midwifery theory and practice.                         
  3. Demonstrate fitness for practice through comprehensive assessment of the needs of clients to include physical, social, psychological, spiritual and health promotion needs.                         
  4. Plan and implement evidence-based care for clients with reference to professional, multi-professional, holistic, ethical and legal frameworks within a range of healthcare settings.
  5. Demonstrate fitness for purpose through reflecting on all aspects of midwifery care, using reflective, problem solving and decision-making skills, and integrating evidence-based theory and practice.                        
  6. Demonstrate fitness for award through achievement of competencies at all levels of study within the programme, and promote the ethos of life-long learning and commitment to ongoing education and development.                      
  7. Meet professional requirements and responsibilities regarding professional conduct, accountability, ethical and legal obligations and respect for others.
  8. Participate effectively in teams and in multi-professional approaches to care, showing sound communication and interpersonal skills. 
  9. Challenge assumptions and practice, justify own practice, and initiate and participate in research-based activities.                          
  10. Demonstrate the ability to prioritise the care giving of self and others, to promote partnerships of care and to contribute to the development of quality assurance protocols. 
  11. Demonstrate leadership and autonomy in care giving and management. Offer support and guidance to others while analysing needs and abilities. 
  12. Demonstrate a proactive approach to practice with the ability to act as a role model and critically analyse and evaluate policies and protocols.

Knowledge and Understanding

Evaluatethe underpinning theoretical base ofmidwifery using a reflective framework, including:

  • Professional, legal and ethical issues.
  • Key concepts, principles and policiesrelated to midwifery care.
  • The evidence-based approach and dissemination of information.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

The ability to:

  • Analyseand evaluateself-management and direction, and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Evaluate the delivery and management of care using reflective, problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • Explore, analyse and process information applicable to their area of practice.

Practical Skills

The ability to:

  • Communicate effectively with individuals and groups.
  • Identify, analyse andintegrate appropriateevidence to underpinpractice.
  • Select and utilise effective midwifery skills.
  • Demonstrate accountability and responsibility when undertaking the delivery of midwifery care

Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

The ability to:

  • Communicate effectively at both individual and group levels.
  • Select and utilise appropriate technologies to process information.
  • Work collaboratively within an inter-professional environment.
  • Apply and evaluate literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Identify and utilise a self-directed approach to learningin both formal and informal environments.
  • Develop a logical approach to problem-solving in a caring environment.

Transferable Professional Skills

The ability to:

  • Communicate effectively at both individual and group levels.
  • Select and utilise appropriate technologies to process information.
  • Apply and evaluate literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Work collaboratively within an inter-professional environment.
  • Identify and utilise a self-directed approach to learningin both formal and informal environments.
  • Apply evidence-based practice.

The programme is informed by the validation requirements of the NMC and University of Chester. The programme conforms to the NMC requirement to equal no less than three years' full time study and no more than seven years' part time study. This requires a total of 5062.5 hours, 50% of which are theory and 50% practice. Each module within the programme is worth 20 credits with 200 hours of associated teaching and learning, except for the double modules which are 40 credits with 400 hours of teaching and learning.   

The programme is linked to a Higher Education accreditation system, with existing mechanisms for the award of credit for appropriate learning and prior experiential learning, although at present AP(E)L is not permitted in midwifery programmes. No student may seek an award for completion of the modules comprising this programme without having been registered for the qualification and having engaged with all the appropriate programme admissions procedures. Through this, the graduate will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in their chosen field of employment. The graduate will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively. An Honours graduate should have the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances. They will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making, and be fit for practice, purpose and award. 

The modules have internal integrity and are linked together to form a coherent programme of learning.

Year 1

The underpinning principles for the first year of the programme are to introduce the student to normal midwifery and the acquisition of appropriate skills for practice. MW4103 Normal Midwifery Care module focuses on the care required by women during pregnancy, intrapartum and postnataly, and MW4104 Skills for Midwifery Practice module focuses on the specific skills required for delivering midwifery care. Initially, students will have the opportunity to practise skills within a dedicated skills laboratory, prior to gaining skill in the live situation. Students are focused towards the concepts of normal midwifery and management of care, underpinned by  MW4100 and MW4101 Applied Sciences in Midwifery Practice  I and II modules which give an holistic approach to anatomy and physiology, all applied to midwifery practice. There will be an introduction to public health role of the midwife in MW4102 Health Promotion and Public Health in Midwifery Practice including the way midwives work interprofessionally. Key skills are taught via a dedicated module.

