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Training to Become a Midwife

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 22 Apr 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Midwife Midwifery Midwives Training Nhs

Becoming a midwife can be one of the most rewarding career changes. Babies are born every day and the NHS actively recruits midwives, as do many private birthing centres and hospitals.

Training and Qualifications

Training to become a midwife takes around five to six years, on average, depending on what relevant qualifications you have to start with. If you have no relevant training or qualifications, but have at least five A-C GCSEs, you can start to train as a midwife by enrolling onto an access course. If you have three A-Levels, you can go straight to applying for a degree in Midwifery.

Not all universities offer degrees in Midwifery, although most that offer medical degrees do. A midwifery degree in the UK takes three years of full-time study, or four years in Scotland, with the majority recommending a 50% placement and 50% theory, which takes considerably longer.

The NHS also offers ‘pre-registration midwifery short courses’ for qualified nurses wishing to specialise in midwifery. These courses offer part-time study alongside practical work – both in your existing area and midwifery – in order to become a midwife.

The UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council delivers a range of approved training and education courses, focused around half practical work and half theory, with a long list of locations and timetables available on its website.

Although large numbers of midwives are employed by the NHS, there are many other employer options for both qualified midwives and those looking to train. Many private hospitals employ midwives, as do birthing centres which are rapidly gaining popularity as a highly personal birthing choice.

Money Issues

Midwifery is a relatively well-paid career, with NHS roles offering a secure career that has regular pay reviews and incremental increases, with the midwifery roles in the private sector often slightly higher paid, but with perhaps less job security. The NHS pay scale for newly qualified midwives starts at around £20,000 per annum, going up to around £27,000 for a midwife with around 3-5 years' experience and £30,000 for a more experienced person. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that this does not include any London weighting, shift allowance or overtime, all of which can considerably increase your take home pay.

Career Choice for Men and Women

It is also important to point out that midwifery is a career choice with no discrimination. Both men and women are encouraged to apply for midwifery training, in both the public and private sector and, while it may still be considered an unusual career choice for men, this misconception is slowly changing. After all, we’re all used to male gynaecologists.

While there are no gender discrimination issues in being a midwife, there are certainly personality types that are more suited to the role. A large part of the midwifery training is focused on promoting health and wellbeing in pregnant women and understanding, promoting and facilitating normal childbirth in accordance with the pregnant woman’s wishes. As such, a ‘good’ midwife needs to be able to communicate well, have empathy and be comfortable dealing with often stressful situations.

There is also what the NHS calls ‘Fitness to Practise’ for medical professionals including midwives that is related to the health and wellbeing of its trainees and employees. As midwifery is a relatively physical job, Fitness to Practise, or FtP requires that midwives are not excessively overweight and are capable of fulfilling the physical demands of the job.

Becoming a Nurse

Find out what qualifications you need for a career in nursing, and how you can get into this invaluable profession in our article Becoming A Nurse.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi there, I have 2 degrees BA (Hons) in Advice work and a LLB. I haven't been able pursue a career in law - and currently work as a receptionist at a hospital. Iv had an interest in midwifery for some time now especially after having two children - the help and care that is given by the midwifes is just so inspirational. iv been reading through on what the qualification/requirements needed to get in to midwifery - but just wanted to know for someone who already has a degree but in another field like myself is there any way round it or what is the requirements here??
didi - 22-Apr-17 @ 4:09 AM
Hi im a qualified beauty therapist with five yrs experience of working in a salon ,I am cibtac and cidesco qualified and im just wondering would my qualifications enable me to pursue a midwife course and how long wod the course be.
Pc - 20-Apr-17 @ 9:20 PM
Hi I'm 28 and want to get into nursing I have level 3 children and young people,would this enable me to apply for child nursing or midwifery courses??
Sammyl - 18-Apr-17 @ 7:56 PM
I'm 40 yrs old i left school with no qualifications but would like to become a midwife is this possible?I currently work as a housekeeper within the NHS.
Miss Lunn - 12-Apr-17 @ 10:29 PM
Jhelisa- Your Question:
Hi I'm 21 and I have 2 children aged 5 and 1. I want to become a midwife but left school with basically nothing. What's the best route to take?

