There are currently no national minimum academic entry requirements for entry into midwifery courses. As a consequence, each higher education institution (HEI) running courses sets its own criteria. All applicants must be able to demonstrate evidence of literacy and numeracy.
For numeracy this includes evidence of ability to: * Accurately manipulate numbers as applied to volume, weight, and length, (including, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, use of decimals, fractions, and percentages) to include using a calculator.
For literacy this includes evidence of ability to: * Read and comprehend (in English or Welsh) and to communicate clearly and effectively in writing to include using a word processor.
If a student has a disability the above can be met through the use of reasonable adjustments.
It is therefore essential that applicants check with each HEI directly before applying to see if their qualifications meet its entry standard.
However as a general guide, HEIs look for the following qualifications or their equivalent.
For entry onto a pre-registration degree programme in midwifery, you will usually need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (typically including English language or literature and a science subject), plus two A' levels or equivalent (although in practice, you are more likely to need three A' levels or equivalent).
Alternatives to GCSEs and A levels
The NHS and education sector encourages applications from people with a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications.
Examples of qualifications that may be considered broadly equivalent to five GCSEs at grade C or above include: five CSE's grade 1; five SCE Standard grade 1's (Scotland); GNVQ intermediate level plus one GCSE/GCE O level, grades A-C.
Examples of qualifications that may be considered broadly equivalent to two A' levels include: GNVQ advanced level or NVQ level 3; SVQ level 3; GSVQ level 3 (Scotland); EDEXCEL Foundation (BTEC) National or higher national diploma.
Applicants who left full-time education some time ago may be required to give evidence of successful recent academic study, such as a QAA accredited access to higher education course or equivalent.
Staff working in more advanced support roles - such as those at assistant practitioner level, might be able to gain secondment from their employer onto a pre-registration programme.
Cadet schemes and apprenticeships
Some trusts run cadet schemes, which can lead to entry onto a pre-registration programme in midwifery. For information about cadet schemes click here.
Increasingly, cadet schemes are being replaced by apprenticeships - such as those in health and social care. For more information about apprenticeships and how to search to apprenticeship vacancies, click here
There is no legal minimum age requirement or upper age limit for entry onto pre-registration midwifery programmes.
If you take up a place on a pre-registration midwifery programme, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requires you to have a criminal records check. The Criminal Records Bureau carries out these checks. You must confirm on your application that you agree to a Criminal Records Bureau check, because the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act do not apply. If your programme 'involves regularly caring for or being in sole charge of children', you are also required to have a Protection of Children Act List check before you begin your clinical placement.
If you have a criminal conviction or a police caution, this will not automatically bar you from working in the NHS, as each conviction is considered in the light of all relevant circumstances.
All HEIs must satisfy themselves that applicants to pre-registration programmes are of good health and good character sufficient for safe and effective practice as a midwife. For more