Midwifery Shortened Programme - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Not available through UCAS − apply direct to the University.
Full Time (20 months)
September 2016

Our midwifery shortened programme is a 20-month intensive course that will equip you for a career as a midwife, providing you with the opportunity to work within the National Health Service or as an independent practitioner.

We offer a forward-thinking educational and training environment, closely aligned to the NHS Constitution and the specific needs of midwifery in the field today, thanks to our close partnership with our commissioning partner.

You will already be registered as an adult nurse to join the course and will become dual qualified in both professions.

What's covered in the course?

We use the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Pre-registration Midwifery Education to underpin our training for you to qualify as a midwife and to provide autonomous women-centred care.

The academic studies to help you becoming a registered midwife are closely interwoven with real-world clinical practice as we know that such experience is crucial to help you reach NMC standards. Key to your journey on this 20-month intensive course will be strong development of your interpersonal skills (as identified in the Essential Skills Cluster-Communication) to support women and their families through what can sometimes be very complex situations.

You will not only become a midwife competent in the skills needed to promote normal birth and empower women, but become a midwife skilled in managing obstetric and neonatal emergencies, backed up by the evidence based knowledge you need to develop confidence and competence to provide safe care.

Your time here will be split between on-campus study blocks, study days, Trust days, reading weeks and clinical placements – with at least 50 per cent of the course on clinical activities and 40 per cent in class or theory-based.

As we closely align with the values of the NHS Constitution we'll also make sure you leave fully engaged with not just the practice but the ethical and legal framework of today's patient-centric National Health Service.

“I wanted a change of career and decided to go for it ... seeing my first actual birth was a big highlight ... and that solidified the reasons why I wanted to be a midwife.” Melanie Green

Why Choose Us?

  • Because of the depth and breadth of the partnerships we have with our practice partners, you'll leave with a skill-set second to none: equipped with relevant knowledge of the realities of birth in all kinds of families, from the socially deprived to the affluent, across multiple cultures and ethnicities.
  • We are the biggest provider of midwifery staff for the NHS and social care in the region and have endorsement from the NHS and our professional bodies the Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Undertaking your placement experiences in the Birmingham area, you will encounter a much wider range of cultural and socio-economic worlds than your peers on courses in smaller towns and cities. Our placements are within easy reach of the Edgbaston campus and public transport. The variety of clinical experiences ranges from low risk birth centres to high risk referral centres. You will therefore have an opportunity to work in many different clinical areas and experience a huge variety of different childbirth journeys.
  • We offer a highly supportive pastoral experience, with a friendly, co-operative culture and an emphasis on helping you learn and succeed as a midwife – ranging from our study resources, all the way to the strong personal relationships we look to build between you and your assigned personal tutor.
  • You will be trained as a midwife to both EU Directive and National Midwifery Council standard, will be able to immediately apply for registration as a professional, and will be equipped to look at opportunities outside of the UK, if you so wish.
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This course is not open to International students
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Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Heartlands Hospital

And in jobs such as:

  • Midwife

Entry Requirements

We now recruit to the values of the NHS constitution. This influences our selection criteria and especially the values we are seeking to be demonstrated in both your application and interview, which we view as essential in any individual involved in patient care.

This programme is open to students possessing evidence of a formal qualification as a general nurse (for a full time programme of a minimum of 20 months duration) in accordance with the Standards for pre-registration midwifery education (NMC 2009) admission to and continued participation in pre-registration midwifery programmes. Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the programme, which are as follows

  • Be registered with the NMC as a general nurse (adult) and consolidated this with a period of 6 months full-time nursing experience immediately prior to commencing the programme.
  • Have evidence of 240 specific credits, 120 of which should be level 5 (diploma level) or equivalent.
  • Average of 60 per cent in level 5 nursing studies (and have passed all level 5 modules at first attempt) or 2:2 in BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing.
  • Be resident within the UK for at least three years (for DBS Clearance).
  • Permanent residency in the UK/EU.
  • Evidence of academic study within the last five years at minimum Level 5.
  • Two satisfactory references, one academic and one clinical.
  • Satisfactory personal statement.
  • All candidates will be required to undertake a numeracy test which needs to be passed before continuing the selection process. Candidates who are unsuccessful in achieving a pass in the numeracy test will not be interviewed.
  • The remaining selection process will consist of three elements: a written critique of a known report, a table top exercise to demonstrate team working and and communication and an interview.
  • All offers made are subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) report.

In addition students who wish to achieve the Graduate Diploma must hold a Degree or equivalent credits in general nursing (adult).

New UCAS tariff

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 20 months NHS Funded

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

How to apply

To apply for this course, please download and complete all of the following forms:

You need to complete both application forms as you will be enrolled at the University, but will be employed and salaried by a partnership NHS Trust, for the duration of this course.

You will need to supply evidence of your degree or diploma in nursing, along with proof of your NMC number.

The 'report on applicant' form will need to be completed by your academic and clinical reference. Please send this along with your completed application.

Applicants need to submit all of the requested supporting evidence before they can be shortlisted for interview.

Feedback will only be available to those who were invited to interview.

Contact details for admissions:
Telephone: +44 (0) 121 331 5500
Email: NMSW.admissions@bcu.ac.uk

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Grants and Scholarships

Want to join us in September 2016? Undergraduate students can receive up to £4,000* in non repayable financial support.

