University of Technology Sydney

92379 Midwifery as a Public Health Strategy

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 contributes to students' understanding of midwifery as a public health strategy situated in a woman-centred and primary healthcare framework. Students explore midwifery within a broad social context influenced by particular social, cultural, political and economic environments. Students are supported to appreciate the impact that social disadvantage and other vulnerabilities have on women and their families. The subject encourages critical examination of systems and practices designed to support and promote optimal health outcomes within the context of maternal and newborn health.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Appraise midwifery as a public health strategy and identify aspects of practice that relate to public health
B. Evaluate the impact that social disadvantage and other vulnerabilities have on women’s ability to access safe and appropriate maternity care
C. In a simulated environment, demonstrate skills in specific aspects of midwifery as public health practice including smoking cessation, limiting weight gain, promotion of breastfeeding and health promotion
D. Assess how the Australian health care system facilitates a framework of primary health care in relation to the provision of and access to midwifery care
E. Reflect on privilege and how this impacts on women’s ability to access universal health care

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Practise 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)
  • Are socially responsible citizens who value the diversity of people (5.0)
  • Are professionally engaged critical thinkers who take a lively and questioning approach and embrace lifelong learning (6.0)
  • Graduates have professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (7.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage them to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to practise midwifery in a primary health care framework as part of a public health strategy.

Students access online learning resources including pre-class activities, podcasts, videos, professional and grey literature prior to attending face-to-face sessions. Attendance patterns for this subject require students to rely on online modes to deliver content and support learning. Online activities are then reviewed and discussed in class to share learning, experiences and reflections.

Stories and scenarios are used to help students explore health and wellbeing-related scenarios. Cases depict women and their families in a primary health care setting. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form judgments and develop creative solutions. Students develop critical thinking through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations.

Role plays are provided a simulated environment for students to practise new skills learnt through theory and knowledge development. Scenarios from relevant situations are used to depict real life experiences in midwifery. Students interact, observe and provide feedback within the facilitated debriefing, and reflect on their own skills, values and experiences. Students are supported to practise difficult conversations such as screening for domestic violence and smoking cessation through role modelling of exemplary practice.

The majority of the face-to-face time in this subject involves collaborative group activities and workshops. Staff support students to engage in content prior to attending class, and class time focuses on group learning and mentored activities to support learning. Small group activities develop students’ understanding of public health campaigns. Students then develop public health campaigns suitable for a maternal child health audience.

Guest speakers provide students with personal and professional stories in relation to the subject content. Hearing stories from both a professional and personal perspective supports students to relate learning to real world situations.

Content (topics)

Overview of public health as a health and wellness strategy

  • The social determinants of health
  • Primary health care and universal health coverage
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Development of a public health campaign to promote midwifery as primary health care

Primary health care system in Australia

  • Maternity service provision in Australia including models of continuity of midwifery care
  • The primary health care system (primary maternity services, primary care services, GP services)
  • Collaborative practice including consultation and referral

Specific areas for public health emphasis in maternity services

  • Motivational interviewing theory and techniques
  • Obesity in pregnancy – a public health approach
  • Domestic violence screening and support workshop
  • Public health priorities in midwifery - non-communicable diseases; alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (AOD); domestic violence; and vulnerable populations


Assessment task 1: Creative piece


Midwifery is considered an art and we acknowledge that students learn and express themselves in a variety of ways. This assessment piece is designed to allow for creative ideas that represent midwifery as a public health strategy by reflecting the attirbutes of woman-centered care, professional competence and diversity.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, C and D

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

1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Type: Design/drawing/plan/sketch
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

Part A: variable
Part B: 800-1000 words

Assessment task 2: Motivational Interview recording/video


Midwives form relationships with women at a time of great change in their lives. These relationships provide midwives with the unique opportunity to make a lifelong impact on their's and their families' health and wellbeing. This assessment piece is designed to give you the opportunity to practice motivational interviewing in a simulated manner. This enables you to develop your midwifery skills for clinical practice.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and E

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

1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0

Type: Laboratory/practical
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 50%

Vod/podcast: Minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes.
Written piece: 1000 words.


Eddy, A. (2019) 'Midwifery as Primary Health Care'. In Pairman, S., Tracy, S., Dahlen, H. & Dixon, L. (eds), Midwifery preparation for practice, (4th edn). Elsevier.

Homer, C., Brodie, P. Sandall, J. & Leap, N. (2019) Midwifery continuity of care: a practical guide. 2nd edn. Churchill Livingstone.

Bowden, J. & Manning, V. (Eds) (2017). Health Promotion in Midwifery (3rd edn). CR Press.

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 ( and UTSOnline 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

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