School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner

Being a paramedic practitioner is a highly rewarding and stimulating career, with many opportunities to specialise. Following a curriculum that is informed by service users and carers, and focuses on quality patient management, you'll work in the unpredictable environment of pre-hospital healthcare and, as such, you will learn how to be dynamic with your decision-making, aptitude and application of skills.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 94 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things; 100 per cent agreed staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching; 86 per cent agreed they got sufficient advice and support; 81 per cent were satisfied overall and 95 per cent were in work/study six months after finishing.

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This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Benjamin Watts: 

"Work hard, read lots, and never forget why you want to be a paramedic. Helping people at often the lowest point in their lives is a privilege and the most rewarding feeling; however, sometimes we can become bogged down in the academia of medicine and forget to make human contact with people. Hold a patient’s hand, smile, and when things are going wrong take a deep breath and start with the basics."

Read more from Benjamin in his case study.

Key features

  • Experience placements in emergency departments, minor injury units, paediatrics, cardiology and more.
  • Access our fully equipped clinical skills suites, online resources, excellent library and IT facilities.
  • Benefit from our experienced teaching team's range of academic and clinical areas of special interest and research.
  • Our curriculum focuses on quality patient management.
  • Embrace innovative ways to avoid unnecessary admissions of patients to Emergency Departments following the Right Care at the Right Time in the Right Place by the Right Person initiatives.
  • Develop leadership and management skills.
  • Learn from service users and about carer involvement in teaching during selected modules.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you'll develop a knowledge base for working in emergency health in the community, learning safe practice, patient assessment and management skills, professional issues, communication abilities and response to major incidents. You will complete 851 hours of clinical placement time around the South West.
    Core modules
    • PARA102 Safe Systems of Work in Clinical Practice

      This module enables students to undertake dynamic risk assessment of incidents occurring in their practice environment and become familiar with strategies to manage identified hazards.

    • PARA103 Practice Portfolio 1

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

    • SOHP102 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology

      This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of human anatomy physiology and pathophysiology relevant to professional practice for Paramedics. This is an interprofessional module shared with Operating Department Practitioners.

    • PARA101 Foundations of Pre-Hospital Patient Care

      This module provides the introductory knowledge and skills needed to manage a wide range of common presentations found in the pre-hospital environment. It encompasses exploration of clinical conditions associated with the various developmental stages of human life.

    • SOHP101 Preparation for Practice

      This inter-professional module will introduce you to professional practice and the inherent standards expected of you. The characteristics and identity of allied health professionals, as evidence based practitioners, will underpin learning ‘with’ and ‘from’ one another. Working together you will develop your understanding of professional standards for conduct and ethics, and knowledge of the key principles to support practice grounded in evidence. You will explore communication and interpersonal skills to support shared decision making, and learn the skills of reflective practice. As a student you will actively engage in debate, discussion, small group presentations, self- guided study and other group-led activities.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll learn how to improve decision-making skills, increase understanding of altered anatomy and physiology, pharmacological and medical, trauma and cardiac cases, obstetric, paediatric, and elderly groups for advanced clinical skills of patient management. Complete 888 hours of clinical placement time around the South West.
    Core modules
    • PARA202 Pharmacology and Medicines Management

      The purpose of the module is for students to be able to relate pharmacology and medicines management to emergency and primary care practice.

    • PARA201 Advanced Patient Care

      This module allows development of the advanced assessment and diagnostic ability needed to manage specific medical and traumatic conditions across all stages of life, from neonate to the elderly. It encompasses the acquisition of extended assessment, interventional and therapeutic practical skills.

    • PARA203 Acute Cardiac Care

      This module introduces the theoretical and practical aspects involved in the management of acute cardiac conditions, incorporating an overview of contemporary out of hospital and in-hospital interventions, electrocardiograph analysis and arrhythmia recognition, use of telemetry equipment and relevant drug therapy.

    • PARA204 Practice Portfolio 2

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

    • SOHP201 Project Studies 1

      This module enables the student to develop a sound understanding of research terminology, methods, and principles. It 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.

  • Final year
  • In your final year you will develop further knowledge of clinical decision making involving advanced professional issues relating to healthcare practice; gain opportunities to expand your clinical effectiveness by refining your clinical skills, with the incorporation of minor illness and minor injury management; engage in a research project; and prepare for professional practice. An elective component in practice also enables you to explore specialist areas. You’ll complete 851 hours of clinical placement time around the South West.

    Core modules
    • SOHP301 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

    • PARA301 Refining Practitioner Skills for Patient Care

      This module enables students to develop knowledge and apply the skills and judgements to undertake clinical examination skills to capably manage the patient with a minor injury or illness.

    • PARA302 Clinical Decision Making in Paramedic Practice

      This module will critically explore decision making to prepare the student for Paramedic registration and accountable professional practice.

    • PARA303 Practice Portfolio 3 including Elective

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

    • SOHP302 Preparation for Professional Practice

      This module provides students with the opportunity to apply management and leadership theory and underpinning principles of practice to identified areas of their chosen field which may benefit from quality enhancement.

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

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

BSc Hons Paramedic Practitioner 4708

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

5 GCSE’s grade C or above to include mathematics, English and science. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application.


A levels
ABB at A level to include biology/human biology, physics, chemistry or applied science. Excluding general studies.

30 points overall to include 5 at Higher level subject - biology/human biology, chemistry, applied science or physics considered. English accepted within - if Advanced Level = 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B) - if Standard Level = 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B) - if overseas and not studying English within IB – must have IELTS at 7.0 overall with 7.0 in all elements.

Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (e.g. science, health, nursing, and combined science) with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 at distinction level including 15 level 3 credits in biology, chemistry or physics. A further 15 credits at Level 3 must be at merit level. Will need GCSE English and maths at grade C if not already held.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDD must be health/science related.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Extended science: 70 percent at first attempt. Must apply direct to Plymouth University by 15 January.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Extended entry requirements

  • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required.
  • Please note we do not accept Key Skills Level 2 in place of GCSE English or mathematics.
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course.
  • 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. 
  • IELTS - Overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and at least 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections.
  • 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

Due to the professional nature of this course we are unable to accept applications for deferred entry.

Fees, costs and funding

New students 2017-18

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Classroom based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Laboratory based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc £9,250
2 year fast-track £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,250 tbc £9,250
PGCE £9,250 tbc £9,250
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc tbc tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc tbc
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
PGCE £770 tbc £770

*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2017-18 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route

Unlike many other health care courses, Plymouth’s BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner 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). As some placement journeys may require more than a hundred miles of travel, it may also be necessary to pay for additional lodgings whilst on some clinical placements.

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

Peter Allum - Paramedic practitioner lecturer

Students are encouraged to collaborate with staff in their research areas and to co-author national and international journal papers.

Members of the programme team are all involved in research and there is a strong commitment to research informed teaching.

Peter Allum's teaching and research interests