Paramedic Science - DipHE

Full Time (1 year)
January 2018

This one year course has been specially designed for currently practicing Institute of Health Care and Development Ambulance Technicians, to prepare for practice as a paramedic and on successful completion eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

This course will enable you to become a knowledgeable, skilled and competent Paramedic - able to practice both within the NHS and other sectors.

You'll need to apply directly to the University for this course.

What's covered in the course?

  • Developed in partnership with students and practice partners, the course aims to produce suitably qualified Paramedic graduates who are fit for practice, eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and capable of life long learning.
  • We aim to provide students with the support and environment to develop personally and professionally in order to meet the needs of modern Paramedic practice
  • Students spend a substantial amount of time on placement, working with Paramedics and seeing first-hand the day-to-day challenges of the job.
  • The role requires quick thinking, initiative and great team working skills, you’re trained to work independently and with professional colleagues developing interpersonal and communication skills.
  • A variety of teaching approaches are used including simulations using our ambulance and extensive skills facilities
  • On successful course completion, students have eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council).

Why Choose Us?

  • Health programmes are based in the £30 million award-winning Seacole Building, which includes fully equipped Emergency Ambulance, mock hospital wards, mock Operating Theatre, Home Environment and Laboratory.
  • Extensive skills facilities and equipment are utilised in all Health programmes, an example of which is the use of SIM Man - a breathing and talking mannequin attached to monitors replicating conditions such as falling blood pressure and cardiac arrest – these help create real-life situations which require your response.
  • Students consistently give positive feedback on our skills teaching and simulations and the benefit it provides in creating real-life experiences in a safe environment.
  • SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) is a bookable learning facility that enables you to further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience. This facility is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, chest decompression, and caring for ill babies in an incubator.
  • Moodle – the University’s Virtual Learning Environment – complements your classroom learning, allowing you to access learning materials online and interact with staff and student colleagues.
  • Annual Health and Social Care Awards invite nominations for, among others, exceptional performance by students on placement.
  • You'll learn from experienced staff, who include paramedic practitioners and academics, doctors, nurses, physiologists and other allied health professionals.
  • Be the first on the scene of a major road traffic accident in our simulated incident event and get first-hand experience of working with West Midlands Fire Service and other health care students.


This course costs...


This course is not open to International students

Changes to funding

In the Government's Autumn Statement (25 November 2015), Chancellor George Osborne announced changes to funding for students starting nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects from Autumn 2017.

Get more information on changes to NHS funding

Do you have questions about funding or student loans?

Download information about fees for health students in 2017/18

Entry Requirements

We now recruit to the values of the NHS constitution. This influences our selection criteria and especially the values we are seeking to be demonstrated in both your application and interview, which we view as essential in any individual involved in patient care.

Direct application only
  • Must be employed in a Trainee Paramedic role
  • Be working in an appropriate area of practice
  • Have the full support of your Line Manager and Trust to undertake the course
  • Have access to a mentor who has received/ or is prepared to receive prior to commencement of the programme training from Birmingham City university in regard to the specifics of the course learning outcomes, competences and requirements of the programme.
  • Hold IHCD Ambulance Technician Award

All candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the programme, which are as follows:

  • Attend a joint university/placement partner selection day.
  • Whilst not essential it would be beneficial for applicants to possess a full clean UK manual driver's licence and where possible have provisional C1 entitlement added to their licence. Prospective students should be aware that whilst a driving license and category C1 are not requirements for acceptance onto the programme you should be aware that to improve your employability prospects following completion of the programme these should be considered as essential.
  • You must be physically fit and have the strength to lift and carry patients and equipment.
  • You must be able and prepared to undertake shift work e.g. night duty, evenings, religious festivals and weekends.
  • Evidence of good health and good character are required which are assessed by occupational health screening and Disclosure and Barring Service report .
  • Candidates whose first language is not English are required to provide the original language test certificate to the Admissions Tutor as evidence of their proficiency and must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5.

Claims by students who wish to APEL are approved by the Personal Development Department on an individual basis.

Evidence of Literacy and Numeracy (Minimum of GCSE A* to C in Maths and English or Adult Training Scheme key skills level 2 in literacy and numeracy)

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
DipHE Jan 2018 FT 1 year TBC

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

This course is not available to International Students

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Level four modules

Course delivery will be in blocks of study alternating with clinical practice placements.

Modules include:
Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Paramedic Science
15 credits
Knowledge and Skills for Paramedic Science
30 credits

Level five modules

Modules include:
Evidence Based Paramedic Practice
15 credits
Negotiating Health and Social Care Needs
30 credits
Paramedic Care of the Trauma Patient
15 credits
Pharmacology for Paramedic Science
15 credits
Pre Hospital Coronary Care
15 credits
Women and Children's Health
30 credits

Accreditation for prior learning

The following modules you will be credited during the APEL process, in consideration of your application to continue studying with us.

