Becoming a midwife or a nurse is a similar process for both. To work as either, you will need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which requires a degree in your chosen subject from an institution approved by the NMC.
With no previous nursing experience, a midwifery degree will take three years and covers biological sciences, applied sociology, psychology and professional practice. Study is split between theory at a university and real-life clinical practice, meaning you will have direct contact with women and their families in a range of different circumstances and spaces.
A nursing degree takes three to four years, or longer on a part-time basis. You will need to select one for four nursing specialisms – adult, child, mental health or learning disability. You will spend six months of the degree on supervised placements in local hospitals and community establishments. From this experience, you will gain a high level of technical competence and clinical decision-making skills.
To become a physiotherapist, you must complete a degree (BSc) in physiotherapy that has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). A full-time degree takes three years, with the first year spent studying the basic principle of healing, repair and movement analysis. Year two covers patient assessment and management, and the final year features an in-depth study into a facet of physiotherapy.
Despite their vocational nature, nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy all lend themselves to a range of career paths. You could stay in academia, work in education or research, or work for the NHS or at a private clinic. These three professions as well as other allied health professions are always in demand, so graduates should are almost guaranteed to find work, either in the public or private sector.