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Examination of the Newborn - 30 credits - Module *

  • Course Code: MID6005
  • Level: Short Course
  • Starting: February 2021
  • Study mode: Short Course
  • Location: City South

The Examination of the Newborn course is subject to re-approval for delivery from September 2020 in order to align fully with the Nursing and Midwifery Standards. Therefore the details shown are from the current course, are indicative only and are subject to change. The updated course specifications will be available on our website no later than the 31 August 2020.

The Examination of the Newborn course enables you to develop skills in the newborn and infant physical examination (NIPE). The course will develop your skills in the holistic examination of the newborn whilst also developing  a comprehensive knowledge of environmental, social and psychological factors that can affect the development of the newborn . The EON course is essential in the current clinical environment where midwives in particular are becoming the lead practitioner in examination of the newborn.

What's covered in the course?

The course covers anatomy and physiology of the development of the fetus and baby so that you can understand the relationship of pregnancy events and potential problems you may encounter. You will study the 4 Public Health England Standards (2019) of heart, eyes, hips and testes in detail including anatomy and physiology and simulation of examination.  You will also be steered through a holistic, examination of the baby so that you can recognise normality and therefore detect and refer babies with problems.  

Experts who contribute to your learning including a consultant Paediatrician with cardiology expertise, experts in ankyloglossia, cleft lip and palate and educators from the national genomics project.  The university team  delivering the programme are all qualified midwives who have undertaken addition training in neonatal and physical examination, and who all practice clinically in local Trusts such as Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Foundation Trust, Heart of England Trust and City  and Sandwell Trust 

You attend this part time course for 9 days over 20 weeks.  In addition, you have a self-directed study day. Students that have completed the course have found the support of their manager essential  in helping to organise clinical practice. The clinical practice element requires you to undertake 40 examinations with a qualified mentor.. You will need to secure the support of a clinical mentor and this can be a midwife who has undertaken NIPE training (12 months experience) or a senior paediatrician or GP with expertise in this examination.   

Why Choose Us?

  • We maintain a national educational profile with Public Health England in relation to NIPE provision
  • We have a pioneering approach to driving the national curriculum by integrating examination on of the newborn into undergraduate programmes
  • We use of simulation to develop skills prior to undertaking these in the clinical environment
  • We have excellent practice placement links promoting midwives as the lead  practitioner to  examine the healthy newborn
  • We have experienced and clinically current facilitators who undertake the clinical role of examiners of the newborn
  • We provide training to those undertaking the 6-8 week examination such as Health Visitors and General Practitioners, promoting a standardised approach to detecting and referring babies with problems in accordance with NIPE standards 


This course is worth...

30 credits

This course is not open to International students

Speak to an expert

Do you have a question about this course? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Send your question to the Course Director and they’ll get back to you shortly.

Contact Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: Module

Starting: Feb 2021

Pathway: Level 6

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • TBC
  • TBC

Award: Module

Starting: Feb 2021

Pathway: Level 7

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Short Course
  • TBC
  • TBC

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Entry requirements

  • Midwives with current effective Nursing and Midwifery Council Registration
  • Neonatal Nurses with current effective Nursing or Children’s Nursing and Midwifery Council Registration
  • Specialist Community Public Health Nurses on the nursing section of the Nursing and Midwifery Council effective Professional Register
  • Evidence of academic/professional development in the last three years

Course structure

The 9 study days are a mixture of theory and skills simulation. Expert teachers support sessions.  You will need to undertake your clinical assessments and complete  practice portfolio of 40 examinations. Of these, 15 will be formally assessed by your clinical mentor. 

What's the aim of the course?

Successful completion of this course will allow Midwives, Neonatal Nurses and Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (Health Visitors) to be deemed competent to carry out the holistic newborn and physical examination of a term baby in accordance with Public Health England’s Programme (2016).

How much study is involved?

The content of the programme is delivered over approximately 20 weeks and includes nine compulsory study days and one self-directed study day that you will need to negotiate with clinical managers to have.

You are required to undertake 40 clinical examinations of babies and it is essential that you make a commitment to attend placements throughout the programme. You are advised to make enquiries about how you will access placement on a regular basis, and ensure you have the support of clinical managers to do this. From previous students’ experiences, a minimum of 4 hours a week, or the equivalent, has been required.

In addition to attending BCU and clinical placement, you are expected to undertake study and will need to consider this when planning their studies.

You need to ensure you have of a mentor and will need to arrange to be mentored and assessed clinically by one of the following:

  • A paediatrician at registrar level or above
  • Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner who has carried out role for 12 months
  • Midwife / Nurse Practitioner/ Specialist community public health nurse (Health Visitor) who have completed the examination of the newborn and have practised for 12 months

How will I be assessed?

As well as passing the  clinical practice portfolio you will have an observed structured clinical examination (OSCE) in Uni and this gives 50% of your marks

You also have multiple choice paper which is worth 50%.

Course Dates

You will be expected to attend university on the following dates*:

  • 25/02/2020
  • 26/02/2020
  • 06/03/2020
  • 12/03/2020
  • 13/03/2020
  • 20/03/2020
  • 27/03/2020
  • 22/05/2020 (Assessment AM)
  • 01/07/2020 or 02/07/2020 (Assessment)

*Please note these dates are subject to change.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

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.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

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.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

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

The SIM men and 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. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Maggie Prain

Senior Midwifery Lecturer

Maggie began full time lecturing in 2003 and has been the programme director for the BSc (Hons)/Graduate Diploma in midwifery 20-month programme since 2006 -2013. She is now also the programme director for the Examination of the newborn programme

Her teaching experience has been predominately within midwifery education across the 3 year and 20 month midwifery programmes.

Course enquiries

For all course enquiries please contact the module leader, Maggie Prain on:


As qualified midwives this course enhances your employability. Many NHS Trusts are moving the role of NIPE assessor from physicians to midwifery practice. Student midwives are also being prepared for this role in many Trusts so undertaking the course will ensure you have comparative skills to colleagues in the future.