How to become a Midwife
There are two main routes to become a midwife in the UK
A nurse can re-train as a midwife
You can find more info below:
Become a Midwife by studying at university
To work as a midwife you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You can undertake a degree qualification to become a midwife.
Midwives support mothers before, during and after the birth of a child. Consider midwifery if you want to learn to combine clinical skills with understanding the needs and experiences of women. So, not if you want to work with babies! This is a physically and emotionally demanding course requiring confidence and compassion. Also, midwives work in hospitals and increasingly in the community.
Subjects you need
A-levels (or equivalent) usually required:
- Biology or another science
Here’s a guide to what to expect from the application process – also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.
- January application
- October application
- Personal statement
- Entry test
- Work experience
Personal statement advice
Want to be a midwife? Your personal statement is your chance to stand out! Use it to convince admissions tutors you understand there’s more to midwifery than just delivering babies.
What it’s like to study Midwifery at University?
‘Midwifery is a very full-on course running right from September to August (so don’t expect the long holidays that other students get). It is very interesting and also very challenging as sometimes we have to deal with emotional or emergency situations whilst on placement. The topics we study are varied, looking at anatomy and physiology, politics and health policies, public/sexual health and sociology. As well as learning practical skills required for midwifery in the skills labs within the university.’
‘We have two days a week in uni and three days on placement. I feel that this is enough as we learn more when out in practice. The midwifery course is brilliant, although challenging, but this is expected. On my particular course, the assignments are well spaced out and are mainly essay based, with one presentation assignment in each year. Assessment takes place constantly in practice.’
‘My course has both uni days and placement days. On placement I work all sorts of shifts. Course content is good, just everything you need to know about being a midwife. It’s pretty challenging in the sense that there’s so much you need to do and in terms of learning your own styles and developing on how you use information.’
Funding your Midwifery degree
From 1 August 2017, new nursing, midwifery and most allied health students will no longer receive NHS bursaries. Consequently, they will have access to the same student loans system as other students. This applies to new students on pre-registration courses (those which lead to registration with one of the health professional regulators).
Therefore, students who already have a degree and are planning to undertake a nursing, midwifery or allied health profession subject as a second degree will now also have access to student loans through the student loans system.
For more information, check out our ‘Financial Support for Nurses and Students’ page
Become a Midwife by re-training
To train as a midwife, you will need to do an approved degree in midwifery at university. If you are a nurse, you can re-train by applying for a shortened 18-month midwifery programme.
A career in Midwifery
A career as a midwife is dynamic and demanding, there is great responsibility and it’s incredibly rewarding.
Midwives are autonomous practitioners providing care and support to women and their families during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period.
As a midwife you support women to make informed choices about their care
Midwives participate in the training and supervision of junior colleagues
Midwives link theoretical scientific principles to patient care
You can develop experience and knowledge in a number of different roles, including becoming a consultant midwife
Work is carried out in multidisciplinary teams in both hospital and, increasingly, community healthcare settings
Midwives assess, develop and implement individual patients care plan
Want to see a snapshot of what a career in midwifery would involve, what your starting salary will be and the entry requirements to study to become a midwife?
Why choose to become a Midwife?
Where do Midwives work?
Working as part of a multidisciplinary professional team, midwives work in:
supporting women to have a positive experience of childbirth.
What's it like to be a Midwife?
Here are four different types of jobs within Midwifery.
Hospital midwives are midwives who are based in a hospital obstetric, or consultant unit, a birth centre or midwife-led unit, and they staff the antenatal clinic, labour ward, and postnatal wards.
Community midwives often work in teams and provide a degree of continuity of care. In pregnancy, they see you either at home or at a clinic. When you go into labour they are available for a home birth, or in a few places, they may come into the labour ward in the hospital to be with you. Once your baby is born, they’ll visit you at home for up to ten days afterwards. Community midwives also provide postnatal care for women who have been looked after during labour by hospital midwives.
Head of Midwifery leads the operational and strategic direction of maternity services.
Consultant Midwife has equal or superior research skills as well as clinical credibility.