Paramedic Science - BSc (Hons)
Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.
The BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science degree will develop your theoretical knowledge and practical skills within both the university and clinical practice environment. To be a paramedic you must be able to overcome challenges, show initiative and demonstrate critical thinking....
- Level Undergraduate
- Study mode Full Time
- Location City South
- Award BSc (Hons)
- Start date September 2023
- Fees View course fees
- School School of Health Sciences
- Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
The BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science degree will develop your theoretical knowledge and practical skills within both the university and clinical practice environment. To be a paramedic you must be able to overcome challenges, show initiative and demonstrate critical thinking. This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to rise to these challenges, whilst developing your communication skills and knowledge.
All modules provide a balance between theory and practical application and provide the opportunity for you to reflect and apply context in clinical practice placements. This course is designed to be a catalyst for students to apply for registration with the HCPC and develop a successful career as a paramedic.
What's covered in this course?
To be a modern paramedic, you must overcome challenges, show initiative and demonstrate critically adaptive thinking, excellent communication skills and medical knowledge as the first point of contact in care provision for patients in stressful situations.
Becoming a professional modern Paramedic you'll need to be able to think critically, react appropriately in challenging and stressful situations, have effective communication skills and also have the knowledge and skills to deliver health care across the life span. You need to be able to do all of this whilst demonstrating empathy and care towards your patients and ensure your values and professional behaviour meet those required of HCPC to become a modern paramedic.
You will also become an effective member of the Paramedic profession by developing your medical and healthcare knowledge as well as clinical decision making skills and focusing on high quality patient centred health care. This will prepare you with the many possible career opportunities for the modern paramedic across settings such as clinical practice, education or research settings.
Where will I study?
You will study in our recently extended £71 million City South Campus, with access to cutting edge facilities and equipment that will enhance your skills learning. You will have access to advanced simulation facilities and environments that can re-create an emergency setting, allowing you to develop your hands-on skills right here on campus too. Our unique facilities are also useful to support you with any questions or queries before starting you real-life work placements.
See what our students say...
This course is accredited by:
Simulations at University use Sim Man; you can feel for pulses, it talks and breathes so you can treat it as an actual patient. It gives you more confidence when doing your first patient assessments.
Why Choose Us?
- Funding - Allied health profession students will receive at least £5,000 a year in additional funding for maintenance and associated study costs. Download the funding FAQs
- Top 5 for Paramedic Science student satisfaction (Complete University Guide 2023)
- We’ve invested £71 million in our City South Campus - complete with immersive classrooms, an operating theatre, hospital wards and simulation facilities to give you real-life experience on campus
- Benefit from our clinical partnerships, such as the NHS and other medical institutions - this course offers the core skills of the discipline, and the encouragement to achieve your personal and professional goals
- High graduate employability rate - 100 per cent of students went on to work or further study within six months of graduating on an average starting salary of £23,400 (Unistats 2016/17)
- Clinical experience - you will spend a significant period of time gaining experience, building confidence and skills in clinical placements
- Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas
- Learn though a variety of teaching approaches, including simulations in our extensive skills facilities such as: S.P.A.C.E learning facility (Skills Practice and Care Enhancement), fold-away ambulance and breathing/talking mannequins to practice patient care
- Online learning technology available 24 hours a day via Virtual Case Creator (VCC) software, which recreates a range of virtual scenarios to experience the practicalities of patient operations, assessment and care
Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Join us for an on-campus open day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.
Next Open Day: Saturday 24 June 2023
These entry requirements apply for entry in 2023/24.
All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
If you do not have the required Level 3 qualifications, but have at least two years’ experience in a healthcare role, we may still be able to consider your application.
120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|Level 2 qualifications|
|GCSE||GCSE English Language or Literature, GCSE Maths and GCSE Science at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.|
|Scottish National 5||English Language or Literature, Maths and Science at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
|British bachelor's degree||
|City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)||
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma
|Open University courses||
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Recent relevant study to GCE A-level standard or above must have been completed within five years of the course intake date the applicant is applying for.
Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 7, with no subtest below 6.5. If English is studied at GCSE Level but as a second language, IELTS must be completed to qualify for UK L2 requirement.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
All candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the programme, which are as follows:
Claims by students who wish to APEL are approved by the Academic Development Department on an individual basis.
Fees & How to Apply
Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2023
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 in 2023/24
- Apply via UCAS
Sorry, this course is not available to International students.
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.
You will be provided with a student paramedic uniform.
