What is midwifery?

Find out how you can get started as a student midwife and help to save lives, improve lives and change lives.

“When a woman births, not only is a baby being born but so is a mother.”
- Ruth Ehrhardt, The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour

What is a midwife? It’s easy to say that midwives help to deliver babies, but there’s so much more to it than that. Midwives are there to ensure that new-born children are healthy, safe and cared for, with specialist knowledge and experience that provides not only expert care to the child, but also offers a safety net to their mother.

Bringing a new person into the world is a wonderful experience, but it’s also a time of nervousness, anxiety and confusion (especially for a new mother). Being a midwife is not just being able to look after babies - it’s being the first port of call for any mother anxious about the changes they are experiencing in pregnancy or their new-born child.

If you’ve seen ‘Call the Midwife’, you probably already have an understanding (if somewhat dramatized) of the role of a midwife. Naturally, medical knowledge and facilities have been improved since the 50s, and today’s midwives are fully trained with relevant anatomy, physiology and pathology knowledge, as well as an understanding of the psycho-social context of childbirth. Put more simply, a modern midwife knows how to look after a mother and baby both physically and mentally.

It may sound daunting, but if you asked any of our student midwives if they had any regrets about taking the course, you’d be met with an emphatic “No!” Like all health professionals, they don’t do it because it’s easy – they do it because they want to help people. If you’re thinking of becoming a midwife, you’re already the type of person that wants to look after people, and help save and improve lives. We can provide the specialist training to get you started as a fully-qualified midwife.

Getting started

So how do you get started? It’s not as hard as it may seem. We ask for the equivalent of 112-128 UCAS points. This must include a Biology A-Level qualification at grade B (40 points) – if you do not have this then you will not be allowed on the course. Note that it’s the ‘equivalent of’ A-levels – we are happy to accept other qualifications like BTECs, Access to HE Diplomas, etc. We also ask that applicants have GCSEs in English Language, Mathematics and Biology (or Combined Science) at grade C or above. If you’ve taken your GCSEs more recently, this will be grade 4 or above. So we need you to have some understanding of the human body before starting the course, but you don’t have to have trained all your life to become a midwife for us to accept you.

What’s on the course?

Once you start the course you’ll be straight into your practical training. Placement opportunities make up 50% of our programme, so you can get started helping people right away. We have connections with NHS trusts and care providers around the country, and if that weren’t enough, you even have the opportunity to go abroad on a placement and get first-hand experience of international midwifery. Your studies could take you to Germany, Spain, Kenya, Uganda or beyond.

Don’t worry though, you’ll still have plenty of taught sessions where your tutors will teach you best practice for the ward. We’re proud that our tutors aren’t just lecturers, but experienced midwives who really have seen and done it all. So you won’t just be being taught, you’ll be being mentored by experts who will work closely with you and help you every step of the way on your course. We know how important it is that you feel safe and supported whilst taking your course, which is why our tutors are more like friends than lecturers.

Over the three years you’ll be taking our midwifery course, you’ll be gaining a support network that will provide safety and security through your course. We will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed – all you have to do is provide the energy and enthusiasm for the role. We’ll take care of the rest, setting you up with the roadmap you need to become a successful midwife. We’ll even provide you free accommodation at our Lancaster campus if your placements are based in Lancashire or Greater Manchester.

100% of our midwifery students go on to successful careers as midwives after graduation, so we must be doing something right. We know this is more than a career opportunity for our students – it’s a chance to make the most of your caring nature and put you in a position to help as many people as possible. If you have a passion to provide care for others and help both babies and mothers get the best level of healthcare you can provide, we will give you the proper tools and opportunities to make it happen.

Find out more about our Midwifery course.