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) 2020 return showing 96% of students that responded thought staff are good at explaining things and 93% found the course intellectually stimulating. Six months after completing the course 96% of our graduates are in a professional job.*

Careers with this subject

Paramedics work with people of all ages, from the very start of life to end of life care. The traditional ambulance paramedic works with a range of health care, social care and emergency service colleagues to support patients.

As paramedics are used to working autonomously, and with the development of the graduate profession, they are increasingly able to work in roles that were traditionally undertaken by others. Whether in the NHS, voluntary or private sector, paramedics can work in a several settings, including:

  • ambulance crews
  • air ambulance
  • Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART)
  • minor injury units
  • event work (e.g. festivals, equestrian events, motorsports and rugby matches)
  • primary care settings such as GP surgeries
  • hospital settings (e.g. advanced clinical practitioner roles)
  • forensic paramedics working in prison and police custody areas
  • education
  • research
  • leadership and management

What can you do with a paramedic science degree?

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.
  • From 2023, students in Plymouth can train and practice their professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place.
  • 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

    • Human Anatomy and Physiology (PARA400)

      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.

    • Clinical Skills and Application to Practice (1) (PARA401)

      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.

    • Introduction to Paramedic Science (PARA402)

      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.

    • Special Patient Groups (PARA403)

      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.

    • Practice Placement (1) (PARA404)

      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.

    • Preparation for Practice (SOHP401)

      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

    • Clinical Skills and Application to Practice 2 (PARA501)

      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.

    • Trauma Management (PARA502)

      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.

    • Medical Conditions and Pathophysiology (1) (PARA503)

      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.

    • Practice Placement (2) (PARA504)

      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.

    • Mental Health in Paramedic Practice (PARA505)

      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.

    • Project Studies (SOHP503)

      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 HCPC 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

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

      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.

    • Clinical Decision Making in Paramedic Practice (PARA602)

      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.

    • Medical Conditions and Pathophysiology (2) (PARA603)

      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.

    • Practice Placement (3) (PARA604)

      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.

    • Facilitating Education in Paramedic Practice (PARA605)

      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.

    • Project (SOHP605)

      This module consolidates knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content will support the students to undertake research at undergraduate level, to discuss their findings in the context of the contemporary evidence base and to evaluate the implications of their activities on their future practice.

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 Science Programme Specification_6607

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 128

UCAS tariff
112 - 128 depending upon route of entry

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 is 128 UCAS points (e.g. ABB). The minimum entry requirement for A levels is 112 UCAS points (e.g. BBC). These A levels must include study of biology/human biology, chemistry or physics, to achieve a grade B or above (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, 36 must be at distinction, to include 15 credits in a relevant science (preference is biology but can consider 15 in Physics or Chemistry). The remaining 9 credits must be at merit or above.

T level
Accepted – preference pathways would be Health and Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.

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. We are typically unable to accept those with criminal convictions/cautions that were issued in the preceding two years of an application (not including fixed penalty offences, such as speeding or parking infringements). Similarly, we are typically unable to accept those who have had fitness to practise concerns raised within the last two years by an employer, regulator or another university. After a two year period, all applications that involved criminal convictions/cautions or fitness to practise concerns are considered by our professional issues committee to ensure fitness to practise on a healthcare programme. 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.
  • English language requirements
  • We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

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
Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) N/A £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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.

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


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 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.

The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2023 for entry in September 2023.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.

Find out more at or contact our team at

First-class facilities to prepare you for your career in healthcare

From 2023, InterCity Place will be where undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines learn together under one roof.
Complementing existing clinical facilities, our new innovative suites, simulations and practice labs will help us to train and develop the next generation of nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals.
<p>InterCity Place facilities</p>
BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner more information

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)

Jacob's story

Jacob Maddams, BSc (Hons) Paramedic Practitioner student, is training to save lives and hopes to take to the skies as part of the Air Ambulance team.

Watch his story and discover his passion for paramedicine.

The skills you need to be an allied health professional

We recently worked with Your Future Career on the 2020 Careers in Science and Healthcare campaign. A printed publication is enclosed within every copy of The New Scientist newspaper and the content is also available online. The campaign featured exclusive content about the importance of the science and healthcare industries from key thought leaders and industry voices – including Professor Sara Demain, Head of School of Health Professions.

Read more at Your Future Career

<p>Helicopter ambulance paramedic<br></p>


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.
Plymouth Hoe
BSc (Hons) International Relations with Spanish

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.
MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Community Nursing)

* The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Graduate Outcomes survey (GO) 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.