Professional/Short course Return to Midwifery Practice

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Approximately 10 weeks
Hybrid (face-to-face/online)
Course Director
Sophie Ferguson

20 credit level 6 module

Page last updated 12 October 2023


The duration of the programme will be dependent on the achievement of 450 clinical practice hours and the number of hours you can spend in your practice placement per week. It is anticipated the programme will be completed between four and nine months.

This 20 credit Return to Midwifery Practice programme is for qualified midwives who have lapsed registration with the NMC and who wish to return to practice and re-register with the NMC. Provision of Return to Practice has recently changed to an employer led model with places commissioned by Health Education South West (HeSW).

In conjunction with the University, healthcare organisations such as NHS Trusts, GP practices and independent providers will be supporting midwives, nurses and health visitors to return to practice with the potential of employment on successful completion of the programme. 

The level 6 (undergraduate level) programme has six face-to-face study days which are spread out throughout the duration of the programme (which will be also be attended by returnee nurses and health visitors).  

In addition, there is a requirement for returnee midwives to evidence a minimum of 35 hours midwifery-specific sessions/learning activities, one which will be provided in addition to the six study days previously mentioned.

Entry requirements

FAQs for potential returnees.

FAQs for employers.

New Return to Practice Standards:
Please check your eligibility against the new standards (PDF) if you are commencing this course after January 2020.

Careers / Further study

This module can contribute towards:

  • BSc(Hons) Specialist Practice (District Nursing)
  • BSc(Hons) Health and Social Care
  • MSc Specialist Practice (District Nursing)
  • MSc Advanced Practice
  • Professional Development Award




The course syllabus typically includes:

Contemporary issues

  • Developments in reproductive technology and ante-natal diagnosis.
  • Use of complementary therapies.
  • The influence of pressure groups/support groups.
  • Multidisciplinary and inter-agency working.
  • Impact of information technology on practice.

Current issues in practice

  • Research in clinical practice and implementing evidence-based practice.
  • Professional
  • Extended and specialist roles of midwives, changing sphere of practice.
  • Related ethical issues.
  • Empowerment and the midwife as an advocate.

Management issues

  • Government policies and legislation, midwives code of conduct.
  • Organisation of midwifery care, changing childbirth initiatives.
  • Changes in educational provision as they affect clinical practice e.g. mentorship, preceptorship, the new midwifery registration programmes.
  • Quality assurance measures (standard setting, auditing etc.) skill mix.
  • You will be encouraged to consider your particular learning needs and chose content from the pre-registration syllabus and study days applicable to your particular needs.

Learning and Teaching

A learning contract will be negotiated with you to ensure you are able to meet your individual learning needs to support your return to midwifery practice.

A variety of approaches will be used which may include:

  • Scheduled learning includes; lectures, seminars, tutorials, demonstration, practical classes and workshops, external study days, work based learning, TEL.
  • Independent learning includes; hours engaged with essential reading, assignment preparation and completion. These sessions constitute an average time per level as indicated in the table below. A learning contract is used to support learning activity.
  • Placement learning: 450 hours will be undertaken to meet the NMC and HESW requirements. Appropriate supervised clinical practice in local NHS Trust will be organised.

The theoretical aspect of the programme is run alongside a practice placement where you will complete practice competencies that meet the NMC outcomes that are required to be eligible to return to practice, these are:-

  • An understanding of the influence of health and social policy to the practice of nursing and midwifery.
  • An understanding of the requirements of legislation, guidelines, codes of practice and polices relevant to the practice of nursing and midwifery.
  • An understanding of the current structure and organisation of care, nationally and locally.
  • An understanding of current issues in nursing and midwifery education and practice.
  • The use of relevant literature and research to inform the practice of nursing and midwifery.
  • The ability to identify and assess need, design and plan interventions and evaluate outcome in all relevant areas of practice, including the effective delivery of appropriate emergency care.
  • The ability to use appropriate communications, teaching and learning skills
  • The ability to function effectively in a team and participate in a multi-professional approach to people's care.
  • The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses, acknowledgement limitation of competence and recognising the importance of maintaining and developing professional competence.

Study time

The HESW guidelines for Return to Practice midwives (HESW 2012) stipulate that you undertake a minimum of 450 hours clinical practice and five theory days.

You will meet with the module leader and form a learning contract regarding your learning needs. You will have access to the theory timetable of the pre-registration modules in order to select relevant sessions to meet your learning requirements. You will be allocated an academic personal tutor for the duration of the module.

You are required to attend five days of theory content selected from the pre-registration midwifery curriculum. This is either taught face to face or eLearning contact.

Everyone will be allocated a clinical mentor whilst in practice and have the opportunity to experience the range of midwifery services within the 450 practice hours.


A 2,000 word report to allow you to explore a topic related to a recent development within clinical practice.

You are also required to have completed 450 hours practice hours and to have attained all the practice competencies in the practice document signed off (by your sign-off mentor).



Practice placement where you will complete practice competencies that meet the NMC outcomes.

Study facilities

The College of Health, Science and Society has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the facilities it provides.

Get a feel for the Health Professions facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Course fees are funded by Health Education South West (HESW). A bursary is available through HESW to support your study and associated costs of £1,000.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications are initially made through employing organisations. You will find a list of supporting organisations through the Health Education South West website. Return to practice places may also be advertised through NHS Jobs and other local sites.

Interviews will be held jointly with the employing organisation and UWE Bristol.

Successful applicants should then register online for the Return to Practice course within 7 days of accepting the post.

Extra information

If the course you are applying for is fully online or blended learning, please note that you are expected to provide your own headsets/microphones.

For further information