Midwifery

The term midwife means ‘with woman’. The midwife is the primary care provider for women and their babies during normal pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. Topics focus on normal pregnancy and childbirth, women with complications in pregnancy and childbirth and caring for the baby with special needs. Midwifery is an autonomous, independent profession and can be practised in various community and hospital settings.

Why is this course for me?

From the moment a woman becomes pregnant, it is the start of a journey leading to one of life’s greatest miracles: the birth of a baby. The term “midwife” means “with woman”. Midwifery is a wonderful profession and if you are interested in working with women, their newborn babies and their families during pregnancy and childbirth, then midwifery is the career choice for you. The focus and philosophy of midwifery in UCD is the promotion of women-centred care.

Undertaking an undergraduate midwifery education programme with UCD will enable you to become a registered midwife and obtain a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Midwifery. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to work in partnership with women and families during a normal life event which is significant, as the experience of pregnancy and childbirth is profound and matters to women. Midwifery care combines Art and Science and is defined by Renfrew et al., (2014) as: “Skilled, knowledgeable and compassionate care for childbearing women, newborn infants and families across the continuum throughout pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, postpartum and the early weeks of life. Core characteristics include optimising normal biological, psychological, social and cultural processes of reproduction and early life, timely prevention and management of complications, consultation with and referral to other services, respecting women’s individual circumstances and views, and working in partnership with women to strengthen women’s own capabilities to care for themselves and their families”(p. 3).

What will I Study?

The initial focus is on the foundational knowledge and skills required for midwifery practice. Each year these will be developed and strengthened through theory and practice. In your final year you will also focus on professional issues. Modules include:

First Year

  • Transition to University
  • Foundations of Midwifery Practice
  • Anatomy, Sciences & Physiology
  • Psychology related to the profession of Midwifery

Second & Third Year

  • Midwifery Practice during Normal Pregnancy & Childbirth
  • Complications in Pregnancy & Childbirth
  • Caring for Sick Neonatal Babies

Fourth Year

  • Research, Leadership & Management
  • Developing Further Knowledge & Clinical Skills for Midwifery Practice
  • Clinical Placement/Internship

Assessment is through a combination of end-of-semester exams and continuous assessment, including assessment of performance on clinical placements.

Clinical Placement

Theoretical knowledge will be gained in UCD in a variety of settings that include formal lectures, group work, simulated skills labs, as well as via on-line learning. Student midwives will be allocated clinical placements with UCD linked hospitals within the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG). These include: The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin; The Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar; St. Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny; Wexford General Hospital and St. John of God Hospital, Stillorgan. There are opportunities during the programme to experience a variety of midwifery settings. This promotes vision and enables you to gain experience of other maternity practices and philosophies. You may be given the opportunity to work within a different maternity system. This could mean a chance to work abroad through an ERASMUS exchange programme with students from the University of Skövde. Alternatively, you may choose to work in a midwifery-led unit or with community midwives facilitating birth at home within the IEHG.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the BSc Midwifery pre-registration education programme, you will be eligible to register as a midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).  Upon registration with the professional body, you may avail of numerous career opportunities. These may be hospital or community based, in Ireland or abroad.

Student Profile

"Studying at UCD far outweighed my expectations. We receive a lot of support from the college and the teaching hospitals, the facilities are second to none, and the small class size has meant that the lecturers have been more available to share their knowledge and help us to reach our goals."

Jean Doherty

UCD Midwifery Social Media

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