The NMC Standards practice assessment document sits within MWX400 a non credit bearing module, which students must pass in order to progress to level 5 studies.

All modules studied in year one are at academic level 4.

Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4 may exit at the end of year one with a Certificate in Higher Education - Health Care Studies.

Year 2

During year two, the acquisition of midwifery-specific skills will continue, with the focus on MW5102 Maternity Complications and Emergencies and MW5105 Medical Disorders in Pregnancy. The expanding role of the midwife in other aspects of health is a major part of this year, with student placements and modules relating to neonatal care (MW5101), reproductive and sexual health (MW5100) included in addition to midwifery placements. Legal and ethical issues will be studied (MW5103), integrated with midwifery theory, and students will have the opportunity to analyse the evidence base for practice. A dedicated module on neonatal nutrition (MW5104) is offered which has recently gained full accreditation from the Baby Friendly Initiative.

The NMC Standards practice assessment document sits within MWX500 a non credit bearing module, which students must pass in order to progress to level 6 studies.

All modules are at academic level 5.

Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 may exit at the end of year two with a Diploma in Higher Education - Health Care Studies.

Year 3

Acquisition of specific midwifery skills will continue, and be completed during this year. The practice focus of this year is the development of a skilled, accountable practitioner, who has the competencies for admission to the NMC register (MW6200). Professional development is a major focus during this year with case-loading, international perspectives, risk management, management issues and team-working included in (MW6202). (MW6201) Governance Driving Maternity Services provides a political awareness of the development of initiatives within maternity services, and an overview of clinical governance and quality frameworks. Research in Context (MW6203) provides the student with a systematic breakdown and application of the research process, in preparation for the final module (MW6204) which is a double module, where a research proposal is prepared and submitted as a dissertation.

The NMC Standards practice assessment document sits within MWX600 a non credit bearing module, which students must pass in order to achieve a BSc (Hons) Midwifery and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council .

All modules are at academic level 6.

Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4, 120 credits at level 5 and 120 credits at level 6, will exit the programme with a BSc (Hons) Midwifery.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
MW4100 4 Applied Sciences in Midwifery Practice 1 20 Comp
MW4101 4 Applied Sciences in Midwifery Practice 2 20 Comp
MW4102 4 Health Promotion and Public Health in Midwifery Practice 20 Comp
MW4103 4 Normal Midwifery Care 20 Comp
MW4104 4 Skills for Midwifery Practice 20 Comp
MW4105 4 Key Skills for Midwifery 20 Comp
MW5100 5 Sexual Health and the Role of the Midwife 20 Comp
MW5101 5 Care of the Newborn Infant 20 Comp
MW5102 5 Maternity Complications and Emergencies 20 Comp
MW5103 5 Professional Issues in Midwifery 20 Comp
MW5104 5 Neonatal Nutrition 20 Comp
MW5105 5 Medical Disorders in Pregnancy 20 Comp
MW6200 6 The Accountable Midwife 20 Comp
MW6201 6 Governance Driving Maternity Services 20 Comp
MW6202 6 Preparation for Professional Practice 20 Comp
MW6203 6 Research in Context 20 Comp
MW6204 6 Research Proposal 40 Comp

Year One comprises of 6 x 20 credit modules, which equates to 120 credits at level 4. On successful completion of 120 credits at level 4 the exit award is a Certificate in Higher Education Health Studies (without midwifery registration).
YearTwo comprises of 6 x 20 credit modules, which equates to 120 credits at level 5. On successful completion of 120 credits at level5 the exit award is aDiploma in Higher Education Health Studies (without midwifery registration).
YearThree comprises of4 x 20 credit modules and one 40 credit module,which equates to 120 credits at level 6. Students are awarded a BSc (Hons) Midwifery and registration on the Midwifery part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.


Please note, that having been granted derogation from the University Regulations, the following applies to this programme:-

Students must pass every component and module, with a minimum mark of 40%

Applicants must comply with the guidance from the NMC with regard to admission to a programme of midwifery education. Applications are encouraged from mature students and from groups normally under-represented in higher education. Applicants are invited to attend for interview following scrutiny of their application form and based on their academic qualifications. Prior to the interview commencing the candidates will sit a numeracy test and a literacy exercise, which addresses issues of caring and compassion. The candidates must score 4 and above in the numeracy test in order to progress to the individual interviews.The interview, conducted by a member of academic staff and a representative from clinical practice, will seek to assess the candidates' communication skills, knowledge of the role of the midwife,  understanding about the 6 C's and their application to practice, motivation and aptitude for midwifery.

