University of Technology Sydney

92380 Translating Research into Midwifery Practice

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 provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be able to effectively translate evidence into midwifery practice as well as be aware of the value and utility of research within the practice environment. Students gain a broad understanding of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research and explore the different study designs that are common in maternity care. The ability to critique the evidence assists students formulate evidence-based guidelines. A focus on using woman-centred language helps students develop the skills needed to be able to discuss research findings with women in practice.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Describe the role of research in midwifery practice and the advantages, disadvantages and constraints of evidence-based practice from the perspective of midwives, women and policy makers.
B. Locate current research literature from a range of methodologies related to a specific topic.
C. Critique the validity and reliability of the methods used in different studies.
D. Formulate evidence based guidelines and demonstrate the ability to use woman centred language when discussing the findings with women.
E. Identify the midwives’ role in generating an evidence-based practice culture.

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)
  • Communicate effectively using spoken, written and non-verbal language across a range of contexts and to diverse audiences (2.3)
  • 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 teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage them to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to translate research into practice.

Face-to-face lectures enable students to clarify, discuss and develop subject concepts. These are also accessible online for revision. Videos explaining key concepts from the lectures are made available to students so that they can go back and clarify concepts especially in relation to understanding study designs.

The online learning activities strongly support the lectures, including preparatory and follow-up activities. Students are encouraged to access online learning resources including podcasts, videos, professional and grey literature prior to attending face-to-face sessions. Students use video and other resources on understanding research methodologies, statistics in practice and getting evidence into practice directly before and during classes.

Stories and scenarios are used to help students explore health and wellbeing-related situations. The teaching team encourages students to bring real-life scenarios to class highlighting where they have seen research translated into practice and where they have not. Group activities include class discussions and feedback on the utility of evidence in practice and understanding why some evidence is easy to get into practice and some is hard.

The teaching team uses a role play to assist students to understand the importance of respectful, woman-centred language. Class discussion then follows about the way in which midwives discuss issues with women. The discussion also prompts students to reflect on their own skills, values and experiences.

The majority of the face-to-face time in this subject involves collaborative group activities reflecting on the translation of research into practice. In class, students also spend time working on their group assignment with formative feedback and assistance provided by the teaching team. We have developed a series of crosswords that require students to reflect upon the language they use and short papers with quizzes that again provide opportunities to work in small teams to solve problems.

Content (topics)

Evidence based midwifery practice

  • Principles of translating evidence into practice
  • The 5 steps to evidence-based midwifery care
  • Strengths and limitations of using an evidence-based approach in practice

Research methods

  • Common research methods in maternity care: design, sample, data collection and analysis
  • Evaluation of the evidence presented in different methodologies
  • Translation of different methodologies into practice settings

Translating research into practice

  • Translation of evidence into midwifery practice through clinical policies and guidelines
  • Use of woman-centred and respectful ways to communicate best evidence with women and families


Assessment task 1: Formulating research questions


This assessment will assist students to consider possible research questions relating to the clinical practice of midwives. Midwifery practice should always be based on evidence and considering clinical practice through a research lens is important in order to enhance quality and safety.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C and E

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

2.0 and 6.0

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

Please provide responses to the questions in the template. Do not delete fields or change the content of the template. This assessment will require approximately 800 words.

Assessment task 2: Critique of the evidence


This assignment mirrors an authentic activity that you will need to undertake as a midwife. Midwifery practice should always be based on evidence so finding and reviewing the evidence is an important skill and knowledge to develop. In addition, you need to be able to apply the evidence into practice through the development of a practice-based protocol. In practice, this activity is always done in a multidisciplinary team. Therefore, you will be required to do the assignment in a small group which will also develop your teamwork skills.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D and E

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

2.0 and 6.0

Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 40%

Part 1 - 3000 words
Part 2 - 1000 words

Assessment task 3: Case study: facilitating informed decision making


This assessment focuses on the students' ability to work in partnership with women, use appropriate woman-centred language and the students' ability to facilitate and enable informed choices in midwifery/obstetric care.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, D and E

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

1.0, 2.0 and 2.3

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

800 words

Required texts

Pairman et al. text book, available online from the UTS Library at

Recommended texts

Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S. & Del Mar, C. 2013, Evidence-based practice across the health professions, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Chatswood, Australia.

Schnieder, Z. Whitehead, D., Lo-Biondo-Wood, G. & Haber, J. 2014, Nursing and midwifery research: methods and appraisal for evidence based practice, 5th edn, Elsevier, Chatswood NSW..

Walsh, D. 2012, Evidence and skills for normal labour and birth: A guide for midwives, 2nd edn, Routledge, London.


Leap, N. 2012, The power of words revisited, Essentially MIDIRS, vol. 3, no. 1.

Melnyk, B. & Fineout-Overholt, E. 2011, Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare, 2nd edn, Wolters Kluwer, London.

Page, L. & McCandlish, R. 2006, The new midwifery: science and sensitivity in practice, 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.

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, 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.