The MSc Midwifery degree has given me the opportunity to finally pursue my dream vocation

Kay Upson in a student midwife's uniform
Kay Upson
Student midwife
MSc Midwifery
As a mum to three children, Kay has seen first-hand the care and support that midwives offer to parents and their families. After 20 years away, she’s returned to university life to pursue her dream of becoming a Midwife. Kay tells us more about her placements and the support she’s experienced at Sheffield so far.
Kay Upson in a student midwife's uniform

What made you want to train to be a Midwife? 

I’ve wanted to be a midwife since having my own children, the first almost 16 years ago. I was inspired by many of the midwives I met throughout my pregnancies and felt envious of the rewarding work they did, although at that time I was unable to realistically change my profession.

What drew you to this course at Sheffield in particular?

I attended one of the postgraduate open days as I live fairly locally and instantly had a good feeling about the University. The course requirements were also attainable for me, despite not having an A-Level in science as I already had an undergraduate degree.

What are you enjoying most about the course - have there been any memorable moments?

I’m enjoying all aspects of the course so far. I was worried about returning to university life after 20 years, but I’m loving learning so many new and interesting things. All the tutors are knowledgeable, approachable and supportive. The first few weeks of the course involved talks from Student Support, Library Services and 301 (who offer academic study support), which I found really helpful. It was so nice to know that there was plenty of support in all areas at the University of Sheffield to help with any issues that you might have.

Some of my memorable moments so far have been the team building skills day at Endcliffe Hall in Sheffield (which was really entertaining) and also the clinical skills sessions where I got to practise taking blood pressure and giving injections before going out on my first placement. I’ve also met some amazing people in my cohort who I’m sure will become life-long friends as well as future colleagues.

Two student midwives testing their clinical skills

Can you tell us about the placements you've been on so far? 

Placements are held within the same NHS Trust area throughout the entire degree, other than an elective placement in the third year, where you have the option to choose where you want to be based (I’m currently considering visiting Australia!) I find this really beneficial as you can keep building your skills and good relationships over the three years within the same Trust.

The University of Sheffield also supports the Continuity of Carer (case-loading) model which is really rewarding as it gives you the opportunity to support families throughout pregnancy, birth and the early days of their baby’s arrival. I have seen first-hand just how valuable this is to those families.

In what ways do you feel the course is helping you prepare for life as a newly qualified midwife?

The modules covered in the course cover all the necessary theories you need to know as a midwife, as well as covering the professional standards you will be bound by in your profession. This, along with putting everything into practice during placements, will definitely prepare me well for my next steps in midwifery once qualified.

Do you have any tips for people thinking about studying Midwifery at Sheffield?

Yes – come and visit the University open days and then apply, you won’t regret it! There is a lot of negativity surrounding maternity services at the current time in the news and on social media, but there are so many positives too. I know a lack of support is a worry for many prospective students but I have been so well supported, both at university and on placement. I knew after the first term studying MSc Midwifery at the University of Sheffield that I had definitely made the right choice to pursue my dreams.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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