On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.
You can view information on our facilities and take a 360 tour of our simulation suites here.
Introduction to Professional Practice: You’ll be introduced to the framework that will guide your practice as a midwife, including the professional, legal and ethical codes of practice. You’ll also start to learn key communication skills.
Antenatal and Postnatal Care of Mother and Baby 1: This unit explores how the body’s systems change during the pregnancy and postnatal periods; focusing on an uncomplicated antenatal and postnatal experience. You’ll also learn how to support infant feeding.
Antenatal and Postnatal Care of Mother and Baby 2: Building on the unit above, you’ll explore more complicated procedures if the mother or baby deviates from the normal antenatal spectrum. This unit also teaches you about postnatal screening for women and their babies.
Labour and Birth: This practical unit explores the role of the midwife in providing holistic care for mothers and their newborn during a normal birth. You’ll also learn the professional and legal dimensions of care during labour and birth.
Health and Wellbeing 1: You’ll be introduced to aspects of wellbeing and health for the mother, infant and/or family. You’ll reflect on services provided to enhance the wellbeing of mothers and babies using experiences from professional practice. You will also begin to learn the evidence based knowledge and skills essential to provide infant feeding support underpinned by the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).
Clinical Practice 1: This unit will prepare you for clinical practice, introducing fundamental midwifery skills and underpinning theory and highlighting the role and responsibilities of student midwives.
Pathophysiology: You’ll learn genetics and the pathological and pregnancy-related conditions of mothers and neonatal conditions and the impact they might have on the woman and her family.
Caseloading practice: This unit will prepare you for caseloading, multidisciplinary working and autonomous woman-centered practice.
Medicines Management: You will develop an understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics underpinning medicine management. You will be required to demonstrate your ability to meet the standards of numeracy required to safely administer medicines medicines.
Health and Wellbeing 2: This unit will enable you to develop awareness of global issues related to the health and wellbeing of mothers and their families, exploring epidemiological trends and psychosocial determinants of health.
Clinical Practice 2: In this unit you will develop your skills and competencies in professional practice through inter disciplinary working.
Exploring and Evaluating Evidence: This unit will introduce you to various approaches of enquiry and knowledge production, and how different philosophical assumptions shape claim to knowledge.
- Preparing for your Service Improvement Project: An opportunity to develop an original and in-depth Service Improvement Project action plan for your profession.
- Complex Care: This unit will teach you how to assess risk in order to plan and prioritise the care of women and their babies who have complications that may occur in the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods.
- Health Leadership and Innovation: During this unit you’ll illustrate analytical understanding regarding personal and professional leadership and its transformatory potential in the provision of midwifery care/ services.
- Service Improvement Project: This group project will explore a service area of health care where you can enhance the experiences of people using the service.
- Clinical Practice 3: In this unit you will enhance your skills enabling you to become a safe, autonomous and competent practitioner eligible for entry on to the professional register.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for PGDip Midwifery.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
The course is designed with blocks of theory and practice throughout the three years. This means you will gain clinical experience in all aspects of midwifery practice. Your first placement will typically be in the community or a birth centre and starts in week seven of the course.
Other clinical experience will include neonatal care, gynaecology and theatre and throughout the course you will have the opportunity to organise a number of visits to areas/organisations of interest to you, in relation to public health, such as: Sure Start programmes, National Childbirth Trust, health promotion departments, etc.
If you are based in Bournemouth, your clinical placements will be located in Poole, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Dorchester, Yeovil, Basingstoke or Winchester. For those based in Portsmouth, placement localities are Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight or Basingstoke.
What hours do you work?
When on placement you will experience the full 24 hour shift pattern to include 12-13 hour shifts, weekends and night shifts. You will follow the shift pattern of your allocated placement mentor, which means you cannot chose which days you work. Although this does involve some weekend working, it is highly unlikely that you will be working every weekend.
Due to placement availability, the offered place is in the same clinical locality for three years. You will be assigned midwife ‘link’ tutors who will provide support during both theoretical and practical experience.
Placements and travel costs
Your learning will be based at our Lansdowne Campus or at our Portsmouth sub-campus, while clinical placements will be in a variety of places within Dorset and Somerset, in order to provide the necessary breadth of experience. This will involve some travel, and may require you to find short-term accommodation in order to participate in block placements. Although your term time address and method of transport are taken into consideration when allocating your placements there is an expectation that all students will have to travel up to 40 miles to reach their placements. Due to the more rural nature of some of the placements you may be required to travel further.
Your placement travel expenses will be reimbursed from the Department of Health and Student Finance England.
If the placement locality you have been assigned is outside of the BH postcode area (e.g. Salisbury, Dorchester or Yeovil), you may be eligible for support for travelling to Bournemouth to study. Criteria and detailed information on the support available can be found here.
