Midwifery

As a midwife with a bachelor's degree, you will prepare women and couples to take responsibility for their transition into motherhood and parenthood. You will care for women and their families during pregnancy, delivery and the postnatal period.

This degree programme

  • prepares you for critical tasks in midwifery, both independently and in close collaboration with other healthcare specialists.
  • provides you with a solid knowledge base that you will apply in real-life settings and later in the field.
  • teaches you to think critically and provide scientific reasoning for your professional decisions.
  • equips you with expert knowledge of the interdisciplinary facets of modern midwifery, preparing you to enter the workforce as a trained professional.
  • qualifies you to develop and apply solution-oriented methods, both independently and in interprofessional groups.
  • allows you to enrol in a specialisation or consecutive master’s degree programme in midwifery following graduation.

Portrait Bachelor of Science Midwifery (German)

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Specialisations None
  • Mode of study Full-time study (6 semesters), followed by a 10-month additional internship module
  • Start date Calendar week 38
  • Application deadline Academic year 21/22: 15 January 2021
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Study language German
  • Location Bern
  • Department Health Professions
  • Next info event 21 October 2020

Content + Structure

Our bachelor’s degree programme in Midwifery combines evidence-based obstetrics with traditional obstetrics knowledge and practical skills. The programme focuses on the midwife’s autonomous function and interprofessional collaboration with other healthcare specialists, with the goal of maintaining and improving the well-being of both mother and child.

Portrait

Midwives are medical professionals responsible for providing perinatal care during the period encompassing pregnancy, birth, postpartum period, nursing and the new adjustment to family life, up to the child’s first birthday.
Midwives work in a range of settings, providing care in hospitals, private surgeries or women’s homes. They might be self-employed or work for a medical group, and they work independently in professional or interprofessional teams.

You will gain the skills required for such work through your studies and practical work placements, both domestic and abroad. You will take a self-directed, problem-based approach to your learning, which is both a social and constructivist process. Expertise is gained through practical experience and transfer of skills.

Learning outcomes

As a graduate of the bachelor’s degree programme in Midwifery, you will be able to

  • coordinate and provide care, counselling and monitoring for the mother, child and family during the period encompassing preconception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum period and nursing, up to the child’s first birthday.
  • improve the mother’s perinatal health, make diagnoses and work with the mother and her family to define, implement and evaluate specific interventions.
  • oversee the normal physiological processes of labour and birth; if required, you will initiate and supervise interventions based on the latest scientific findings.
  • identify aberrations in the normal physiological processes of labour and of birth, assess any risk, determine the measures required to protect the health of mother and infant and, where necessary, engage the support of other specialists.
  • record the pathological processes of labour and birth for both mother and infant, assess pre-existing conditions and psychosocial risks and initiate any necessary interventions through interprofessional collaboration.
  • assess emergency situations, set priorities and undertake any measures necessary for the health of mother and infant; such measures will at times require you to facilitate interprofessional collaboration.
  • provide individualised perinatal care in either institutional or home settings.
  • verify the efficacy of your interventions, using validated instruments.
  • learn about your clients’ needs, using person-centred communication, provide them with professional advice and empower them to share in the decision-making process.
  • recognise areas in need of further evidence in the field of midwifery, then participate in these research projects and apply your clinical experience.
  • relay information specific to midwifery to women, families, colleagues and other professionals.

Source: Regulation concerning job-related skills in healthcare professions (GesBG art. 5)

Mode of study + Duration

Full-time study (6 semesters), followed by a 10-month additional internship module

Curriculum + Modules

You will study at BFH and work in the field of midwifery. The following values are critical to your training:

