University of Central Lancashire

University of Central Lancashire

Normal Birth (Evidence and Debate)

Current ways of doing birth are framed in pathology, simplicity, linearity, and certainty; this course explores the validity of a new way of seeing birth, based on theories of salutogenesis (well-being), complexity and uncertainty. The course is founded on a debate about the unique normality of each mother/baby pair, located in the wider societal, cultural, political economic context. This is an approach which takes the debate beyond birth itself, and into areas of areas of culture, political economy and community well-being. Authoritative forms of evidence, such as randomised controlled trials, are balanced with newer insights into childbirth, such as narrative research, and story telling.

Entry requirements

Health care professionals: an entry on the NMC register; 2nd Class Honours degree or equivalent study required to undertake the course in past 10 years.

Course modules

Modules include: Personal constructs, reflection in action, reflexivity, critical thinking; concepts of normality, average, diversity, deviance; outcomes related to mode of birth; constructs and supervaluation of risk, technocratic ways of being, medicalisation; constructs of choice, control, consumerism, and informed consent; campaigns and movements in the context of humanising and normalising birth; maternal mortality and morbidity and normal childbirth; risk and coercion; professional projects in birth; telling stories from practice: story and narrative as evidence; unusual normal birth in practice; evidence politics and negotiation; new ways of seeing: complexity, salutogenesis, uncertainty; metaphysics: belief, love, pride (skilled help from the heart); emotional intelligence, cognitive dissonance; relationships, mothering the mother, social networks, prescencing, connectivity; boundaries to choice, understanding extreme maternal choice; the environment of birth, and dealing with risk and pain; negotiating normal birth through risk, choice and collaborative guidelines; the nature of expertise and leadership; commissioning for normal birth; vaginal birth and caesarean section: issues of embodiment.

Assessment methods

Students are required to produce a 5000-word synthesised case study comprising accounts of least 3 women attended in labour, including a final theory-driven synthesis, using the knowledge students have developed during the module.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Certificate Full-time £ 6,000 per Academic year (home fees) 4 months
Certificate Full-time £ 9,450 per Academic year (overseas fees) 4 months
Certificate Part-time £ 500 per Module (home fees) 4 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Preston Campus Preston PR1 2HE North West

Get in touch

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Key information

Course Enquiries
Telephone number: 
01772 892400