Pre-Registration Shortened Midwifery Programme PgDip

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What is special about this course?

We are delighted to be working in partnership with NHS Highland, NHS Western Isles, NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland to bring midwifery education to the Highlands and Islands.

If you are a registered adult nurse, this PgDip Pre-registration Shortened Midwifery Programme means you can become a fully qualified midwife in just 20 months.

The Programme comprises 60% practice and 40% theory. Your clinical practice placements are provided by NHS Highland, NHS Western Isles, NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland  and NHS Grampian in urban, remote and rural island practice areas. The theory components are arranged in blocks of attendance.

Find out more about the Department of Nursing and Midwifery

Important: Please read our FAQ sheet for further information about this programme

Special features

  • Designed in partnership with expert clinical partners
  • Innovative and clinically current curriculum developed and taught by subject experts
  • Practice-led and research-based curriculum
  • Accessible and flexible learning that combines innovative technologies for e-learning

Entry requirements

  • You must be a registered adult nurse, employed by NHS Highland or NHS Western Isles, and be live on the NMC register at the commencement of the programme
  • You are not required to meet revalidation requirements for registration as an adult nurse during the programme, but we strongly advise all registered nurses to ensure they have met the revalidation requirements prior to commencing the programme
  • Hours in practice undertaken as a student midwife cannot be used for revalidation as a registered nurse
  • If you are supported by NHS to undertake the programme, a condition of your employment contract may be that you maintain your registration. This a matter for you and your employer, not the university
  • You must hold a first degree (or equivalent)
  • All successful applicants are subject to a Disclosure Scotland (PVG) Check and must be passed fit by Occupational Health

Statement from Scottish Government in 2019/2020
On the completion of the Programme, you must take up and remain in a midwifery post, if an appropriate post is available and offered by NHS Highland or NHS Western Isles, for a minimum of a year. Otherwise you will be required to repay the tuition fees.

The Programme is subject to Scottish Government Funding.


There are 3 semesters, each has a theory and a practice module. All modules are compulsory and must be passed.

Semester 1

  • Transition to midwifery
  • Clinical practice 1

Semester 2

  • Midwifery care of the mother and neonate(s) with complex needs
  • Clinical practice 2

Semester 3

  • Being a midwife, 'Best Start' and the context of care
  • Clinical practice 3

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • The programme comprises 60% practice and 40% theory. Your clinical practice placements are provided by NHS Highland, NHS Western Isles, NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland and NHS Grampian in urban, remote and rural island practice areas. The theory components are arranged in blocks of attendance
  • Learning is through a combination of face-to-face and online independent study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from module leaders
  • Students will be required to attend the campus for face-to-face teaching, including clinical skills and simulation where there is access to the necessary environment and equipment
  • On-campus time will allow students to learn together and develop their knowledge and skills in readiness for assessment, both in practice and in theory
  • The programme has a focus on learner autonomy to foster the development of independent and self-directed learners

How long will my course last?

Full-time: 86 weeks (20 months)

  • This comprises 75 weeks in theory/practice plus 11 weeks pre-scheduled annual leave. It is not possible to take annual leave at any other time out with the scheduled dates

Where can I study my course?

  • Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Inverness

Start date

  • January - applications for January 2020 are now closed.

The programme begins on Monday 6th January 2020.

Our campus in Inverness provides students with one of the most unique and picturesque settings in which to study. The Department of Nursing and Midwifery is based at the Centre for Health Science near Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. 

The Centre for Health Science is home to world-leading healthcare research. Our academics here are recognised for excellence in teaching and learning and their work is internationally recognised for being innovative and ground-breaking. We provide a supportive and friendly environment to learn and develop professional midwifery skills. Simulation labs help to facilitate state-of-the-art skills teaching. The Highland Health Sciences Library provides access to the most current and up-to-date resources.


2019-20Scottish/EURest of UK
Per module (20 credits) £674 £840
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £4,044 £5,040
If you want to complete the full Masters (ie 6 modules plus a dissertation), there is an additional cost for the dissertation of:  
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £2,022 £2,520



The Scottish Government will fund tuition fees. The Government will co-fund with the health boards the salary costs of existing employees to enable them to undertake the programme.

What can I do on completion of my course?

NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles anticipate providing job opportunities for registered midwives exiting the programme.

Can I progress into further study?

The University of the Highlands and Islands will provide a Masters in Midwifery programme (MSc Midwifery) and you may also wish to consider undertaking a PhD.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

We welcome the opportunity to develop this exciting new midwifery programme.  This programme will strengthen access to career opportunities for midwives in the Highlands and Islands to help sustain and enhance midwifery care throughout our region.

Professor Annetta Smith is Head of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Apply for Pre-Registration Shortened Midwifery Programme PgDip

Applications for January 2020 are now closed. 

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.