MID5007 - Contextual and professional issues in midwifery - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery


Dr Mary Anne Biro

Not offered in 2017


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 (2,500 words) (20%)
  • Clinical practice project (60%)
  • Presentation to peers (20%)
  • Assessment of midwifery practice skills (Pass / Fail)
  • Completion of midwifery portfolio (Pass / Fail)

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Off-campus attendance requirements

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Nursing and midwifery