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) 2019 return showing 95% of students that responded thought staff made the subject interesting with and found the course intellectually stimulating. Six months after completing the course 95% of our graduates are in a professional job.*

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

UCAS tariff
112 - 128 depending upon route of entry

GCSE
All applicants require at least five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above. These must 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.

A level
The normal entry requirement for A levels are 128 UCAS points (e.g. ABB). The minimum entry requirement for A level is 112 UCAS points (e.g. BBC). These A levels must include study of Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Applied Science (in some instances, an A level in Physical Education may be an appropriate alternative too). No UCAS credits are given to A levels in general studies.

BTEC National Diploma
For BTEC, the minimum entry requirements are three distinctions (DDD). Study must contain units covering sufficient biology and/or chemistry (unless supplemented by an A-level in biology).

Access to Higher Education
The minimum entry requirements are 45 credits from a relevant access course (eg. health, nursing, science, etc). Of these, 30 must be at distinction (to include 15 credits in biology, Physics and/or chemistry). The remaining 15 credits must be at merit or above.

International Baccalaureate
The minimum entry requirements for the IB are 30 points. These must include five at higher level in biology and/or chemistry.
If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have an overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 6.5 in each element

Extended entry requirements

In addition to the above, acceptance depends on a number of other factors:

  • Applicants must have undertaken academic study within the last five years.
  • Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered.
  • Before any offer can be made, successful applicants are interviewed as part of a values based recruitment process.
  • All applicants for professional health programmes must undergo additional screening to ensure their suitability. Screening includes assessment of disclosure and barring service (DBS) status; as well as occupational health checks. Occupational health assessments ensure that applicants are fit to fulfil the demands of placements. As students undertake ‘exposure prone procedures’, successful applicants must be vaccinated against a number of diseases.
  • If English is an applicant’s second language, and they do not have a GCSE in English at grade C/4 or above, an IELTS qualification is required. A minimum average IETLS score of 7.0 if required, with a score of at least 6.5 required in each element. If applicants need to improve their English language to access the course, the University of Plymouth offer pre-sessional academic English courses.
Further information

Direct entry to year 2

If you have achieved certificated learning in addition to the entry criteria required for your programme of study, it may be possible to accredit this learning towards your chosen course. Full details on how to make an application are available on our open access MOODLE site (download details on how to access the site and submit your claim and supporting evidence). Your application will then be assessed and you will receive confirmation by email on the status of your claim.

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

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 £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

Placements

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 period of that placement time. 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 your 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, clinical placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced clinicians 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 listed on the following page: Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences additional costs.

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 and facilities

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 Discover Uni (Unistats) website.

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