MW0420 - Foundations of Skilled Midwifery Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This module is the first of your programmed practice learning modules and enables you gain a strong foundation in understanding physiological processes to develop your clinical knowledge and skills towards becoming a ‘The midwife as Skilled Practitioner’ (SPM - Domain 6 proficiencies). This will enable you to support, care and work in partnership with women through all aspects of the childbirth continuum.

The emphasis of your learning will be the underpinning theory and clinical skills that are essential for safe and effective midwifery care. To do this you will work alongside clinical midwives to develop your interpersonal skills, to understand professional midwifery practice in the clinical setting (SPM 1.1, SPM 1.2) as well as consolidating the clinical skills you simulated within the university setting.

You will experience the 24-hour/seven-day care provision during your clinical practice experiences, enabling you to develop an understanding of women, their babies and family’s needs; the continuity requirement for you to follow the journey of a number of women through your first year enables you have an appreciation of maternity care from service users’ perspectives. You will work in partnership with women (under supervision) (SPM 3.23) to ensure a woman centred approach to care. Throughout the module, you will have the opportunity to reflect upon your skills and personal development, as an individual and as a group. This will also include preparation for placement including preparation for being supervised and assessed.

Safe practice is embedded in the module as you develop knowledge and skills such as infection control, life support, safe moving and handling techniques, and the management of medicines. Using case scenarios and reflection these will be applied to situations from your practice experience which include for example peri- operative care, surgical birth and neonatal care. Discussion will include an introduction to childbirth emergencies (SPM4.7. Patient safety, human factors and safeguarding will also be introduced as you begin to consider the wider aspects of healthcare provision and how midwives contribute and communicate within this context (SPM 1.24, SPM 2.10, SPM 3.15, SPM 5.6). The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards will form an important part of the module too, in relation to infant feeding and early relationship building.

The theory and practice experiences you will encounter in this module will enable you to work towards the required NMC Standards of proficiency for midwives (Towards Domain 6 proficiencies). A variety of skills will be taught on this module including venepuncture, safe management of medication (including drug calculations via SafeMedicate or equivalent drug calculation/medicines management exam platform) (SPM. 1.23, SPM 3.19), injection techniques, infant feeding including breastfeeding (positioning, attachment and hand expression) and safe artificial feeding (SPM 3.6), abdominal palpation and fetal heart auscultation, examination of the newborn, vital observations, infection prevention, control and antimicrobial stewardship (SPM 3.10,), and simulation of common labour and birth events. These taught skills enable you to rehearse the technical skill away from clinical learning and care provision so that you can have protected time for considering the theory and physiology that underpins these techniques. Opportunities for peer coaching will be available from across the midwifery programme to enhance learning experiences.

How will I learn on this module?

This year long module provides you with the theoretical knowledge to enable learning from a diverse range of learning opportunities. This is the first practice module in your programme and involves observation and participation in a wide variety of settings, acknowledging where midwives support women and the interprofessional and multiagency context in which they make their professional contribution. In these settings you will gain an appreciation of and begin to participate predominantly in care in which midwives apply their Universal Midwifery Skills. In the clinical learning context this means that the oversight of the supervising midwife adapts as appropriate to the learning opportunities and the developing skills and knowledge of the student, enabling the student to demonstrate their learned skills.

In order to support the application of theory into the practice context the module expects:

(a) flow from university learning into practice learning, for example, you will learn about the principles and rehearse midwifery practice skills in a simulated environment. The use of simulated learning is integral throughout this module ranging from group role play/discussions, through to the use of high-fidelity Sim Mom and Sim Newbie to create ‘close to reality’ scenarios to promote knowledge and skill development.

To support and self-monitor the development and appreciation of skills, students participate in peer review opportunities throughout this year there will be:

(b) flow from practice learning into university learning, for example facilitated reflection on clinical experiences with exploration of the relevant theory and research/evidence base (SPM 1.27).

There will be opportunities to learn from service users, for example in relation to infant feeding, your own real-life experiences and those of your peers, as well as case scenarios applicable to your clinical learning experiences.