Occupational health assessment
You will need to complete an occupational health assessment. The cost for this is included in your course fee.
Placement expenses (mandatory)
There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online
Specialist equipment (mandatory)
This course requires the purchase of specialist equipment, including a stethoscope (£80-£100) and fob watch (prices start from £5).
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.
You may wish to join the College of Paramedics.
You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
From August 2020, health professions degree students will receive at least £5,000 a year in funding support.
Find out more about the funding available
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
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.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
The aim of this module is to ensure you have the knowledge and ability to provide the fundamental, quality and compassionate care expected from a functioning member of an ambulance crew providing emergency and urgent assistance in the out-of-hospital setting.
As a student paramedic it is vital for you to understand the human body, its normal functions and deviations from this normality. This module introduces you to the human body in terms of anatomy and physiology, alongside a number of commonly encountered medical and traumatic conditions and their pathophysiology. In addition you will learn about how the anatomy and physiology of women changes during a normal pregnancy and normal labour.
On completion of this module you will have been introduced to the professional and academic skills required to begin identifying and developing the requirements needed to study on a paramedic course. It is expected that as an aspiring registrant with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), you will have an understanding of professionalism and evidence-based practice and be able to apply these principles to your practice.
The aim of this module is to explore the wide variety of service users you will encounter in the emergency and urgent care setting and how to deliver the most appropriate person-centred care to all.
As a Heath Care professional, you will need to deliver a person-centred care approach to every service user you encounter. This means providing care that is respectful of, and responsive to, individual preferences, needs and values. In order to do this, you will be introduced to client groups across the human lifespan and reflect on the biological, psychological and social aspects that can affect an individual’s health and well-being.
This module will provide you with the opportunity to explore different models of health and care. It will provide you with the different expectations and philosophies of care, and provide insight into health promotion and health education, and how this relates to pre-hospital care. Strategies will also be introduced in terms of self-care for the practitioner, as well as any risk reduction practices when dealing with service users, family members and bystanders.
This module will allow you to work towards achieving the competencies outlined by the College of Paramedics’ Curriculum Guidance and the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of proficiency: Paramedics. The Clinical Practice modules at Birmingham City University are based on the core values of pursuing excellence, interdisciplinary, employability and are practice-led in a professional environment. Furthermore, they directly embody the programme philosophy and aims. Through a work based learning style approach this module credits the learning of clinical and nontechnical skills while on the first year of placements and ultimately developing you towards an “industry ready” practitioner.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
The need to reason independently and critically is paramount to providing a safe and effective service to service users; especially in challenging circumstances. This module aims to allow you to explore, develop and practice the skills necessary to respond effectively and professionally to complex and high pressure situations. The ‘Developing Paramedic Practice’ module links and draws together the knowledge learnt in other level 4 & 5 modules, allowing for subject knowledge to be applied in both simulated and clinical practice; developing you towards an “industry ready” safe and effective practitioner.
Knowledge for effective health care is developing at an unprecedented pace and your professional practice requires sound and reliably constructed evidence in order to maintain effectiveness. Service user safety and ensuring clinical effectiveness are critical issues in health care provision and the importance of evidence-based practice has never been greater. Evidence-based practice is central to the provision of optimum care, ensuring positive service user outcomes. Critical thinking is a core requirement of evidence-based practice and this will be enhanced through the development of evidence-based practice knowledge and skills. The importance and relevance of evidence-based practice has been recognised by the HCPC.
This module will provide you with the knowledge and education required to care for service users across the lifespan. This will include managing obstetric emergencies, paediatrics and the older patient. You will receive knowledge and skills surrounding the key polices for various service user groups as well as the relevant information in terms of physiological development. The module will also allow you to explore the concepts of death, bereavement and end of life care.
Health equality and inclusion are essential within the health and social care environments. The service users you will come into contact with are individuals and may present with differing needs and therefore you should always endeavour to ensure that these are met and ensure that they have equal access to the support available to them in the emergency and urgent care setting.
It is vital for paramedics to understand the human body, its normal functions and deviations from this normality. As a student, you will apply knowledge and understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology to a range of illnesses/injuries in order to develop the ability to critically analyse approaches to clinical decisions. Building upon knowledge gained from the ‘Essential Biosciences for Healthcare Professionals’ module in year 1 you will explore processes concerned with maintaining the body’s homeostatic balance and how these impact upon the pathophysiological processes of illness, disease and trauma.
