Higher Midwifery Practice MSc

Postgraduate degree

Progress your midwifery practice to an advanced level and open doors to leadership roles or research with our Master's degree

  • Supported online learning gives you the flexibility to fit studying around your other commitments
  • Learn from an exceptional academic team of experienced midwives
  • Develop your professional competency, apply your learning directly in the work place and make your difference to women's maternity care.
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your masters in midwifery

If you're passionate about your contemporary midwifery practice and want to advance your knowledge and skills, our MSc midwifery is for you. Supported by an exceptional academic team of experienced midwives with a track record for innovative midwifery training, it'll enable you to advance your existing skills of independent thinking and quickly apply them to your practice.

Course highlights

  • ARU work in all eight NHS trusts in our region bringing a wealth of experience and diversity
  • Our masters in midwifery will equip you with the skills and knowledge to become an innovative, forward-thinking practitioner
  • Gain the potential to advance your career into leadership positions within clinical settings, or in the fields of management, research and teaching.

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course length

Study this course over 2 years

Start dates

Start in January or September

Application deadline

Our next deadline is

31st July 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

With concerns about rising rates of intervention, you’ll be encouraged to explore both how to promote normality during childbirth and how to care for vulnerable women with complex needs, with the aim of reducing intervention. The supporting optional modules will help you gain the knowledge and skills necessary for leadership roles in clinical practice or research.

Our midwifery team maintains an extensive engagement with international agencies via links such as the UK Network on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, World Health Organisation (WHO), The White Ribbon Alliance and the London School for Health and Tropical Medicine.

ARU is one of only a few universities in the UK to hold a Baby-Friendly Certificate of Commitment and stage-one assessment. We are currently working towards stage-two assessment and full accreditation.

We maintain strong co-operative links with midwife-practitioners - we work in all eight NHS trusts in our region.

Successful completion of this course will give you the potential to advance your career into leadership positions within clinical settings, or in the fields of management, research and teaching. You’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to become an innovative, forward-thinking practitioner, with the qualities needed to affect change in healthcare planning, delivery and education.

Many of our Masters level midwifery students go on to complete professional doctorates.

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Core modules

Research Methodology

The ability to critically analyse and synthesise research is a necessary skill for all students who undertake higher education, in order to be able to apply research in all areas of specialist interest in the delivery of effective patient care. You will revisit existing knowledge of the research process and be supported further in developing your skills of critical analysis and synthesis. You will also have the opportunity to critically appraise the ethical dimensions of research studies that seek to develop, improve and advance healthcare services.

The assessment is a 5000 word critical appraisal of one chosen piece of contemporary research and a synthesis of the findings in relation to other related evidence within the wider context of literature in a chosen area of interest.

Major Project

The Major Project is central to the Masters award and allows you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You’ll use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a literature review, using an enhanced approach to research or a work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methodology and its relation to knowledge. You’ll be able to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice. As well as expanding existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice and critiquing primary research.

Optional modules
When selecting your optional modules you will need to choose at least one of either Promoting Normal Childbirth or Facilitating Complex Birth. You can opt to do them both.

Promoting Normal Childbirth

Address one of the major national and international concerns about childbirth, the rising rate of intervention, and be provided with the underpinning knowledge and confidence required to modify this situation. You will be encouraged to develop your existing knowledge and skills by exploring the concept of normality and determining how this might be promoted during the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods. Both international and local perspectives will be analysed, enabling you to apply your learning to your particular position whilst deepening your understanding of alternative situations.

Facilitating Complex Childbirth

Explore the role of the midwife in supporting women with complex social, emotional, and physical needs. You will be encouraged to explore both direct and indirect causes of maternal death and the role of the midwife in addressing these. You will also be expected to consider wider influences on maternal mortality and morbidity. Strategies for the maintenance of normality within such complex situations will be promoted. You will be supported in applying your learning to your own clinical practice and in developing your skills in caring for women with complex needs.

Other optional modules
If you have not selected to do both Promoting Normal Childbirth or Facilitating Complex Birth then you will need to select two optional modules from the list below.

Applied Leadership & Management

This module provides an innovative exploration of leadership and management in healthcare, and examines their impact on organisations including wider considerations in the external environment. This module will enable students to assess and analyse the roles that leaders and managers play in a range of organizational contexts; and to apply the principles and techniques of leadership and management in a range of contexts.