*(criteria will apply)

Level 6

In terms of theory, you will complete the following modules:

Foundation in midwifery and clinical skills
Complex midwifery care and clinical skills
Professional midwifery practice
Supporting vulnerable women and families
Examination and care of the baby part 1

The two baby modules will provide the additional skills to enable our students to undertake examination of the newborn, which is currently an extended role completed after registration as a midwife.

Examination and care of the baby part 2

The two baby modules will provide the additional skills to enable our students to undertake examination of the newborn, which is currently an extended role completed after registration as a midwife.

The degree is delivered by a mixture of six modules in the Department of Midwifery within the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences and four to six week placements over 86 weeks.

We start with a strong foundation in the basics of Midwifery before moving quickly into hands-on experience. We adhere to the '6 Cs' values of the NHS Constitution, so right from the start will be looking to develop not only your technical skills (including the importance of evidence-based care and critical thinking) but the legal, professional and above all the ethical dimensions of the job.

The course is full-time, equivalent to a 37.5 hour working week. As in nursing you will be expected to work different shift patterns whilst on placement.

During the first term you will have the opportunity to complete a delivery suite and a community placement. Placements in the ante/postnatal wards, antenatal clinic and neonatal unit will take place during the remainder of your course.

Additional support

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you. 

More on our disability tutor >>

We offer extra technical and learning support.

Student stories

Student Phern Adams talks about the facilities available on the 18 months BSc (Hons) Midwifery Shortened Programme at Birmingham City University.

Second year student Lara Wells talks about the support and facilities available on BSc (Hons) Midwifery at Birmingham City University.

Erasmus scheme

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further study

The BSc (Hons) awarded on completion of this pre-registration course forms the basis for progression onto further study.

A comprehensive portfolio of post-registration short courses that focuses on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is available, along with other postgraduate schemes.

These courses allow for academic and/or clinical development. Many of the courses are taught as part-time flexible modules to fit around your work and domestic commitments.

By completing this course, you will be not only receive an academic degree but you will also be able to enter the midwifery part of the NMC's professional register – so we are offering you both an academic and a professional qualification opportunity. You will already be employed as an adult nurse, so by having dual qualification you can look forward to even greater employability prospects.

The course also aims to enable you to demonstrate safe and effective competence in:

  • Applying evidence-based knowledge to best midwifery practice
  • Applying your knowledge of psychological, social, emotional and spiritual factors that may positively or adversely influence normal child birth to practice
  • Appropriate interpersonal skills (as identified in the Essential Skills Cluster-Communication) to support women and their families
  • Skills in managing obstetric and neonatal emergencies, underpinned by appropriate knowledge
  • Become an autonomous practitioner to women experiencing normal childbirth
  • Being able to support women throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal period in all settings, including midwifery-led units, birthing centres and the home.
  • Be empowered to undertake critical decision-making to support appropriate referral to either the woman or baby to other health professionals or agencies when there is recognition of normal processes being adversely affected and compromised.


You'll experience all the relevant areas of midwifery practice: community-based, home-based, post- and ante-natal, in addition to hands-on exposure in contexts from birthing centres to hospital delivery suites. This will help you to pursue a career in a variety of midwifery roles after you graduate.

You'll also be working at every level of the NHS, from global leading centres to district hospitals thanks to our location and the strength of the links we have with Trusts in the region.

Birmingham is unique in having a wide concentration of Trusts within a relatively small metropolitan area – all of who maintain close enough links with us to ensure our training is always closely aligned with their specific clinical needs.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

You'll have the chance to take part in our popular Open Days as a paid Student Ambassador and talk about your experiences on the midwifery course to new students.

Graduate jobs

Our graduates enjoy a very high employment rate – around 98 percent (2014 figures). Most of them are now employed at the trust they trained at and prefer to practice as an all round midwife. Many of our graduates have also progressed to a Band 6 midwife following additional training.

Other graduates have chosen to specialise in specific midwifery roles for example in teenage pregnancy, or have moved on into education or research. Some graduates will decide to apply for a management position – either Ward Manager or Team Leaders – only a few years after graduating.

Other student opportunities

To enhance your CV, we offer extra-curricular student opportunities, such as a major incident simulation, that you can get involved in.

Student opportunities  >>

Our facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.

This course is based in the £30 million award-winning Seacole Building, with mock hospital wards, SIMulation mannequins, mock Operating Theatre, Home Environment and laboratory.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement Facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Meet our staff

Our staff, all registered midwives, publish widely in the main professional journals in the field, as well as produce textbooks. A priority is placed on maintaining deep professional competence, with most continuing to practice and developing expertise in areas such as examination of the newborn infant.

Alison Edwards

Senior Midwifery Lecturer - Placement Support

Alison has been a nurse and midwife since 1985 and has been in higher education for over 10 years. She holds a registered teaching qualification with the NMC. Having completed a Masters degree a few years ago, it felt the right time to pursue a doctorate. Having written and published a number of articles and skills books, she continues to build a portfolio of publications and speak at conferences. She is currently the programme director for the shortened midwifery programme, coordinates the placements and timetable for the student midwives.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

+44 (0)125 350 2917

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389


Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295