This Bachelor of Midwifery programme is jointly owned and jointly delivered by Otago Polytechnic and CPIT. It:
Most importantly, this programme allows students to study where they live as they are not required to move to Dunedin or Christchurch to access midwifery education. By improving access we expect to increase midwifery student numbers and increase numbers of graduating midwives. Locally-based students are more likely to remain and work in local maternity services upon graduation and therefore the programme will help address existing workforce issues in rural and provincial areas of the South Island and the lower North Island.
Otago Polytechnic and CPIT were the first Schools of Midwifery to develop new midwifery programmes to meet the Midwifery Council’s new pre-registration midwifery education standards released in August 2007. The Otago Polytechnic and CPIT collaborative programme was approved by Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics Quality (ITPQ) and the Midwifery Council in October 2008. The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) approved funding for the extended academic years of the new programme in November 2008. The first intake of students began on 2 February 2009 with 29 enrolled through Otago Polytechnic and based in satellites in Dunedin, Invercargill and Central Otago. A further 34 students enrolled through CPIT based in satellites in Christchurch and Nelson/Marlborough. Following the withdrawal of Massey University from new midwifery education in 2010 Otago Polytechnic established new satellites in the lower North Island in order to ensure that access to midwifery education remained available for potential students. Each year Otago Polytechnic welcomes about 70 new students between the North and South Islands and CPIT welcomes about 30 - 35 students in the upper South Island.
The Otago and CPIT Schools of Midwifery share the delivery of the programme. It is structured to provide for a number of 'satellite sites' so that students do not have to move to either Dunedin, Wellington or Christchurch to undertake the programme. In 2009 satellite sites were in Invercargill, Central Otago, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Nelson/ Marlborough. In 2010 additional sites were established in the West Coast, Timaru, Oamaru, Whanganui, Palmerston North and Wellington.
Each satellite site (including in Dunedin and Christchurch) has one or more designated midwives (Student Practice Facilitators) who provide support to students, run face to face tutorials, and coordinate the midwifery practice opportunities for students. Theory is delivered through online and other electronic mechanisms such as video conferences, virtual classrooms and DVDs.
There are also 'intensives' where students are required to attend one or two-week blocks in Dunedin, Christchurch or Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast. There are three intensives in year one, three in year two, and two in year three. The intensives provide the opportunity for students to get to know each other, and lecturers, and for delivery of some of the essential face to face teaching components of the programme. Where possible a component of the intensives in year one involves an overnight ‘live-in’ experience to enhance relationship building and communication between students and staff.
Students access much of the required midwifery practice experience in their local community with support and supervision from local midwives. However, all students require midwifery practice experiences in secondary and tertiary maternity facilities (second and third year), in neonatal intensive care units (second year), and in rural maternity settings (third year) and will therefore be required to move at times to access these placements. The third year of the programme remains much the same as in the previous midwifery programmes at Otago and CPIT; each student has an individual allocation of placements and attends the required ‘intensives’ in Dunedin, Christchurch or Paraparaumu. Some year three placements may be outside New Zealand or extend into other regions of New Zealand.
Central to the development of the programme is the New Zealand model of midwifery as a partnership between the woman and the midwife. This unique model reflects the social context, past and present in New Zealand that has enabled women and midwives to recognise and articulate partnership as fundamental to the relationships they have together. The central tenets of this model recognise the midwife and the woman as partners of equal status, both contributing to and sharing the childbirth experience. The partnership depends on an autonomous midwifery profession that independently provides care throughout the childbirth experience. The partnership between each midwife and woman is negotiated. They decide how their relationship will work. Informed choice and consent, shared responsibility, trust, continuity and empowerment are fundamental to these negotiations.
While midwifery is practised primarily through relationships with women, it also requires midwives to work collaboratively with midwifery colleagues and with other health professionals. This programme curriculum is based on the premise that midwifery is a sustainable model of practice, both for midwives and for society. Midwives can model less exploitative and more sustainable health care practices in order to support women and their families. Sustainability is a key concept integrated throughout the programme and encompassing not only environmental sustainability but also social, cultural, economic and emotional sustainability.
As a sustainable model of health care, midwifery contributes to society at local, national and international levels. Internationally midwifery is recognised as a primary health service and, despite societal differences, midwives everywhere share understandings of the importance of childbirth to families and to the wider community.
The learning experiences available within the programme will prepare a student midwife for the role of autonomous practitioner, able to provide woman-centred care throughout the childbearing continuum and in a variety of contexts.
The content and learning activities of this programme acknowledge that each person is unique and is shaped by gender, class, race, sexuality, spirituality, history, and family and life experiences. Therefore the programme strives to develop midwives who are able to work safely with women in any given community. It also seeks to recognise the individuality of students and support their varied learning needs. In so doing it draws on both the arts and sciences and enables students to explore aesthetic dimensions of knowledge as well as empirical, ethical, personal, practical and socio-political dimensions .
