Nursing - Midwifery

The Higher Diploma in Midwifery programme is offered in partnership with the National Maternity Hospital. Upon successful completion of the programme students are eligible for registration as a Registered Midwife (RM) with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland and the award of Higher Diploma in Midwifery from University College Dublin at level 8 National Qualification Authority Ireland Framework.

The National Maternity Hospital is currently accepting applications for the Higher Diploma in Midwifery Programme. For an application form please visit the National Maternity Hospital website.

Vision and Values Statement
The Higher Diploma in Midwifery registration education programme is an academic and clinically based programme, designed to prepare midwives to promote health, wellbeing and dignity across the childbearing life cycle through skilled and ethical practice, based on the best evidence and prudent professional judgement. This is achieved through the development of lifelong learning skills for the personal and professional development of knowledge, competencies, skills and attitudes over the duration of the programme. It leads to a QQAI level 8 (undergraduate) award and professional registration as Registered Midwife (RM) with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

The learner actively engages in the provision and development of midwifery care to strengthen and enhance the profession's contribution to maternity services and to the evolution of midwifery knowledge and practice. In addition, the philosophy of the programme is based on the belief that learning is a lifelong, collaborative and constructive process that is best achieved by involving the student in the learning process. Therefore, the curriculum develops and enhances students' midwifery knowledge, competences, attitudes, and the skills of critical thinking, analysis and evaluation, in order that students and graduates are responsive to contemporary and emerging maternity care needs. The programme facilitates the learner to be active, reflexive, autonomous, reflective and motivated, through engagement in innovative teaching and learning activities. The curriculum is student-focused, research-led and research informed. This scholarly approach to programme design aims to inspire a passion for and excellence in midwifery practice by forming identity, integrity, resilience, curiosity and commitment to the provision of holistic, safe, ethical, compassionate and evidence-based midwifery care. The development of midwifery curricula is a dynamic process that reflects the midwifery profession's responses to societal changes and the reproductive health needs of women and childbearing families. The curriculum is developed with stakeholder involvement to ensure that it meets the current and future needs of learners, the development of the midwifery profession and evolving maternity health care systems.

The programme is student focused, involving a wide variety of pedagogical approaches to teaching, learning and assessment to enhance the student experience and promote the incremental development of learning and scholarship. Learning takes place in multiple environments across the university and clinical practice settings. The collaboration with clinical partners across the health care sector in the development and implementation of the programme is a major strength. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of research, policy and political issues through discourse about relevant issues in contemporary maternity care nationally and internationally. This enables graduates to proactively engage in, initiate and lead change in maternity services when practising as registered midwives.

Learning is facilitated by the use of a variety of innovative pedagogies and technologies to meet emerging student; professional and health system needs. This commitment to curriculum innovation ensures that there is alignment of programme learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities and assessments. The programme is taught by experts in the fields of midwifery, education, research and professional practice ensuring that learners experience a coherent, cumulative, research-based educational programme that meets all academic and professional regulations, standards and requirements, and supports further academic and continuous professional development.

Subjects taught

This full-time, 18-month programme runs continuously over 4 trimesters. Students will alternate between 6 or 7 week theory blocks in UCD and clinical placements in the National Maternity Hospital. At the end of each trimester is an examination period where different kinds of assessments are held such as objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE's), MCQ's and online exams. Some modules will also have coursework such as written assignments and posters. Full attendance at scheduled class in UCD is mandatory. Annual leave is allocated during clinical placement only.

Practice Placement Experience
All clinical practice experience is gained at the National Maternity Hospital, one of the leading maternity hospitals In Ireland. You will have the opportunity to gain experience in all areas of midwifery practice under supervision, including community midwifery. You are provided with a preceptor during each of your clinical practice placements, and you are also supported by a programme specific Clinical Midwifery Tutor who provides clinical teaching at the bedside and through clinical tutorials.

Stage 1 - Option
Clinical Practice C (HDM) NMHS32980
Clinical Practice B (HDM) NMHS32990
Health Promotion and the Psychology of Wellness NMHS33000
Professional Midwifery Practice NMHS33020
Complexities of Pregnancy, Labour and Birth NMHS33030
Clinical Practice A (HDM) NMHS33040
Maternal Health and the Newborn NMHS33050
Pregnancy, Labour and BirthNMHS33060
Anatomy and Physiology for Midwifery Practice NMHS33070
Supported and Specialist Practice (HDM) NMHS33080
Clinical Practice D (HDM) NMHS33090
HDM:Evidence,Practice+Research NMHS33100
HDM:Emergencies+Critical Care NMHS33120
Complexities of the Newborn NMHS33390
Sociol &Social Issues Mat Care NMHS33420
Mid Leader & Empower NMHS33720

Entry requirements

In order to apply for the Higher Diploma in Midwifery programme in UCD you must:

- Hold a primary degree in Nursing or equivalent

- Be currently registered as a Registered General Nurse with the
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).

- Have at least six month's post-registration acute clinical nursing experience.

- Be successful in the National Maternity Hospital screening and interview process

- Have the necessary language requirements. Applicants whose first language is not English and whose primary degree was obtained in a country where English is not the official language of instruction must provide proof of proficiency in English. For more information about UCD School of Nursing and Midwifery language requirements please click here. Please note that the National Maternity Hospital may also ask for specific formal certification of English language competence as part of the application process.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
RPL may be granted in respect of individual modules if applicants can demonstrate that the modules' learning outcomes have been achieved through prior credentialled or experiential learning. In some cases, where an applicant does not meet the prerequisites for entry to a programme, an RPL application may be considered.

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
HDip Midwifery (Post RGN) FT (X770)
18 Months
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised

The National Maternity Hospital is currently accepting applications for the Higher Diploma in Midwifery Programme. For an application form please visit the National Maternity Hospital website.

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18 months full-time.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider