University of Technology, Sydney

Staff directory | Webmail | Maps | Newsroom | What's on

92350 Becoming a Midwife

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to the Bachelor of Midwifery by providing an overview of the program and the requirements for registration as a midwife in Australia. Content for this subject commences in the introductory week with a 'Boot Camp' which introduces topics such as professional disposition and resilience. As the intention of the Bachelor of Midwifery is to prepare students for practice as a midwife, this subject explores the forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, the philosophy, practice and image of midwifery.

This subject briefly traces the rich history of midwifery to the present day. It develops the fundamental literacy and cognitive skills that underpin practice, judgement and professionalism concurrently with other subject content. In addition, it introduces students to the concepts of self-care and also to the information technology applications available in the University.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Identify the role and responsibilities of the midwife in the provision of safe maternity services
B. Discuss and reflect on the origins of the profession of midwifery and the current professional issues in maternity care
C. Identify the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities and the values underpinning midwifery practice
D. Outline the requirements in order to meet NMBA Competency Standards for the Midwife and AHPRA registration requirements
E. Identify and access student learning support, including resilience as well as library and information technology (IT) support services at UTS
F. Develop beginning understandings in thinking, reading and writing as a midwife including the use of IT skills

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are professionally competent midwives who provide safe and effective midwifery care using intelligent kindness (2.0)
  • Are professionally engaged critical thinkers who take a lively and questioning approach and embrace lifelong learning (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students participate in a range of learning and teaching strategies that are designed to assist in developing a deeper understanding of the history of midwifery and the regulation of the profession in Australia.

Students access online learning resources including podcasts, videos and professional literature either prior to or in place of face-to-face attendance. These activities include finding materials on the websites of Australian College of Midwives and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. This information will support follow-up in-class activities or in online forums to share learning, experiences and reflections. Students are also introduced to the concepts of self-care, mindfulness and resilience through guided online activities using resources on mindfulness.

Face-to-face lectures and group work enable students to clarify, discuss and develop subject concepts especially the professional role of the midwife and the philosophy of midwifery. Classes explore and share developing strategies for self-care and personal and professional resilience.

Cases help students explore health-related scenarios. Cases depict women and their families in clinical or community situations. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts and interpret information. Students develop critical thinking through analysis, interpretation and reflection on issues or situations. Students are provided with case scenarios that enable them to develop knowledge of the role of the midwife in different contexts.

An aim of this subject is to help you develop academic and professional language and communication skills in order to succeed at university and in the workplace. To determine your current academic language proficiency, you are required to complete an online language screening task, OPELA (information available at If you receive a Basic grade for OPELA, you must attend additional Language Development Tutorials (each week from weeks 4 to 12) in order to pass the subject. The development of these tutorials is a new university-wide initiative designed to provide personalised support and enhance students’ English language skills. They will focus on developing your communication skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) and your independent learning skills, which will help you to prepare for the subject assessment tasks and for professional workplace communication tasks.

Content (topics)

Course overview

  • Introduction to the Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Introduction to UTS and student learning support sessions
  • Sessions on academic writing and library skills

The role of the midwife

  • International definition of the midwife including role and scope
  • The philosophy of midwifery
  • The role of the regulatory authority
  • Codes of ethics and professional practice
  • Historical origins of midwifery
  • Role of the Australian College of Midwives, other professional associations and groups including consumer and peer- support organisations
  • Overview of current professional issues in maternity care including the importance of midwifery continuity of care and relationship-based care
  • Reflection, resilience and mindfulness in midwifery practice
  • Legal, ethical and professional responsibilities and the values underpinning midwifery
  • Overview of Australian health care system and the broader political landscape in which midwives operate

Being resilient

  • Development and maintenance of resilience through effective support networks
  • Exploration of mindfulness as a strategy to build resilience
  • Strategies to manage bullying and other non-professional behaviours
  • Understanding of previous trauma experiences and the impact on women in the perinatal period


Assessment task 1: Annotated bibliography: Exploring contemporary midwifery topics


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0 and 6.0

Weight: 50%

1500 words - approx 300 words per annotation and your introduction.

Assessment task 2: Essay: The role of the midwife


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0 and 6.0

Type: Essay
Weight: 50%

1500 words

Minimum requirements

It is a requirement of this subject that all students complete OPELA. Students who received a Basic grade in the OPELA test are required to attend 80% of the Language Development Tutorials in order to pass the subject. Please see the UTS Student Rules Section 3.8 (detailed under ‘other resources’).


Byrom, S. and Downe, S. (eds) 2015, The roar behind the silence: Why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care, Pinter and Martin, London.

Commonwealth of Australia 2009, Improving maternity services in Australia: The report of the Maternity Services Review, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Kabat-Zinn, J. 2013, Full catastrophe living: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation, revised edition, Little Brown Book Group, London.

Kirkham, M. 2010, The midwife-mother relationship, 2nd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Marshall, J. & Raynor, M. 2014, Myles textbook for midwives, 16th edn, Churchill Livingstone, Sydney.

Morley-Warner, T. 2010, Academic writing: A guide to writing in a university context, Association for Academic Language and Learning, Sydney.

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2018, Midwife Standards for Practice, NMBA, Melbourne.

International Confederation of Midwives 2008, International Code of Ethics for Midwives,

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia 2018, Code of Conduct for Midwives, NMBA, Melbourne.

Pairman, S., Tracy, S., Thorogood, C. & Pincombe, J. (eds) 2018, Midwifery: preparation for practice, 4th edn, Churchill Livingstone, Sydney.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.