Search the Otago Polytechnic website

Bachelor of Midwifery

Location

Satellites in Dunedin, Southland, Central Otago, Wellington, Palmerston North and Whanganui

Duration
Three years full-time (45 weeks per year)
Delivery

Blended delivery with weekly face-to-face tutorials at local satellites, midwifery practice experiences, online learning and block courses in Dunedin or Porirua (Whitireia Porirua campus).

Credits
480
Level
7
Start
February
Apply
From June 2021 for our 2022 intake
  • Location
    Intake
    Study breaks
  • Central Otago
    1 February 2021
    12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
  • Dunedin
    1 February 2021
    12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
  • Palmerston North
    1 February 2021
    12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
  • Southland
    1 February 2021
    12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
  • Whanganui
    1 February 2021
    12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
  • Wellington
    1 February 2021
    12 July 2021 - 23 July 2021
  • Central Otago
    1 January 2022
  • Dunedin
    31 January 2022
    27 June 2022 - 15 July 2022
  • Palmerston North
    1 January 2022
  • Southland
    1 January 2022
  • Whanganui
    1 January 2022
  • Wellington
    1 January 2022

Enrol in our groundbreaking Bachelor of Midwifery!

Real-world practice is at the core of this three-year programme. From the start, you'll apply theory to practice. You'll work with a midwife in the community to provide antenatal and postnatal care to women and whānau, and you'll graduate with essential knowledge and skills for your health and maternity career.

This programme leads to registration with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand.

As a registered midwife you can be a:

  • Lead Maternity Care – working with women and families in the community
  • Core Midwife – working at a hospital or birthing centre. 

Essential information about the Bachelor of Midwifery


What is blended delivery?
A mix of online learning, practical experience and traditional classroom teaching at satellite locations throughout New Zealand.

Workload, time demands and extra costs

Midwifery is a very rewarding, but very demanding study programme. There is a lot to consider before you decide to apply. See what workload, time and extra costs you can expect when you study midwifery.

Completing your application

Before you apply, ensure you understand the application process and all the requirements you need to meet. 

You can enter information and upload documents directly into the application form. You may wish to prepare some of the required documentation beforehand.

To begin your application, click the Apply button at the top of this page.

You will need to provide:

  1. Copies of all of your official tertiary transcripts (including those which don't relate to Midwifery).
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae.
  3. An essay (1800 to 2200 words), answering the following:
    1. why you want to be a midwife.
    2. the qualities you bring to the midwifery profession in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    3. your life experiences relevant to a career in women's health. (Do not give details of personal birth experiences).
    4. the role and relevance of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    5. the demands, as you understand them, of being a midwifery student in our blended programme.
    6. your plan to manage the social, academic and financial demands of this course.
  4. A First Aid Certificate which includes CPR (or confirmation of booking).
  5. a copy of the front and back of your full driver licence (or restricted licence with an explanation of how you will meet demands of the programme until you have a full licence).
  6. A health declaration.
  7. A conviction declaration and permission for a Police Check to ensure you meet the requirements of the Children's Act 2014.
  8. Contact details for two referees - (one academic and one employer - if you have not studied in the last five years, two professional referees can be considered. If you are not currently employed, a referee from community engagement i.e. Playcentre can be considered instead of an employer. Family friends are not a suitable referee).
  9. Certified copies of proof of identity.
  10. Proof of residency (where appropriate).

Initial selection decisions will be made in late September. Applicants who complete their applications after 20th September can expect to hear our decision in four-six weeks.

Programme content

The Bachelor of Midwifery degree is 3 years of full-time study, but the credit value is equivalent to 4 years of full-time study (compressed into 3 calendar years).

YEAR ONE

Year One focuses on the woman/wahine and her family/whānau and explores the wider context of New Zealand's maternity services and the options and choices available to women and families. It provides a context for midwifery practice and development of specific midwifery knowledge and skills.

Gain practice experience in maternity facilities and through one-on-one continuity of care with women and midwives, where you provide a support role for women throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period.