Professional Midwifery Advocate Preparation

Please note you need to be UK registered midwife to select this module.

We aim to develop your skills and expertise in the four functions of the Professional Midwifery Advocate: education and development (formative function), restorative clinical supervision, monitoring, evaluation and quality control (normative function) and personal action for quality improvement. On successful completion of the module, you’ll be able to undertake the role of the Professional Midwifery Advocate (PMA), and be appointable as a Professional Midwifery Advocate by your employing organisation. This module has been developed to meet the PMA standards set by NHS England, including the mandated 10 taught days. 

Contemporary Issues in Mental Health Care

Explore current issues in mental health from both a national and global perspective. Together we’ll address a number of issues related to mental health and society. The way in which mental illness is portrayed through the media and the impact this can have on interpretations of mental health and mental illness within a given society will be explored. This includes examining how mental health is represented in the news, on social media and within fictional sources including films and literature. The delivery of culturally appropriate health care will also be examined and how the knowledge gained can be applied to current or future practice.

Specialist Techniques for Medical and Healthcare Education

Develop specialist techniques required for your role in medical and healthcare education. You’ll have the opportunity to explore 5 techniques (of ten offered) that you believe will benefit your practice. You’ll be encouraged to reflect on how you might use these techniques to address identified areas for development in your practice and benefit your students’ learning. You will have resources and activities online which will be complimented with five webinars. Webinars may include; mentoring and motivational interviewing, coaching, teaching in the clinical environment, high stakes assessment, OSCE design and development, faculty development in the health professions, leadership in healthcare education, technology enhanced learning, teaching and assessing professionalism and education support and resilience. The assessment takes a patchwork approach, with each webinar having its own assessment and then a final integrative reflection at the end of the module.

Maternity Leadership

Recent reports into maternity care have highlighted the need for improved multi-disciplinary team (MDT) collaborative working
and training, strengthened leadership and an improved workplace culture. As senior midwives working in the UK, this course
will empower you to deliver excellent leadership in maternity, and get the absolute best from your teams by expanding your
knowledge of:

  • Compassionate leadership and how this inspires your team to perform at their absolute best
  • Developing a supportive workplace culture based on mutual respect, and
  • Role modelling professional behaviours that are consistent with positive team working

By putting service users at the forefront of everything we do, you’ll develop your understanding of effective engagement with service users, carers and families and explore how you can use this to ensure care is both personalised and safe.
Develop your skills in building and supporting effective teams, and evaluate the role of psychological safety, emotional intelligence, and situational awareness in achieving this.

We’ll support you to advance your reflective practice and advocacy responsibility and become an effective role-model for your teams. We’ll equip you with the knowledge and understanding to be able to create a working environment that is cohesive, supportive, and non-judgemental, and promotes meaningful relationships with the wider inter-professional team.

Other optional modules are available but will require attendance at campus workshops. Modules are subject to change.


Assessment methods vary between modules and include written essays, seminar presentations with supporting papers, a research proposal and, for the Masters award, a major project of no more than 15,000 words.

All the assessment methods are designed to demonstrate the range of knowledge and skills expected of a practitioner working at an advanced level.

Meet your tutors

Sara Smith - Course Leader

Sara SmithHaving worked in local government for seven years Sara developed a passion for midwifery following the birth of her three children. She was seconded from her role as a Maternity Care Assistant to undertake her midwifery training and qualified as a midwife in 2009.
Sara has worked in all areas of maternity care, including practice development, and has always enjoyed working with students and teaching. She joined the university in the summer of 2013 as a Clinical Skills Tutor and progressed to the role of Senior Lecturer in January 2017.

Sara has an interest in how antenatal education can positively affect the experience of women in maternity services, how student midwives learn the professional role of the midwife and how medicines management knowledge and skills can be transferred from theory to practice.

Meet the team

An exceptional team of midwifery lecturers, all of whom maintain strong links with clinical practice, supports this innovative course. Not only are we able to offer a breadth and depth of expertise in advanced midwifery practice, but we also hold academic qualifications in the discipline of midwifery, supported by qualifications in anthropology, sociology and women's studies, international health, management and business administration, education, social research methods, interprofessional healthcare, primary and community care, and women's.

