Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


BIOL121 Human Biological Science 1 AND MIDW127 Foundations in Midwifery

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit provides opportunities for students to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge in simulation laboratories and experience the second of six units which include supervised clinical practice. Foundation midwifery practice skills will be developed and extended through scenario based learning in the laboratory. Additionally, students will continue to participate in and learn from the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE). This unit is required by students to assist them to develop knowledge and skills regarding a woman-centred approach to care in midwifery. The aim of this Clinical Midwifery Practice unit is to provide the foundations on which clinical assessments are based, and model the way in which students will contextualize their theoretical knowledge through clinical practice. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - relate legal and ethical frameworks, policies and procedures to planning and provision of safe evidence-based care of women and their babies across the maternity care continuum; (GA3) 

LO2 - apply knowledge of underlying anatomy and physiology using developing midwifery skills in assessment of women and babies within a safe environment; (GA5) 

LO3 - apply a woman-centred approach and effective communication skills in establishing, maintaining and concluding relationships with women during their childbearing journey; (GA9) 

LO4 - demonstrate collaborative practice skills within the maternity care team and community agencies within their scope of practice; (GA2, GA7)

LO5 - reflect on their learning within a professional portfolio to evaluate effective learning and self-care strategies for themselves and others. (GA4, GA10) 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

Legal and professional practice 

  • Scope of practice 
  • Informed consent 
  • Documentation and use of health informatics and health technology  
  • Medication knowledge and administration  

 Midwifery knowledge and practice 

  • Assessment  
  • Revise interviewing and history taking techniques  
  • Review abdominal examination 
  • Ongoing woman and foetal wellbeing assessment  
  • Introduction to early labour care 
  • Introduction to postnatal assessment of mother and baby 
  • Infection prevention skills 
  • Aseptic technique 
  • Setting-up for procedures 
  • Gowning and gloving 
  • Personal protective equipment 
  • Disposal of clinical waste 
  • Labour and birth care 
  • Care of the woman and her unborn baby 
  • Supporting a woman and her birth companion in early labour 
  • Non-pharmacological therapies  
  • Postnatal care 
  • Assessment and care of the well mother and baby 
  • Assisting with infant feeding   
  • Postnatal hygiene for the mother and baby  
  • Medication administration 
  • Oral medications 
  • IM, SC and IV medication administration  
  • Inhalation 
  • Fluid balance  
  • Drug calculations 
  • Procedures 
  • Venepuncture 
  • Neonatal screening 
  • Removal of indwelling catheter 
  • Removal of IV canulae 

 Midwifery as primary health care  

  • Health education 
  • Referral to community support networks 
  • Cultural safety 

 Reflective and ethical practice 

  • Maintaining professional portfolio 
  • Reflective practice 
  • Identifying and responding to own and others’ learning needs  
  • Self-care 
  • Evidence-based practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include group learning activities such as skill demonstrations, simulated practice, online classroom, supervised clinical practice, participation in the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) and self-directed study.  

Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with foundational knowledge and skills relevant to professional midwifery practice.  These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers.  

Students undertaking a tertiary qualification need skills to assist them in managing their individual learning. Feedback and effective self-reflection are required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Located in the first year of the programme, this clinical unit assists students to link theory with its application and to build life-long learning skills. 

Group learning activities are utilised to convey content and central principles while laboratories and simulation deliver interactive learning sessions which assist students to apply theory to clinical practice and build self-reflection skills. The supervised clinical practicum of 80 hours provides a safe environment where students can provide assisted woman-centred care essential for successful graduate practice.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures consistent with University assessment requirements will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes.  

The on-campus assessment will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate developed skills in the safety of a simulated experience.  Development of a  professional midwifery portfolio will allow the students to showcase their learning experiences (clinical and Continuity of Care Experience [CCE])  in a professional manner ensuring that documentation meets the professional legal requirements for practice experiences. Students must achieve a pass grade in both assessments to pass this unit. 

These assessments are required to build student knowledge and skills which, by the conclusion of this programme, will enable the student to graduate as a safe and effective midwife.  

In order to pass this unit, you are required to attend 100% of laboratory sessions, complete the medication quiz and submit all required placement documentation by the due date, 5 days after the completion of clinical placement.

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome.

Mandatory Documentation for Clinical Placement

To ascertain what mandatory documentation is required, please consult the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) website to assess your pre-placement requirements

Mandatory documentation should then be uploaded to your student InPlace record by the required due date. This is to meet ACU and Health Care Facility requirements. Submission instructions and the due date for midwifery requirements can also be found on the above link.

If you are unable to meet the requirements of the unit, you are advised to consider applying for “Re- credit of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) and Refund of Fees in Special Circumstances”

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

On-campus Competency Assessments 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, communication skills and safe and effective implementation of midwifery skills and knowledge.


LO1, LO2 

GA3, GA5 

Professional Midwifery Portfolio  

Enables students to showcase their clinical experiences in a professional manner, inclusive of the Continuity of Care Experience, ensuring that documentation meets the professional and legal requirements for practice.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Andre, K., & Heartfield, M. (2011). Nursing and midwifery portfolios: Evidence of continuing competence. Chatswood, NSW: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 

Bryant, B., & Knights, K., (2015). Pharmacology for health professionals (4th ed.). Chatswood: Elsevier. 

Byrom, S., Edwards, G., & Bick, D. (Eds) (2010). Essential midwifery practice: Postnatal care. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA] (2010). National competency standards for the midwife. Melbourne: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.  

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA] (2013). Code of ethics for midwives in Australia. Melbourne: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA] (2013). Code of professional conduct for midwives in Australia. Melbourne: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia [NMBA] (2013) A midwife’s guide to professional boundaries. Melbourne: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 

Johnson, R., & Taylor, W. (2016). Skills for midwifery practice (4th ed.). Sydney: Churchill Livingstone. 

Leap, N., & Hunter, B. (2016). Supporting women for labour and birth: A thoughtful guide. Sydney: Routledge. 

Page, L., & McCandlish, R. (2006). The new midwifery science and sensitivity in practice (2nd ed.). United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone. 

Pairman, S., Pincombe, J., Thorogood, C., & Tracey, S. (2015). Midwifery: Preparation for practice (3rd ed.). Sydney: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 

Tollefson, J. (2012) Clinical psychomotor skills: Assessment tools for nursing students (5th ed.). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning. 

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