University of Technology Sydney

92687 International Perspectives

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
Result type: Grade and marks

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


This subject enables students to identify the role of midwifery in Australia and in the wider global community, as they near the end of their course. It engages students to reflect upon and interpret the evidence that underpins midwifery practice and influences change in a global context. The subject includes an exploration and critique of the ideologies associated with Western constructs of childbirth and maternity care, and facilitates critical thinking and reflection on practice.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Summarise the main causes of maternal and infant mortality and understand the contributing factors especially in resource-poor situations.
B. Explain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular describe “Transforming our world -the 2030 Agenda towards meeting SDG 5"
C. Critique the role of the World Health Organization, the International Confederation of Midwives, non-government organisations, and national and international charities in addressing the SDG’s
D. Describe midwifery care in other countries with a focus on primary health care and community development approaches in resource-poor settings

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Demonstrate thorough knowledge of the discipline of midwifery (2.1)
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and sound clinical judgment that is based on evidence and reflects appropriate reasoning within the relevant professional codes and guidelines (2.2)
  • Communicate effectively using spoken, written and non-verbal language across a range of contexts and to diverse audiences (2.3)
  • Demonstrate information literacy and technology skills and effectively apply these in the exercise of clinical judgement (2.4)
  • Practise and meet the full scope of the midwife as per the International Confederation of Midwifery definition (2.6)
  • Practise midwifery within a primary health care philosophy (5.1)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the broader health system and advocate for midwifery as a local and global public health strategy (5.2)
  • Practise with the knowledge that midwifery can make the biggest difference to the least advantaged women and families (5.3)
  • Interpret and value the evidence to underpin practice and influence change (6.1)
  • Actively contribute to the development of midwifery as a profession (6.2)
  • Comply with intellectual academic writing practices and use information ethically, legally and respectfully (6.3)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject contributes specifically to the following Graduate Attributes:

  • Are professionally competent midwives who provide safe and effective midwifery care using intelligent kindness (2.0)
  • 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)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to assist them to develop understanding and awareness of the issues related to international perspectives of midwifery care for women, families and communities.

This subject benefits from both the real-time delivery of content and access to online resources including videos and learning modules. Classes will be conducted in blended online and face-to-face mode and guest speakers enable students to clarify, discuss and develop critical thinking directly related to woman-centred care in low and middle-income countries. Online resources enable students to clarify complex concepts and terminology and engage with sensitive or confronting topics at their own pace. Online activities are then discussed in class to share learning, experiences and reflections. Online resources from groups such as Women Deliver, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNFPA, WHO and Family Planning 2020 are used to engage students in stories and experiences in relation to global midwifery.

The culmination of the subject requires students to engage in a student-led conference (half-day) exploring aspects related to women’s reproductive health, pregnancy, labour, birth and puerperium, cultural birth practices and infant feeding, within a global context. Group work and assimilation of information fosters development of respectful and collegial collaboration with student peers, women, professional organisations and other stakeholders. This activity develops skills in collaboration, working in a team, allocating tasks and supporting one another. It also enhances the student’s ability to communicate their thoughts and relevant information in a clear, coherent and confident manner. Other midwifery students (first and second year BMid and GradDip students), midwifery academics and educators from our clinical partners are invited to attend the conference. Students chose a theme to the conference and invite a guest speaker in keeping with that theme.

As part of the internationalisation initiatives at UTS, students are encouraged to undertake an elective international experience through the BUiLD (Beyond UTS International Leadership Development) program. This experience does not contribute towards midwifery clinical hours and students are not able to record any clinical experiences in their portfolios. Students are not assessed during this experience.

Content (topics)

International issues in maternal and infant health

  • Causes and contributing factors to maternal and infant mortality in low- and middle-income countries
  • The role of the midwife in natural disasters, when dealing with effects of climate change and in fragile countries affected by war or internal conflict
  • The global politics of maternity service provision and midwifery regulation and education
  • The role of midwifery in contributing to quality maternal and newborn care in all countries
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2015-2030)
  • The role of the World Health Organization, the International Confederation of Midwives, non-government organisations and national and international charities in addressing the SDG agenda.

Midwifery in other contexts and settings

  • The role of Traditional Birth Attendants in low income countries
  • The organisation of maternity services in other parts of the world


Assessment task 1: Abstract


The purpose of this assessment is for students to research a topic related to the Student International Conference theme. Students are required to develop an abstract which may be selected to be presented at the Student Conference.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):


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

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

500 words maximum.

Assessment task 2: Student Conference


This assessment item is the culmination of the work that students have completed in this subject. Students will present this assessment as a presentation (either an 'oral' or a 'poster' presentation) at the Midwifery Student International Conference. Students who aren't selected to present at the student conference will submit their presentation online through Canvas.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

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

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 5.2, 5.3 and 6.2

Type: Demonstration
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 70%

Part A: Variable
Part B: 800-1000 words in total (200-250 words per review)
Part C: 500 words


Magar, V. 2015, 'Gender, health and the Sustainable Development Goals', Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 93, no. 11, pp. 743.

Renfrew, M., Homer, C., Downe, S., McFadden, A., Muir, N., Prentice, T. & ten Hoope-Bender, P. 2014, 'The Lancet series on midwifery: executive Summary', The Lancet, United Kingdom.

United Nations 2016, Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations, New York, viewed 27 June 2019, <>.

United Nations Population Fund 2016, UNFPA Midwifery, UNFPA, New York, viewed 27 June 2019, <>.

United Nations Population Fund, International Confederation of Midwives & World Health Organization 2014, State of the world's midwifery report: a universal pathway, a woman's right to health, UNFPA, ICM, WHO, Not Stated.

Van Lerberghe, W., Matthews, Z., Achadi, E., Ancona, C., Campbell, J., Channon, A., de Bernis, L., De Brouwere, V., Fauveau, V., Fogstad, H., Koblinsky, M., Liljestrand, J., Mechbal, A., Murray, S.F., Rathavay, T., Refr, H., Richard, F., Hoope-Bender, P.t. & Turkman, S. 2014, 'Country experience with strengthening of health systems and deployment of midwives in countries with high maternal mortality', The Lancet, vol. 384, no. 9949, pp. 1215-25.

World Health Organization 2016, Midwifery, World Health Organization, Geneva, viewed 27 June 2019, <>.

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 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.

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