  • Focus on women, infants and families
  • Person-centred healthcare
  • Importance of midwife-client relationship
  • Inclusion of all concerned parties and encouraging their involvement
  • Focus on human rights
  • Focus on salutogenesis
  • Encouraging sustainable midwifery
  • Encouraging diversity
  • Continuity in perinatal care, per the following arc: preconception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum period and nursing until the end of the child’s first year of life
  • Active, solution-oriented cooperation within the context of interprofessional collaboration
  • Verifiably effective methods
  • Becoming a midwife, bodily functions
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth
  • Body work 1
  • Interprofessional module 1
  • Research methods
  • Medical English
  • Communicating and forming relationships
  • Postpartum period, nursing, infants
  • Normal pregnancy transfer
  • Normal pregnancies in practice: pregnancy/birth
  • Normal pregnancies in practice: postpartum period
  • Motherhood: increased health needs
  • Motherhood: abnormalities
  • Emergencies, gynaecology
  • Body work 2
  • Interprofessional module 2
  • Statistics
  • Communicating in complex situations
  • Individual approaches to parenthood
  • Abnormal, aberrant pregnancy transfer
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Implementing evidence-based practice
  • Practical training: motherhood and abnormal pregnancies pregnancy/birth
  • Practical training: motherhood and abnormal pregnancies postpartum period
  • Inter- and transculturalism within the professional context
  • Practical training: motherhood and abnormal pregnancies – pregnancy/birth
  • Practical training:
    • Neonatology or
    • Gynaecology or
    • Antenatal or
    • Independent (self-employed) midwives or
    • International topics
  • Women’s and family health
  • Being a midwife, quality, transfer
  • Body work 3
  • Interprofessional module 3
  • Public communication
  • Inter- and transculturalism within the professional context
  • Bachelor’s thesis
Structure of bagelor's degree programme in Midwifery (full time) Enlarge image
Structure of bagelor's degree programme in Midwifery (full time)

Student mobility

We highly value mobility for our students and professors alike. We maintain partnerships with various foreign universites of applied sciences, which helps streamline our study abroad options.

The bachelor’s degree programme aligns with the Bologna model, which ensures transparency and mobility among universites of applied sciences across Europe. Student performance is measured and recognised according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Projects + Student theses

Bachelor’s theses

Partners

Requirements + Admission

The number of places available on our bachelor’s degree programme in Midwifery at BFH is determined by a numerus clausus. Provided you meet formal admission requirements, you must then complete an aptitude test.

Formal admission requirements

For admission to the programme, you must meet our academic requirements, pass the aptitude test and complete a two-month nursing internship at a healthcare clinic or social services centre before the first semester begins. You must also provide proof of language skills in German at level C1.

Academic requirements

You have earned one of the following Swiss training qualifications:

  • Vocational baccalaureate
  • Specialised baccalaureate (four-year)
  • Baccalaureate
  • Degree in a healthcare field from a professional college (see list)

 

Foreign qualifications are evaluated according to swissuniversities guidelines.

Language requirements

If your prior training (at least three years) was not conducted in German, you must demonstrate proficiency in the German language. We require students to have achieved level C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference.

Knowledge + Abilities

Midwives are empathetic, self-competent individuals who demonstrate a deep sense of responsibility and excellent social skills. They are analytical and reflective, resilient and reliable.

Our bachelor’s degree programme in Midwifery is right for you if you are

  • dedicated to working with women and families.
  • interested in the well-being of women, infants and their families, regardless of their background or personal opinions.
  • guided by ethical values and principles.
  • interested in concerns related to gender and culture as well as questions surrounding healthcare and women’s issues.
  • knowledgeable in the following scientific subjects (baccalaureate level): anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry and physics.
  • intellectually driven, observant, and quick to analyse, understand and relay complex concepts.
  • calm, efficient and effective in handling complex, rapidly changing situations.
  • a good communicator and take a constructive approach to solving conflicts.
  • physically and mentally resilient.
  • proficient in English: level B2C1 or completed First Certificate (grade A).

Professional prerequisites

There are no professional prerequisites for the BSc programme in Midwifery.

In the year of the planned start of your studies, you must complete a binding aptitude assessment (which is subject to a fee). This will determine your admission to the bachelor’s degree programme in Midwifery at BFH. The aptitude test is conducted in German and comprises a written part and an oral/practical part.

Dates apitude test

  • Written aptitude test: Saturday, 20 February 2021

  • Oral/practical aptitude test: Thursday, 8 April 2021 and Friday, 9 April 2021

Nursing internship (additional module A)

Before beginning your studies, you must complete a two-month nursing internship (additional module A) at a healthcare clinic or social services centre. Exceptions to this requirement are individuals with a specialised baccalaureate in a healthcare-related field and those with a Swiss Federal Vocational Education and Training diploma (EFZ) and vocational baccalaureate in a healthcare-related field.
The goal of the nursing internship is to introduce you to the tasks and work environment of healthcare professions. You will be responsible for performing various nursing duties, which will give you an idea of your own resilience. You must complete this free-form internship over the course of two consecutive months, or 40 eight-hour workdays. Sick and/or days of absence must be made up. This is a chance for you to discover how well or poorly you adapt to this work environment, what you enjoy and what poses a challenge.
You are responsible for planning and securing the internship – BFH does not provide any recommendations. Please refer to the following handout for more information regarding the internship and/or get in touch with the admissions team in our Health Professions Department well in advance.