YEAR TWO

Year Two focuses on the midwife and her developing professional framework for practice. It provides the opportunity for you to develop specific midwifery practice knowledge and skills. Courses focus on the knowledge and skills required for you to work in the Midwifery Scope of Practice and to work collaboratively with other health professionals when required.

Gain experience in a variety of settings including one-on-one continuity of care experiences with women and midwives, and undertake placements in a range of maternity facilities, particularly secondary and tertiary facilities.

YEAR THREE

Year Three focuses on the partnership between each midwife and woman in the shared experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. It enables you to integrate and consolidate your learning from Years One and Two and demonstrate your readiness to meet the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives.

Qualification structure

Course Code

Course Name

Prerequisite

Corequisite

Level

Credit

YEAR ONE

ALL COMPULSORY

 

 

 

 

BM101104

Midwifery Ways of Knowing

 

 

5

20

BM102104

Midwifery Assessment and  Practice Skills

 

 

5

45

BM102204

Sharing the Woman's Experience of Childbirth

 

 

5

40

BM104104

Women in Aotearoa New Zealand

 

 

5

15

BM105104

Bioscience Foundations

 

 

5

15

BM106104

Hauora Maori

 

 

5

10

BM103104

Integrated Midwifery Practice 1

 

All first year courses

5

5

BM105204

Pharmacology Foundations

   

5

10

YEAR TWO

ALL COMPULSORY

 

 

 

 

BM201104

Midwifery Ways of Knowing 2

BM101104

 

6

20

BM202104

Midwifery Scope of Practice

BM102104, 
BM102204,
BM105104

 

6

40

BM202204

The Midwife and Collaborative Practice

BM202104

 

6

45

BM202604

The Midwife, Newborn and Breastfeeding

BM102104, 
BM102204

 

6

20

BM205104

Bioscience in Pregnancy and Childbirth

BM105104

 

6

15

BM205204

Pharmacology and Prescribing

BM105304

 

6

10

BM203104

Integrated Midwifery Practice 2

All first year courses

All second
year courses

6

5

BM204104

Women's Health

 

 

6

5

YEAR THREE

ALL COMPULSORY

 

 

 

 

BM301104

Midwifery Ways of Knowing 3

BM201104

 

7

10

BM302104

Rural Midwifery Practice

BM202104; BM202604;
BM202304; BM205104;
BM205204

 

7

30

BM302204

Continuity Midwifery Practice

BM202104; BM202604; BM202304;
BM205104;
BM205204

 

7

60

BM302304

Elective Midwifery Practice

BM202104; BM202204;
BM202304; BM205104;
BM205204

 

7

35

BM302404

Secondary/Tertiary Midwifery Practice

BM202104; BM202204;
BM202304; BM205104; BM20604

 

7

15

BM307104

Sustainable Midwifery Practice

 

 

7

10

Entry requirements

NCEA Level 3 consisting of:

  • 60 credits at Level 3 or higher including:
    • a minimum of 18* credits at Level 3 in biology and/or chemistry 
    • a minimum of 16* credits in an English language rich subject (such as English, history, art history, classical studies, geography, economics or media studies) 
    • a further 16* credits at Level 3 or higher in one other subject on the National Qualifications Framework^
  • 20 credits at Level 2, including:
    • a minimum of 16 credits in biology
    • and a further 16 credits in chemistry
    • 16 credits in another Level 2 subject
  • Literacy – 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
    • 5 credits in reading, and
    • 5 credits in writing 
  • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
    • specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects, or
    • unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627 – all three required). 

For those over 20

  • Evidence of academic equivalence of the above qualifications, such as through successful completion of a Level 4 bridging programme for health-related degrees, or
  • Demonstrated evidence of ability to study successfully at degree-level, such as applicants who have already successfully completed a degree programme and have demonstrated transferable study skills.

*If you studied NCEA Level 3 during 2020 we encourage you to apply to our programme.  When we consider your application, we will take into account the many facets of your application, and are happy to consider some flexibility in line with Midwifery Council requirements once NCEA results have been released. Until then, we do not have the ability to waive our academic criteria without a holistic view of your academic achievement. You need a strong science background to be able to successfully complete this programme but some allowances may be made due to Covid-19 disruption.

