University of Technology Sydney

92372 Working with Diversity

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 2024 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 examines the role of the midwife when working with women and families who have social or emotional complexities. Challenging issues, such as the role of the midwife in complying with child protection and other relevant legislation, are included. Students also explore the diverse complexities for women and their families who have, for example, experienced stillbirth, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, child protection involvement or an admission to a psychiatric facility in the puerperium. The subject builds on students' understanding of the community resources available to women and their families who require additional support. Legal, ethical and professional issues regarding the challenges in midwifery care are covered. Appropriate referral pathways are explored in this subject as well as working effectively within the multidisciplinary team. Communication skills addressing these diverse topics are developed and trialled by students within facilitated workshops.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Analyse the role of the midwife when working with women and families with multiple social and emotional complexities
B. Identify the role and responsibilities of the midwife in complying with child protection legislation
C. Reflect on the issues for women with infertility and those who require artificial reproductive technologies (ART)
D. Describe referral pathways and community support available for women and families experiencing challenges in relation to pregnancy and in the early postnatal period
E. Evaluate the barriers and strategies associated working with interdisciplinary teams including community services and non-government organisations
F. Assess, plan, implement and evaluate clinical decision making in midwifery practice.
G. Apply legal ethical and professional responsibilities to midwifery practice

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Practice woman-centred care (1.0)
  • Are professionally competent midwives who provide safe and effective midwifery care using intelligent kindness (2.0)
  • Work collaboratively in order to provide excellence in maternity care (3.0)
  • Are resilient, emotionally competent midwives who foster human flourishing (4.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage you to engage with challenges in midwifery.

Personal, professional and expert narratives
Students will have the opportunity engage in dialogue with key informants from relevant organisations. Professional and consumer speakers will discuss personal and/or professional stories in relation to the key concepts and learning objectives.

Simulated role plays
Role plays provide a simulated environment for students to practise new skills learnt through theory and knowledge development. Peers, actors and consumers may be used to assist students to explore practice in a safe environment. Scenarios from relevant situations are used to depict real life experiences in midwifery practice. Students interact, observe and provide feedback within the facilitated debriefing, and reflect on their own skills, values and experiences.

This subject benefits from the real time delivery of content with guest lecturers who have expertise when working with women in challenging situtations. Lectures enable students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology, and engage with sensitive or confronting topics.

Case Scenarios
Cases are used to help students explore challenges in midwifery scenarios. Cases depict women and their families in clinical or community situations. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form clinical judgements and develop creative solutions. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations.


Assessment task 1: Referral letter


This assessment item is designed to give students experience in writing a referral letter to another health professional which is an important role of the midwife.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, D, E, F and G

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

1.0, 2.0 and 3.0

Weight: 20%

250 words

Assessment task 2: Referral Pathway for a woman with complex needs


This assessment is intended to develop students knowledge and skills in consultation and referral when caring for a woman with complex needs.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D, E, F and G

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

2.0 and 3.0

Weight: 50%

1500 words

A minimum of 10 references are required.


See Canvas for detailed assessment criteria.

Assessment task 3: Personal Reflection


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A and F

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

1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0

Weight: 30%

750 words. Please reference the reflective model you have chosen to use.


Australian College of Midwives (2013). National midwifery guidelines for consultation and referral (3rd ed.). Australian College of Midwives.

Barnes, M., & Rowe, J. (2013). Child, youth and family health: strengthening communities (2nd ed.). Elsevier.

Baird, K., & Creedy, D. (2015). Midwives’ role in detecting domestic violence. The conversation.

Macaldowie, A., Wang, Y., Chughtai, A., & Chambers, G. (2014). Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2012, National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit, The University of New South Wales.

Pairman, S., Pincombe, J. Thorogood, C., & Tracy, S. (2015). Midwifery: preparation for practice (3rd ed.). Churchill Livingstone.

Redshaw, M., Malouf, R., Gao, H., & Gray, R. (2013). Women with disability: The experience of maternity care during pregnancy, labour and birth and the postnatal period. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 13(1), 174-174. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-174.

Thorogood, C., (2015). Chapter 8, Challenges to women’s health: Family Violence. In: Pairman, S., Pincombe, J., Thorogood, C., Tracy, S,K. (Eds) (2015). Midwifery: Preparation for practice (3rd ed.). Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier. Chatswood, NSW.

Other resources

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 ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. 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.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or