School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science

Being a paramedic is a highly rewarding and stimulating career. The BSc Paramedic Science course at the University of Plymouth offers a forward-looking programme of study, which aims to prepare you for the workplace by developing your decision-making capabilities, clinical knowledge, and skills base.

This fast developing and dynamic profession presents many opportunities to specialise within a variety of challenging healthcare environments. As such, you will have the opportunity of gaining valuable experience on placements within the ambulance service and can choose further placements within emergency, maternity and cardiology departments, GP practices and mental health services.

NSS results

We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2018 return showing 100% of students thought staff made the subject interesting with 96% of students finding the course intellectually stimulating. Six months after completing the course 95% of our graduates are in a professional job.*

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

Careers with this subject

Although needs may fluctuate, the national demand for NHS paramedics is currently high. However, working on a frontline ambulance is not the only opportunity available to the graduate paramedic. Other opportunities exist, such as within HART (the ambulance service’s ‘Hazardous Area Response Team’), minor injury clinics, GP surgeries, or working as a forensic paramedic. Further afield, some choose to work as offshore paramedics or look to seek employment in ambulance services within other countries.

Those wishing to gain ‘Specialist Paramedic’ status in ‘Urgent’ or ‘Critical Care’ roles can look to study at postgraduate level, as with the University of Plymouth’s ‘MSc Pre-Hospital Critical Care/Retrieval and Transfer’.

Key features

  • Benefit from our experienced teaching team's range of academic and clinical areas of special interest and research.
  • Study a contemporary curriculum focusing on providing quality patient care.
  • Develop leadership and management skills.
  • Access our fully equipped clinical skills suites, simulation areas and student ambulance.
  • Learn on a course that has service user and carer involvement at its core.
  • Take advantage of the University’s excellent online resources, library, IT facilities and support services.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you will develop knowledge enabling you to develop into the paramedic role, such as anatomy and physiology, risk assessment, professional issues and effective communication. You will also learn the theory and skills leading to basic assessment and management of patients

    Core modules
    • PARA400 Human Anatomy and Physiology

      This module builds on existing knowledge of human anatomy and physiology whilst introducing pathophysiology relevant to ongoing paramedic practice. Students will be taught via shared learning and seminars, topics covered will expand on knowledge of systems such as Endocrinology, Cardiovascular, Cardiorespiratory, Skeletal, Muscular, Neurological, Integumentary, Gastrointestinal, Urological and Reproductive.

    • PARA401 Clinical Skills and Application to Practice (1)

      This module introduces the student to basic and intermediate clinical skills required for pre-hospital care and the theory behind them. During the module the student will gain an understanding of the patient journey and the skills required for delivering exceptional patient care within the wider healthcare sector.

    • PARA402 Introduction to Paramedic Science

      This module introduces paramedic practice. It creates understanding of the profession, regulatory and professional bodies and the contemporary legislation and policy that drives patient care. It delivers strategies for communicating in multi-disciplinary and diverse working environments and will address health and safety in clinical practice. A local ambulance trust orientation is also included.

    • PARA403 Special Patient Groups

      Paramedics must be able to assess and manage anyone presenting healthcare needs. Additional skills and knowledge may be required to assess and manage those from special patient groups. This module introduces the underpinning principles required to safely assess and manage those patients, including those who are at the extremes of age, pregnant, those with chronic ill-health, and those at the end stages of life.

    • PARA404 Practice Placement (1)

      This module will enable the student to develop a portfolio of skills and competencies relevant to first year paramedic practice. There will be opportunities to apply theory, evidence based knowledge and practical ability within paramedic placement areas and clinical settings.

    • SOHP401 Preparation for Practice

      This inter-professional module will introduce students to professional practice and the inherent standards expected of them. The characteristics and identity of allied health professionals, as evidence based practitioners, will underpin learning.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you will build on the skills learnt in year 1, developing your theoretical knowledge in relation to the assessment and management of medical and trauma patients.  This year addresses the contemporary focus of the need for paramedics to understand mental health emergencies. It also introduces you to concepts behind evidence based practice and sees the commencement of your group research projects.

    Core modules
    • PARA501 Clinical Skills and Application to Practice 2

      A practically focussed module that will equip students with the knowledge and understanding required to manage a variety of patients, using clinical skills associated with the paramedic role.

    • PARA502 Trauma Management

      This theoretically focussed module will equip students with the necessary knowledge and understanding of medical conditions related to Paramedic practice. Specific insight will be given to, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, assessment including 12-lead ECG interpretation, pharmacology and management of various medical conditions encountered within pre-hospital care.

    • PARA503 Medical Conditions and Pathophysiology (1)

      This theoretically focussed module will equip students with the necessary knowledge and understanding of medical conditions related to Paramedic practice. Specific insight will be given to, anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, assessment including 12-lead ECG interpretation, pharmacology and management of various medical conditions encountered within pre-hospital care.

    • PARA504 Practice Placement (2)

      This module will enable the student to develop a portfolio of skills and competencies relevant to second year paramedic practice. There will be opportunities to apply theory, evidence based knowledge and practical ability within paramedic placement areas and clinical settings.

    • PARA505 Mental Health in Paramedic Practice

      This module will improve knowledge of student paramedics working in a pre-hospital setting, required to support individuals experiencing mental health problems. Examining aspects of the external environment and how social, environmental, economic and political factors shape experiences of mental health and distress. It explores theories and concepts that underpin and challenge mental health practice and service provision.

    • SOHP501 Project Studies

      This module develops knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content is designed to enable the students to understand different research designs, to evaluate the research literature and to prepare them to undertake research at undergraduate level. Meets all or part of HPC Standards of Proficiency: 2b.1, 3a.