Your Midwifery Ongoing Record of Achievement (MORA) starts in this module (SPM1.23). You will draw on the experiences you are gaining in other modules to effectively manage your own learning and with the support of your Practice Assessor (PA) and Academic Assessor (AA); throughout this year you will begin to develop the skills associated with becoming an empowered learner who can identify and respond to their own learning needs. Practice Supervisors (PS) will facilitate the learning identified by the PA (and AA where relevant) as required for this stage of your programme. The proficiencies required in each year of your programme are identified within the MORA.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be introduced to a variety of learning opportunities including directed study, practical sessions, and seminars. You will be introduced to peer review in the practical sessions to consider strengths and areas for development in future practice skills, which will prepare you for review in clinical practice. You will develop a knowledge and understanding of evidence-based care and the guidance available to inform practice. As with all modules on the programme, successful achievement requires a robust system of support and guidance to help you focus your learning needs. You will be supported in both academic and practice learning environments.

In university, your Lecturers and Personal Tutors and Academic Assessors will signpost you to support services available at the university to develop your academic and clinical skills. For practice, your Practice Assessor, Practice Supervisors and Academic Assessor will guide and support you to identify your learning needs through regular practice placement review and support you to identify your learning development opportunities to prepare you to meet the specified practice proficiencies for assessment.

Your module team will introduce you to the extensive online support to enable you to participate in the University’s commitment to technology enhanced learning. The University’s e-Learning Portal offers remote access to learning materials used by tutors and signposts you to a range of resources that complement and reinforce face-to-face learning.

The University Library can help you develop a variety of learning skills, including academic writing, academic reading, searching, and referencing. You can access the interactive training via the library webpages or the following link:

Ask4Help online (accessed through your student portal) provides a comprehensive range of answers to frequently asked questions and is of benefit to students as a central point of reference for information about many different topics. Ask4Help face to face service points are located at Coach Lane Library (ground floor).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Identify and describe the relevant theory that underpins care practices through which midwives may promote normal healthy pregnancy, birth and puerperium.

2. Participate in and discuss the care required to monitor the wellbeing of a woman and her fetus/neonate in pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Perform a variety of specified clinical skills safely and effectively.

4. Recognise the autonomy and accountability in midwifery practice and the limits of own capability

5. Demonstrate developing proficiency in the communication skills required to provide personalised care.

6. Participate in a range of assessment, screening, care and support measures for woman and neonates.

7. Participate safely in the administration of medicines and demonstrate numeracy with introduction to Safe Medicate or equivalent drug calculation/ medicines management exam platform.

8. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to work within clinical services that meet the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards to support babies, mothers and families.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

9. Demonstrate and discuss the basic principles of ethical and professional midwifery care, in line with the NMC Code.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment

Informal formative assessment through peer, practice learning colleagues and tutor feedback throughout the module and practice learning.

Formal formative assessment at key points in practice learning (these are defined in the MORA)

MLO 1, 2, 3, 4

Summative Assessment 1: Pass/Fail

Recording of an educational video (5 minutes max in length) for women to systematically demonstrate practical aspects of infant feeding support, underpinned by the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards. This will be accompanied by a self-reflection on own performance (no more than 500 words).

MLO 1, 2, 3, 6, 8

Feedback through ESAF platform via marking rubric and qualitative feedforward comments

Summative Assessment 2: Pass/Fail

Practice evidence that MORA has been completed for Domain 6 proficiencies relevant to this stage in the programme.

MLO 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

Feedback from Practice Assessor as part of summative holistic assessment review.





Module abstract

This first year module will introduce you to a range of midwifery skills for contemporary practice, supporting your first practice placement experiences. Practice learning focuses introducing you to women-centred partnership working, in which you will be afforded the opportunity to develop the skills you have acquired in the university setting and rehearse these under direct supervision of your Practice Supervisor (a registered midwife). Whilst developing skills for universal and additional care, you will learn how to deliver safe and effective evidence-based midwifery practice. The module will be assessed through a self-review of own performance in explaining and developing key practical skills from the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative. This is complimented by a holistic review of practice performance by the Practice Supervisors, Practice Assessors, and your Academic Assessor, in which you will utilise your continuity experience and practice learning progression and achievements to demonstrate how you have met the module learning outcomes.

Course info

UCAS Code B725

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time (45 weeks per year)

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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