School of Health Professions

PgCert First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Paramedic)

This programme prepares paramedics to work in general practice, specifically in the first contact practitioner (FCP) role; paramedics working in this role will be expected to assess and manage the undifferentiated undiagnosed patient. Modules will cover clinical assessment and management of patients, the role of first contact practitioner and includes a practice placement module. Two of the modules are delivered interprofessionally, with physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Medical students using the Anatomage table clinical

Key features

  • Delivery aligned to the Health Education England (HEE) Roadmap to Practice for First Contact Practitioners (FCP).
  • Programme designed and delivered by clinicians with experience working within primary care.
  • Advanced clinical assessment/management module.
  • Practice placement module enabling demonstration of key competencies.
  • Interprofessional approach to delivery, reflecting the FCP – paramedic role.
  • Distance led delivery, providing a flexible learning experience.
  • Successful completion of the programme leads to recognition as an FCP – Paramedic by HEE.

Course details

  • Overview

  • This programme consists of three, level 7, 20 credit modules. These cover the clinical assessment/management of patients in primary care, the first contact practitioner role – exploring the complexities and challenges of primary care and a practice placement module enabling demonstration of competence in the skills specified within the HEE roadmap.
    Two of the modules are delivered interprofessionally, sharing learning and understanding of this developing role across professional boundaries.
    Advanced Clinical Practice in Primary Care (ADV781DL)
    This module will enable experienced practitioners to develop their clinical knowledge; undertaking structured history taking and physical examination to inform application of clinical reasoning within the context of primary care practice. It will incorporate critical analysis of clinical risk management, inter-professional collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and clinical judgements made within the diverse and dynamic clinical environment of general practice.
    The role of the First Contact Practitioner (FCP) within Primary Care (PC) (ADV773DL)
    This module is aimed at registered physiotherapists and other health care professionals currently working in or towards the role of First Contact Practitioner (FCP) within primary care. It will equip students to demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge, competencies and professional and leadership skills required for this role using critical thinking, complex clinical reasoning and critical reflection skills.
    First Contact Practitioner (FCP) in Primary Care (PC) Practice Placement (ADV777DL)
    This module is aimed at health care professionals currently working in or towards the role of First Contact Practitioner (FCP) within primary care. It will provide the work-based experience required to develop and demonstrate capability in practice, aligned with the relevant national frameworks. Teaching and learning support alongside 75 hours of supervised practice in an MSK first contact practitioner environment.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

PgCert First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Paramedic) programme specification_7463

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

In order to commence this programme, applicants must meet the University’s entry requirements for study at postgraduate level. Applicants will normally have a first degree, BSc (Hons) at 2:2 or above; or European first cycle equivalent plus a professional qualification in health or social care.
Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice i.e. IELTS average of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each category.
In addition to the entry requirements above, there are a number of specific admission criteria for this programme that will ensure applicants access this programme at the right time within their professional practice. These align with national frameworks and will be clearly outlined to the student.
Specific admissions criteria are:
  • Applicants are able to evidence that they have the relevant paramedic experience, normally this is a minimum of 3 years post registration.
  • Applicants are able to provide evidence of registration as healthcare professionals.
  • Applicants must have the support of their workplace to enrol on the First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Paramedic) PgCert.
  • To enrol on ADV773 students must have, in addition to the above:
    - completed ADV781 Advanced Clinical Practice in Primary Care Module
    - completed the relevant e-learning modules (eLfH)
    - identified an appropriate CPD mentor for ADV773 The role of the first contact practitioner within primary care module.
  • To enrol on ADV777 First contact practitioner in primary care practice placement module, applicants must have:
    - successfully completed ADV773 The role of the first contact practitioner within primary care module
    - identified an appropriate clinical mentor in primary care.
Applicants to this programme may be sponsored or self-funded. All applications will be to the Professional Development Unit who work closely with the programme team. The final decision on acceptance to study rests with the FCP Paramedic lead for the University of Plymouth. Potential students will be assessed individually for their ability to study at this level and therefore an interview may be necessary.
The final module, ADV777 First contact practitioner in primary care practice placement module maps to stage 2 of the HEE verification process for First Contact practitioner (Paramedic). The placement module involves a number of hours of clinical practice and support of a clinical mentor. The First Contact Practitioners (Paramedic) HEE Roadmap requires students to be employed in a First Contact Practitioner (Paramedic) in a Primary Care setting in order to commence Stage 2, this is to ensure they are able to demonstrate their capability in practice. Workplace support and identification of a suitable clinical mentor will be part of the admissions criteria for enrolment on the First Contact practitioner in Primary Care (Paramedic) PgCert (as outlined above).

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-24 2024 -25
Part time (Home and International) £1,100 per 20 credits £1,220 per 20 credits
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. More information about fees and funding.
In addition to self-funded routes, this programme has successfully tendered to Higher Education England and can offer a limited number of funded places.

Additional costs

All students within the School of Health Professions will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases, students will stay away from home for the duration of that placement. Some students on these courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority. However, this should be investigated by the student to make sure this applies to their chosen course of study.
It is difficult to give a precise estimate of placement costs for each individual programme, due to the geographical spread of placements, and duration. However it is recommended you attend an Open Day to find out more about what placement costs can be anticipated or discuss placement with a member of our admissions teams.
Despite these costs, placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners and are recognised as an essential part of students' development towards becoming a registered practitioner.
Further information
More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are included in Faculty of Health additional costs

How to apply

Applying for this programme
Applications for the full-time programme need to be completed through the PG apply online form. You will also need to complete a Postgraduate Application Referee form
Applicants also need to complete the Workforce Support Information Form, Clinical Mentor Form and Mentor Form and attach them to their application.
Any questions please contact: 
Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
University of Plymouth
Drake Circus
Plymouth, PL4 8AA
What happens after I apply?
After your application is received, it will be processed and sent to the Programme Lead for a decision to be made on your suitability to study. You may be asked to provide additional information or to take part in an interview (for overseas students this may be by telephone or video conference). Once this decision has been made, you will be sent an email either confirming your place on the programme, or rejecting your application and giving the reasons for this decision (you may request further feedback in order to improve your chances of selection at a later date).
Please note that you will be enrolled on the full MSc programme. You may choose to exit with the qualification of PgCert upon completion of an appropriate 60 credits, or a PgDip upon completion of an appropriate 120 credits. More information is contained within the programme specification.
For applicants with disabilities
If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by the University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services webpage.

Paramedic science team