Our Response:
Ask at your local colleges to see if you can sit GCSEs and then either A levels or an equivalent health related qualification. Once you're armed with these qualifications you can look at universities which offer midwifery courses (some may also offer a post-gcse access course to negate the need for A levels).
ACareerChange - 6-Apr-17 @ 2:07 PM
Hi I'm 21 and I have 2 children aged 5 and 1. I want to become a midwife but left school with basically nothing. What's the best route to take?
Jhelisa - 5-Apr-17 @ 7:47 PM
I am 24, have a mortgage alone and hoping to study midwifery at uni in sept. Please can you explain how I will be able to logistically and financially make this work.
Hatz - 24-Mar-17 @ 5:27 PM
Lauren- Your Question:
Hi I have 5 gcse's, I'm 25, and I'd like to become a midwife, where do I start please, I work full time at the moment thanks

Our Response:
Check out universities that are convenient for you, to see if they offer a midwifery degree. You will need to enroll on to an access course if there is one available, or complete 3 relevant A levelsin order to access a degree course. The UCAS website gives more information
ACareerChange - 24-Mar-17 @ 12:00 PM
Hi I have 5 gcse's, I'm 25, and I'd like to become a midwife, where do I start please, I work full time at the moment thanks
Lauren - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:11 AM
Jayde - Your Question:
Hi I'm 21 and have got 5 GCSE's C and above also got a BTEC in science. Just wondering my next steps to become a qualified midwife. Also have two young children, and don't know where to start. Thank you Jayde

Our Response:
Firstly look at midwifery courses at any local colleges/universities near to you (the UCAS website has a list). The course requirements will be listed, usually A levels are needed, but often a BTEC might be considered too, especially if you are a "mature" student. Try calling the admissions staff for more information if the website is not clear enough.
ACareerChange - 13-Mar-17 @ 2:19 PM
Hi I'm 21 and have got 5 GCSE's C and above also got a BTEC in science. Just wondering my next steps to become a qualified midwife. Also have two young children, and don't know where to start. Thank you Jayde
Jayde - 10-Mar-17 @ 7:08 PM
Hbird - Your Question:
Hello. Will a CertHE in Early Childhood enable me to apply for Midwifery or must it be Health & Social Care?I have a level 3 teaching & learning qualification too and work in a nursing home as a HCA

Our Response:
The easiest way to find this out would be to contact the insitution where you're considering studying for your midwifery degree. Sometimes a website will give this information but a phone call is often clearer.
ACareerChange - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:25 PM
Hello. Will a CertHE in Early Childhood enable me to apply for Midwifery or must it be Health & Social Care? I have a level 3 teaching & learning qualification too and work in a nursing home as a HCA
Hbird - 18-Feb-17 @ 1:05 PM
Mrs Chelsey Marie Ta - Your Question:
Hi I am 26 years old. I have 2A* 4As and 4Bs at GCSE level then a BTEC NAT DIP IN BEAUTY THERAPY SCIENCES WITH A TRIPLE DISTINCTION and 8 years experience. What would I need to retrain as a midwife.

Our Response:
You may be able to get access on to a foundation course towards a nursing degree on the strength of your GCSE results etc. You should contact institutions that offer a nursing degree course and find out. It may be that you need to sit A levels or similar to access a degree course directly.
ACareerChange - 17-Feb-17 @ 12:04 PM
Hi i am 26 years old. I have 2A* 4As and 4Bs at GCSE level then a BTEC NAT DIP IN BEAUTY THERAPY SCIENCES WITH A TRIPLE DISTINCTION and 8 years experience. What would I need to retrain as a midwife.
Mrs Chelsey Marie Ta - 17-Feb-17 @ 11:00 AM
Hi I'm 30 in February I'm a qualified hairdresser and have been for 15years. I'm looking in to becoming a midwife or nurse and would like to no the best routes to do this?
Samsam - 13-Jan-17 @ 8:50 PM
Mickey - Your Question:
My 16 year old daughter is in her last year at school in Medway Kent.She wants to be a Midwife,her school don't do midwifery courses,where should she enroll please X

