Midwifery

Our master’s degree programme in midwifery prepares you for advanced specialist roles in the field – from counselling and obstetrics to teaching and research.

Our master’s degree programme:

  • qualifies you to assume leadership positions in your area of specialisation, reach critical decisions and analyse their impact;

  • prepares you for building trusting relationships with patients and families and communicating effectively;

  • teaches you to cooperate effectively in interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams;

  • prepares you for taking on leadership roles, contributing to the success of an organisation and furthering your own career;

  • shows you how to apply your expertise to improving the health and well-being of your patients, their families and society;

  • encourages you to reflect upon your professional practice and develop and apply evidence-based knowledge in your work;

  • trains you in providing ethically sound perinatal care and tending to your own well-being.

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Master of Science (MSc)
  • Specialisations None
  • Mode of study 6 semesters, part-time studies
    3 semesters, full-time studies
  • Start date Calendar week 38
  • Application deadline 30 April 2020
  • ECTS credits 90 ECTS credits
  • Study language German / English
  • Location Bern
  • Department Health Professions

Structure + Content

In our MSc programme in midwifery, you will learn to take the lead in various professional fields and offer family-oriented, interprofessional perinatal care. You will gain comprehensive experience in research methodologies, which will boost your innovative approach to the profession.

Portrait

With a MSc in midwifery, you will learn to analyse the various aspects of obstetric care and implement scientific findings in the practice and development of obstetrics.

In our MSc programme in midwifery, we will teach you how best to strengthen and prepare women for the impending physical challenges of childbirth. One of our main objectives is to prepare you to engage your specialist knowledge and help manage complex obstetric situations. A key component in this is understanding how to provide perinatal care to women and families from various socio-economic backgrounds. We consider the unique needs that may emerge for underprivileged patients during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. We also critically examine the increased prevalence of accompanying chronic, somatic and mental disorders and their impact on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and nursing periods.

Learning outcomes

Our master’s programme in midwifery opens new professional opportunities for you, whether on interprofessional teams, in teaching and research or in leadership and management.

Your role as an expert midwife

As an expert midwife, you will facilitate the transfer of the latest findings into obstetric practice. You will ensure that the care provided to women and their families meets their needs and current standards in the field. You will be versed in protocols and equipped to establish guidelines for practice as needed. You will also develop solutions for situations as they arise. In the context of integrated obstetrics, you will provide the highest level of support and consult with other healthcare professionals on the best approach to patient care. As an expert in midwifery, you will support mothers through the physiological course of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period with comprehensive counselling and care in complex obstetric situations. You will advise and assist patients presenting with demanding pathophysiological cases, such as mental disorders or chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatic diseases or obesity). You may encounter challenges in providing care to women living in poverty, single mothers and women from migrant backgrounds. Furthermore, you will take on advisory and support roles on your team and lead interdisciplinary and interprofessional quality circles as well as case reviews.

Your role in leadership and management positions

You will take on leadership and management duties. As a leader, you will influence the quality of care that women and their families receive. You will also determine working conditions for your staff. You will factor scientific findings into changes in your organisation, supporting or initiating related projects. You will gather staff suggestions for improving integrated perinatal care – including considerations made for reasons of health economics – and implement these changes into your interprofessional collaborations. From your management position, you will influence the development of health and educational policies on both social and political levels.

Your role in teaching, research and development

You will compile and present evidence-based, technical content to students at various levels of training and integrate new research findings in your teaching. Additionally, you will initiate and evaluate the development of the field of midwifery, on both a practical and scientific level. You will lead interdisciplinary and interprofessional advanced training programmes. In this way, you will contribute to ongoing improvement in the quality of obstetric care.
In the field of research, you will publish scientific papers, prepare reports, work as a consultant and contribute to research projects, such as developing, implementing and evaluating integrated obstetric care models. You will also help foster cooperation between clinical institutes and partners domestically and internationally.

Mode of study + Duration

6 semesters, part-time studies
3 semesters, full-time studies

Master-Studiengang Hebamme Modulübersicht Vollzeitstudium
Master-Studiengang Hebamme Modulübersicht Vollzeitstudium

Curriculum + Modules

Our master’s programme in midwifery is entirely modular. It includes obstetrics-specific modules and those aimed at interprofessional training. For the latter, you will join students in other master’s degree programmes in our Health Professions department. This mix of interdisciplinary, interprofessional and professional factors is our response to the demands of today’s workplace. It ensures you receive the wide range of skills you will need after you complete your studies.

