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Program Overview

Midwifery (BHSc)

Students learning key techniques in the lab

Midwives provide primary care to people with low-risk pregnancies throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and up to six weeks postpartum. More than half of this program is spent in clinical midwifery and interprofessional placements. Your access to social and biological science courses, research, and innovative classroom and distance formats teaches you to provide care to birthing parents and newborns in varied settings. The program’s focus on social justice prepares you to support midwifery users of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and values.

Program at a Glance

Program Format

  • Full-Time, Four-Year 
  • Part-Time, First-Year Entry (Five Years)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Program for Health Professionals (Two Years)

Start Date

September entry only

Tuition Fees

Tuition fee details

Degree Earned

Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc)

Application Deadlines

February 1

Midwives are registered health-care professionals who provide primary care to clients with low-risk pregnancies from the time of conception until six weeks postpartum (after birth). Midwives work in community-based group practices with a team of other midwives, providing care on a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week model. No two days will be alike. Working as a midwife requires a keen intelligence combined with flexibility and compassion. Midwives collaborate with other health care providers such as physicians, nurses and social workers.

Midwifery is a career that allows you to use your head, your hands, and your heart. Working as a midwife requires resourcefulness and adaptability. Working with clients and their families during the childbearing year offers many satisfactions as well as challenges.

As highly trained health professionals, midwives are required to have a four-year university degree, must qualify for registration with the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO) (external link)  and are expected to engage in lifelong learning. Midwives need a thorough understanding of normal and complex conditions affecting pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum care of women and the newborn. They must draw on a large body of knowledge and sometimes make clinical judgments under stressful or emergency situations. Midwives participate in health care planning and policy making at local, national and international levels.

In addition to being responsible for supervising the birth process - conducting spontaneous, normal vaginal births in both hospital and out of hospital settings - midwives provide ongoing clinical care for clients throughout pregnancy. After birth, they counsel clients and their families on infant care and continue to monitor the client’s and infant's health for a six week period. Manual dexterity is required in assisting clients through labour and birth and in tasks such as giving injections, setting up IVs, suturing perineal tears, and conducting physical examinations of clients and newborn babies.

Communication, cultural sensitivity and counseling skills are essential components of midwifery work. Midwives get to know the clients they care for, developing an awareness of their needs and earning their confidence. Collaboration with other members of the health care team requires well developed communication skills. Midwives build non-authoritarian relationships with clients and their families, enabling midwives to provide individualized, responsive care, and minimizing much of the anxiety often associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

The Midwifery Education Program curriculum combines a mix of health, social and biological sciences with clinical practice. Teaching formats vary and include in-class tutorials, on-line synchronous and asynchronous learning, and clinical midwifery and interprofessional placements. The program is divided into the Pre-clinical Phase and the Clinical Phase. Prior to graduation, you will attend a minimum of 60 births, acting as primary caregiver for at least 40 births in home and hospital settings. During your studies, you will also participate in providing prenatal and postpartum care in midwifery clinics and in clients' homes. Like the profession, the program is very demanding and equally rewarding.

Pre-clinical Program

The Pre-clinical Program provides students with a strong foundation in the health and social sciences. Classes consist of 15 - 50 students and take place on campus in a face-to-face format. The Pre-clinical Program can be completed in 1.5 - 2.5 years.

Health Sciences

Required health science courses include anatomy and physiology, pharmacotherapy, biochemistry and reproductive physiology. You will be introduced to clinical research and develop an understanding of how to evaluate the results of research studies.

Social Sciences

Since the social and cultural contexts in which new parents and families are situated affect the care they require, you will examine issues such as violence in the home, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. 

To understand midwifery in the context of Canadian society, you will explore issues such as gender roles in society, public policy relating to reproduction, and the organization of health care. 

In addition, you will be introduced to professionally-related topics such as the history and current regulatory context of midwifery provincially, nationally, and internationally. 

All students take a course in Aboriginal childbearing (MWF 108 Aboriginal Childbearing).

Elective Courses

You will be required to take five  (PDF file) elective courses. Of these, one must be an open elective, two must be social science courses and two must be gender and women's studies courses.

You must complete all pre-clinical courses prior to beginning the clinical phase of the program.