Each of our NHS-funded training courses contains a significant amount of placement experience, with this often being undertaken in outlying areas rather than solely in towns/cities. You need to consider this when making your application and be clear about what you will be undertaking. If your placement locality is to be assigned for the full length of the course, i.e. for Nursing, Midwifery and ODP, you will need to consider the realities of training within that geographical area and be specific about which would be suitable for you – whilst being flexible may in some circumstances increase your chances of success, being unrealistic will lead to problems. Don't forget to ensure that you take note of the locality you have been assigned when you receive your offer letter and arrange your accommodation accordingly.
You can find out more about our placement locations here.
Background and experience
We are looking for applicants who:
- Have a clear understanding of the profession, including insight into the role of the midwife
- Are motivated and committed to undertaking the course
- Can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to succeeding on the course, including time management and communication skills
We understand the difficulty in gaining experience within a Midwifery setting, and suggest the following examples of how you may gain insight into the role of a midwife: talking to midwives, talking to women who run support groups relating to breastfeeding, child health, or family care, reading relevant Midwifery journals - for example ‘The Practising Midwife’ - and accessing relevant websites such as the NHS Careers website.
You will need to demonstrate that you currently have the skills to study at a higher education level. Evidence of recent study could be via a formal qualification or work-based activities completed in the last three years. Bournemouth University sets its own academic entry criteria using the Nursing and Midwifery Council minimum entry requirements as a base and there is strong competition for places.
In the healthcare sector IT is now a vital tool for accessing and maintaining client records, accessing literature to client care and conducting clinically-related research. As a student you will receive an introduction to IT near the beginning of your course and you will be provided with computer access and your own email address. During the course you will be expected to use your developing IT skills to produce assignments, to conduct literature searches, and to use client-related record systems in the clinical setting.
Our courses are built around the NHS constitution values, and when assessing your application we will take these values into consideration:
- Working together for patients
- Respect and dignity
- Commitment to quality of care
- Improving lives
- Everyone counts.
Find out more about the NHS Constitution principles.
We’ll use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.
When do you find out if you have been successful?
For those who do attend an Applicant Selection Day, your file will be reviewed and a decision will be made on whether to offer you a place on the programme. Only once we have completed all interview days will applicants be selected, and offers will be made through the UCAS system. Decisions are typically made and updated on UCAS by the end of March.
You can find further information about interviews with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences here.
In addition to the reference on your UCAS form, once we’ve received your application we will contact you to ask for a second reference; this can be a different teacher/ lecturer, employer or person who knows you in a professional capacity.
Full entry requirements
The normal requirements for embarking upon this course are:
- A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in any subject.
International entry requirements
Due to the association with the National Health Service (NHS) and restrictions on funding and placements, non-EU students are not eligible to apply for this course.
However if you have been educated overseas but have unlimited leave to remain in the UK you may be eligible to apply for the course. Your application will be assessed as an international student, more information and specific entry requirements can be found below.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
- IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading.
View further information about our English language requirements.
You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.
Language testing applicants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the USA
All overseas applicants are required to meet the NMC standard for English language regardless of where they come from. This makes sure that all applicants meet the same standard in a system that is equitable, fair and non-discriminatory. There are no current plans by the NMC to waive the IELTS requirements for these countries.
Occupational Health (OH) Checks
Midwifery is physically and mentally demanding and you will need to be mentally and physically able to undertake your chosen course. Places are offered subject to passing an OH check, and this will be carried out at the University Hospital Southampton. Health conditions need to be dealt with on an individual basis e.g. deafness, blindness, eczema (or other dermatological allergic reactions) on exposed areas, epilepsy, back problems, or mental health conditions, eating disorders and other disabilities. These do not automatically exclude you but please ensure that you fully disclose your condition to OH. The University can then consider the recommendations made by OH and whether reasonable adjustments can be made to support you on your chosen course. If you require more guidance please contact us for more information.
You will be required to provide a record of your immunity status or be vaccinated or have the required blood tests. Please see this table for the required immunisations. You may need to ask your GP or current OH department or find your childhood vaccination record for details of your past immunisation records. You should be aware that there may be charges made (for which you will be liable) relating to your gaining the appropriate immunity required prior to starting your training programme.
Students who refuse immunisations, or who cannot be immunised for medical reasons, will be reviewed on an individual basis by occupational health. Refusal to have immunisations may result in the student not being allowed to attend practice placement and being withdrawn from the course. There is no opportunity to appeal against the requirements of the immunisation policy.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously known as CRB)
All successful applicants will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barred List check; this will be a condition of offer and will need to be completed prior to commencing the course. Please see the Government website for the most up to date information.
- BSc (Hons) students in professional/managerial job six months after graduation: 97%*
After completing this course, you will possess the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary for embarking on a rewarding career in midwifery.
