FAQs about careers in midwifery

This page has some frequently asked questions about careers in midwifery.

How do I train to become a midwife?

You'll need to take an approved course in midwifery. Have a look at our information about training in midwifery which explains about the training.

What qualifications do I need to train as a midwife?

Each university sets its own entry requirements to get onto a full-time degree in midwifery, but as a general guide you'll need at least 5 A-C grade GCSEs (including English and a science subject) and at least 2 (preferably 3) A' levels - biology may be required by some.

Alternative level 3 qualifications such as an approved access to midwifery course, BTEC National Diploma or International Baccalaureate may be acceptable, but you must check with each university directly before making an application.

Use our course finder to get a list of universities approved to run degrees in midwifery.

Have a look at our information about midwifery which explains about entry requirements.

Do I need to be a nurse before I can train as a midwife?

No, you do not need to be a nurse first - although this is one of the routes into the profession. Have a look at our midwifery role page.

Would it be better to train first as a nurse because of the competition for places on midwifery degrees?

If you train first as a nurse, with a plan of later doing further study to register as a midwife, you need to be aware that it is up to each NHS employing organisation to decide whether or not it will support staff to do this training. The decision is based partly on perceived future workforce needs.

You also need to bear in mind that nursing and midwifery are two separate and very different professions, and if you decide to train first as a nurse, your UCAS personal statement will need to demonstrate your interest in nursing and not midwifery.

This route into midwifery does not attract NHS financial support in the same way as direct entry nursing or midwifery courses.

Can I do an apprenticeship in midwifery?

No, you cannot do an apprenticeship to become a midwife. Some healthcare organisations run apprenticeships in health care/care and these may provide you with sufficient experience and qualifications to be able to apply for a pre-registration degree in midwifery.

To find current apprenticeship opportunities in the NHS, visit the NHS Jobs and National Apprenticeships websites. We also have information on the type of apprenticeships in the NHS.

I want to work with babies, so would I make a good midwife?

Having a love of babies is clearly important, but as a midwife, your main role will be monitoring the unborn baby and expectant mother while providing advice and support.

If you want to have more contact with babies, you might want to consider roles such as a newborn hearing screenermaternity support workerhealthcare assistant or a neonatal nurse

What is the highest I can earn as a midwife?

Under the Agenda for Change (AfC) system, a consultant midwife can earn up to the top of band 8c

Find out more about the AfC system.

Is there a shortage of midwives? If so, why are there so few training places at university?

Places on approved degree programmes in midwifery at universities are purchased by the NHS. The number of places is decided by the NHS and based on perceived future workforce needs.

Use our course finder to get a list of universities approved to run degrees in midwifery.

Is there financial help to support while I’m training to be a midwife?

Traditionally, the NHS has provided financial support for eligible students on approved pre-registration degree programmes in midwifery. However, this is changing from August 2017. Visit our financial support pages for the latest information.

Can I train on-the-job to be a midwife?

To train as a midwife, you will need to do an approved degree in midwifery at university. If you are a nurse, you can apply for a shortened 18-month midwifery programme.

Use our course finder to search for degree and 18-month programmes in midwifery.

Read more about working and training to be a midwife.

Where can I find more information about a career in midwifery?

You can find more information about a career in midwifery by visiting our explore roles section.

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