Clinical Program

During the Clinical Program, you will spend six terms in full-time clinical placements:

  • Five terms are spent in Midwifery Placements
  • One term is spent in Interprofessional Placements

The Clinical Program:

  • Requires a full-time commitment; part-time study is not available
  • Involves significant on-call expectations (typically 24 hours a day)
  • Requires a valid driver's licence and the use of a car to attend births in hospitals, clients’ homes and other out-of-hospital settings
  • Can be completed in 2.5 years

It is not possible to maintain employment while enrolled in clinical courses. While the majority of students are placed in the geographic region of their choice, there is a possibility that you may need to relocate for some placements.

During your full-time midwifery placements, you will develop clinical skills while providing care for clients and their babies throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and up to six weeks postpartum. You will work under the supervision of midwife preceptors and be placed in at least two different midwifery clinics prior to graduation.

In clinical courses, you will be introduced to a variety of clinical skills and supported to develop competence in an increasingly complex range of clinical, decision-making and counseling skills as a primary health care provider. Students are prepared for placements by clinical skills courses (MWF251 and 252, MWF344 and 345) which provide opportunities for an introduction to specific areas of skill and knowledge prior to entering a clinical placement. These courses include hands-on practice.

Beginning in the first placement, you will be conducting prenatal visits, taking medical histories, and conducting physical exams of midwifery clients and their babies, including collecting blood and other lab specimens. You will be involved in providing care during labour, including conducting deliveries with assistance. You will be taught to provide information and advice to clients on a range of clinical and counseling topics, and will be given increasing responsibility with each clinical term. You will be expected to demonstrate professional behaviour and increasing competence in clinical and communication skills, clinical judgment and management. By the final clinical placement, referred to as the clerkship, you will be able to function independently, providing comprehensive midwifery care.

The midwifery clinical courses combine academic work with clinical learning. A case-based learning approach is taken in the clinical courses. The first four midwifery clinical placement courses include weekly small group tutorial sessions which focus on the acquisition of academic knowledge relevant to midwifery and obstetrical topics. Course work includes review of relevant research literature, presentations, academic papers, group discussions and written and oral exams. In the clerkship, tutorials are typically every other week and provide students with opportunities for presentation of cases, in addition to midterm and final written exams.

MWF123 Fundamentals III consists of weekly academic tutorials focused on professional and interprofessional issues and includes a series of two to four-week placements over three months.

Mandatory placements include a hospital labour and delivery placement and an obstetrics placement. You will have the opportunity to develop an enhanced understanding of interprofessional roles and expanded midwifery models of care. 

In addition to the mandatory placements, one month will be an elective placement related to prenatal, intrapartum or postpartum care, sexual and reproductive care, infant health, research or policy.

The Midwifery Education Program provides students with sufficient clinical experience to meet the requirements of the College of Midwives of Ontario (external link) . Before graduation, you will attend a minimum of 60 births, of which:

  • You will be primary care-provider for 40 births
  • 10 births will be at home (you will be primary care-provider for five)
  • 10 births will be in the hospital
  • Your involvement in 30 births will include continuity of care through pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum (the first six weeks after birth) 

Toronto Metropolitan University offers:

  • A Full-time, Four-Year program
  • A Part-time, First-Year Entry program  (Five Years) 
  • An accelerated Post-Baccalaureate Program For Health Professionals (Two Years) for people with a baccalaureate in a related health field who have labour and delivery experience

These are the three programs of study for cohorts admitted in 2023 and following:

 (PDF file) 2 Year PBHP Program (beginning in 2024)

 (PDF file) 4 Year Full-Time Program

 (PDF file) 5 Year Part-Time Program (First-Year Entry)

These are the three programs of study for cohorts prior to 2023:

 (PDF file) 2 Year PBHP Program (admitted in 2023)

 (PDF file) 4 Year Full-time Program

 (PDF file) 5 Year Part-Time Program (First-Year Entry)

An Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with six Grade 12 U/M courses including:

  • Grade 12 U English (ENG4U preferred)
  • Biology (SBI4U)
  • Chemistry (SCH4U)
  • One Grade 12 U or M course in Canadian World Studies or the Social Sciences and the Humanities (i.e. history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, family studies, geography, law etc.)
  • Minimum of 75% required in each of the subjects listed above and a minimum of 75% overall average
  • Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.

Learn what alumni value about the Midwifery (BHSc) program, where it's taken them and what it can offer you.