Career progression may ultimately lead to you becoming a:
- Community midwife
- Consultant midwife
- Senior practitioner
- Team or unit manager
- Neonatal nurse.
Industries Worked In
- NHS (hospital and community)
- Private and independent health care sector (nursing homes and private hospitals)
- Academic research
If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Postgraduate Diploma you can look into our range of Master's programmes.
*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
Our midwifery course is delivered at both our Lansdowne Campus, Bournemouth and St Mary’s Community Health Campus, Portsmouth. Our Lansdowne campus is located in Bournemouth town centre housing all of our Faculty of Health & Social Sciences students.
Our campus in Portsmouth forms part of St. Mary’s Hospital which is a component of Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust. Occupying a floor of the hospital, you will have a very practical experience benefitting from a dedicated teaching environment of lecture theatres, seminar rooms and practice simulation suites while being based in a hospital setting. Watch our video about studying at our Portsmouth campus. Visit the hospital website for directions to this campus.
An experienced midwife and lecturer, Carol is the Lead Midwife for Education for Bournemouth University and Co-Head of Education for the Department of Human Sciences and Public Health. She holds a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Carol lead a third year pre-registration midwifery unit focusing on research and teach across the spectrum of pre and post registration and postgraduate midwifery. In her role as a clinical link tutor she practises and supports students in community, birth centre and hospital environments.
Her PhD research examined associations between the way in which women process the emotions of childbirth and the emergence of postnatal depression. Other research interests include education development, curriculum planning, postnatal care and perinatal mental health. She supports a number of doctoral students, looking at obesity, models of postnatal care, the use of a decision app in birthplace choices and experiences of immigrant women in Alberta, Canada.
Catherine is proud to have once been a Bournemouth University midwifery student herself! She worked in practice before undertaking her PhD, after which she became a midwifery lecturer and researcher. She is currently Programme Lead for the Midwifery programmes. She teaches a diverse number of subjects across the programme including evidence based practice, fetal monitoring and aspects of postnatal care. She also co-leads the Faculty’s inter-professional research unit.
Her research interests include education and learning, practice development and infant feeding. She supports a number of PhD students, researching midwifery care and infant health in the UK and in Nepal.
Luisa was a nurse (trained in South Africa) prior to undertaking midwifery training in the UK. From that moment on, she never looked back as she loved midwifery. Over the years she has specialised as a premature baby midwife working to support mothers and their partners to care for their sick newborn babies in neonatal intensive care units. Her knowledge and expertise is now focused around enhancing student learning around women who become premature mothers and caring for their babies. She has recently completed her PhD which used a feminist lens to explore women’s experiences of caring for their late preterm babies. Her other interests lie in examination of the newborn which she teaches regularly to midwives and student midwives. Her research interests revolve around women’s experiences, preterm issues, practice development and examination of the newborn.
Julia has a wide variety of clinical experience in hospital, community, midwifery-led and independent team midwifery both in the UK and in South Africa where she also lectured at the University of Cape Town. She was a lead researcher on a large scale randomised controlled trial on the management of the third stage of labour and my PhD was a Discourse analysis of blood loss in normal childbirth. She is particularly interested in maintaining normality in maternity care, promoting continuity of care and thinking about midwifery from an international perspective.
Michelle has worked as a lecturer/practitioner at Bournemouth since 2014. She has worked as an Independent Midwife for 17 years working in partnership with women and supporting them in their informed decision-making. Particular areas of interest for her are facilitating and supporting physiological birth, homebirth, waterbirth and breastfeeding. She is currently undertaking research for a PhD exploring Independent Midwives’ practice.
Alison has thirty years of clinical experience, working in all aspects of clinical practice. Areas of scholarship include infant feeding and using audio visual data in research and education. She is lead lecturer for infant feeding on a number of health programmes and successfully directed the curriculum so that BU has achieved the UNICEF Baby Friendly Award for University standards for the BSC (Hons) Midwifery programme. Her PhD explored mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding recorded in video diaries. She is currently midwifery lead for a joint inter-professional newborn feeding clinic at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic where student midwives and chiropractic interns work together to support breastfeeding mothers and babies.
Susan has been a midwife since 1981, practicing mainly in a consultant led unit, providing low and high care. Susan is an experienced midwife and teacher and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has been teaching on the undergraduate and post-registration programmes for some years. She is currently working towards a PhD and her study, a narrative inquiry, aims to explore the experiences of newly qualified Sign-off Midwife Mentors. This links with her teaching role in post registration education around mentorship. Other interests involve a Masters study exploring clinicians’ experience of the Zavanelli Manoeuvre and an interest in the management of physiological breech birth and pre-eclampsia.
