Midwifery Apprenticeships

Midwives are some of the most amazing people in the world. Want to join this elite level of superheroes? Change lives? And bring families together? Read on to learn more about this incredible industry and how you can launch your career with an apprenticeship.

Midwifery Apprenticeships

Midwives are some of the most amazing people in the world. 

They don't just support women through giving birth. They provide essential prenatal and postpartum care too, as well as family planning services and dealing with minor gynecological issues that arise during pregnancy. 

According to NMC’s latest report, 771,000 midwives, nurses and nursing associates have joined the register. In just one year. That’s huge!

Want to join this elite level of superheroes? Change lives? And bring families together? A midwifery apprenticeship is the perfect place to get started.

Read on to learn more about this incredible industry and how you can launch your career with an apprenticeship.

Can I do an apprenticeship in midwifery?

You sure can! Midwifery apprenticeships are available at degree level. As a degree apprentice, you’ll split your time between working for your employer and studying towards industry level qualifications. 

You’ll attend university as a learner and gain on-the-job training through clinical placements in birth centres, labour suites and antenatal wards. Oh - and - you’ll get paid too. 

Want to know the best bit? You won’t need to take out any student loans as your tuition fees will be covered by your employer.

Really? Absolutely! 

No wonder 50% of school leavers are considering an apprenticeship.

Throughout your programme, you’ll learn about the genetics and genomics of pregnancy and childbearing. Not only will you discover the female reproductive system, you’ll be introduced to pharmacology too, and dip your toes into the world of pathology, bacteriology and virology. 

Here are three universities offering degree apprenticeships in midwifery.

Search for Degree Apprenticeships

What qualifications do I need to train as a midwife?

To start your midwifery apprenticeship, you’ll need two A-Levels  - one being a science subject (biology preferably). If you want to take another science, chemistry, psychology or sociology are good options as well.

If you don’t have A-Levels, consider the Access to Higher Education Diploma at Learning Curve Group instead. This level 3 qualification is designed to prepare you for a degree in midwifery and will give you the training you need to take that all-important next step.

The course is 100% online and allows you to study at your own pace and from home.

Here’s a list of colleges offering Access to HE Diploma courses in midwifery.

How long does it take to become a midwife?

A degree apprenticeship in midwifery usually takes 4 years to complete. However, an Access to HE course can be done in a year, depending on your programme. 

Once you’ve finished your course, you’ll need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and pass a series of background and health checks. After this, you’ll be able to work as a midwife and deliver lots of babies to their happy mamas!

Want to know what a midwifery apprenticeship (degree) is really like? Check out this video.

Can I be a midwife with no GCSEs?

If you want to get into midwifery, you’ll typically need:

  • Five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, Maths and Science

If you don’t have GCSEs, you can do a Functional Skills course in maths and english instead. This will give you the right qualifications to sit your A-Levels and apply for a midwifery apprenticeship degree.

Wondering where you can do these courses? Learndirect is the UK’s leading online course provider and offers plenty of Level 2 Functional Skills courses in Maths and English. 

Remember you’ll also need to take alternative science courses, such as aLevel 2 BTEC in Applied Science.

Searching for the right company to work for? Browse our Best Student Employers table. They’re based on THOUSANDS of honest student reviews from people who have been in your shoes. 

You’ll find the best employers out there - according to industry, diversity and inclusion initiatives and personal progression. Take a peek! 

What skills does a midwife need?

Midwifery is way more than earning a degree. It’s about creating loving, nurturing relationships with expectant mums and making them feel safe throughout their pregnancies. 

This takes skill. Many will be having a child for the very first time so will need lots of support as they navigate the challenges of early parenthood.

Here’s a range of skills you‘ll want to excel in as a midwife.

  • Empathy - you will encounter women going through some difficult situations so it’s crucial you are able to build strong, trusting relationships  

  • Staying calm under pressure -  occasionally, you’ll have to make important decisions during labour and delivery. So will need to remain calm in difficult situations

  • Equal treatment - all women deserve to be treated equally, no matter what their background or religion is

  • Teamwork - as you’ll be working with doctors, nurses and obstetricians, you must be a good team player to communicate with them effectively

  • Proactivity -  should complications arise during delivery, you’ll need to resolve them quickly. Or know when to ask for help

  • Physical strength - labour can take hours, sometimes even days. During this time, you’ll need to support women through massages or help them shift positions. These actions require stamina, so you’ll need bundles of it!

Want to know what it’s really like to do a midwifery apprenticeship? Have a read of over 40,000 student-written reviews.

Browse health and social care apprenticeship reviews

How much do midwives earn in the UK?

NHS pay scales come in bands - not wristbands though - we’re not off to Reading Festival (just yet)!

As a newly qualified midwife, you’ll enter the workforce on a band 5 salary. You’ll be on a preceptorship for 6-24 months - which means you’ll get tons of support while you go from a student to a fully qualified practitioner. 

Once you’ve finished your preceptorship, you’ll move onto a band 6 salary, and get a nice pay rise too…   

Band 5:

Band 5 midwives earn £25,655 a year. But this will increase with experience. So after four or five years in the biz, you’ll take home around £31,534.

Band 6:

Band 6 salaries begin at £32,306 and shoot up to £39,027 with five or more years of experience.

Band 7:

Band 7 salaries start at £40,057 and peak at £45,839 after five or more years of experience. 

Band 8b - 8c:

Band 8b - 8c is aimed at consultant level midwives. Their starting salary begins at £54,764 (8b) and £65,664 (8c).

Sixty-five THOUSAND pounds? Oh my - would you look at that!

What about nights and weekends?

Here’s the thing. You’ll need to work nights and weekends too - unless you’re:

  • Medically exempt 

  • Have a flexible working contract.

So, while you won’t always get to have sleepovers with friends, you WILL get:

  • An extra 30% to your pay (night shifts and Saturdays)  

  • An extra 60% to your pay (Sundays and Bank Holidays).

Say you work a Saturday night. You’ll receive your normal wage plus 30% until midnight then another 60% as it’ll be Sunday!

Not bad, huh?

The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world. With over 350 different careers to choose from, join over 1.7 million employees and kick-start your future in healthcare.

Check out our guide to Apprenticeships in the NHS.

Is getting into midwifery hard?

Midwifery can be TOUGH. It’s demanding and requires hard work, commitment and dedication. Throughout your programme, you’ll face lots of challenges, both in the classroom and on the ward. 

But if you really want this, you’ll overcome the difficulties and thrive in one of the most prestigious and rewarding industries there is.

So if you’ve got a strong stomach, have a calm nature and can handle anything, including a traumatic birth that doesn’t always go to plan, you’re well on your way to smashing a career in midwifery.

Good luck! We’re rooting for you!

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