^For approved subjects, visit http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/qualifications-standards/awards/university-entrance

English Language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide:

  • Overall Academic IELTS of 7.0 from one test completed in the last two years, or equivalent (an OET test with passes at A or B in the four areas): 
    • Comprehension band 6.5
    • Writing band 6.5
    • Speaking band 7.0
    • Listening band 7.0

Evidence of successful completion must be provided at the time of application. Applicants with Te Reo as their first language should contact the Midwifery Council. If you believe that you should be exempt from this requirement, please contact the Midwifery Council by emailing info@midwiferycouncil.health.nz. Any exemptions are at the discretion of the Midwifery Council and applicants must provide written proof of exemption or IELTs results to be accepted to the Bachelor of Midwifery.

Additional entry criteria

You must also:

  • provide testimony of two referees. One referee report should be provided by an employer or community group representative and the other must be from someone who can comment on your academic ability. Referees must be people of standing in the community who are not friends or relatives of the applicant. If you have not studied in the last five years a second professional referee may be contacted instead of an academic referee.
  • submit your curriculum vitae and an application essay (essay instructions included in Completing your application section above) demonstrating your commitment to midwifery and any life experience relevant to midwifery and/or women’s health.
  • demonstrate self-responsibility in relation to learning and practice and the personal qualities appropriate for midwifery practice such as strong communication skills and a demonstrated interest in women's and children's health. 
  • provide a current First Aid Certificate which includes proficiency in CPR.
  • demonstrate that you have good health and good character via a medical report/health declaration, identity confirmation
  • provide a conviction declaration and you will be required to provide permission for a Police Check to ensure you meet the requirements of the Children's Act 2014.
  • provide a copy of your full driver’s license. 
  • have good computer skills. 

Please note: Registered health practitioners from other disciplines who seek Recognition of Prior Learning on the basis of their health professional qualification and practice experience must hold registration with the relevant regulator authority in New Zealand and provide a Certificate of Good Standing from that authority.

Bridging options

The Health Bridging Certificate offered by the College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing acts as a bridging programme into this midwifery qualification. A minimum B+/75 average pass, achieved across four courses during semester two, is required to meet the academic entry requirements into the Bachelor of Midwifery. This MUST include a B+/75 in Bioscience 2.

The Health Bridging Certificate is also ideal if you need to update specific knowledge and skills, and demonstrate your academic ability. Distance options are available.

Please note: Due to the high demand for places, successful completion of the Health Bridging Certificate (Level 4) will not automatically guarantee you entry into the Bachelor of Midwifery programme. 

Scholarship for Māori applicants

The Irihapeti Ramsden Memorial Midwifery Scholarship offers fees subsidies to one Māori midwifery student accepted for the Bachelor of Midwifery programme at Otago Polytechnic each year. Nga Maia facilitates provision of whanau support for the Scholarship recipients during their studies. Applications are submitted to Nga Maia at the start of the academic year and the scholarship is awarded before June of applicants’ first year of study.

Find out more about this scholarship.

Programme-specific risks

The nature of midwifery practice means that, at times, you may be at risk of:

  • Physical injuries that may occur as a result of hazards in the classroom, laboratory or practice setting
  • Allergic reactions through contact with latex, exposure to drugs or chemicals
  • Issues affecting your emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Infection or cross-infection through contact with infective agents in the laboratory or practice setting.

Once you have been accepted into the programme, you will be notified that you must produce current evidence of immunisation status. Immunisation status is determined by a blood test and your vaccination history. 

How we manage these risks

We will provide health and safety information relating to computer use and to practice equipment, and advise you how to reduce any risk of injury. You will have access to copies of relevant hazards registers and processes for reporting accidents and injuries so our Health and Safety Officers can follow them up.

You are required to undergo screening tests for infectious diseases and immune status prior to the commencement of the programme.

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students who have lived in New Zealand for three years. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Disclaimer

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

Apply Now