All prospective students must submit the following form by calendar week 35 to prove completion of the nursing internship (additional module A).


Certain professional healthcare qualifications are recognised in lieu of the nursing internship. The following provides an overview of eligible credit transfers for additional module A within our Health Professions degree programmes.

Contact Admission


Additional information regarding nursing internship for the BSc programme in Midwifery

Applicants to the BSc programme in Midwifery can focus on learning about health promotion in women and children or learning about disease (in a professional institution).

Degree + Career prospects

As a midwife, you may be employed by a hospital or self-employed, work as an in-patient care provider or serve as a research associate at a healthcare institute.

Title + Degree

Upon graduating, you will obtain the title ‘Bachelor of Science BFH in Midwifery’. This bachelor’s degree is federally recognised in Switzerland, compatible with other European systems and counts internationally as a university degree.

Career prospects

As a midwife, you may be employed by a hospital or self-employed, work as an in-patient care provider or serve as a research associate at a healthcare institute.

Possible workplaces
 

  • Midwifery clinic
  • Private households (family midwife)
  • Birthing centres
  • Public and private hospitals/clinics
  • Counselling centres (e.g. for family planning)
  • State and private schools and colleges (e.g. research associate, lecturer, etc.)
  • Centres for specific diseases (e.g. diabetes, rheumatism, etc.)

Possible fields of work
 

  • During pregnancy, you perform check-ups and provide counselling, offer antenatal classes and prepare the woman and her social surroundings for parenthood.
  • During labour and birth, as the midwife, you accompany and oversee the delivery process. You provide the woman and her family with consistent and holistic guidance.
  • During the postpartum period, you assist the family with their transition into parenthood. You monitor and provide care for the newborn and mother as she recovers from childbirth. You answer questions regarding nutrition for both mother and child and coach the mother in breastfeeding. You also offer postpartum courses in Kegel exercises.
  • In high-risk and other critical situations, you partner with healthcare specialists to provide care for the woman, her child and family. You remain in constant contact with medical staff throughout, allowing you to summon a doctor in case of emergency.
  • As a midwife, you advise on questions regarding family planning, antenatal diagnostics, sexual health and early detection of mental health problems in connection with motherhood.
  • After many years of professional experience, along with specialist and pedagogical continuing education, you may also teach in a midwife training programme.
  • Similarly, after years of experience and the appropriate higher-level training, you may become a researcher in your field of specialisation or take on leadership or management roles.

Practicalities + Application

If you fulfil the formal entry requirements, we will look forward to meeting you. Take the first step towards a career in midwifery.

Academic year 2020/2021
 

  • The application deadline for the 2020/21 academic year has passed.
  • Start date: 14 September 2020

Academic year 2021/2022
 

  • Application deadline: 15 January 2021
  • Written aptitude test: Saturday, 20 February 2021
  • Oral/practical aptitude test: Thursday, 8 April 2021 and Friday, 9 April 2021

Fees + Costs

Tuition fees for a semester at the Berne University of Applied Sciences currently amount to a standard CHF 750, plus costs for study materials (photocopies, literature, internet access at home, etc.) and examination fees of roughly the same amount per semester.

Own notebook necessary

Your own computer (ideally a notebook) with a powerful internet access is required. The BFH will assist you with the procurement.

Compensation during practical work

During the practical work accompanying your studies, you can expect to receive a monthly compensation from the practice companies of CHF 800 to CHF 1300 (progressive according to the academic year, varies from canton to canton and from hospital to hospital). 
Because the bachelor's degree in midwifery is designed as a full-time course, you can only pursue a sideline occupation to a limited extent.

Grants, loans and other funding options

Financial aid. Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Bern University of Applied Sciences has various sites in the Canton of Bern. At Biel and Bern, new campus-style buildings are now being built and from 2022 and 2026 will connect previously separate locations.

In principle, you are responsible for finding your own accommodation. The HAFL department has a limited number of rooms for students of BFH-HAFL who live a long way from the university.

