Specialist in midwifery and maternity care receives Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award

A senior lecturer from the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University has been presented with an Excellence in Learning and Teaching (ELTA) award.

Sophie CunninghamSophie Cunningham who specialises in midwifery and maternity care was presented with the award on Wednesday 10 January during the University’s winter degree ceremonies last week (Monday 8 January – Wednesday 10 January).

The ELTA awards together with the ESSA (Excellence in Student Support Awards) were developed in conjunction with the Students’ Union to ensure a greater student voice in the award process with staff nominated by their students for their outstanding teaching abilities. They are given annually to members of staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the student learning experience, either through teaching or through supporting students in their learning activities.

Sophie qualified as a midwife at Swansea University in 2009 and worked in a variety of roles in London, Bristol and Melbourne before returning to Swansea in 2014.

In 2015 she started an MA in Education for Health Professions to develop an in-depth understanding of educational principles and values and to develop her teaching expertise. She continues to work clinically as a midwife within the ABMU Health Board.

Sophie received glowing recommendations from her students.  She was described as approachable, encouraging and supportive; passionate about everything midwifery, and ‘inspirational’.  One student said it was ‘a privilege to be taught by her’. 

Sophie has said that she is ‘passionate about promoting informed choice for women, to aid them in the numerous decisions they will be asked to make throughout their pregnancies, labour and birth. This starts with excellent education for student midwives, in helping them understand the evidence that guides midwifery practice and empowering them to, in turn, support and empower women in their care.’  One student who nominated her described her  ‘a dedicated and inspirational lecturer, clearly passionate about her career as a midwife, but also about sharing her expertise, knowledge and experience - in doing so helping her students to become the best midwives they can be.’

Sophie was presented with her award by Swansea University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B. Davies.