All lecturers are required to have a Master's degree and Postgraduate diploma in education. In addition to this many staff have completed or undertaking Doctoral study.

The research interests of the team include:

  • organisational studies and the implications for professionals and care delivery,
  • body image and effects on contraception,
  • implications of examination of the newborn, neonatal studies including family dimension,
  • all aspects of breastfeeding,
  • clinicians' experiences of managing obstetric emergencies,
  • historical analysis of intervention in midwifery care, and
  • students' experiences of midwifery training.

The team also has a strong background of international experience working in the field of mother and child health in: Nigeria, Nepal, The Maldives, Ascension Island, Romania, Somaliland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Montenegro, Sudan and Afghanistan. We are able to offer a high degree of support to midwives from diverse situations (UK and International) seeking to develop their specialist areas of practice.

How you'll study

Our masters in midwifery is studied 100% online.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, pc or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

On successful completion of your studies you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your midwifery course online, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist masters in midwifery tutors who are well experienced in distance learning student support and will provide you with a range of practical knowledge.

Once you start your masters in midwifery, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


What could a masters in midwifery do for my career?

This postgraduate level course will encourage you to apply your new learning to your workplace practice. As a practising midwife, you will be empowered to make changes to improve care for women, babies and families and promote normal birth for women.

You may aspire to leadership positions within a clinical setting, or have an interest in management, research, teaching or a particular area of care. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to facilitate and lead on the development of evidence-based practice within your workplace, now and in the future.

What job roles can I consider with an MSc midwifery?

You will already be a practising midwife, but you may wish to develop your skills in a specialist area such as diabetes care, perinatal mental health care, high dependency care, or examination of the newborn, amongst other areas. If you have ambitions set on more senior positions, you may consider roles such as consultant midwife, head of midwifery services, or other leadership positions. Other avenues could take you to research or teaching and support of student midwives.

What skills will I get from midwifery postgraduate courses to help my career?

You’ll enhance your CV with a higher-level award that includes both deeper knowledge of the midwifery profession and added transferable skills such as:

  • Critical thinking, problem solving and evaluative skills
  • The confidence to initiate innovation and change
  • Develop contemporary leadership and facilitation skills
  • Understand how to support inter-professional, multidisciplinary, and inter-agency work
  • Reflect and apply research skills and strategies.

What can I study after an MSc midwifery?

Successful MSc students, who particularly enjoy engaging with the academic environment and who wish to pursue academic careers in lecturing and/or research, may progress to doctoral study at Anglia Ruskin University or elsewhere.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you will be able to access our Employability service to help you at whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants should hold an appropriate Midwifery qualification and have at least one year's post-qualification experience of working as a midwife and evidence of appropriate continuing professional development.
  • Applicants will usually have an honours degree or equivalent qualification.
  • If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.
  • You may be required to undertake the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) process depending on your module choices. The Course Leader will confirm this directly with you after the course has started and modules have been selected.
  • Applicants who have lived outside of the UK for 6 months or more within the last 5 years will need to provide a police check from the country/countries previously resided in.
  • Applicants completing placements overseas will be required to obtain a police check/certificate of good conduct from their relevant country.
  • As a distance learner, you'll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use our online learning management system (LMS) with high-speed internet and email.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please contact us for further information.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for this midwifery masters degree is £8,200.

The tuition fees you pay each year for the full Advanced Midwifery Practice MSc will be £4,100. The course is studied over 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your course can be fully funded by the new Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. Anglia Ruskin University is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Sophie - ARU Student

For a mature student, distance learning is a match made in heaven.

Read Sophie's story
Daniel - ARU Distance Learning Student

I would highly recommend ARU especially if you have been out of education for some time. I felt the online environment was easier to adapt to, especially if you are returning to study and lacking a bit of confidence.

Read Daniel's story
Dean - ARU Student

The most rewarding part of studying through ARU distance learning, has been seeing the hard work, commitment and dedication pay off.

Read Dean's story
Tara - ARU Distance Learning Student

The course tutors were excellent, flexible, knowledgeable and committed to assist whenever needed. I cannot fault them at all. The support staff were equally amazing.

Read Tara's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

31st July 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.

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