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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/08/2022 12:25:57

Title of Module: Appraising Complex Midwifery

Code: MIDW11032 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 30 ECTS: 15
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Connor  Murray

Summary of Module

Module Aim: To support students to develop a critical understanding of the relevant pathophysiology related to medical and obstetric disorders which can impact both mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth.  

Module Content: This module will develop an understanding of a contemporary range of obstetric and medical complications to provide respectful high-risk care for women and their babies. Students will consider and critically appraise the recommendations within a variety of policy documents including the MBRRACE Report and The Best Start a Five-Year Plan for Maternity and Neonatal Care. This will allow them to consolidate this knowledge during future practice learning placements in a variety of maternity and neonatal settings and evaluate the care from a holistic perspective for childbearing women and infants with complications.

The module will include the following theory and skills:

  • Maternal • Risk management • Fetal monitoring • Polyhydramnios; oligohydramnios • Malpresentation; malposition; cephalopelvic disproportion • Obstructed and prolonged labour • Instrumental delivery • Diabetes • Cardiac disease • Early pregnancy bleeding and loss • Antepartum haemorrhage (abruption/praevia) • Clotting Mechanisms (Disseminated intravascular coagulation; thromboembolic disorders) • Deep venous thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; amniotic fluid embolism • Multiple Pregnancy; breech; preterm labour • Sepsis • Hypertension; pre-eclampsia; eclampsia Neonatal • SANDS • Respiratory conditions • Family Integrated care; developmental care; transitional care • Vulnerable groups (Neonatal abstinence syndrome; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) • Birth injury; trauma; pain • Congenital abnormalities • Late preterm • Infection • Nutrition; insulin dependant diabetic mother; hypoglycaemia • Preterm breastfeeding • Cleft lip and palate • Cardiac disease • Bleeding disorders; jaundice • Thermoregulation; skin care

  • The holistic promotion, support and maintenance of breastfeeding will be reviewed and assessed in relation to an overall, comprehensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative University Standards (UNICEF, 2019) – Theme 1: Understand breastfeeding; Theme 2: Support infant feeding; Theme 3: Support close and loving relationships; Theme 4: Manage the challenges; Theme 5: Promote positive communication. This module will support students to develop characteristics which can contribute to the UWS graduate attributes which are Universal (critical thinking, analytical thinking, inquiring, culturally aware, emotionally intelligent, ethically minded, collaborative, research-minded and socially responsible); Work ready (knowledgeable, digitally literate, effective communicator, motivated, potential leader) and Successful (autonomous, incisive, creative, resilient and daring). Module content maps to MSc Midwifery with Registration Programme Educational Framework (adapted from Framework for Quality Maternal and Newborn Care (Renfrew et al., 2014) to levels: • Educational Content - Professional and Personal Development; Health and Wellbeing; Midwifery Knowledge and Practice; Complex Care; Additional Needs. • Teaching and Learning Strategies. • Student Values. • Programme Philosophy. • Students. NMC (2019) Proficiencies: 1.7, 1.14, 1.23, 2.6, 3.6, 3.9, 3.13.3, 3.13.4, 3.16.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4, 4.4.5, 4.6, 4.8, 4.10, 4.11, 5.8.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Critically examine pathophysiological factors which contribute to increased risk in pregnancy and childbirth.

L2. Appraise and synthesise physical, psychological, social and cultural issues which contribute to a range of clinical complications in childbearing women and infants.

L3. Analyse the management and care for women and infants with complications.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Developing a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of medical and obstetric factors which complicate pregnancy and childbirth for women and infants

Demonstrating a critical awareness of current issues and developments in maternal and neonatal care.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Using a broad range of professional and critical skills, synthesise, implement and evaluate individualised, person centred care pathways.

Demonstrating originality and creativity in response to problems and issues to make judgements on complex situations.

Applying UNICEF BFI Principles to inform care delivery to women and infants.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Identifying, conceptualising and analysing the pathophysiological condition of a woman and her infant, recognising when this requires referral to other members of the multi-disciplinary team whilst maintaining evidence-based practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Developing the written and oral skills required to care for women and their families when pregnancy and childbirth is complicated by concurrent disease processes, using a variety of IT and databases effectively to search and extract contemporary evidence to inform practice.

