Midwifery is one of the oldest female professions in the world. Even the Old Testament describes childbirth under the supervision of experienced and competent midwives. The support of women during pregnancy, delivery and puerperium has always been to the fore. However, since the middle of last century the image of the midwife has completely changed. The mysterious woman who used vast amounts of water during the delivery does not exist any more.
Nowadays midwives are highly qualified medical professionals who offer sound medical care to women and children and with their knowledge of complementary methods are able to cater to the women’s and children’s individual needs.
In accordance with §2 par 1 Midwifery Law the midwives provide consultation and take care of pregnant women, women in labour and puerperas as well as give assistance during delivery and help in mothers´ and babies´ care.
Jobs in the social service sector require a set of values, aims and standards (ethics) which define the job procedure. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in cooperation with the WHO developed “The International Code of Ethics for Midwives” (1999). In addition to the main aim – the preserving of women’s health – the code serves as basis for midwifery education, practice and research. It considers women as an individual, strives for justice for all people and bolsters the access of preventative medicine to everybody.
Midwifery is based on mutual respect, confidence and dignity towards all members of society.
These values are anchored in the objectives of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery.
Both midwifery practice as well as its scope are laid down by the Midwifery Law. In Austria the midwifery profession can be practised in various ways, namely:
Midwives in hospitals usually work on the following wards (intramural fields of activity)
Midwives in the extramural field can work as freelancers or in group practices and/or in cooperation with a hospital or with a doctor in a private practice. Thus, they can practise the whole array of professional activities such as consultation, care of pregnant women, home birth assistance, care of puerperas and consultation to mothers and parents.
Furthermore, midwives can hold various positions in the Austrian Midwifery Gremium and hence, participate in the further developing the maternal health policy as well as collaborate in national and international projects.
The qualifications and competencies of a midwife are explicitly laid down in the Midwifery-Education-Law, Austrian Federal Law Gazette, Enactment No 1/2006 (BGBl .II No. 1/2006) and in the Official journal of the European Union L/ 255/123, Midwifery Education Programme part A and B. These stipulated standards outline the midwives´qualifications and competencies:
The contents of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery anchored in these stipulated standards, are set in its curriculum. (vgl. Curriculum).
Within the scope of the practical training the students study, practise and reflect on professional scientific basics, professional contexts and processes as well as practical skills. In addition, students in small groups gain knowledge and practical experience by working with patients.
Throughout the practical training, students are taught and supervised by professionals in practice on site as well as by lecturers of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery.
The conferred FH-Bachelor-Midwifery degree, that includes the above mentioned competencies and qualifications, is valid all over Europe. The midwives´ high personal responsibilities require a top-quality, practice-based education. The recommendation “WHO European Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery Education“ in 2001 substantiates the importance of this circumstance on the part of the WHO. It states clearly that a three-year curriculum is the minimum whereby at least 2250 lessons must be spent in practical placements.
Following this recommendation, the guidelines and the Midwifery-Education-Law, the practical part of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery comprises 2250 lessons (ECTS), thus 50% of a student’s workload of three years. Thus the objectives of the practical training, specified by the EC guideline and the Midwifery-Education-Law, are achieved. This strategy is necessary to ensure the professional methodical competencies.
The mode of assessment is determined for each course and is to be announced by the lecturer at the beginning of the course. The grading in the Austrian school system is configured on a scale 1-5 and is basically applied to the assessment unless determined differently in the curriculum. Students´ performance is assessed in individual or group work in lectures or modules.
The forms of performance assessment are
The examination regulations of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery stipulate the precise terms of examination (contents, methods, assessment criteria) and the possibilities to repeat courses and FH-Bachelor degree examination as well as the dates and deadlines of examinations and re- examination.
For the purpose of transparency of the educational system, the submission and crediting of prior knowledge is basically possible whereby the principle of lecture related crediting applies.
Students can file an application to determine that the acquired knowledge is equivalent to the requirements in view of the content and extent of the respective lectures. If equality is determined, positively completed exams are accredited. In these cases an assessment of knowledge is not provided. Special knowledge and relevant professional experience are considered and, respectively accredited to lectures or practical placements. This applies particularly to extra-occupational courses.
To ensure equality, the filed certificates are assessed by the head of the lecturing and research staff in consultation with the respective lecturer.
Applicants of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery meet the following requirements
The general requirements for the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery are laid down the Federal Law Gazette No. 340/1993 (“Fachhochschul Studies Act”) and by the Federal Education Regulation.
Applicants with one of the following requirements are accepted:
General Higher education entrance qualification
University entrance examination for selected university studies are accepted as entry requirements (further information).
Secondary school vocational certificate (“Berufsreifeprüfung”)
Relevant professional qualifications
University entrance qualification or equivalent qualifications and vocational qualification plus additional exams must be submitted at the latest at the beginning of the study.
Please submit your completed application to:
fhg-Zentrum für Gesundheitsberufe Tirol GmbH
Unfortunately uncompleted applications can not be considered!
The applicants for the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery have to take a qualifying examination in accordance with FH-Heb-AV BGBl.II No. 1/2006 undergo a multi-stage admission procedure.
The following selection criteria are the basis for the admission procedure and determine the admission procedure sequence.
Evaluation of the written application documents and the biography
Regarding the future professional practice the following skills are assessed in this test:
A further requirement for the admission to the FH-Bachelor degree programme Midwifery is to show a professional and healthy aptitude to practise midwifery. Therefore the applicants must submit the following documents after successful completion of the qualifying examination.
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