Our Response:
Midwifery courses do not usually commence until post A level. As long as she gains 5 GCSEs including English, maths and science she should be able to apply for a midwifery degree course on successful completion of 3 A levels...often a science will be required at this level too.
ACareerChange - 1-Nov-16 @ 2:36 PM
My 16 year old daughter is in her last year at school in Medway Kent.She wants to be a Midwife,her school don't do midwifery courses,where should she enroll please X
Mickey - 31-Oct-16 @ 5:20 PM
Danni- Your Question:
Hi I'm 24 I currently work as a room leader in a nursery however I am looking into training to be a midwife. I want to know the best way to do this and how I will cope with fees etc as I'm used to being paid from my job thank you

Our Response:
You can either undertake a nursing degree and training in midwifery after that, or go straight into a midwifery degree. The NHS does offer bursaries to help with finance but you may also have to consider a student loan to supplement that. The entry requirements vary from university to university but generally you will need 5 GCSEs including english, maths and a science, plus two A levels or equivalent in BTEC etc
ACareerChange - 24-Oct-16 @ 10:42 AM
Hi I'm 24 I currently work as a room leader in a nursery however I am looking into training to be a midwife. I want to know the best way to do this and how I will cope with fees etc as I'm used to being paid from my job thank you
Danni - 22-Oct-16 @ 12:52 AM
Hi I'm 22 I live in Maidstone kent,I am a mum of 2,5 and 6 months would love nothing more then to become a midwife I'm not sure at all where to start just hoping for some advice many thanks Lauren
Lauren - 6-Oct-16 @ 9:07 PM
Hey, I'm 22 and am not sure what GCSE's I have but know it isn't 5. I'm looking to study midwifery but am unsure on the path to take. Could someone advise? Thanks, Alison
Alison - 17-Aug-16 @ 1:06 PM
Hi! I currently work as a support worker, but really would like to be a midwife. I have my functional skills in English and maths and have also got my NVQ level 3 in health and social care. What else would i need to be able to apply for university and how would I do that?
Tash - 27-Jul-16 @ 12:38 PM
Hi, I'm 37yrs old and I'm currently on maternity leave. I am really thinking about my career prospects in the health sector and feel I need to peruse my life long dream of becoming a Midwife. I am a Deputy manager at a residential home and have qualifications in GNVQ level 2 in health and social care, NVG level 3 in health and social care and LMC level 5. How would I go about applying and would my qualifications be enough to enroll ? Would really appreciate your advice. Many thanks Lisa
Loopyloo - 12-Jul-16 @ 10:27 PM
Sarah - Your Question:
Hi I'm 29 with 4 children currently on maternity leave an due to go back in October. I work as a dental nurse for the last 6years but want to do something new. I don't currently have any Alevels will I need them to be able to go to uni or could I use my dental nurse NVQ level 3 qualification?

Our Response:
Your NVQ level 3 might gain you access to a midwifery courses at certain institutions. The easiest way to find out is to use the UCAS website where you'll also find contact details for the individual universities.
ACareerChange - 8-Jul-16 @ 11:31 AM
Hi I'm 29 with 4 children currently onmaternity leave an due to go back in October. I work as a dental nurse for the last 6years but want to do something new. I don't currently have any Alevels will i need them to be able to go to uni or could I use my dental nurse NVQ level 3 qualification?
Sarah - 6-Jul-16 @ 11:04 AM
Hi I am 35 years lady . This is my first year doing level 2 primary health care course . I'm wandering if i wll be able to be a auxilary nurse when I finish my leve 4.
lettie - 16-Jun-16 @ 3:56 PM
im have CHW NQF2 can i apply for midwife it my favourite career I'm 23 years old.
nelly - 6-Jun-16 @ 10:48 AM
I'm real want to study there but I'm still doing nationalsenior certificate but I'm almost done next year June so you can take me?
nelly - 6-Jun-16 @ 10:41 AM
I am 40 years old female. I am considering becoming a midwife. My worry is if I start aa access course September 2017 and then continue on with the 3 year undergraduate programme would it be too late in my mid 40s to start a career into midwifery.
Delovie - 28-May-16 @ 9:15 AM
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