How to become a midwife: your questions answered

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Do I need 3 As at A Level?

If you’re wondering how to become a midwife, there is no national specification for grades required to study midwifery. Therefore, each university course will have its own requirements based on a number of different factors. Looking at a broad range of universities, the average number of UCAS points required is between 220 and 250, which equates to ABB and above. Universities that tend to get more applications will have higher grade requirements.

Do I need to take the UKCAT?

You will not need to take the UKCAT to apply for a midwifery course. However, you may be required by some universities to take numeracy or literacy tests, and if English is not your first language you will probably be required to take an English Language test such as IELTS or TOEFL. This is to ensure that you have a high enough level of English to be able to thrive on the course.

How long is the course?

Midwifery courses are normally three years long, but can be up to four years long if your chosen institution provides a foundation degree as well.

After you qualify as a midwife, you will be required to register with the General Midwifery Council before you can start working. This is a public database which allows anyone to view who is currently working in the sector, what they specialise in and whether they have any restrictions on their work.

How practical is the course?

Every midwifery course has a practical element to it – it’s the number one way to learn what the core of being a midwife is about (plus you can’t experience a real birth inside a classroom!). The level of practical work you will do depends entirely on the university you choose – some will integrate practical modules throughout the course while others ask their students to complete nearly a whole year in a hospital environment in one go. This sort of structural information should be widely available on the university’s website.

Can I specialise after my degree?

Many midwives choose to progress in seniority rather than specialising, but there are still plenty of things you can specialise in as a midwife. A few popular examples are:

– High risk pregnancy
– Neonatal intensive care
– Sexual health
– Fertility nursing

Others decide to go back to university to study for a postgraduate research degree in midwifery leadership. As with a medical degree, you will be able to work as a midwife for many years before you decide to specialise in something you feel passionate about.

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