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MID2101 Professional, Political, Legal and Ethical Contexts of Midwifery

Semester 1, 2019 Online
Short Description: Contexts of Midwifery
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Nursing and Midwifery
Student contribution band : National Priority - Nursing
ASCED code : 060303 - Midwifery
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Elizabeth Rigg


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: BMID


This course will introduce students to professional, political, legal and ethical contexts including the historical journey of midwifery. Students will develop an understanding of the midwife’s roles, responsibilities and scope of midwifery practice when providing primary care. A healthy, woman-centred framework will provide a basis for students to develop an understanding of models of care, governance to support midwifery practice and the legal and ethical frameworks for safe practice.


This course aims to provide foundational knowledge in order to develop a midwifery philosophy and begin to practice as a primary carer. The course will enable students to develop an understanding of the scope of practice of midwives in Australia and the significance of partnerships and the provision of a variety of midwifery models of care. Students will expand their knowledge of evidence based practice to include the discipline of midwifery in order to enhance clinical decision making.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Explore the role of the midwife as a primary maternity care provider;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of historical and socio-political influences on midwifery practice and the impact of current reforms in Australian maternity services;
  3. Examine the scope of practice of midwives and apply relevant legal and ethical standards and guidelines aligned to midwifery practice;
  4. Compare and contrast the various models of maternity care available to women in Australia;
  5. Outline key factors associated with midwifery partnerships and developing interprofessional relationships with women and their families using evidence based practice and informed decision making framework;
  6. Examine the need for accountability and responsibility to ensure professional midwifery practice;
  7. Compare and contrast evidence based midwifery practice from an international, national, regional and remote Australia perspective.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The midwife in context 20.00
2. Influences on contemporary midwifery practice 20.00
3. International, National and Regional perspectives 20.00
4. Professional issues concerning the midwife and midwifery practice 20.00
5. Models of Maternity Care 10.00
6. Frameworks for adopting evidence based midwifery 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Holmer, C, Brodie. P, Leap, N 2008, Midwifery Continuity of Care: A Practical Guide, Churchill and Livingstone, Elsevier.
Page, L.A. McCandlish, R 2006, The New Midwifery, 2nd edn, Churchill and Livingstone, Elsevier.
Pairman, S, Pincombe, J, Thorogood, C & Tracy, S 2019, Midwifery: Preparation for Practice, 4th edn, Elsevier, Sydney.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
MacDonald, S, Magill-Cuerdin, J & Warwick, C 2017, Mayes Midwifery, 15, Baillierre Tindall, New York.
Schneider, Z, & Whitehead, D 2016, Nursing and Midwifery Research: Methods & Appraisal for Evidenced Based Practice, 5th edn, Elsevier, Australia.
Australian College of Midwives, 2013. National Midwifery Guidelines for Consultation and Referral. . Australia: Australian College of Midwives.
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA), 2006. National competency standards for the midwife. Australia: NMBA.
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA), 2018. Code of ethics for midwives. Australia:NMBA.
Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia (NMBA), 2018. Code of professional conduct for midwives. Australia: NMBA.
Queensland Government, (2016) Queensland Clinical Guidelines: Translating evidence into best clinical practice. Brisbane, Queensland

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 52.00
Directed Study 52.00
Online Discussion Groups 12.00
Online Lectures 12.00
Online Tutorials 12.00
Private Study 15.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Written Assignment 30 30 23 Apr 2019
Online Group Work 20 20 27 May 2019 (see note 1)
EXAMINATION 50 50 End S1 (see Examination notes below)

  1. Students will work in small groups to prepare, present and actively participate in online tutorials. There are marks associated with attending and participating in 10 out of the 12 tutorials sessions. To pass this assessment item students need to achieve a 50% mark. Students will need computer compatibility to use Zoom software and have video and audio enabled so they are visible to the course examiner during the tutorial. . More information will be provided on Study Desk.

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Notes
Exam Part A (Multi Choice) 20 20 (see exam note 1)
Exam Part B (Short Answer) 30 30 (see exam note 2)

Exam Notes
  1. This will be a closed exam. Total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.
  2. This will be a closed exam. Total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no on campus attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must attempt all assessment items and must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into a closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the APA (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry) and is benchmarked against the
  • internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.
  • professional accreditation standards of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council, (ANMAC).
  • comparative activities and performance of Bachelor of Nursing and the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council, (ANMAC).