This programme is unique for its integration of Midwifery Partnership, sustainability and internationalisation with midwifery knowledge and practice in a cohesive curriculum philosophy.
The aim of the Bachelor of Midwifery programme is to produce high quality graduates able to practise across the Midwifery Scope of Practice and meet the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives.
By the end of this programme students will be able to:
On completion of this programme graduates will be able to practise within the Midwifery Scope of Practice and meet the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives as set by the Midwifery Council of New Zealand. This programme prepares midwives for practice in New Zealand’s maternity services although the knowledge, skills and professional behaviour attained will be transferable to health and maternity systems in other countries. Upon graduation and registration graduates will be able to work as Lead Maternity Carers (LMCs) or as Core Midwives and will be eligible to enter postgraduate midwifery programmes.
The Bachelor of Midwifery degree is made up of 25 courses completed over three years of full-time study, or four years including one year part-time. Note that the credit value is equivalent to four years full-time study. All courses are compulsory.
As required by the Midwifery Council of New Zealand the programme is structured as follows:
Years one and two of the programme are structured through three 15-week trimesters and seven weeks of annual leave each year. There are three compulsory ‘intensives’ in each of years one and two. Year three is structured individually for each student and provides 34 weeks of midwifery practice experience at an average of 38.8 hours per week. There are two compulsory ‘intensives’ in the final year.
Students may be granted credit or partial exemption for some courses depending on their previous experience, and in accordance with the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policies of Otago Polytechnic and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. Any credit granted through RPL must not exceed the limits imposed by the Midwifery Council of New Zealand. All students (full time and part time) must complete the programme within four years as per Midwifery Council of New Zealand standards unless an extension is approved by Council.
The programme has seven distinct threads which are then integrated through professional midwifery practice and through specific professional and practice integration courses. As an applied degree professional midwifery practice is part of each of the courses in the midwifery theory and practice stream. There are two professional practice integration courses; one in year one and one in year two. These courses are delivered through two ‘intensive’ seminars in each year and provide students with the opportunity to draw on their learning from all courses in a process of scenario-based learning. Together these applied courses make up 70% of the total programme.
Year one of the programme provides foundation learning across each of the seven content threads listed above. These courses provide a broad context for midwifery practice and the later development of specific midwifery knowledge and practice skills. Philosophically, year one focuses on the woman/wahine and her family/whanau. It explores the wider context of New Zealand’s maternity services and the options and choices available to woman and families in various settings. Students gain practice experiences in two settings: maternity facilities for the acquisition of foundation practice skills and through one-on-one continuity of care experiences with women and midwives where they provide a support role for women throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period.
Year two provides the opportunity to develop specific midwifery practice knowledge and skills. Courses focus on the knowledge and skills required for midwives to work in the Midwifery Scope of Practice and to work collaboratively with other health professionals when required outside of the Midwifery Scope of Practice. Students gain midwifery practice experiences in a variety of settings including one-on-one continuity of care experiences with women and midwives and placements in a variety of maternity facilities, particularly secondary and tertiary facilities. Philosophically the second year of the programme focuses on the midwife and her developing professional framework for practice.
Year three provides significant opportunity for integration and consolidation of the learning from years one and two. Students have an individualised programme of placements that provide significant opportunity for midwifery practice in one-on-one continuity of care experiences with midwives and women and also in maternity facilities. Students work more independently in the application of knowledge and skills in practice settings. They consolidate their learning and demonstrate their readiness to meet the Competencies for Entry to the Register of Midwives. Philosophically the programme focuses on the partnership between each midwife and woman in the shared experiences of pregnancy and childbirth.
Bachelor of Midwifery students must complete the following courses:
‘Directed learning hours’ are those where students are engaged with learning resources/activities which the learner is required to complete. These hours incorporate any face to face teaching such as lectures, tutorials, clinical skills laboratories, practical sessions on campus and required learning activities such as discussion board, online tutorials and blogs.
‘Midwifery practice experience hours’ are those where students are involved in practical learning in a midwifery workplace or in completing practical projects. Midwifery practice experiences will be supervised by a registered midwife or other appropriate health professional. This experience will involve oversight by a polytechnic lecturer or associate lecturer and three-way discussion of progress between the supervising midwife, the midwifery lecturer and the midwifery student.
‘Self directed learning hours’ are those remaining once directed hours and midwifery practice hours are deducted from total hours. These hours represent the time a student is expected to spend engaging with learning resources, learning activities and assessments at student discretion.
Students will normally complete year one courses before entering year two and will complete year two courses before entering year three. Some year two and three courses require successful completion of lower level courses as pre-requisites for entry (see link below). Some courses list other courses as co-requisites. These courses should be taken together to maximise learning but from time to time if students fail a course or move to part-time study, a co-requisite requirement may be accepted as a pre-requisite or may be waived to meet individual student needs.
The following file outlines the main components of courses in each year and any pre and co-requisite courses.
Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Midwifery Information Sheet
Otago Polytechnic Application Form for 2012