NHS Careers > Explore by career > Midwifery > Training to be a midwife

Training to be a midwife

Training to be a midwife

To train as a midwife, you will need to take an approved midwifery degree. Alternatively, a qualified nurse can complete a midwifery short programme.

Each route leads to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) allowing them to practice as a midwife.

These degree and short courses are known as pre-registration programmes.

Midwifery degree
  • Students are awarded both an academic and a professional qualification, through integrated study of theory and supervised midwifery practice.
  • Supervised midwifery practice is 50% of the programme and takes place in both community and hospital settings, including antenatal clinics and wards, labour wards, postnatal wards and neonatal care.
  • The programmes are normally three years in length and studied on a full-time basis.
Midwifery short programme
  • This programme is for qualified and registered adult nurses wishing to train as midwives.
  • On completion, students are awarded both an academic and a professional qualification, through integrated study of theory and supervised midwifery practice.
  • Supervised midwifery practice takes place in both community and hospital settings.
  • Programmes are a minimum of 78 weeks full-time. A very limited number of universities may offer a part-time mode of study.

If you are a qualified and registered adult nurse wanting information about the pre-registration midwifery short programme, please contact the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line and search for courses using our coursefinder.

After your pre-registration programme

Once you've successfully completed your pre-registration programme and registered with the NMC, you can apply for posts as a midwife. With some experience, you can look to develop your career further, which may mean further study/training.

Healthcare is constantly developing, technology improving, and the needs of the population changing. Once qualified, it is necessary to keep yourself up to date with health care issues and practice. This will be required by the NMC and encouraged by your employer.

More information on post registration education and practice (PREP) requirements.