NURS 1004 Bioscience for Midwifery

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401031

Coordinator Athena Sheehan Opens in new window

Description This subject extends knowledge gained in Bioscience 1 and introduces midwifery students to concepts associated with early human development, labour, birth and postpartum changes. Physiological changes in the newborn at birth are identified together with growth and development to six weeks of age. The subject includes an introduction to principles of pharmacology and pharmacological agents that may be used as a supportive resource during pregnancy and birth. In addition to this, the subject also explores the impact of microorganisms on maternal and newborn health and the body's natural defenses in maintaining health.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Pre-requisite(s) NURS 1023 - Bioscience 1 for students in 4684

Co-requisite(s) NURS 1010 - Midwifery Knowledge 2 and NURS 1013 - Midwifery Professional Practice 2 for students in 4684


Students must be enrolled in 4684 Bachelor of Midwifery.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Describe the female and male reproduction systems, the female pelvis and pelvic floor 
2. Explain conception, the embryo and development of the placenta 
3. Identify normal expectations for fetal growth and development 
4. Describe the physiology of pregnancy, labour, birth and the puerperium 
5. Discuss changes in neonatal physiology and adaptation to extrauterine life 

Subject Content

• The female reproductive system- (anatomy and physiology of the uterus, ovaries, cervix, and revision of the external genitalia)
• The menstrual cycle
• The female pelvis and pelvic floor 
• The breast
• Mechanism of labour
• The male reproductive system 
• Conception and the embryo
• The development and functions of the placenta 
• Growth and development of the fetus
• Teratogens 
• Fetal skull 
• Physical changes and adaptations to pregnancy
• The effect of hormones on the maternal body
• Initiation and maintenance of labour 
• Physiology of labour (stages) 
• The physiology of pain in labour
• The puerperium – maternal physiology and the return to the pre-pregnant state 
• Blood loss in the puerperium and control of bleeding 
• Adaptation of the newborn to extrauterine life


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 30 minutes 10 N Individual
Case Study 1,200 words 40 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 50 N Individual
Participation weekly S/U N Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Athena Sheehan Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Spring (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Athena Sheehan Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

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