Developing numeracy skills related to drug administration and feed calculations.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Understanding the requirements for professional compliance with current NMC guidance.

Working in collaboration with members of multi-professional/multi-agency staff to provide appropriate care for women and their infants.

Developing self-confidence and self-awareness to enhance employability through the application of critical reflection on one’s own and others roles.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be offered using a blended learning approach. Core lectures will lay the foundation for learning, complimented by planned tutorials and asynchronous on line or class activities.

To promote inclusiveness and flexibility, anticipatory adjustments have been made to teaching, learning strategies and assessment. Further reasonable adjustments can be made for students who have been assessed as requiring specific adjustments or disability support in either the academic setting or in clinical practice placement environments.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery80
Asynchronous Class Activity80
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity40
Independent Study100
300 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:


Kenner, C. and Lott, J.W. (eds.) (2016) Neonatal nursing care handbook: An evidence-based approach to conditions and procedures. 2nd edn. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Knight et al (2021) MBRRACE-UK. Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care. Lessons learned to inform future maternity care from the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity 2017-2019

Lissauer, T., Fanaroff, A., Miall, L. and Fanaroff, J. (eds.) (2015) Neonatology at a glance. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Marshall, J. and Raynor, M. (eds.) (2020) Myles textbook for midwives. 17th edn. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Wylie, L. and Bryce, H. (2016) The midwives’ guide to key medical conditions: Pregnancy and childbirth. 2nd edn. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.


Ainsworth, S.B. (2014) Neonatal formulary: Drug use in pregnancy and the first year of life. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Baston, H. and Durward, H. (2017) Examination of the newborn: a practical guide. 3rd edn. London: Routledge.

Blackburn, S.T. (2013) Maternal, fetal and neonatal physiology: A clinical perspective. 4th edn. Amsterdam: Elsevier Saunders

Campbell, D. (2018) Physical examination of the newborn at a glance. New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell.

Coughlin, M. (2014) Transformative nursing in the NICU: Trauma-informed and age-appropriate care. New York: Springer.

Gleason, C.A. and Devaskar, S.U. (2012) Avery's Diseases of the Newborn. 9th edn. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

Macdonald, S. and Johnson, G. (eds.) (2017) Mayes' midwifery. 15th edn. Edinburgh: Bailliere Tindall.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2018) The code. Available at: (Accessed: 12 October 2020).

Pollard, M. (2017) Evidence-based care for breastfeeding mothers: A resource for midwives and allied health professionals. 2nd edn. London: Routledge.

Rankin, J. (2017) Physiology in childbearing with anatomy and related biosciences. 4th edn. Oxford: Elsevier.

Robson, S.E. and Waugh, J. (2013) Medical disorders in pregnancy: A manual for midwives. 2nd edn. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

Sinha, S., Miall, L. and Jardine, L. (2018) Essential neonatal medicine. 6th edn. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are academically engaged if they regularly participate in timetabled on-campus and online teaching sessions, asynchronous online learning activities, course-related learning resources and complete assessments which are submitted on time (UWS Academic Engagement Procedure; UWS Regulatory Framework).

It is expected that students will attend all scheduled classes or participate with all delivered elements as part of their engagement with their programme of study.
Within this module, students are expected to attend for at least 75% of the synchronous core teaching activities to be assessed. Please refer to UWS Regulatory Framework Attendance Requirements.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardMidwifery & Specialist Nursing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelMidwifery&Specialist Nursing L9-11
ModeratorSusanne Morrison
External ExaminerL Lawther
Accreditation DetailsNMC
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Summative Assessment:
Case Study Essay 4000 words (100%).
Minimum pass - 50%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case studycheck markcheck markcheck mark1002
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Module content reflects societal diversity and a rights-based approach to midwifery practice. To promote accessibility, anticipatory adjustments have been made to teaching and learning strategies and assessment. Further reasonable adjustments can be made for students who have been assessed as requiring specific adjustments.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.