Assisting the Paramedic
15 credits
Introducing Physiological Measuring Skills
15 credits
Foundations of Paramedic Practice
30 credits
Intermediate Life Support
15 credits

Course structure

We offer a balance of both the academic, evidence-based approach to health care but also the hands-on real-world training you will need to enter this vital and fast-moving part of the health service. In all, you are required to spend a minimum of 750 hours working in a clinical practice environment as a student paramedic.

You’ll learn via a carefully designed mix of academic and clinical modules and a rolling series of practical placements, with a mixture of lectures and project work designed to help you become employable within the NHS– capable, competent practitioners steeped in the ‘6 Cs’ values of the NHS Constitution. To get there, we’ll teach you applied anatomy and physiology knowledge and skills for Paramedic science, as well as paramedic care of the trauma patient, pre-hospital coronary care, and women and children’s health. We will also expose you to issues around evidence-based paramedic practice, negotiating health and social care needs, as well as pharmacology for paramedic science.

You’ll also build on your research, leadership and clinical reasoning skills, while discovering the legal and ethical framework of today’s healthcare culture.

You will develop the interpersonal and communication skills that complement your science-based knowledge - crucial when it comes to putting your patient at ease and making you an effective collaborative member of your professional team.

Additional support

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you. 

More on our disability tutor >>

We offer extra technical and learning support.

Student stories

The Dip HE Paramedic Science programme is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to practice as a Paramedic and upon successful completion have eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC.

Graduate Mark McDonagh tells of the helpful staff and excellent facilities on the DipHE Paramedic Science course at Birmingham City University.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Student stories

Stuart Batham

Graduate Stuart Batham gives us a 30 second review of the Paramedic Science Foundation Degree course at Birmingham City University..

Overseas Opportunities

While there is no formal placement opportunity overseas; we'll support you find placements outside the UK if this is something you're interested in.

Some of our previous paramedic students have briefly studied in countries like Vietnam, for instance, while some students choose to get exposed to third world healthcare delivery via short trips to places such as Nepal, though these are not classed as part of your official training here.

Enhancing Employability Skills

After graduating from this undergraduate degree in Paramedic Science, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The modern paramedic is faced with new challenges of working in a wide variety of situations traditionally staffed by other health professionals and our course reflects this changing picture. That means you'll be able to work in the NHS, as part of an ambulance crew, or in one of the many emerging roles; for example in a minor injuries unit.

The independent sector is also rapidly developing and actively seeks to employ HCPC paramedics; giving opportunities in areas across the UK and abroad. There is also a requirement for off shore installations and ships to have medics on board and UK paramedics are filling these posts and finding themselves working on oil platforms in the Middle East and ships ranging from pirate patrols to cruise ships.

If you want to stay closer to home, the TV and film industry, motorsport event and music festival organisers all have a need for paramedics to ensure that the crew and crowds remain safe and are well cared for in case of an emergency.


At least 750 hours per academic year will be ‘on the job’ training and experience in the clinical practice setting, supported by experienced paramedic mentors. Please note that you must have access to a clinical mentor who has received or is prepared to receive training from Birmingham City University in respect of the programme and support processes to maximize your clinical achievement.

We want you to be exposed to other health professionals right from the start of your career, enabling you to build a multi-disciplinary understanding of the pressures of the role. Therefore you are expected to have identified placement opportunities in operating theatres, obstetrics and ED, to support your clinical learning; the paramedic team can advise further on the processes, once you have achieved your place on the programme.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Being a paramedic science student

Senior Lectuer Tony Spence explains the entry routes and study requirements for the DipHE Paramedic Science course at Birmingham City University.

Student Sgt. Barry Kirklnd of the Royal Airforce explains the challenges he faced on the Paramedic Science Foundation Degree at Birmingham City University, especially coming from a non academic background.


We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses some of the best learning facilities in the UK.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.


Our real road going ambulance allows you to gain experience working in a confined space using real ambulance equipment. You can actually practice driving (under normal conditions) and treating patient in the back of a moving ambulance as your colleagues drive through the streets of Birmingham.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries, including the main Kenrick Library on the City North Campus, which is open for almost 90 hours a week and holds more than 320,000 books, 2,000 print journals and carries more than 4,000 electronic journals online.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Staff Introduction

Our teaching staff have extensive clinical and academic experience; including advanced practice and critical care which directly relates to your clinical development, as well as fostering your academic progress.

The dedicated paramedic team have not only worked in core areas of paramedic practice within the ambulance service, but also in advanced practice settings, emergency care and critical care - experience that they'll be able to share with you on the course.

We also have close ties with the College of Paramedic Practice, the professional body for the sector, and have a very active research culture.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295