Rooms and appartments for students in Bern:


The Bern University of Applied Sciences is a partner and member of studentlodge.ch, a non-profit association for the promotion of student living in Bern.

More available rooms and appartments

   

WG-Zimmer

Flatshare classifieds (mainly Switzerland)

airbnb

Holiday homes, apartments and rooms for rent

students.ch

Student flatshares and flats

meinwgzimmer.ch

Flatshare accommodation service Switzerland

STUWO

Student accommodation association

Studentenresidenz Stöckacker

Furnished studios and flats in Stöckacker

Immobern

Bern property portal

Wohnungsmarkt Stadt Burgdorf

Accommodation in the city of Burgdorf and the surrounding area

Alle-Immobilien.ch

Search machine for all properties in Switzerland

Homegate

Swiss property portal

Immoscout24

Swiss property portal

Immowelt

Swiss property portal

More Information

Living expenses

Average living costs (in CHF) per month:

Average living costs per month

from to
Course costs
(Tuition fees, learning materials excluding study trips / study weeks)
CHF 140.– CHF 180.–
Fixed costs
(Sickness / accident insurance at non-reduced rate, taxes / social insurance, travel costs)
CHF 420.– CHF 500.–
Personal Expenditure
(Clothes / shoes, spending money / mobile phone, hairdressing / grooming)
CHF 250.– CHF 350.–
Provisions
(Health costs: retention, deductible rate, dentist)
CHF 60.– CHF 60.–

Rent / shared accommodation costs

CHF 300.– CHF 600.–
Other accommodation costs
(Electricity, telephone / radio / TV / Internet, home contents and personal liability insurance)
CHF 70.– CHF 100.–

Food / drink, including refectory

CHF 400.– CHF 500.–
Other houskeeping costs
(Washing powder and cleaning products, general toiletries, waste removal costs)
CHF 20.– CHF 40.–
Total CHF 1700.– CHF 2550.–

Meals outside the home CHF 8 to CHF 10 per meal

   

Source: Budgetberatung.ch

Annual average living costs for students living alone or in shared accommodation. The effective yearly amount may vary between approximately CHF 18,000 and CHF 27,000.

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are based on your income and are in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Corinne Badertscher (Tel. +41 (0)31 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Apply online for our bachelor’s degree programmes. Speed up the application process by having all your electronic application materials ready in advance (please see checklist). We only accept applications for the bachelor’s degree programme via our online application form. We cannot accept any applications after the application deadline.

The application and aptitude test fee of CHF 300 is itemised as follows:

  • Application processing fee of CHF 100 (credit card) or CHF 110 (paper invoice*). This fee is required.
  • Aptitude test fee of CHF 200 (blanket charge).

* Please remit payment within 10 days. We review applications only once payment has been received.

If you are admitted to the programme following the aptitude test, please provide written confirmation that you accept our offer within 20 days. The first semester fee is due upon accepting our offer of admission.

Information events + Advice

Visit one of our information events for further details on our bachelor’s degree programme in Midwifery. We are happy to advise you individually.

Location + Learning Centre

Centrally located and easy to get to: the Department of Health Professions is located within a 10-minute walk or five-minute ride with public transport from Bern central station.

The Learning Centre with its Digital Learning, Communication Training and Skills Centre supports a modern and realistic teaching and learning environment at the Department of Health Professions.

Digital learning

Digital media play an important role in all degree programmes. Via the web-based learning platform Moodle, students have access to all relevant teaching and learning content independent of time and location. Numerous other web applications such as Microsoft Teams, the video platform Kaltura or web applications developed in-house support students in their daily studies.

Skills Centre

The Skills Centre of the Department of Health Professions represents a teaching and learning landscape which, thanks to practice-oriented premises, a variety of equipment, models and materials, allows individual use by students and lecturers. It offers ideal conditions for the systematic training and optimisation of profession-specific skills. The focus here is on the further development of practical and technical skills and abilities. The available infrastructure should, among other things, also offer the opportunity to prepare specifically for practical work as encountered in practice.

Communication training

Communication training is an innovative learning method. With professional actors and actresses, students practise communicative skills by simulating challenging situations from professional practice: Handling a patient who hardly speaks German, a patient who has just received a serious diagnosis or emotional relatives. Mobile video recording systems enable the recording and immediate viewing of the communication situation. In this way, students learn how to deal professionally with demanding tasks in the health care sector in communication training.