  • Final year
  • In your final year you will continue the group research project, collecting data and reporting on it. Year 3 aims to advance your knowledge about clinical decision making and prepare you for educating future learners in practice.  You will also continue to improve your knowledge of medical conditions and pathophysiology, as well as your scope of practice in relation to clinical skills. An elective component in practice also enables you to explore specialist areas that you may want to consider for future employment.

    Core modules
    • PARA601 Clinical Skills and Application to Practice (3)

      This module enables students to develop the skills required to manage patients with a range of illnesses and injuries. Students will justify their practice using evidence and contemporary guidelines. Core paramedic skills will be practised, and students will be introduced to minor illness and minor injury. Students will refine their assessment skills, formulate differential diagnoses and manage diagnostic uncertainty.

    • PARA602 Clinical Decision Making in Paramedic Practice

      This module prepares the student for professional paramedic practice, enabling students to justify their clinical decisions by utilising a contemporary evidence base. This module incorporates professional standards of proficiency with explicit reference to ethical and legal issues, whilst emphasising the importance of systematic thinking and enhanced communication skills.

    • PARA603 Medical Conditions and Pathophysiology (2)

      This module will further knowledge and understanding related to medical conditions in paramedic practice and build on existing knowledge from the first instalment of this module. Specific insight will be given to anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and assessment and management of various medical conditions encountered within pre-hospital care.

    • PARA604 Practice Placement (3)

      This module will enable the student to develop a portfolio of skills and competencies relevant to third year paramedic practice. There will be opportunities to apply theory, evidence based knowledge and practical ability within paramedic placement areas and clinical settings.

    • PARA605 Facilitating Education in Paramedic Practice

      This module will equip Paramedic students with the knowledge to facilitate education in preparation for their professional practice. Students will identify self-awareness of leadership and management, to enable safe and competent practice. Critically analysing effective leadership behaviour and the influence of professional dynamics, leading to opportunities to engage in, and develop a professional practice qualification.

    • SOHP601 Project

      Students will undertake and complete a short piece of research developed from the level 5 protocol which involves the collection and interpretation of a small amount of data. Findings will be presented in the format of a professional journal article and conference style presentation.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 128

A level
Normal minimum entry requirements are ABB at A level to include biology and/or chemistry

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
Candidates are interviewed before an offer is made.
BTEC National Diploma DDD- must contain units covering sufficient biology and chemistry or A level in Biology

Access to Higher Education at level 3
Candidates are interviewed before an offer is made.
Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Science with 60 credits at Level 3.
Must include 45 at level 3, 30 at distinction to include 15 in Biology or Chemistry. The remaining 15 credits level 3 at merit or above. Must have a 

GCSE
Normally 5 GCSEs grade C/4 or above to include Mathematics, English and Science. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application. Please note the institution may consider equivalent numeracy and literacy qualifications. 

International Baccalaureate
Candidates are interviewed before an offer is made.
31 points overall to include 5 at HL in Biology or Chemistry plus ordinary level Grade C Mathematics and English.
If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all other elements.

Extended entry requirements

  • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required.
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course. Occupational health assessments are essential to ensure that you are both physically and mentally fit to fulfil the demands of placements. In light of the need to participate in ‘exposure prone procedures’ (where there is the potential to come into contact with sharp objects and open wounds), students are also required be up to date with various vaccinations. 
  • If English is not your first language and you do not have GCSE English grade C or above you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below. If you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree course at University of Plymouth, you can book a pre-sessional academic English course.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
  • English language requirements
Further information

Deferred entry

Unfortunately we cannot permit deferred entry. However, if you have a query please refer to an experienced admissions administrator who will be able to explain the UCAS application process in more detail ug-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU N/A £9,250
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one. 
To recognise continued academic achievement, you may also receive:

  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
  • 20% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 70% or above is maintained.
To be eligible you must:
  • achieve one grade above your academic offer.
  • meet our standard English Language requirements.

This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

Further information about Scholarships for international students

Additional Costs

Unlike many other health care courses, Plymouth’s BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science course is not funded by the NHS; nor do students receive a bursary. Therefore, if you choose to study with us, you will need to pay your tuition fees alongside all other incidental expenses (including the costs incurred by undertaking clinical placements). As clinical placements are undertaken throughout the South West, you will need to budget for the additional expense of travelling to/from placement. Given the rural nature of the area and the unsociable hours of practice, you will also need to maintain a motor vehicle (including paying for insurance, tax, fuel, servicing, etc).

It is difficult to give a precise estimate of these costs, due to the geographical spread of placements. However successful applicants should factor in the running costs of a motor vehicle for several thousand miles per year, and bear in mind the possible need for additional accommodation. Despite these costs, clinical placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced clinicians. These experiences ensure that, upon successful completion of the course, each student is prepared to practise as a paramedic.


How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Discover Paramedic Science

Jacob Maddams, paramedic student, is training to save lives and hopes to take to the skies as part of the Air Ambulance team.

Placements and facilities

Placements are an exciting and dynamic way to consolidate what you have learnt in the classroom. Practice takes place in a variety of healthcare settings enabling high quality learning and a diverse experience with support from expert health professionals

Clare Keenan, Associate Head of School (Practice Learning)

Find out more about placements, facilities and semester dates

People

English Language Centre

We offer a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills.

These include pre-sessional academic English courses for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students along with insessional language classes, tutorials and activities to support students who have English as a second language.

Find out how we can help you reach your potential.

International students

Thinking about coming to study in Plymouth? Find the answers to many of your questions here, as well as links to places where you can discover more.
Find out more about studying in Plymouth

*The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.

The data used is for BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner course which from September 2019 was renamed BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science.