In the profession-specific modules, you will examine and analyse concepts and strategies for boosting patients’ strengths. You will apply these practices to improving care for chronic, somatic, mental and other complicating factors in the perinatal period.
You will gain advanced knowledge of:

  • the needs of women and their families in complex perinatal situations in the module ‘Childbirth in complex situations‘.
  • thoughtful and fair perinatal care in an increasingly diverse society in the module ‘Diversity in perinatal care’.
  • accompanying mental disorders and their impact on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and nursing periods in the module ‘Mothers’ mental health’.
  • Scientific philosophy for healthcare professions
  • Research methods I and II
  • Biostatistics
  • Research planning

You will follow these modules alongside our other MSc students:

  • Applied ethics
  • Interprofessional communication
  • Advanced practice
  • Health policy and economics

In our two transfer modules, you will apply your new-found knowledge to specific topics in a professional field. You will reflect upon the challenges that arise when transferring between theory and practice, and discuss actionable solutions to improve this process.

In the master’s thesis module, you will connect your new-found knowledge with current profession-specific findings. Within the context of a research project on midwifery, you will examine a specific problem using the appropriate methods. You will independently author an expert-level scientific research paper that substantiates, evaluates and reflects upon your findings.

Student mobility

We highly value mobility for our students and professors alike. We maintain partnerships with various foreign institutes, which helps streamline our international study options. Student performance is measured and recognised according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Eligibility + Entry

Ideally you have professional experience as a midwife and are looking to improve your expertise and performance. You wish to meet the complex challenges in the field of obstetrics – and in an increasingly diverse society – with wider-ranging and more advanced skills.

Entry requirements
 

  • We accept applicants to the master’s degree programme in midwifery who have successfully completed their bachelor’s degree in midwifery.
  • If you hold a degree in midwifery from the former diploma-based system, you may still enrol in the master’s degree programme as long as you have proper documentation.

Academic requirements
 

  • Bachelor of Science in Midwifery
  • College degree in midwifery with additional qualifications (i.e. holders of qualifications awarded in the 1990s by professional colleges that later became universities of applied sciences may contact the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) to obtain a UAS title on the basis of their previously awarded qualifications).

Professional prerequisites

We encourage you to speak with your employer in good time. This will allow you to plan your studies in a reasonable manner (e.g. part-time employment with special arrangements for certain semesters).

Knowledge + Abilities

If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in midwifery, we may apply certain stipulations to your admission (e.g. enrolling in training courses to obtain missing qualifications). The following specialist courses at BFH provide most of the required background knowledge:

Language skills

You will need strong English skills for this programme: level B2-C1 or completed First Certificate (grade A).

For foreign applicants: if German is not your first language, you must provide official documentation of very strong German skills: Goethe-Zertifikat C1, Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung (ZMP) or similar certification.

Applying from abroad

Your foreign degree in midwifery must be recognised by the Swiss Red Cross.

Exceptions

The Swiss educational system is designed to be open and facilitate all students’ learning. If you have comparable training that prepares you for the master’s degree programme in midwifery, but you lack the formal requirements for admission, you may seek out individualised academic counselling.

Upon fulfilling the admissions requirements and submitting your online application, you must pay for and complete a binding aptitude test. This will determine your admission to the master’s degree programme in midwifery.

Aptitude test

Our aptitude test includes a review of your application materials and a technical interview.

  • In preparation for the interview, you will have 30 minutes to read a scientific paper in English. In the structured discussion that follows, you will address various points covered in the article. The interview is conducted in German and lasts 40 to 60 minutes.
  • We will also discuss your thoughts on developments in the field of midwifery and obstetrics, your personal goals as well as plans for balancing your studies and other obligations.
  • We will evaluate your motivation, conceptual and professional skills, personal competence and capacity for reflection.

Preparing for the aptitude test
 

  • Read a wide range of scientific journal articles in English and critically assess what you have read. Review the scientific materials covered at the bachelor or equivalent degree level.
  • Prepare to respond to questions about developments in the field of midwifery and obstetrics and your personal goals.
  • Think about how you would balance your studies with your work and family obligations. Please make tentative arrangements with your employer, because we will discuss them in our interview.

Qualification + Career prospects

The demand for highly qualified midwives is growing rapidly, both in healthcare practices and the field of education and research.

With an MSc in midwifery, you will be equipped to manage the complex demands of obstetric care in today’s diverse society. You will gain access to new lines of work providing care to women and their families and placing emphasis on perinatal care. You will contribute to improving the quality of mothers’ and children’s health in Switzerland.

Title + Degree

Master of Science BFH «Midwifery»

Career prospects

With an MSc in midwifery, you will be equipped to manage complex obstetric situations by leading and supporting interdisciplinary, interprofessional teams in providing expert perinatal care.

You will compile and present evidence-based content from a public health perspective to students at different levels of training.

You will also enjoy prospects in leadership and management roles.

Possible places of work:

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Training institutes
  • Research institutes
  • Professional organisations
  • Expert associations
  • Birthing centres
  • Boards of health
  • Midwifery practices
  • Mother-child centres

Prospects

With an MSc in midwifery, you may pursue further clinical, scientific or teaching qualifications. For instance, you may train as an Advanced Midwife Practitioner (AMP) through supervised practice and advanced clinical training and work with this qualification or pursue your doctorate domestically or abroad. Universities of applied sciences, such as BFH, offer continuing education programmes in higher education for those interested in pursuing further teaching qualifications.

