Our MSc Midwifery is a blended learning programme. You will spend 50% of your time in practice, completing 1,800 hours on placement across the two years.
This will be supplemented by virtual and in-person teaching at the University of Birmingham campus. Teaching will be delivered in weekly blocks, which is anticipated to be six to eight weeks in year one and four weeks in year two.
This programme has been designed in close collaboration with women and pregnant people who use the service, as well as representatives from groups who support and advocate for women and their families and practice partners. The central philosophy of this programme is to prepare midwives to offer a safe, personalised care experience, who work effectively as a member of the multidisciplinary team and who advocate for women’s needs when this is required. Our graduates will be confident practitioners and future leaders, who understand and use research and evidence to inform their practice.
Your learning journey will include a mixture of online learning and on campus skills, simulation and team building activities, as well as blocks of time in practice placement, learning under the supervision of registered midwives and, on occasion, with other registered practitioners.
Your online learning will include synchronous activities such as live lectures and seminars, interactive workshops, small group tutorials and whole class activities. You will also have access to pre-recorded sessions and activities to support a flexible approach to study. Experts in their field will contribute to your learning experience and to your development as a midwife who not only has insight into different aspects of practice but who also feels confident to be a member of the multidisciplinary team.
To prepare you for registered, autonomous and safe practice as midwives, you will study mostly in small groups using enquiry-based learning to enable you to develop as independent learners and proactive, critical thinkers and decision makers. We will offer you structured support to learn in this way.
Our programme has a strong emphasis on ensuring that you are able to work safely and effectively in continuity of care teams when you qualify, so you will carry a small virtual caseload which you will be expected to manage. The virtual midwifery caseload has been developed in partnership with women and their families to give you an authentic experience.
Practice based learning
You will complete a newborn and infant health assessment module which will enable you to practice as a NIPE practitioner once qualified. You will also study modules that focus on the universal care that all women and newborn’s need, but also the additional care that some women, their newborns and families require. You will be prepared to work with women experiencing complications in their pregnancy, birth and postnatal period as a member of the wider multidisciplinary team to ensure your practice is safe and effective.
There is an emphasis on developing our learners to be future researchers. You will share learning on your research modules with students on the advanced clinical practice programme and will have access to our maternal health research team to enable you to see research in action. You will also have weekly research tutorials to support you to develop skills in critical appraisal of research to support your practice as an evidenced based midwife.
Our skills and simulation days will usually precede placement blocks. They will focus on cases from the virtual midwifery caseload and will be organised around following the journey of women and newborn’s through maternity services. You will have the opportunity to learn about and practise key midwifery skills as well as having the opportunity to undertake simulations of practice with colleagues from our interactive studies unit https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/haps/teaching/isu/index.aspx and to work with our gynaecological teaching associates learning about how to undertake pelvic examinations https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/haps/teaching/ISU/GTA.aspx
Academic assessors, practice supervisors, practice assessors and practice placement managers will support your practice learning and confirm your achievements. Whilst on placement, you will spend time in each of the clinical areas that support maternity services. You will engage in caseloading activity and will carry a very small caseload in year two. During this experience, you will follow the women you are working with to their appointments and, when possible, you will be present at their birth. In year two, you will undertake a seven-week specialist placement block. Here you will select an area of focus and will work with specialist midwives, practitioners, agencies, charities, as well as researchers, midwifery leaders and managers.
To ensure you feel part of a community of practice, you will have regular opportunities to connect with other learners on your course and those from other professions, as well as researchers and members of our public engagement in midwifery group. Members of this national group are service users and representatives from advocacy groups. You will also be offered regular opportunities to collaborate with the teaching team to enhance the programme and will be supported in your studies by your allocated personal academic tutor and dedicated services designed to support your academic study and your wellbeing.
Assessment includes practical exams, patchwork text, essay, case study, development of a digital resource, presentations, student engagement. We use the midwifery ongoing record of achievement (MORA) for practice assessment
Modules will be assessed through essays, assignments, exams, oral presentations and computer based problem-solving.