NURS 7007 Bioscience for Midwifery Practice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401088

Coordinator Fiona Arundell Opens in new window

Description This subject provides students with an understanding of the biological and physiological aspects of human reproduction including the menstrual cycle, fertilisation and embryology, pregnancy, labour, birth and the early postnatal weeks. Emphasis will be placed on normal maternal anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, labour and birth and the postnatal period. It will include fetal growth and development, adaptation of the newborn and growth and development to six weeks of age.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in 4697 Graduate Diploma in Midwifery and can only be undertaken by a registered nurse employed in a participating NSW Health Local Health District facility in the position of a midwifery student.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and describe the normal biological and physiological processes related to pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postnatal period
  2. Describe growth and development of the fetus and relate it to stages of pregnancy
  3. Describe physiological changes that occur at birth and growth and development of the newborn to six weeks of age

Subject Content

1. Pregnancy; human reproduction, anatomy and physiology related to pregnancy, labour and birth, fetal growth and development
2. Labour and birth; initiation and maintenance and progress of labour, birth process (fetal position and descent, contraction patterns, mechanism of labour and birth in a variety of positions)
3. Postnatal; maternal physiological changes, physiology of the newborn at birth, newborn growth and development to six weeks


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
Online Quiz x 2 30 mins each quiz 40 N Individual
End of session closed book examination: MCQ and short answer 2 hours 60 Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Davies, L., & McDonald, S. (Eds.). (2008). Examination of the newborn and neonatal health: A multidimensional approach. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone /Elsevier.
  • Gray, J., Smith, R., & Homer, C. (2009). Illustrated dictionary of midwifery (Australian and New Zealand ed.). Chatswood, Australia: Butterworth Heinemann/ Elsevier.
  • Pairman, S., Tracy, S., Dahlen, H. & Dixon, L. (2019). Midwifery: preparation for practice (4th ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W: Elsevier, Australia
  • Rankin, J. (2013). Myles midwifery: Anatomy and physiology workbook. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Elsevier.
  • Rankin, J. (2017). Physiology in childbearing: With anatomy and related biosciences (4th ed.). Edinburgh, UK: Bailliere Tindall/Elsevier

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