Course overview

Develop, deliver and direct high-quality midwifery services, helping the drive towards improving maternity and health outcomes for women and their families.

This course aims to equip midwives and maternity nurses with the knowledge and skills required to lead practice change, follow a career in research and/or higher education, or work at senior and strategic levels in today's midwifery and healthcare services.

To achieve this, our Division of Midwifery offers a learning environment that facilitates the development of reflective, analytical and evidence-based critical thinking to challenge existing midwifery practice, challenge maternity service provision and lead and manage change.

We are a small division, with a real sense of community. Our experienced teaching staff get to know you as an individual and provide dedicated student support throughout the study programme.

Our programme prepares and supports you to go into research or research as part of your practice-based role.

From 15 March 2022, the UK government revoked the requirement for students engaged in patient-facing health or social care settings to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. This means that while we still encourage all eligible students to become fully vaccinated, there will be no impediment to you starting your course, regardless of your Covid-19 vaccination status.

Why choose this course?

Small class sizes

providing dedicated support and high-quality teaching for student learning

Expert teaching

Staff in the Division of Midwifery are internationally-recognised for their teaching excellence.


96% of our submitted research was judged to be World-Leading or Internationally Excellent, and our research environment was rated 100% World-Leading. 

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

Course content

You'll study in depth the art and science of midwifery, evidence informed midwifery practice, research skills and methodology and the ethical, political, legal, economic, multi-professional and global context in which contemporary midwifery is practised.

  • MSc students will take all of the compulsory modules for a total of 180 credits.
  • PGDip students will take all of the compulsory modules, except the dissertation project, for a total of 120 credits.
  • PGCert students will take three compulsory modules for a total of 60 credits.


Semester one

Introduction to Research Methodology and Design (20 credits) 20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with a detailed and nuanced understanding of research, design and project implementation within maternity settings. A secondary aim is that you will gain a critical appreciation of evidence-based guidelines, their development, dissemination and implementation.

The Concepts of Perinatal Mental Health for Health Care Professionals (20 credits) 20 credits

You will analyse knowledge and critical understanding in the concept of perinatal mental health in order to advance the wider context of practice.

This module considers the social and physical factors that could influence the normal emotional changes during pregnancy and childbirth. This includes:

  • challenges to mental well-being during the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods;
  • the risk factors e.g. domestic abuse, safeguarding, drug and alcohol misuse, learning disability;
  • advanced knowledge of common mental health disorders;
  • local national and international policies related to the care of women with mental health problems;
  • the midwives’ or nurses’ role in foetal loss and bereavement support;
  • the multi-professional team working and collaboration with other agencies;
  • collaborative working in promoting positive infant mental health and wellbeing, specifically focusing on attachment, bonding and behavioural assessment;
  • the identification, assessment and referral pathways for women with mental health issues;
  • reflection on the latest evidence around, mental health and well-being of the family unit to include fathers and partners.
Using Evidence to Advocate in Midwifery Practice 20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide students with opportunities to develop their knowledge of advocacy in midwifery practice by evaluating how childbearing women with normal pregnancies and births are cared for within the context of risk. Evaluation of complications during pregnancy and birth will be explored to enable students to challenge non-evidence based practice.

Semester two

Research Skills for Maternal and Newborn Health Practice (20 credits) 20 credits

The aim of this module is to support you in transferring the skills and understanding learnt in a previous introductory research module to develop your own primary or secondary research protocol.

You will consider:

  • qualitative data analysis: handling the data
  • qualitative data analysis: understanding the data and finding meaning
  • service user involvement in research and involving key stakeholders: policy-makers, commissioners, NGOs etc.
  • qualitative meta-synthesis; purpose and techniques
  • quantitative meta-analysis; purpose and techniques
  • dissemination of research findings; impact and clinical applicability. Changing practice: models of change in health research, including guidelines and hierarchy of approaches to changing professional practice; basic implementation science
  • research leadership, governance and ethical approval 
Contemporary Issues in Infant Feeding and Nutrition (20 credits) 20 credits

This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the influences and inequalities in infant feeding and nutrition.

You will consider:

  • the mother-baby dyad from preconception to the second year of life
  • social, cultural and political influences on infant feeding
  • infant feeding culture in the UK and internationally
  • international code for breastmilk substitutes
  • the evidence that underpins infant feeding practice and how to keep up to date
  • strategic planning and management around infant feeding
  • global public health perspectives on infant feeding and nutrition
Maternal and Newborn health in a Global Context (20 credits) 20 credits

This module aims to extend your knowledge of global maternal and newborn health issues through exploration of current evidence and a critique of social policy. You will compare and contrast healthcare systems and practices in an international context. You will gain an understanding of the current debates in global health development and how they apply to the delivery of midwifery care. This includes examining the cultural and social challenges to accessing maternity care and identifying alternative clinical management of adverse events and emergencies in a low resource setting. The module also considers the role of women’s and/or human rights and feminism in the context of global maternal health.


The dissertation module is studied across both semester 1 and semester 2

Dissertation (60 credits) 60 credits

This is an investigatory module that develops your research capabilities in the field of midwifery.    

Student led seminars provide you with the opportunity to develop, present and discuss with peers your protocols regarding the format of their dissertation i.e. empirical research project, modified systematic review, audit/service evaluation or critical review and subsequent development.

Independent study will be guided by an academic supervisor and individual tutorials, culminating in the submission of a unique and substantial piece of work in the form of a dissertation.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 24 March 2022.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Enquiry-based learning
  • Tutorials
  • eLearning
  • Group study

How you will be assessed

  • Case studies
  • Literature review
  • Assignments
  • Dissertation

Your work will be assessed during or at the end of each module through a variety of means.

To complete a module and gain its credits you will need to make sure you attend your timetabled sessions and get over the 50% pass mark.

In order to achieve the MSc, you will need a total of 180 credits. You must have achieved a satisfactory academic standard for postgraduate study i.e. weighted course average of at least 50% to progress to the dissertation module.

In order to achieve the PGDip, you will need a total of 120 credits.

In order to achieve the PGCert, you will need a total of 60 credits.

Contact time and study hours

You are expected to work roughly 10 hours for each credit on the course including teaching and independent study, so a 20 credit module should take around 200 hours to complete.

Full-time students will study 3 modules per semester (alongside working on your dissertation project across both semesters).

Modules are usually taught over 8 weeks. There are approximately 3 hours of timetabled teaching hours per module each week. The rest of your time outside of timetabled teaching is for self-directed study. Please note teaching days vary depending on the module.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 degree (or above)
Professional qualification

UK students must provide confirmation of registration as a midwife.

Work experience

You are expected to demonstrate a commitment to the practice of maternity and healthcare through your current professional/practitioner role.


Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in August 2021.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, such as printing, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.


We offer the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for this degree programme. 

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

This course enables midwives and maternity nurses across the globe to advance their careers and operate at senior levels be it in clinical practice, higher education, management or research.

Graduate destinations include posts as clinical managers, consultant midwives, lecturers, practice development midwives, research midwives and specialist midwives.

Many of our students decide to continue their education by studying for a PhD in Midwifery.

Career progression

96.9% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £29,708.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for NHS trusts (such as clinical specialists, advanced practitioners, modern matrons), universities (such as lecturers and senior academics, lecturer practitioners, researchers) and in private practice.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

This content was last updated on Thursday 24 March 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.