Current research interests revolves around Sign-off Midwife Mentorship (and the experience of newly qualified sign-off midwife mentors).
Debee has been a registered midwife since 1986 mainly working at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital midwifery led unit from 1992 – 2004 as a registered midwife and clinical coordinator. Working in a midwife led unit resulted in a reappraisal of her philosophy of midwifery and consequently she has a keen interest in facilitating normal birth. During my time at Bournemouth she completed her advanced diploma in nursing and her Bsc (Hons) midwifery practice which led her into education and her consequent post as a midwifery lecturer. While at the university Debee has been involved in numerous units but currently leads on the year 2 medicine management unit which inspired her to enrol on the Professional Doctorate in October 2013. The focus of her research is around medicine management in midwifery and the title is ‘An interpretive phenomenological study exploring midwives experiences of medicine management in contemporary UK midwifery practice to enhance safety’. She has now completed her progression transfer and is starting to interview midwives. The rationale for her doctorate is that there is limited research into midwives and medicines and that due to the complexity of the childbirth continuum, pharmaceuticals, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and therapeutics are increasingly part of a registered midwives every day practice, therefore midwives need evidence based knowledge to ensure women’s care is not compromised.
Denyse is a registered midwifery lecturer teaching midwifery two days per week, and a registered public health practitioner, working two days per week for her local Public Health Department.
She is currently researching the effectiveness of MaCO as a learning experience from learners ranging from nursery nurses through healthcare students, and qualified professionals such as school nurses, health visitors, midwives and GPs.
Jane has been a practicing midwife for 29 years. The majority of this practice has centred in the community due to a passion for enabling women to experience normal birth and holistic care.
Her scholarship in education is linked with student caseloading and she has lead and assisted with the student caseloading project at Bournemouth University which has attracted national and international interest and has resulted in a number of commissioned publications and conferences. This interest and scholarship is linked to her belief that students can truly learn to appreciate and promote woman-centred car through such an educational initiative, she also regularly caseloads women in her local practice area. Her scholarship in practice is focused on the provision of woman centred care and promotion of salutogenesis, holism and normality of birth. Her research interests and publication areas of physiological birth and intuition as an authoritative form of knowledge reflect these ideals. Her methodological scholarship is centred in phenomenology.
EdD RM ADM MSc (Reproduction & Health) PGDip(HE)
Jenny has been involved in the NHS for over 35 years having trained initially at the Middlesex hospital in London and then as a midwife in the East of England. She has written widely around midwifery subjects, with particular interest in spirituality related to childbirth and midwifery. Her research interests are holism, spirituality, normality of midwifery and birth, dignity of care, arts-based methods and education in relation to midwifery.
Lesley's work continues, in conjunction with Global Library of Women's Medicine (GLOWM), Lectures from Plymouth University and The Royal College of Midwives, in producing APS for teaching and updating Midwives working in resource poor settings.
During her time as a staff midwife her interest in community services became a passion and she took a role as a community midwife within the New Forest area in 1987. Here her focus on normality and continuity enabled women to be cared for throughout antenatal through labour and birth and onto postnatal episodes within a model of shared caseloading with a small team of midwives. Women were able to birth at home, at local birth centres and at the maternity hospital, sharing care with GPs and other primary health services as well as obstetricians where care became higher-risk.
Within education Liz has worked at Bournemouth University across both pre-registration and post-registration programmes since 1999 for a broad range of topic areas including embryology, health and wellbeing, individualised care, medicines management, lifelong learning, clinical skills and mental health during childbearing. As a link lecturer Liz continues to support local maternity services and the mentoring of students in clinical practice settings. Liz is currently undertaking research for the Professional Doctorate exploring women’s experience of aquanatal groups during pregnancy.
Qualifying as a midwife in 1980, Stella has over 20 years of clinical experience during which she has worked in all aspects of clinical practice.
Prior to her move into education, she worked extensively in the community and in an isolated stand-alone birth centre, during which time she had the opportunity to hold a small personal caseload. She is an enthusiastic advocate for caseloading in practice and education, and currently co-leads and coordinates the student midwife caseloading initiative at Bournemouth University.
The focus for her doctoral studies is exploring how being part of a student midwife's caseload may have impacted on women's childbearing experiences, through hearing their personal stories.
The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.
||Changes to this course
||Where the change was made
Only IELTS qualifications will be accepted for English language tests, we cannot accept equivalent
International entry requirements
IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with minimum 7.0 in each component, or equivalent
||Clarification of existing Non Standard Assessment Regulations.
Within the programme specification under "Progression"
To proceed to Year 2, students must normally achieve 100 Level 4 credits and 20 Level 5 credits.
To proceed to Year 3, students must normally achieve 100 Level 4 credits, 80 Level 5 credits and 60 Level 7 credits