How to become a Midwife

How to Become a

There are two main routes to become a midwife in the UK

  • University

  • A nurse can re-train as a midwife

Jump to learn more about:

Become a Midwife by Studying at University

Midwifery Degrees

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.


A-levels (or equivalent) usually required:

  • Biology or another science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Chemistry

How to become a midwife

Application Checklist

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
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

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:

  • birth units,

  • communities

  • hospitals

In these settings, midwives support women, helping them 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


To discover what it’s like to study midwifery at universities from across the UK, take a look at this playlist we curated just for you, it includes only official university videos.