Graduate Diploma of Midwifery

Course summary for current students

Year2017 course information
Award granted Graduate Diploma of Midwifery
  • Cloud (online) with significant campus requirements at Burwood (Melbourne)
Duration1.5 years in a combination of full time and part time study
Deakin course codeH676

Course sub-headings

Course overview

Take your nursing career in a rewarding and a new direction in midwifery.

The Graduate Diploma of Midwifery is designed for registered nurses seeking registration as a Midwife in Australia. The midwife plays an essential role in maternity care and is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women within the framework of ‘woman-entered care’.

The midwife is a primary health care provider and undertakes health assessments throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and time after birth to ensure the health and wellbeing of women and their unborn/new born babies. This role includes referral and collaboration with other health care professionals as well as health promotion and education.

As a primary health care provider the midwife has an important role in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This involves antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and childcare. A midwife may practice in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.

Areas of study covered include a review of the anatomy and physiology of human reproduction, pre-conceptual health, conception, embryology, fetal and placental development. Study areas also include anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, signs and symptoms of pregnancy; care of the woman during labour, birth and the time after birth; and complexities of maternal health such as gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders and related pathophysiology. The care of the healthy newborn baby and the specific requirements of the baby born too early or an unwell full term baby are examined in reference to anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

You will typically be employed in a supervised part-time placement arrangement including a variety of maternity services settings of a collaborating hospital. These arrangements are designed to assist you in meeting all requirements of the Graduate Diploma of Midwifery as well as those of the Australian Health Professional Regulation Agency (AHPRA) of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).

Employment opportunities for have never been greater due to the current shortage of qualified midwife both locally and overseas. Throughout your course you will develop the relevant knowledge and skills to make you highly employable within the specialist field of midwifery.

Indicative student workload

As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals, online interaction and clinical placements. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

Professional recognition

This course is recognised by AHPRA and accredited by the NMBA and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (“ANMAC”).

Note: This course is currently accredited as at the date of publishing.

Fees and charges

Fees and charges vary depending on your course, your fee category and the year you started. To find out about the fees and charges that apply to you, visit

Course rules

To complete the Graduate Diploma of Midwifery students must attain 8 credit points comprising five core units equalling 6 credit points (these are compulsory) and 2 credit points of elective units (you can choose which ones to study).

Both the theoretical and clinical components of the assessment for each unit must be passed to successfully gain an overall pass in this course. Compulsory clinical hurdle requirements form part of the assessment of this course. Recognition of the importance of clinical assessments is calculated in the overall student workload.

Note: Failure of a compulsory practicum in a unit will normally lead to exclusion.

Course structure

Core units

Year 1 - Trimester 1 (Commencing February)

HNM701The Woman During Pregnancy, Labour and Birth *

HNM702The Woman and Newborn Infant *

Year 1 - Trimester 2

HNM703Contexts of Midwifery Practice *

HNM704Clinical Challenges in Maternity Care *

plus one elective unit

Year 2 - Trimester 1

HNM705Clinical Challenges in Infant Care *

plus one elective unit

* Classes are conducted at Burwood (Melbourne) and include online conference arrangements to other venues. Online learning resources are used for independent study, class delivery and discussions.

Elective units

The 2 credit points of elective units may be chosen from the following:

HNN704Clinical Leadership and Collaborative Practice (1 credit point)

HNN727Research in Nursing and Midwifery (2 credit points)

HNN730Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (1 credit point)

HNN749Patient Safety and Risk Management (1 credit point)

Alternatively, students may select level 7 electives from other Schools within the Faculty of Health.

Work experience

Clinical Practicum

The Graduate Diploma of Midwifery has been designed to incorporate clinical learning opportunities and supervised part-time arrangements within a variety of maternity services settings. Students are usually employed within a collaborating hospital to support and provide a sound clinical learning environment for the clinical program requirements of the course. Where concurrent employment is not possible, clinical practicum may be negotiated. There are clinical hours that must be completed independently of the supervised employment component. Following successful completion of 8 credit points of study and all practice requirements of the course and for registration, students are eligible to apply to AHPRA, through the NMBA, for registration as a midwife.

For the Graduate Diploma of Midwifery (8 credit points), the theoretical and clinical components of the assessment for each unit must be passed in order to successfully gain an overall pass. Compulsory hurdle tasks form part of the assessment. Recognition of the importance of clinical assessments is calculated in the overall student workload. Failure of a compulsory practicum in a unit will normally lead to exclusion from the course.

Fees - CSPs: More information

CSPs are limited and are dependent on Government funding received by the University. Therefore a CSP is not guaranteed to all domestic students. It is usually given based on prior academic merit.