Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

  • Professional Doctorate in Midwifery

    The Professional Doctorate in Midwifery (DMid) is a part-time doctoral programme designed to enable midwives to undertake doctoral level study whilst continuing in their current midwifery role. Students will be supported to develop research skills and knowledge with a peer group and experience our world class research institute OxINMAHR.

    The programme aims to nurture independent, critically reflective and competent researchers who are equipped to lead and develop Midwifery research, either independently or as part of a team. It culminates in a doctoral level research project that is focused on practice and makes a new contribution to midwifery knowledge. It thus offers a vehicle to launch and develop clinical academic careers, as well as supporting clinicians to carry our research which will benefit their clinical area and build an evidence base to develop and underpin care.

    The DMid is taught alongside our sister DNurs programme, and develops students over a 5 year period, with the first 2 years being delivered in a modular format, through face to face teaching and on-line activities and the last 3 years exploring an area of practice through independent research. The programme modules are outlined on the module page. The successful outcome of the award is through production of a thesis and successful defense of your research at a viva examination.

  • The aims of the DMid are to:

    • provide a deeper knowledge, understanding and awareness of midwifery, and a critical awareness of the political, historical and cultural landscape impacting on the profession
    • develop and produce independent, reflective and competent researchers
    • promote critical self reflection and knowledge acquisition
    • help professionals to manage their own learning in order to promote high levels of critical understanding and professional application.

  • The DMid will provide the opportunity to:

    • study midwifery theory and practice with a cohort of like-minded individuals
    • develop research skills in order to carry out doctoral level research
    • research specific issues of professional relevance and concern in depth
    • develop a strong research-practitioner community
    • study the methodology and methods of health care research.

  • Why study at Oxford Brookes?

    • Be part of our dynamic midwifery research group, OxMATER, which sits within the world class research institute, OxINMAHR
    • Part of the Oxford Academic Health Science Centre (OxAHSC) – one of only six such Centres designated by the Department of Health in England
    • International, national and local collaborations with institutes, practitioners and academics.

  • Year Module Title Credits Level
     1     Researcher Development Framework 20 7
    Concepts in Midwifery 1 20 7
    Evidence Based Practice 20 7
    Exploring the landscape of Nursing and Midwifery Research 40 7
     2   Concepts in Midwifery 2 20 7
    Systematic Review 40 7
    Research Methodologies (For DMid only) 40 8
    Work Based Learning (For MSc Midwifery Research only) 20 7
    Research Proposal and Ethical Approval (For DMid only) 40 8
     3, 4 & 5 Thesis 300

    This programme will furnish practising midwives with the necessary support and tools to work towards a Professional Doctorate whilst continuing in their current midwifery role. It aims to nurture independent, critically reflective and competent researchers who are equipped to lead and develop midwifery research, either independently or as part of a team. There is currently great emphasis within the midwifery profession on developing research aware and proficient practitioners; and this course will support this aim.

    The professional doctorate is a part-taught, doctoral-level award, equivalent to the traditional PhD or DPhil. The DMid has been designed to offer the opportunity to study midwifery theory and practice and gain research skills in order to develop and carry out a doctoral level research project focused on practice which makes a new contribution to midwifery knowledge. The programme is for qualified midwives who are working within clinical practice and want to explore practice in greater depth and through the application of research knowledge and skills.

    A distinctive aim of the DMid is to promote critical self-reflection and knowledge acquisition secured through a sequence of structured learning which provides taught, supervised and cohort-based experiences. Current research issues in midwifery will emerge through critical review and systematic application of appropriate theories and research. The programme requires students’ exploration and challenge of theory related and relevant to midwifery and healthcare practice, and is concerned with the synergy between professional practice, intellectual endeavour and leadership. Significantly, the DMid provides a ‘cohort-based’ doctorate, and an opportunity to develop a strong researcher-practitioner community. This cohort will be made up of DMid and DNurs students. This cohort-based approach will provide strong peer support for students while they are undertaking their doctoral journey. Additionally, the mixture of the two professions will allow interprofessional critical reflection and discussion.

