- undertake career planning and research
- build your networks, meet employers and graduates
- gain essential work experience during your course
- attend career fairs and events
- continually develop your skills and knowledge
- get involved with relevant clubs and societies
- visit the Careers Service for advice.
Knowledge and skills
Undertaking a degree in paramedic science will allow you to learn how to diagnose and treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses while developing a resilience to high pressure scenarios. You will also develop the following abilities:
- Exemplary physical and mental stamina for intense situations, allowing you to be calm, confident, and reassuring when necessary.
- A preparedness for unknown or unpredictable situations with the ability to understand situations quickly and make sound and prompt decisions.
- Working alone and as part of a team in a quick and careful fashion with an appropriate bedside manner.
- Research and analytical skills with the ability to create, evaluate and assess options and apply knowledge to a range of situations.
- Effective communication, leadership and interpersonal skills through teamwork and collaborative learning opportunities.
of our paramedic science graduates utilised their skills they learnt during their studies in their current activity
of our paramedic science graduates said their degree was a formal requirement or gave them an advantage
of our paramedic science graduates agree that their current activity is meaningful*
Paramedics tend to start their careers in generalist roles before gaining specialisms through experience and further study, such as working for an air ambulance unit or as an emergency care practitioner. Paramedics have also been known to move into other health care fields and/or into the military, such as by becoming a nurse, doctor, care worker, midwife, or surgeon.
Since specific career paths may not be obvious, it is important to use your research skills to explore the range of opportunities and to consider your personal interests, motivations, values and strengths. You should also not forget that some employers will accept applications from graduates with a degree in any subject.
Researching your career options
Given the diversity of career options open to paramedic science graduates, it is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future.
Take a look at the following websites for inspiration:
- Health and Care Professionals Council
- The College of Paramedics
- Association of Ambulance Chief Executives
Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth paramedic science graduates told us they were doing 15 months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to professional posts by providing relevant workplace experience.
- Front Line Paramedic
- Newly Qualified Paramedic
- NHS Paramedic
- London Ambulance Service
- North West Ambulance Service
- Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- South Central Ambulance Service
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- The Ambulance Sevice
- Welsh Ambulance Service Trust
Some of the careers chosen by paramedic science graduates will require or benefit from further study. For example, those wishing to gain ‘Specialist Paramedic’ status in urgent or critical care roles can look to study at the postgraduate level.
You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your individual situation.
It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni, find out your funding options here.
Careers service support
A wide range of support is available, from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:
- Effective career planning
- Job-hunting techniques
- Finding part-time work
- CVs and interviews
- Mastering LinkedIn
- And more.
Connect with graduates
Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn alumni’s tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.
- Search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
- Click on ‘Alumni’
- Filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.
For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.
Gaining work experience
Since placements are a required part of every stage within the paramedic science degree programme, you will acquire some work experience as part of your course. Past students have reported that these experiences benefited them most when they became personally engaged in the experiences and offered more, such as by offering more of their time or extra support when it was needed. Such additional efforts will help you to stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study.
Given the nature of the paramedic science programme, finding time to fit in additional work experience can be challenging for some. If you are able to manage your time effectively, then acquiring some part-time work or a volunteering opportunity in the health care or social care sectors would be beneficial. Graduates of the programme have reported how such additional experiences helped them to develop their communication skills and bedside manner, as examples. The University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities within the community.
Clubs and Societies
Engaging in a sport or society shows employers that you are engaged and able to seek out opportunities. It also helps you to improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills as well as gaining experience of meetings, handling funds and society promotion.
You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to your paramedic studies or take the opportunity to explore the wide range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and develop new interests.
Tutor and Academic SupportYour tutor and other academic staff are excellent sources of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so please approach them for advice and insights into careers that you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, so establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.
Our paramedic science alumni
Benjamin talks about placements, juggling university work and shifts, and working on the front line as a paramedic
Maisie discusses how placements and her degree allowed her to go directly into a well-paid job
Josh tells us about his career path since graduation and why he would recommend studying for a degree at the University of Plymouth
Where could your degree subject take you?
Architecture and built environment
Business, economics, management, marketing, accounting and finance, and maritime and logistics
- Accounting and finance
- Human resources management
- Maritime business
- Operations and supply chain management
Hospitality, tourism and events management
Law, criminology and policing
Medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences
Nursing, midwifery and allied health professions