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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

A special anniversary for Midwifery at the winter Graduation ceremonies

Published: 17 December 2015
Graduate midwives

Health Sciences students from across the Faculty graduated yesterday at ceremonies held at the Turner Simms on Highfield campus.


Among those celebrating were graduates of the Bachelor of Midwifery (Hons) degree which is celebrating its 20th anniversary since its inception.

Southampton was the first to offer a Bachelor of Midwifery (Hons) programme, but it has changed significantly since 1995. In the early days, teaching was shared across several Faculties and students had the same pattern of study within the academic year as students in all other faculties. The length of the degree was reduced to three years in 2001 when the local College of Nursing and Midwifery was merged with the Department of Nursing Studies in the Faculty of Medicine.

In 2010 The Faculty of Health Sciences was established and the Midwifery undergraduate and postgraduate level programmes are two of the now many Health Professional Programmes that the Faculty is proud to deliver, and from which many of our students graduated yesterday.

To add to the celebrations, two Bachelor of Midwifery graduates were awarded prizes today, recognising outstanding achievement and success in the face of adversity. 

Graduate midwife Rebecca Warren was presented with the Mary Foss Award for ‘Best Academic Performance throughout the Midwifery Programme’. This award was presented to the University by Dr Mary Foss, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Dr Foss, a much respected midwifery lecturer, had worked in the Faculty for over 20 years prior to her retirement in 2013

Mary established the award to recognise her passion for women-centred maternity care through good midwifery education. This reflected her own PhD study, awarded earlier this year, which focused on the implementation of a training package for training Auxiliary Nurse-Midwives in India aimed at improving the health of women and infants in rural areas

The first presentation of the award was made by Mary herself at the winter 2014 graduate reception event. This year Mary’s family presented the Award in her memory. 

Bachelor of Midwifery graduate Emily Guy was also presented with the Liam Michael Edwards award ‘for providing high quality care to a family who have experienced a pregnancy/neonatal loss.

The ceremonies went very well and were enjoyed by graduates and their families, and staff took great pleasure sharing in the excitement of the occasion.

Our graduates join the growing alumni community of tens of thousands of Southampton graduates across the world. We wish them all a hugely successful future.


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