Bachelor of Midwifery Bachelor of Midwifery

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DegreeFull-time, 3 years | Part-time, 4 years (with approval)

Programme code








Domestic Applications due

1 September

International Applications due

1 September


Christchurch - Manawa Campus, with satellites based in Nelson/Marlborough, West Coast and South Canterbury

Annual Fees(indictive 2020)


$10,090- $11,330



Course related costs

Approx $2000 - $4500 per year including text books and equipment plus travel and accommodation expenses for satellite students attending compulsory block weeks in Christchurch. $200 National Midwifery Exam (Year 3).

About this programme

Learn how to confidently nurture pregnant women through one of life's most meaningful events.

Midwives work with women to provide care in pregnancy, childbirth and up to the first six weeks of a baby's life. Midwives have a wide range of knowledge and skills to be able to support women and their families safely and appropriately.

Recognised by the Midwifery Council of New Zealand, our three year degree* uses blended delivery techniques to enable you to study and work in your own community. You will be able to access practical experience, face-to-face tutorials and online study while living in your own region, including Christchurch, Nelson/Marlborough, West Coast and South Canterbury. All sites are supported by a midwifery lecturer/s who will provide individual support, organise the tutorials and coordinate local midwifery practice experience for you. Compulsory block weeks are taught in Christchurch throughout the year, and all students are required to attend these sessions.

To meet the Midwifery Council of New Zealand requirements the degree is made up of theory and practice content carried out over 45 weeks of delivery per year. You will have the opportunity to follow at least 25 women throughout their midwifery care and facilitate 40 births in a variety of maternity settings.

Studies cover a wide range of topics including midwifery practice skills, nutrition, lactation and bioscience foundations. You will also learn about Maori health, integrated midwifery practice and rural midwifery practice to allow you to adapt to the wide range of needs and circumstances encountered in midwifery.

You will gain a good understanding of how to assess the social, psychological, physical, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs of each woman and her family, so you have the knowledge and skills needed to support women during their childbirth experience.

With approval from Head of Midwifery, students may study part-time over four years, choosing one of the following options depending on your personal circumstances: The first option (preferred) is for students to complete year one full time, undertake the second year over two years and complete the third year full time. Option two involves undertaking year one over two years and then completing years two and three full time. In both options course progression is planned to maximise recent midwifery practice before entry to year three of the programme.

*Three years full-time study. Please note the credit value is equivalent to four years full-time study. All courses are compulsory.

In our most recent graduate survey, 100% of 2016 Bachelor of Midwifery graduates were in employment (Ara Graduate Outcome Survey, 2016).

Want to learn what to expect as a midwifery student? Click here to read our overview of commitments and expectations

Please note: As places are limited on this programme we strongly recommend applying as soon as you know you wish to study with us .

Career opportunities

Please note: on completion of Year 3 you will be required to sit the Midwifery Council National Exam (at an additional cost of $200) to enable you to be registered to practice as a midwife.

You can work as a midwife, providing midwifery services either as a self-employed midwife with a caseload in the community or employed in a hospital setting providing maternity services to women.

Many graduates have established practices with their colleagues or joined an existing midwifery practice.

Midwives have the opportunity to develop skills in health management areas, education, and women's health settings and to participate and undertake research projects as well as work with other health professionals to enhance health care provision for women and their families.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry

Programme structure

To complete this Degree you are required to complete 480 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • New Zealand University Entrance: NCEA Level 3 (60 credits at Level 3 and 20 credits at Level 2 or higher) which must include

    • 18 credits at Level 3 in each of Biology and/or Chemistry†† and
    • a minimum of 16 credits at Level 3 in an English language rich subject such as English, history, art history, classical studies, geography or economics and
    • a further 16 credits at Level 3 in one other subject from the list of approved subjects* and
    • Literacy* - 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading, 5 credits in writing and
    • Numeracy* - 10 credits at Level 1 or above (specified achievement standards, or unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627).

    New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 4) Ara Pre Health Pathway or equivalent

    Note: Students who have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge examination) should contact Ara for requirements.

    * NZQA approved subjects: see standards/awards/university-entrance

    If an applicant does not have a minimum of 18 credits at Level 3 in Biology OR Chemistry, they must have achieved 16 credits at level 2 in Biology OR Chemistry.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Registered nurses or other registered health practitioners must hold registration with the relevant regulatory authority in New Zealand. A Certificate of Good Standing is required from the relevant regulatory authority.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you must

    • Complete a written statement which discusses the recent work/life experience relevant to midwifery and/or women's health.
    • Disclose any health or learning issues which may affect the applicant's ability to meet the academic and/or practical requirements of the programme.
    • Provide evidence of good character and personal attributes via two referee reports.
    • Consent to Disclosure of Information - Successful applicants will be required to complete a New Zealand Police Consent to Disclosure of Information form. The form will be sent by Ara to the Police Licensing and Vetting Service, and returned in confidence to the Head of Midwifery. Information on the NZ Police Vetting Service is available from the New Zealand Police website.
    • hold a current Class 1 Driver Licence.
    • hold a valid first aid certificate (minimum 12 hours) covering NQF unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402).
    • have basic computer skills prior to starting the programme.
English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, you may also be required to provide evidence of English language skills as listed below. The Midwifery Council of New Zealand accepts OET as an alternative to IELTS. Applicants wanting an exception must contact the Midwifery Council as Ara does not have the authority to grant an exception.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    The English Language requirements for this programme are higher than the minimum set by NZQA, therefore; applicants who have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance may be required to provide evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed after the closing date. However, late applications may be accepted. You may be invited for interview by phone or face to face if further information is required. Final selection is based on both academic and other entry criteria.

Should the number of applicants who meet the entry criteria exceed the available places, you will be placed on a wait-list. Provisional entry does not apply.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an application form.

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.