Maternal and Newborn Health MSc


Fact file

MSc Maternal and Newborn Health
1 year full-time. 2-4 years part-time.
Entry requirements
At least a 2.2 honours degree
Other requirements
Applicants must be a registered nurse/midwife and be involved in the delivery of maternal or newborn health care in their current practice. International students will be required to have occupational health clearance, supply a declaration of good character and health form certified by their current employer and undertake governance training in order to undertake insight/observational visits. Please not if vaccinations are required, these will be at the student’s own expense.
IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Nottingham Centre
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.
Please note we are reviewing this curriculum for 2018 entry


This course provides health professionals with the knowledge and skills required to operate at senior and strategic levels in today's maternity and related healthcare settings.
Read full overview

This course is designed to enable healthcare professionals working in the fields of maternal and newborn health to develop, deliver and direct high quality maternity services within the context of the national and international drive towards improving maternity/health outcomes for childbearing women, their newborns and their family.

The course aims to equip health professionals with the knowledge and skills required to operate at senior and strategic levels in today's maternity and related healthcare settings. Students will study the ethical, political, legal, economic, multi-professional and global context in which healthcare is provided to childbearing women and their newborns. To achieve this, the school offers a learning environment that facilitates the development or reflective, analytical and critical thinking and the ability to lead and manage change.

Course specific entry requirements

All prospective applicants to the course will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to the practice of maternal and newborn healthcare through their current professional/practitioner role and in addition to the University regulations must:

  • Hold a degree (usually 2.2 or above)
  • Be a registered practising nurse/midwife in current practice

International students

International students whose first language is not English are normally required to have an overall average score of 6.5 (out of a possible 9) in the British Council’s International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent.

Applications from certain countries may have these requirements waived subject to the University of Nottingham Policy for Waiving English Language Requirements (Word).

Key facts

  • Rated 8th in the UK for nursing and midwifery in the Complete University Guide 2018
  • We are a leading environment for world class research according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 86% of our research activity is rated as world leading and internationally excellent with significant impact on people's health and wellbeing. We have also seen a 35% improvement in the quality of research undertaken in the past five years
  • Ranked 5th best in terms of research power in our unit of assessment, a measure which includes the quality of research and number of research active staff according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014  
  • Our teaching team includes a number of Senior Fellows and Fellows of the Higher Education Academy

Course details

The MSc Maternal and Newborn Health provides a framework within which healthcare professionals undertake four modules, including two optional modules pertinent to their area of practice/personal interest which can be selected from a menu of modules in order to achieve a total of 120 credits. Students may exit at this point with a Postgraduate Diploma in Maternal and Newborn Health.  

The MSc Maternal and Newborn Health course requires students to complete four modules and a further compulsory module, the Dissertation module (60 credits); the criteria being that the student has achieved a satisfactory academic standard for postgraduate study i.e. weighted course average of at least 50%.

The dissertation project is a 12,000–15,000 word modified systematic review, an audit/service evaluation or empirical research project.

Course structure

The course commences in September/October each year. 

Part-time option: The minimum length of the course is 24 months for the MSc Maternal and Newborn Health.

Full-time option: The maximum length of the course is 12 months for the MSc Maternal and Newborn Health.

Full-time students will normally be expected to complete the course in 12 months. Part-time students will normally complete the course within four years, having the option to complete within 24, 36 or 48 months.

Teaching and learning methods

Health professionals are allocated a personal tutor for each module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are incorporated within the course and include:

  • Lectures
  • Group discussion
  • Student and tutor-led seminars
  • Web-based learning activities using Moodle
  • Tutor-led group tutorials
  • Individual tutorials and academic supervision
  • Online discussion boards
  • Online group tutorials
  • Discussion forums

Where appropriate, outside lecturers with particular expertise will be used in addition to school staff.

Methods of assessment

Each module has an assessment that can take a variety of forms, for example: 

  • Written assignments
  • Online assessments
  • Critical incident analysis
  • Action plan development
  • Evidence-based portfolios
  • Oral presentation with supportive paper

We also offer a Postgraduate Diploma Maternal and Newborn Health, which shares the same taught components as the MSc Maternal and Newborn Health, but does not have a dissertation requirement.

Curriculum map

Full time students

Semester one:
Evidence for Health and Social Care (30 credits)
Empowering Midwifery Practice (30 credits)

Semester two:
Two optional modules (30 credits each)
Dissertation (60 credits) - six months to complete

Part time students

Year one
Semester one:
Empowering Midwifery Practice (30 credits)

Year two
Semester three:
Evidence for Health and Social Care (30 credits)

Semester four:
Two optional modules (30 credits each)

Year three
Semester five:

Dissertation (MSc students only) - eight months to complete

All of the compulsory modules are run from the Nottingham Centre.

Two optional modules (2 x 30 credits) - choices to be negotiated with Course Lead.

Other optional modules may be added from time to time according to demand from our NHS partners. Please note that all module details may be subject to change.

For more details on our modules, please see the module catalogue.



Core modules:

  • Evidence for Health and Social Care (30 credits)
  • Empowering Midwifery Practice (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules:

  • 60 credits from the Level 4 portfolio*

*Some modules have a clinical component to the assessment and are not available for international students.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Home/EU students

Nurse/midwives working in the East Midlands may be funded via their Manager and LBR Co-ordinator through the Strategic Health Authority/Local Education Training Boards contract with the University of Nottingham. Other nurses/midwives may self fund the course or seek support from scholarships.

You can find out more detailed information about course fees, scholarships and funding on the school website

The Graduate School website at the University of Nottingham provides information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



The MSc Maternal and Newborn Health is a new course, but it is expected to enable individual nurses/midwives who have successfully completed the course to develop their careers, for example as clinical managers, lecturers, practice development nurses/midwives, researchers and specialist practitioners.

The MSc Maternal and Newborn Health is a vocationally-driven course aimed at practising nurse/midwives. As such, the content is designed to put you at the cutting edge of thinking, research and practice in the area of maternal and newborn health, with a view to accelerating your career progression and prospects.

The MSc Maternal and Newborn Health enables nurses/midwives to advance their careers and operate at senior levels be it in clinical practice, higher education, management or research, with graduates securing posts as clinical managers, specialist practitioners, lecturers, practice development nurses/midwives and researchers.

This course also provides an excellent foundation for future study at PhD level. Nurses/midwives will be required to attain a final masters degree classification of at least a merit in order to be eligible to apply for this higher level of study.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 98.6% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £25,082 with the highest being £61,000*.

*Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for work, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

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

Career prospects and employability

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.


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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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