Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Dr. Mary Anne BiroMs Maureen Miles) (Gippsland)


This unit addresses the need for students to understand what it means to be a midwife by exploring a range of contextual and professional issues. These will include socio-cultural, historical, political, regulatory, legal, ethical and institutional factors that affect midwifery and maternity services at local, national and international levels. This unit also provides students with a consolidation of midwifery clinical practice to support the transition to registered midwife. Individual learning objectives will enable students to undertake a critique of institutional practices, policies, procedures and protocols.


On completion of this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the development of the midwifery profession, from historical and current perspectives;
  2. Discuss historical and contemporary issues in the development of maternity services in Australia and internationally
  3. Define the scope of midwifery practice in contemporary Australian maternity care and provide a critique of this scope against the International Definition of a Midwife (ICM);
  4. Analyse the roles and functions of professional organisations, locally, nationally, and globally, that have an impact on the delivery of maternity services and the health and wellbeing of women and babies;
  5. Examine the politics of childbirth and develop a critique of maternity service delivery in Australia informed by professional literature, government reports and observation and experience;
  6. Discuss the legal and ethical requirements related to maternity practice;
  7. Debate the ability of midwifery as a profession to advocate for women and to work with women for improvement in maternity services;
  8. Critically examine midwifery practice and identify issues where evidence is required;
  9. Develop the ability to appraise a systematic review of the literature on an aspect of midwifery clinical practice;
  10. Demonstrate comprehensive evidence-based knowledge for midwifery practice;
  11. Demonstrate competence in the provision of discerning, discriminating, safe midwifery care in a variety of contexts and complexity of environment based upon the ANMC National Competency Standards for the Midwife (2006).


Essay (2500 words) 20%
Clinical Practice project 60%
Presentation to Peers 20%
Assessment of midwifery practice skills Pass/Fail
Completion of midwifery portfolio Pass/Fail

Chief examiner(s)

Maureen Miles

Contact hours

Attendance at residential schools held on-campus at Gippsland and block schools oncampus at Clayton

Off-campus attendance requirements

Attendance at residential schools held on-campus at Gippsland and block schools on-campus at Clayton


MID5001, MID5002, MID5006