Masters in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing


Type of Degree
Master's Degree

1.Presentation
The study cycle leading to the Master’s degree in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing, created by Decree Order No. 8518/2016 of june 30th, is composed of:
-A specialization degree in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing, which is organized into course units and corresponds to 65% (78 ECTS) of the total credits of the whole study cycle;
-A scientific dissertation, original and especially elaborated for this purpose, which corresponds to 35% (42 ECTS) of the total credits of the whole study cycle.
Students are awarded the Master’s degree after the successful completion of the Specialization Degree and the Scientific Dissertation defense.
2.Scientific areas and credits required for the degree

SCIENTIFIC AREA

CODE

CREDITS

MANDATORY

OPTIONAL

Nursing

723

112

0

Management and Administration

345

2.5

0

Education Sciences

142

2.5

0

Health

720

0

TOTAL

120

0

 

3.Description and background
The training of Nurses Specialist in Maternal Health is currently recognized as a national and regional need by health care institutions, professional associations, the Ordem dos Enfermeiros and the Ministry of Health.
It is essential to train Nurses Specialist in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing in order to provide them with scientific, technical and human competences that enable them to meet the institutional demands resulting from the needs of the population, at the different levels of intervention.
Within this context, the Nursing School of Coimbra is at the forefront in the training of Nurses Specialist in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing and cannot not be unware of these challenges, and should take responsibility for this type of training. Due to its teaching staff, resources and experience acquired through the years in this area, as well as the social and academic background, both at the regional and national level, ESEnfC is a school of reference.
The study plan of the Master’s Degree in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing was developed following the principles and guidelines established in various legal instruments, such as:
-The Council Directives No. 80/154/EEC and 80/155/EEC of January 21st, as amended by Council Directive No. 89/594/EEC of November 23rd;
-The Decree-Law No. 322/87 of August 28th, as amended by Decree-Law No. 15/92 of February 4th;
-The Decree-Law No. C-333/87 of October 1st;
-The Legal Regime for the Nursing Career - Decree-law No. 437/91, of November 8th, and Decree-law No. 412/98 of December 30th;
-The Decree-Law No. 437/91 of November 8th, as amended by Decree-Law No. 412/98 of December 30th;
-The Professional Nursing Practice Regulation - Decree-law No. 161/96 of October 4th;
-The statutes of the Ordem dos Enfermeiros - Decree-law No. 104/98 of April 21st;
-The general legal basis for the prevention of the causes of disability, and the qualification, rehabilitation and participation of people with disabilities - Law No. 38/2004 of August 18th;
-The Basic Law on the Education System - Law No. 49/2005 of August 30th;
-The Legal Framework of Higher Education Degrees and Diplomas - Decree-law No. 74/2006 of March 24th;
-The Statutes of the Nursing School of Coimbra, homologated by Order No. 20/2006 of February 20th;
-Order No. 7287-c/2006 (Official Gazette, 2nd Series) of March 31st.
Therefore, this study plan is sustained by legal principles and a profile of knowledge, competence and experience inherent to the professional practice within the specialty of Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing, and to the awarding of a Master’s degree.
4.General objectives of the study cycle
The Master’s Degree in Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing aims at providing nurses with the competences, knowledge and skills essential to a specialized Maternal Health and Obstetric Nursing care. Nurses must seek to adequately meet the needs of families throughout their life cycle, which requires the analysis and discussion of the population’s sociodemographic and health issues.
Its educational component, focuses on the professional practice and development, aims at achieving the key objectives of the higher education policies. According to Article 15 of Decree law No. 74/2006 of March 24th, as amended by Decree-law No. 115/2013 of August 7th, the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework in Higher Education, and the National Framework Qualifications, it also focuses on providing nurses with the competences that enable life-long learning, and the necessary knowledge and understanding skills so that nurses are able to: solve problems in new and/or complex contexts, and in extended and multidisciplinary settings; develop solutions and make judgments, including the consideration of any ethical and social implications; and clearly and unequivocally communicate findings.
5.Learning Objectives/Competences
After completing the Degree, students should be able:
-To promote sexual and reproductive health through health education, and the training of educators in this area;
-To monitor the health of the women/families during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum period;
-To perform a vaginal delivery, with or without episiotomy and perineorrhaphy;
-To act in emergency settings, particularly in the case of breech delivery, manual removal of the placenta, and manual examination of the uterus;
-To provide specialized nursing care to women/families during the reproductive cycle;
-To promote the woman’s health along her reproductive cycle, promoting self-care and co-accountability within the family’s health project;
-To provide specialized nursing care to women with gynecologic and obstetric pathology;
-To provide nursing care to normal and at-risk newborns, including reanimation, if necessary;
-To develop research and intervention projects within the scope of Maternal Health Nursing and Obstetrics;
-To contribute to the development of the professional identity and autonomy of Specialist Nurses in Maternal Health Nursing and Obstetrics;
-To participate in projects and policies in the health area, specifically in the field of sexual and reproductive health;
-To develop skills throughout the life cycle in the area of Maternal Health Nursing, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatology.
6.Degree Organization
The normal regime of the Master's Degree is composed of four semesters, in a total of two school years.
The first semester corresponds to the theoretical, practical-theoretical and practical components. The second semester includes the Dissertation project within the scope of the course unit of Research in Maternal Health Nursing and Obstetrics and clinical practice. The third semester is exclusively composed of clinical practice.
The fourth semester corresponds to the course unit of Research in Maternal Health Nursing and Obstetrics, which includes, in addition to the preparation, presentation and discussion of the Dissertation, the presentation of a Portfolio and a Reflective Practice, with a total of 42 ECTS.
The course units are coordinated and taught by the school’s teaching staff, with the possible collaboration of external experts in this area.
The clinical practice component takes place in health care institutions with the adequate learning conditions according to the established objectives.
The Scientific Dissertation must supervised by a PhD Professor or a specialist teacher, whose merit is recognized by the statutorily competent scientific body. The dissertation must be assessed and defended before a jury in accordance with Decree-Law No. 115/2013 of August 7th.
The students must achieve a score equal to or greater than 10 in every curricular unit.





Course Units Scientific Area Type Total hours T Hours TP Hours LP Hours S Hours CP/TG Hours TG Hours ECTS


T - Theoretical Classes; TP - Theoretical-Practical Classes; PL - Practical and Laboratorial Classes;
S - Seminar; CP/FW - Clinical Practice/Fieldwork; TG - Tutorial Guidance




ID Data File name


ID Data Notice title Notice


1st Semester




2nd Semester




3rd Semester
Maria Neto da Cruz Leitão



4th Semester
Maria Neto da Cruz Leitão