Introduction: Maternal mortality is a potentially preventable public health issue. Maternal morbidity is increasingly of interest to aid the reduction of maternal mortality. Obstetric patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) are an important part of the global burden of maternal morbidity. Social determinants influence health outcomes of pregnant women. Additionally, intimate partner violence has a great negative impact on women's health and pregnancy outcome. However, little is known about the contextual and social aspects of obstetric patients treated in the ICU. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review of the social determinants and exposure to intimate partner violence of obstetric patients admitted to an ICU. Methods and analysis: A systematic search will be conducted in MEDLINE, CINAHL, ProQuest, LILACS and SciELO from 2000 to 2016. Studies published in English and Spanish will be identified in relation to data reporting on social determinants of health and/or exposure to intimate partner violence of obstetric women, treated in the ICU during pregnancy, childbirth or within 42 days of the end of pregnancy. Two reviewers will independently screen for study eligibility and data extraction. Risk of bias and assessment of the quality of the included studies will be performed by using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. Data will be analysed and summarised using a narrative description of the available evidence across studies. This systematic review protocol will be reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines. Ethics and dissemination: Since this systematic review will be based on published studies, ethical approval is not required. Findings will be presented at La Trobe University, in Conferences and Congresses, and published in a peer-reviewed journal.