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The University of Southampton

NPMS1019 Science for Midwifery Practice

Module Overview

This module enables you to underpin midwifery practice with the appropriate science base. This includes a comprehensive knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and the ability to apply that science to the provision of midwifery care.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the human body systems, their interaction to achieve homeostasis and the adaptations that occur throughout the pregnancy –childbirth- puerperium continuum
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biological processes that occur to enable development from gamete formation to early childhood, the factors that might affect these process and the implications for midwifery practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biological process of pregnancy, labour and the puerperium and describe how this impacts upon the provision of care.
  • Explain the anatomy and physiology of the breast and lactation, and the bio mechanical for breast feeding for the woman and neonate.
  • Articulate the principles of pharmacology and the implications of this to human development, the pregnancy –childbirth- puerperium continuum and medicines management.


Biological and Bio chemistry underpins for Midwifery practice • Molecules, cells and tissue structure and functions • Microbiology (particular focus on those relevant to infection) Body systems, their organisation and interdependence for homeostasis, and parameters defining normality /abnormality to midwifery assessments • Integumentary system • Musculoskeletal system • Nervous system • Special senses • Endocrine system • Cardiovascular system • Immune system • Respiratory system • Digestive system • Urinary system, fluids and electrolytes The reproductive system • Female and male reproductive anatomy and physiology • Genetics and genomics and application to reproduction and maternity care • Principles of embryology including errors of embryology/development and implications for maternity care and wider public health role of the midwife • Placental anatomy, physiology and implication of midwifery practice • Physiology of o Pregnancy o Labour ( all 3 stages) o Puerperium o Neonate o Lactation • Physiology and psychology of pain and implication to midwifery practice Medicines and pharmacology • Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics • Introduction to drug calculations and metric conversions • Principles of medicines management Programme threads are linked throughout and include: • Baby Friendly principles • Medicines management • Mental health and well-being • Values Based Journey

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Technology enhanced learning activities Self-directed study Lectures Seminar activity Demonstration of anatomical parts

Guided independent study93
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Lewis L (2015). Fundamentals of midwifery : a textbook for students. 

Tucker-Blackburn, S (2013). Maternal, fetal and neonatal physiology; A clinical perspective. 

Wlaker, M. (2017). Breastfeeding management for the clinician : using the evidence. 

Johnson MH (2013). Essential reproduction. 

Walsh, D. (2011). Evidence and skills for normal labour and birth : a guide for midwives. 

Marshall JE and Raynor M D (Eds) (2014). Myles textbook for midwives. 

General Resources. Provision of online anatomy and physiology learning resources, eg Anatomy TV, Marieb learning resources, Elsevier skill package Access to local Maternity Unit/Hospital sites for some seminar/skills activity

Wambach K and Riordan J (2016). Breastfeeding and human lactation. 

Coad, J and Dunstal, M. (2011). Anatomy and physiology for midwives. 



Computer assisted assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Computer assisted assessment 50%
Written paper  (1 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Computer assisted assessment 50%
Written paper 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Accommodation and Travel

There are no identified additional costs to you anticipated, as travel between University study sites should be expected as part of the programme

Books and Stationery equipment

Textbooks and journals are available in the library and as electronic resources; if you choose to purchase your own resources this will be at a cost to you.

Lab Coats

You may be required to purchase a lab coat for use in the medical cadaver facility.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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