University of Technology Sydney

92927 Evidence-based Practice (Midwifery)

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 2022 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 use evidence to inform midwifery practice as well as be research-aware within the clinical practice environment. Students gain a broad understanding of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. 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 evidence in midwifery practice and the advantages, disadvantages and constraints of evidence-based practice from the perspective of midwives, women and policy makers. (NMBA 14.1)
B. Locate current research literature from a range of methodologies related to a specific topic. (NMBA 14.1)
C. Critique the validity and reliability of the methods used in different studies. (NMBA 14.1)
D. Formulate evidence based guidelines and demonstrate the ability to use woman centred language when discussing the findings with women. (NMBA 3.1, 3.2, 5.6, 13.1)
E. Identify the midwives role in generating an evidence-based practice culture. (NMBA 2.5, 14.1)

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)
  • 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, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage students to engage with contemporary, evidence-based midwifery care and practice. Small group work is a major strategy to mirror authentic evidence based practice.

Case studies and stories from practice
Case studies and stories from practice depict people and their families in clinical, community and social situations. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret the evidence and develop creative solutions. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on evidence-based midwifery care and practice.

Online learning activities
Students access online learning resources including podcasts, videos, and professional and grey literature either prior to or in place of face-to-face attendance. Online resources enable students to clarify complex concepts and terminology at their own pace. Online activities are then discussed in class to share learning, experiences and reflections.

Face-to-face classes
Face to face lectures, group work and online activities are provided to enable students to clarify, discuss and develop subject concepts. These classes are supported by follow up in class activities.


Assessment task 1: Critique of the literature on a specific topic and the development of evidence-based midwifery guidelines


This assignment mirrors an authentic activity that you will need to be 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

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 50%

Group marks:

- Successful identification of papers for review (5 marks)

- Successful interpretation of relevant research literature that influences practices (15 marks)

- Protocol that addresses the evidence and provides woman centred care (10 marks)

Individual marks:

- Ability to work in a team to undertake a specific task as evidenced by peer and self assessment (20 marks)

(See UTSOnline for a marking guide for this assignment)

Assessment task 2: Role Play


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 6.0

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

Word limit: 2000 words


- Organisation: clarity of presentation, logical organisation, linking ideas, grammar and correct spelling, (5 marks)

- Demonstrated appropriate midwifery practice (5 marks)

- Described the evidence and answered the questions in language that enables the woman's understanding (25 marks)

- Appropriateness of spoken, written, and nonverbal communication (5 marks)

- Appropriate reflection (10 marks)

Required texts

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

Recommended texts

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


Aveyard, H. & Sharp, P. 2013, A Beginner's guide to evidence-based practice in health and social care, 2nd edn, McGraw Hill, Open University Press, Maidenhead, England.

The Cochrane Collaboration 2016, Cochrane database of systematic reviews, viewed 14 July 2016, <>.

DiCenso, A., Guyatt, G. & Ciliska, D. 2005, Evidence based nursing: a guide to clinical practice, Mosby, St. Louis, Missouri.

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

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.

Schnieder, Z. Whitehead, D., Lo-Biondo-Wood, G. & Haber, J. 2013, Nursing and midwifery research: methods and appraisal for evidence based practice, Mosby, Elsevier, Sydney.

Straus, S., Richardson, W.S., Glasziou, P. & Haynes, R.B. 2010, Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach EBM, 4th edn, Churchill Livingstone, New York.

Other resources

UTS Student Centres
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.