Midwifery» open the printable degree» search for more Areas of Study
Midwives are health professionals trained to provide medical support and advice to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and the early parenting period. The practice is grounded in contemporary midwifery theory and midwives require registration with a regulatory authority to practice.
The Bachelor of Midwifery prepares students for new models of maternity care with a unique emphasis on primary health care including health promotion, indigenous health and mental health issues. The degree has been jointly developed with the Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) and students gain practical experience in maternal units and community health settings.
Graduates from the Bachelor of Midwifery are eligible to apply for registration to practise as a midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and can work in Australia, New Zealand and there are also other opportunities to work overseas. Midwives work in birth centres, maternity units of hospitals, in community settings, rural and remote areas, and private practice which may include home births
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of post-graduate study options available. Post-graduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the post-graduate study options following the Bachelor of Midwifery include:
Master of Philosophy - Midwifery
Doctor of Philosophy - Midwifery
Some jobs such as in management, education or clinical midwife consultant role, require a Masters degree. The Masters of Midwifery is a course work program, see Masters of Midwifery for more information.
Course related fields:
Neonatal Nursing, Child and family Health, Preparation for Parenthood, Family Planning and Reproductive Health
The following list provides some example jobs for Midwifery graduates. Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
A variety of employment opportunities exist within clinical and non-clinical settings for Midwifery graduates. Below is an example of some organisations that recruit graduates in these areas.
- ACT Health (Australia)
- CRS Australia (Australia)
- Domain Principal Group (Australia)
- Eastern Health (Australia)
- Healthscope Limited (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Medicins Sans Frontieres (Australia)
- Northern Health (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
- NT Health (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Australian Breastfeeding Association (Australia)
- Australian College of Midwives (Australia)
- Australian College of Neonatal Nurses (Australia)
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (Australia)
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Australia)
- Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (Australia)
- Australian Medical Association (Australia)
- Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (Australia)
- Australian Nursing Federation (Australia)
- Australian Private Midwives Association (Australia)
- Australian Rural Nurses and Midwives (ARNM) (Australia)
- Australian Society of Independent Midwives (Australia)
- Australian Women's Health Nurses Association Inc (Australia)
- Baby Friendly Health Initiative Australia (Australia)
- The Child and Family Health Nurses Association (Australia)
- Childbirth Australia (Australia)
- Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses (Australia)
- CRANAPlus (Australia)
- GoGirl Australia (Australia)
- Gynaecological Oncology Nursing Group (Australia)
- Homebirth Australia (Australia)
- International Confederation of Midwives (International)
- Maternity Coalition (Australia)
- Midwifery Consultant Group (Australia)
- National Association of Childbirth Educators (Australia)
- National Rural Health Alliance (Australia)
- New South Wales Midwives Association Inc (Australia)
- New Zealand College of Midwives (International)
- Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (Australia)
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Australia)
- Royal College of Nursing Australia (Australia)
- Rural Doctors Association of Australia (Australia)
- Sids and Kids (Australia)
- UNICEF Australia (Australia)
- The White Ribbon Alliance (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Midwifery are the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge acquired through this program. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
- Use research to inform midwifery practice.
- Accept accountability and responsibility for own actions within midwifery practice.
- Communicate information to facilitate decision-making by the woman.
- Promote safe and effective midwifery care.
- Assess, plan, provide and evaluate safe and effective midwifery care.
- Assess, plan, provide and evaluate safe and effective midwifery care for the woman and/or baby with complex needs.
- Advocate to protect the rights of women, families and communities in relation to maternity care.
- Develop effective strategies to implement and support collaborative midwifery practice.
- Actively support midwifery as a public health strategy.
- Ensure midwifery practice is culturally safe.
- Base midwifery practice on ethical decision-making.
- Identify personal beliefs and develop these in ways that enhance midwifery practice.
- Act to enhance the professional development of self and others.
- Function in accordance with legislation and common law affecting midwifery practice.
Midwives work in birth centres, maternity units of hospitals, in community settings, rural and remote areas, and private practice. Graduates from the Bachelor of Midwifery are eligible to apply for registration to practise as a midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and can work in Australia, New Zealand and there are also other opportunities to work overseas.
With further study at the end of their program, students are able to pursue Honours or Master’s Degree study to become midwifery educators, managers or researchers.