It's grey, the cat's beside me on the sofa, the rain is soft outside...and I'm about to publish this video on the things you need to know before applying for midwifery. I wanted to make a shortcut to the essential information, as many applicants at this time of year are fact chasing. I hope it helps - applying is exciting but stressful, and I love breaking things down and making it simple for you.
First you need to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into!
See this video on what it's like to be a midwife, if you don't have a good idea already.
Midwifery is competitive – you have around 1/10 chance, as there are 100 places for every 1000 applications.
This sounds scary, but actually a lot of these applicants will fall by the way side pretty quickly, as they don’t have the right qualifications, they don’t know much about midwifery, or midwifery philosophy.
Or they’ll think ‘writing from the heart’ is all you need for a successful application. Passion is important – but your personal statement must focus on the skills that are going to make you a wonderful midwife! See the difference?
If you make it to interview, you'll generally have a 1/3 chance of getting a place.
If you get help to make sure you’re thinking within the midwifery model, and you help yourself to the right information, you have every chance of success.
You'll need GCSEs: at least 6, A-C grade, B or above in Maths, English, and often Science
You'll then need higher education:
A-levels: 300 UCAS points, at least one A-level in something ‘sciency’ like Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Sociology, Psychology, Sports Science
Grades needed range from ABC-BBB.
BTEC or extended BTEC: at distinction/distinction/merit or above
Access Courses: An Access Course doesn’t put you at a disadvantage, not quite sure where this rumour started. You often need 45 Level 3 credits at distinction level, 18 of which should be in Human Biology or another science. Access Course requirements are complicated, so check with individual universities.
It's important to check individual universities requirements, as they're all different and they change.
For instance, check out my former university De Montfort University's entry requirements ( I can definitely recommend DMU, it was great 🙂 ).
Volunteering is a great way of developing midwifery skills like empathy, compassion, time management and communication.
Midwifery experience is hard to come by and is not necessary – honestly. Volunteering with children’s or age support charities, or with vulnerable groups of people can give you the skills and insights into forming supportive relationships that midwives need.
I’ve heard candidates say Universities have told them it's a formal requirement to have volunteer experience.
After working with 100s of applicants and scouring entry requirements, I can’t find any evidence of this being a formal requirement – I’m not at all saying these candidates are mistaken! It's just that the evidence suggests that when it comes down to giving places, it’s the transferrable skills, insights and experiences that candidates have that will make them successful – not where they developed them.
(The way I think of it is: it'd be odd if you’d been a Maternity Care Assistant or Nurse for 5 years, had many transferable skills, but were turned down just because you hadn’t developed these skills volunteering.)
I have come across many candidates, even those age 17-18, who didn’t have volunteer experience but who were successful based on their ability.
Find out more on volunteering here.
You get to write to the Universities to show them what you have to offer midwifery. You have 4000 characters, which is about a page and a few lines in a standard font like Times New Roman 12.
Admissions tutors get about 10-15 minutes to read your statement.
You therefore have to show all your insights, skills and qualities into midwifery, in a way that’s not confusing.
UCAS (the University College Admissions Service) opens for applications in early September, and runs through to early January, every year. Interviews take place any time from September-late summer.
In your statement you’ll need to show you can do well academically, learn clinical skills, and learn to be an excellent advocate for women.
Remember to keep things focussed on why you’re going to be an amazing midwife. It’s easy to slip into writing about why midwifery would be very rewarding, this is fine, but remember….
“Think not what midwifery can do for you; but what you can do for midwifery.”
Also, use the ‘So What?’ rule.
For every sentence, ask ‘so what?’ as in ‘so what is the admissions tutor going to pick up from this? What does it do to allow them to offer me an interview?’
Try it on this line of a personal statement:
‘I’ve always loved babies and I’d find midwifery really rewarding’
(See video for some ‘so what?’ analysis of this line at around 8.50)
There are some further free resources for personal statement writing here:
And the ultimate all in one support is Personal Statement School.
(Now 9.99/month, subscription, but you can cancel at any time so after one month if this is all you need!)
Good luck writing, it is hard! I’m so happy and impressed at the quality and commitment of midwifery applicants, I think it’s amazing you’re interested in serving women and families.
Do get in touch via the comments with any questions, and I’d be happy to help.