Course Title: Midwifery 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Midwifery 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Linda Jones

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7417

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.06.09

Course Coordinator Availability: see office door

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Registered Nurse
Completion of a Bachelor in Nursing program or equivalent

Course Description

This first course within the midwifery program is designed to prepare beginning midwifery practitioners for the challenging and dynamic nature of contemporary midwifery practice. The course has a practical component, which is structured to provide work integrated learning experiences. Students will be presented with a comprehensive holistic view of childbirth as a continuum developmental life event for women extending from the pre-conceptual phase to pregnancy, labour, and birth. The course explores a woman-centred approach to midwifery practice within the context of the childbearing family and the wider society. It integrates both uncomplicated and complicated aspects of antenatal, labour and birth theory, and practice within a variety of maternity settings. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the midwife in establishing the woman-midwife partnership, and care of the woman and her fetus, within the boundaries of evidenced-based midwifery practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Legal and Professional Practice

  • Functions in accordance with legislation and common law affecting midwifery practice;
  • Accepts accountability and responsibility for own actions within midwifery practice.


Midwifery Knowledge and Practice

  • Communicates information to facilitate decision-making by the woman;
  • Promotes safe and effective midwifery care;
  • Assesses, plans, provides and evaluates safe and effective midwifery care;
  • Assesses, plans, provides and evaluates safe and effective midwifery care for the women and/or baby with complex needs.

Midwifery as Primary Health Care

  • Advocates to protect the rights of women, families and communities in relation to maternity care;
  • Develops effective strategies to implement and support collaborative midwifery practice;
  • Actively supports midwifery as a public health strategy;
  • Ensures midwifery practice is culturally safe.

Reflective and Ethical Practice

  • Bases midwifery practice on ethical decision making;
  • Identifies personal beliefs and develops these in ways that enhance midwifery practice;
  • Acts to enhance the professional development of self and others;
  • Uses research to inform midwifery practice..

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) National Competency Standards for the Midwife (2006).

At the conclusion of this course the students should be able to:

  • critically appraise the models of care available to women during childbirth;
  • critically reflect on pregnancy as a developmental life event and an integral part of a woman’s reproductive life;
  • apply knowledge of the physiological and psychological changes that occur during pregnancy to the antenatal, intrapartal and postpartal care of women;
  • apply aims and principles of antenatal, labour and birth care which reflect a women-centred approach to care delivery for women and their families;
  • critically examine specific medical and obstetric conditions that affect childbirth;
  • interpret the role of the midwife as primary carer and as a member of a collaborative health-care team;

Practical component:

  • demonstrate competency in the antenatal assessment and care of the pregnant women, including the diagnosis of pregnancy and the detection of potential or actual aberrations;
  • demonstrate competency in the labour assessment and care of the women, including recognition of stages of labour, progress of labour and the detection of potential or actual aberrations;

Additional Module for Graduate Certificate in Midwifery (re-entry):

  • demonstrate skills in the management of obstetrical emergencies in the absence of a medical practitioner;
  • critically examine selected variations that may affect the woman, her fetus and newborn baby during labour and birth.

Overview of Learning Activities

There is a range of learning requirements for this course that require different learning activities. Accordingly, a variety of planned student learning experiences will be utilized involving seminars, group discussion, on line activities (journal article critique and clinical debriefing), simulations and other interactive learning experiences. The seminar format will be used to give an overview of the specified study area and to direct students to foundational, critical, and evidence-based practice readings. Facilitated open discussions in the seminar context will draw on the midwifery students’ own professional work and life experiences as well as prescribed readings for the course. This approach will enable midwifery students to share their clinical experiences and practice wisdom, to critique existing research literature and to explore and debate issues regarding midwifery practice.

Learning is also achieved through various clinical settings within the midwifery practice domain.

Overview of Learning Resources

The entire course is supported by information, learning activities and resources on myRMIT Studies on the Midwifery Programs site. As well as enhanced learning opportunities, this forms part of the assessment through journal article critiques and clinical debriefing through which students are expected to participate in. The lecturers will continually monitor the journal critiques and clinical debriefing to give students ongoing feedback. Textbooks, journal articles and the electronic media also provide learning resources for students undertaking this course as well as the midwifery practice domain.

Overview of Assessment

In order to achieve the learning outcomes, midwifery students need to be able to demonstrate midwifery judgments in relation to the learning objectives. Students will need to demonstrate that they can articulate and evaluate various issues in midwifery practice to address the broad range of descriptive objectives. This can be achieved in some form of written or on-line assessment where students provide evidence of their knowledge and application to practice (this includes the journal article critique and clinical debriefing). Assessment needs to include evaluating how midwifery students’ synthesis their understandings in the design of a plan based on accurate assessment of individuals. This can be achieved through midwifery clinical placements assessment and an examination.