Some careers will never not be needed. As a midwife, you can ensure the health, survival and wellbeing of babies and those who birth them across the world.

Midwifery is a global profession that’s been around for thousands of years. You’ll be caring for individuals and their families before, during, and after the birth of their child, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of both.

You’ll likely need a qualification in biology, and be able to demonstrate your compassion, empathy, attention to detail, and your ability to work well under pressure.

You can progress to managing a team, all the way up to becoming consultant midwife, or decide to specialise in areas like ultrasound or neonatal care. Your midwifery skills will also be in demand at humanitarian aid charities if you want to volunteer your skills elsewhere. 

The impact you could make
  • Help deliver babies safely and healthily.
  • Tackle social and health inequalities through good midwifery care, health education, promotion, and protection.
  • Know how to respond and when to escalate a birth to interdisciplinary and multi-agency colleagues, saving lives, and advocating for the needs of the child and their parents.
What you could study
  • Public health and childbearing
  • Human relationships in midwifery
  • Biological sciences
  • Prenatal care
  • Postnatal care
  • Practice experience
  • Midwifery emergencies
  • Midwifery research
  • Midwifery leadership

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
"Bodies and birth which focuses on anatomy of the female pregnant body, as well as midwifery profession and practice which helps us learn clinical skills such as cannulation, suturing, managing a breech and cephalic birth, and many more."
Second year midwifery student, Kingston University
Example project
"The birth space project with the architects! To create an environment which would support families through labour, as well as be usable by staff."
Second year midwifery student, University of Brighton

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some midwifery courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

Biology (or other science)
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Postpartum care
  • Prenatal development
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying midwifery. The following information is based on a typical midwifery professional role.

Average salary
Up to £51,266
Available jobs
48,920 vacancies in the past year
6.31% growth over next eight years

What is a…. health visitor?

A health visitor is a qualified nurse or midwife who undertakes extra training to help parents and their new baby stay healthy once the baby is born. You might visit patients at home, or hold clinics at a GP surgery or health centre. You’ll check things like baby’s weight and measurements, as well as supporting with postnatal care, both physically and mentally. A health visitor can be a really important source of support for a new or first-time parent.

Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study midwifery at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from midwifery applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
BTEC DDD/Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching Sep 2016) DMM - DDM
Other BTEC qualifications may also be considered with other Level 3 qualifications

The expert view

Dr Jacqui Williams, Senior Midwifery Advisor, Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Midwives are privileged to be at the heart of some of the most profound moments in people’s lives. Being a midwife requires a unique combination of knowledge, skill and compassion, and involves working in partnership with women, supporting the transition to parenthood, as well as the health of the newborn baby and the family. It’s also a rewarding career full of professional development and career opportunities.

Considering an apprenticeship?

Applying for an apprenticeship is just like applying for a normal job. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Deadline

    Apprenticeships don't follow the same deadlines as applying to uni, the deadline is down to the employer.
  2. Where to apply

    You apply directly through the employer.

  3. No limits

    You're not restricted to one apprenticeship application; you can do as many as you like.
  4. Apply to university and apprenticeships

    There's nothing stopping you applying to university through UCAS, while also applying for apprenticeship vacancies.

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around midwifery with the following:

  1. Maternity & Midwifery Forum

    The Maternity & Midwifery Forum host a weekly podcast, called the Maternity & Midwifery Hour, a YouTube channel, annual festivals in cities around the UK, and lots of educational guides on the website. 
  2. Belfast Midwives

    This Channel 4 series follows midwives as they go about their daily jobs delivering babies. Useful for hearing and witnessing the reality of the job.
  3. Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network

    If you want to get into the detail (and impress a prospective university with your knowledge) this website gives you access to publicly available research and data on child and maternal health in the UK. You can search for articles and reports on things like breastfeeding, obesity in pregnancy, and the impact of covid-19. 
  4. Royal College of Midwives

    Keep up-to-date with the Royal College of Midwives website. The Royal College of Midwives is a professional body and trade union representing midwives. 

Second year midwifery student, Liverpool John Moores University

I am able to care for women in their most vulnerable times, sometimes the happiest and sometimes not. It is a very demanding course, however it has really challenged me to push myself and grow in confidence.

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our application advice will help you get ahead in your midwifery journey.
Skills, experiences and interests to mention
  • Think about why you want to become a midwife – what is it that excites you about the job, and what hobbies or interests do you have that feed into that passion?
  • Midwives are caring and compassionate. Maybe you’ve enjoyed caring for an elderly relative, or done babysitting or childminding for neighbours or friends? Show your empathy and understanding of others.
  • When have you worked well as a team? Maybe you’re part of a sports team, Scouts or Guides, or another hobby that involves working well with others?
  • What jobs or situations can you highlight that demonstrate how you work well under pressure? Have you had a busy Saturday job in a bar or restaurant? Can you cite a situation where you kept a cool head when things got stressful?
  • How can you illustrate your passion for biology or human health? Maybe you’ve been in a hospital or medical environment before? Is there any work experience or shadowing you could do to show you understand what a career as a midwife entails?
  • Don’t forget time management and attention to detail. School coursework and exams are useful ways to illustrate this.

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