Applicants for the BSc (Hons) Midwifery require a minimum of 5 passes at GSCE, one of which should be English and one Mathematics, and also require 300 UCAS points, of which 200 points should be obtained from GCE or VCE A levels. Students now commencing studies must have a Biology A level or its equivalent. Details of equivalent courses can be obtained from Admissions.

The Faculty of Health and Social Care facilitates a widening of access to its programmes by accepting that qualification points for entry may be met by ‘a combination or range of educational, vocational and access qualifications, which would indicate that the candidate has undertaken a substantial course of study'. (NMC circulars will advise future qualification requirements.)

Midwifery is both mentally and physically demanding, and the good character and health of all successful applicants will be assessed to establish fitness to undertake midwifery education. The Occupational Health departments of our partnership NHS trusts examine and assess the health of all candidates to ensure that they are physically fit to commence the programme. In addition, each candidate must be declared 'fit' in accordance with the Clothier report recommendations. This is normally done via a letter from the candidates' GP.  An enhanced CRB check is also required prior to commencing the programme.

The following benchmarks have been mapped to the modules to ensure that national quality frameworks have been met: The NMC Standards of Proficiency, Standards for pre-registration midwifery education (, and QAA Midwifery subject benchmarks which are available on the QAA website ( They represent the general expectations of standards for the award of qualifications at a given level, and articulate the attributes and capabilities that should be demonstrated by a registered midwife.

Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used to meet the programme learning outcomes.

  • Formal lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Group work
  • Discussion
  • Concept mapping
  • Poster and seminar presentations
  • Work-based learning
  • E-learning, blended learning
  • Enquiry-based learning
  • Project work
  • case discussions
  • Action learning sets
  • Experiential learning sets
  • Demonstrations, skills drills and simulations, service users and clinical persepctives
  • Learning in practice environment
  • Self-directed learning
  • Inter-professional learning is a key feature within the programme
  • Peer learning will be encouraged throughout

Inter-professional learning is addressed in theory by E-learning and in practice it is formally assessed with the Portfolio of Practice Learning and the NMC Standards of Proficiency.

The faculty has for some years included local service users from the Forum of Carers and Users of Services (FOCUS) (aregional group of service users) in planning and delivering the curriculum. FOCUS has made suggestions regarding the most appropriate ways to include service users and carers in the delivery of the curriculum. Strategies used will include direct teaching, reflection on service user/carer, personals tories, video diaries, blogs and guided reflections.

Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which will promote development of the reflective thinking skills required to address practice issues.

Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. Examples include assignments, powerpoint seminar presentations, individual case studies, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), unseen written examination, multiple choice examinations, care plans, workbooks, research critique and a research proposal.

 Knowledge and understanding will be tested through written assignments, powerpoint seminar presentations, examination, workbooks and individual case studies. Intellectual skills will be assessed normally through coursework, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments, examinations, powerpoint seminar presentations, individual case studies and reflective accounts. Practical skills will be assessed through OSCEs, Portfolio of Practice Learning and the Standards document, practice will be marked and graded, as required by the NMC. All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, are mapped against national benchmarks.

A detailed Scheme of Assessment may be found in the Programme Handbook.


Graduate characteristics


The programme clearly offers students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a graduate, with assessment criteria based on the QAA and the University of Chester documents which define these characteristics at level 6.


Demonstrate reasoning with regard to complex issues which shows a suitability to explore and develop alternative solutions.



Acquisition of knowledge that is at the forefront of at least some aspects of the subject, and which is informed substantially by current research or other advanced scholarship. Apply the methods, techniques, and modes of practice that they have learned and review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding.



Conceptual understanding that enables the student to describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship, in the subject. Demonstrate appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.


Theory/practice link

Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of relevant knowledge and applicable techniques enabling them to take initiatives and accept significant responsibility within organisations.



Demonstrate critical analysis and be able to deal with complex issues.


Problem solving

Consider abstract data, concepts and/or raw materials and frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution, or identify a range of solutions to a problem.


Evaluating evidence and argument

Demonstrate an ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry.


Reaching sound judgements

Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate current research methodology and scholarship.



Demonstrate an ability to communicate ideas problems and solutions in a variety of formats appropriate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences



The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

For full time students the programme must be completed within five years of commencement in line with NMC regulations, and for part-time students, within seven years of commencement.

The nutrition module MW5104 within the programme has been fully accredited by the Baby Friendly Initiative.

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