Practicalities + Application

Visit one of our informational events and take the next professional step toward becoming a Master of Science in midwifery. We’re happy to help.

  • Submit your application to the master’s degree programme in midwifery online.
  • The application deadline is 30 April 2020.
  • Start date: calendar week 38
  • We will contact you to arrange a date for the aptitude test after reviewing your documents.

Public funds cover most of the cost of the programme. The portion that students must pay (semester fees, etc.) is based on the financial guidelines provided by the master’s degree programme in midwifery. This varies by canton.

Costs

Fees at BFH are calculated as follows:

Costs per semester

Tuition: CHF 750
Examination fee: CHF 80
Fee for social, cultural and sport facilities: CHF 24
Optional membership fee for the BFH student body association (VSBFH): CHF 15
Flat fee for materials: CHF 20

One-time costs

Application fee: CHF 100
Aptitude test fee: CHF 200
Diploma registration fee with the Swiss Red Cross (SRK): CHF 136

Please be prepared for additional costs over the course of your studies for specialist literature, software and other supplies. This amount will vary depending upon how much you acquire. Required reading is available at the BFH Health Professions department library.

Laptop

You must have your own WiFi-enabled laptop with a reliable internet connection. BFH will help you acquire the hardware and software required for the programme.

Stipendien, Darlehen und weitere Unterstützungsmöglichkeiten

Ausbildungsbeiträge. Ausbildungsbeiträge werden in Form von Stipendien und Darlehen vergeben. Stipendien sind einmalige oder wiederkehrende Beiträge, welche bei normalem Verlauf der Ausbildung nicht zurückbezahlt werden müssen. Darlehen sind einmalige oder wiederkehrende Beiträge, welche nach Abschluss der Ausbildung zurückgezahlt werden müssen.

Kantonale Stipendien

Für die Gewährung von Stipendien und Darlehen ist sowohl für Schweizer Studierende als auch für ausländische Studierende grundsätzlich derjenige Kanton zuständig, in dem die Eltern ihren steuerrechtlichen Wohnsitz haben.

Studierende, die seit mindestens zwei Jahren im Kanton Bern ihren steuerrechtlichen Wohnsitz haben, können sich um kantonale Stipendien und Darlehen bewerben. Anträge sind bei der Abteilung Ausbildungsbeiträge der Erziehungsdirektion einzureichen.

Weitere Informationen (inkl. Prognoserechner):

Auf den Websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch bzw. European Funding Guide können die wichtigsten Informationen rund um das Stipendienwesen in der Schweiz bzw. im Ausland abgerufen werden.

Stiftungen und Fonds

Es gibt zudem zahlreiche private Stiftungen und Fonds, die Studierende finanziell unterstützen. Das elektronische Stiftungsverzeichnis des Eidgenössischen Departements des Innern bietet eine umfassende Übersicht mit Suchfunktion nach Stichworten (z. B. Student/innen, Forschung, Förderung etc.). Die verschiedenen kantonalen Stiftungsverzeichnisse bzw. private Stiftungen sind weitere mögliche Geldgeber.

Folgende Stiftungen richten sich spezifisch an BFH- bzw. Fachhochschulstudierende:

Die Berner Fachhochschule BFH fördert die Vereinbarkeit von Studium, Berufstätigkeit und Betreuung von Angehörigen.

Die BFH bietet Studierenden und Mitarbeitenden eine beschränkte Anzahl Kitaplätze an. Interessierte Studierende und Mitarbeitende finden die Unterlagen auf dem BFH Intranet.

Die Preise sind einkommensabhängig und richten sich nach den kantonalen Tarifen gemäss der Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (ASIV) des Kantons Bern. Die Anmeldung für einen Kitaplatz erfolgt über das Webformular im BFH Intranet.

Angehende Studierende und Mitarbeitende ohne Intranet-Zugriff wenden sich bitte an Frau Corinne Badertscher (Tel. 031 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). Es gibt keinen gesetzlichen Anspruch auf einen Kitaplatz.

Swiss students have to complete compulsory service while studying too. Make sure you start planning and coordinating your studies and compulsory service early.

We strongly encourage you to complete basic military training and your first block of civilian service before starting your studies. If you complete these activities during your studies, you may miss classes. As a result, the duration of your programme may increase.

Advice

You can get help with coordinating your studies and your compulsory service from our team of advisers.

Apply for our master’s degree programme in midwifery online.

Tip: keep all required documents at the ready in electronic format.


We only accept applications for the master’s degree programme in midwifery via our online application form.

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*); the fee is required in each case.
  • The fee for the aptitude test is CHF 200.

* To be paid within 10 days. The application will not be processed until payment has cleared.

Locations + Facilities

Our Health Professions department is 10 minutes’ walk from Bern central station, or 5 minutes by public transport.