    On successful completion of the programme, graduates will demonstrate the following Brookes Attributes:

    Academic Literacy

    • Demonstrate a critical awareness of political, philosophical and sociological perspectives and influences on midwifery practice and the midwifery knowledge base
    • Draw from theoretical frameworks used in midwifery contexts to engage critically in theoretical analysis of midwifery issues
    • Use knowledge and skills in research methodology to influence professional midwifery practice
    • Extend the current limits of theoretical and research understanding and demonstrate a contribution to the creation of original knowledge in midwifery

    Research Literacy

    • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of research paradigms, methodologies and approaches appropriate to the study of midwifery
    • Select from a range of research methods to develop a midwifery research project
    • Make a significant contribution to the wider midwifery community and to midwifery practice by successfully completing a substantial and original research project
    • Develop using the researcher development framework to ensure personal and professional development as a midwifery researcher

    Critical Self-Awareness And Personal Literacy

    • Manage personal learning by identifying own learning needs, clarifying personal values, setting personal objectives, managing own time and evaluating own performance;
    • Demonstrate autonomy and leadership within the realms of midwifery practice, especially in relation to the assessment

    Digital and Information Literacy

    • Identify, locate, evaluate and use information relevant to midwifery and wider health care related research; organise and manage complex data sets;
    • Use appropriate technology to identify, analyse and evaluate high quality information; engage productively in relevant online communities and adopt appropriate technologies for communication.

    Active Citizenship

    • Show a high level of awareness and management of ethical dilemmas likely to arise both in research and professional practice
    • Participate professionally in research, reflecting on own and others’ practice to enable analysis and development of own and other’s professional practice to inform midwifery care
    • Critically reflect on the relevance and generalisability/transferability of research findings to diverse, marginalised and vulnerable populations, at all times seeking to promote an inclusive approach and work in partnership with midwives, women and families TCOMES

    Specific Entry Requirements

    • An Upper Second or First Class Honours Degree from a UK or overseas recognised institution and/or relevant Postgraduate study.
    • Must be currently registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK or equivalent registration within their residing country.
    • Must have a minimum of three years post-qualification / registration experience
    • If English is not the first language, must have completed the British Council’s IELTS achieving an overall score of level 6.5/ 7 or above in line with the University PG regulations.  The NMC requires an overall IELTS score of 7.
    • APL will only be considered for students who have graduated previously with an MPhil or MRes degree with a relevant health care focus.  The students will gain entry into the programme at the level 8 stage

    DBS and other pre-course checks required

    Students are required to evidence they have an up-to-date DBS check completed by their employer before applying to commence their studies at the university.

    Research proposal

    As part of the application, students are required to submit a research proposal to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk. The research proposal must be 2000 words and based on a research idea related to practice. The proposal needs to demonstrate why the student has identified this problem, why it is an area that needs exploration with rationale and how the student will research it.

    • Title
    • Background information/brief summary of existing literature
    • The Aim/question and the objectives
    • Methodology
    • How the research will be communicated to the wider community
    • Ethical considerations
    • Summary and conclusions

    The fee rate for UK students enrolling on the Professional Doctorate in Midwifery for the academic year 2021/2022 will be £3,865.

    Please note that fees increase by approximately 4% each year. Fees may be paid in three instalments during each academic year.


    The programme has been designed to support the development of an increasingly active and independent researcher and writer by providing a blend of learning approaches designed to promote intellectual autonomy.  These include face-to-face seminars and workshop activities; guided online activities; student-led seminars, and individual tutorial and supervision sessions.

    Teaching and learning strategies will encourage you to:

    • engage and explore new areas of knowledge;
    • build on and deepen your existing knowledge, understanding and skills in nursing and research;
    • engage in critical analysis of texts, concepts, theories and practices and reflect on a range of professional issues, questions, concepts, theories, policies and practice encountered in your studies;
    • interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research in order to come to an understanding of the significance and limitations of theory and research;
    • develop appropriately informed research skills.


    Students will be assessed in each of the modules undertaken on the taught component of the programme. The types of assessments used within this programme are varied; including reflective essays, critical analysis of evidence based practice, presentations and a ‘portfolio of learning’ based on the Vitae ‘Researcher Development Framework.’ The taught modules are progression to the research stage of the programme and will be assessed on a pass or fail basis only.

    The research component of the programme involves each student working with their supervisory team which includes a Director of Studies (first supervisor) and up to 2 further supervisors, to undertake research into their chosen area of professional practice. The research will be presented as a 65,000 word thesis which will be submitted at the end of year 5 (September) and defended in a viva voce examination within 3 months of submission. 

    Award of the DMid will be made when the external and internal examiners have examined the thesis and the student has successfully defended their research in the viva examination.  All recommendations for the award have to be approved by the Science and Technology Sub-Committee of the Research Degrees Committee.

  • In addition to the midwifery team, students will have access to the teaching and research expertise in OxMATEROxINMAHR and our sister DNurs programme.