The Clinical Practice modules at Birmingham City University are based on the core values of pursuing excellence, interdisciplinary, employability and are practice-led in a professional environment. Furthermore, they directly embody the programme philosophy and aims. Through a work based learning style approach this module credits the learning of clinical and non-technical skills while on the second year of placements and ultimately developing you towards an “industry ready” safe and effective practitioner.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
This level 6 module is intended to develop the knowledge and skills learnt at level 5. The module also brings together the knowledge learnt in other level 6 modules allowing for subject knowledge to be applied in practice. Through a work-based learning style approach this module credits the learning of clinical and non-technical skills whilst on the third year of placements, and ultimately will develop you towards becoming “highly employable”, “future proofed” and an “industry ready” safe and effective practitioner.
This module is designed to complete the healthcare professional’s journey through higher education, culminating in a significant independent piece of work. This module will utilise concepts and theoretical knowledge gained throughout the previous modules. The module will allow the discovery and synthesis of new information, allowing the student healthcare professional to independently work with the literature base and undertake a research project, which they may go on to conduct in continuing studies at level 7. Engaging in research at this level is recommended by both the HCPC and professional body, and may provide the student with the required knowledge and understanding to seek employment within the research field in their area of interest, which is requirement of the profession.
This module will focus on you as a developing professional with a specific focus on developing you as a leader. There will be an emphasis on the paramedic as a problem solver, leader, mentor and decision maker. You will also learn the importance of change management within the leadership process and within an organisation. Your study will focus on theories and processes within the NHS in terms of leadership, management and coaching. As a result, completion of this module will ultimately develop you towards becoming ‘highly employable’ and an ‘industry ready’ leader and team member.
This module is designed to allow you to develop the necessary theoretical knowledge and skills to critically examine the evolving approach to health care, in order to manage service users with both minor injuries of illness and complex health care needs across the age continuum. The main focus is to explore the underpinning evidence based knowledge and specific assessment skills that underpin the management of the more commonly encountered problems seen in these settings.
Download course specificationDownload now
This course gives you 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 your first year, you'll be getting the fundamental knowledge and skills for paramedic practice, whilst your second and third years are about both developing and enhancing those skills to allow you work flexibly in various settings.
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. The course is designed to help you become a capable, competent practitioner steeped in the ‘6 Cs’ values of the NHS Constitution and become employable after you graduate.
You'll also develop your research, leadership and clinical reasoning capabilities, while discovering the legal and ethical framework of today's healthcare culture.
You will spend time on placement as part of this course, we are currently exploring new and exciting opportunities for placements.
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, and will give you eligibility to apply for registration if you successfully complete the course.
Enhancing your employability skills
We are committed to developing Paramedic professionals who are capable of independent practice and also being members of interprofessional teams, while responding to the dynamic nature of professional practice.
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.
You will be required to travel anything up to an hour (travel time is calculated based on private vehicle, not public transport) from your term time address for your clinical placements. There is no guarantee of a placement in a specific area, and you may find it useful to be able to drive to placement. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee local placements for those who cannot drive.
It is important you appreciate that fees for accommodation and/or travel will require personal financial outlay; these may be reimbursable to some extent, the most up-to-date information can be found on the NHS Business Service Authority website and the administrative team can also advise.
Facilities & Staff
We have invested £340 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.
These are set up to look like typical hospital wards, with four to six bays. Depending on the topic in hand, different manikins can be used as patients and relevant equipment is provided to practise clinical skills. Some of the manikins are interactive and can simulate different scenarios e.g. some allow you to cannulate, check pulses, intubate etc, and some can talk to you. One ward is often used as an adult ward, and the other as a child ward.
These rooms also allow for scenarios to be set up for other professions such as dietetics, paramedic science and social work.
The Operating Theatre and Recovery Suites
The operating theatre and recovery suite gives you the sense of what it would be like in a real surgical environment.
These spaces emulate the full surgical journey from anaesthetics, through surgery and into recovery. ODP students can practice a range of skills including gowning, hand washing, preparing instrument trays, and working with a patient. Nurses and midwives may experience a surgical placement and need to go to theatre or be part of the midwifery team involved with caesarean sections. Many other Allied Health Professionals may also see patients in recovery if necessary.
Home Environment Room
This space is used to simulate non-clinical settings, as not everything health professionals deal with is hospital based. This is used for simulations of home visits and home births. It also houses soft matting and a bubble machine that are used by the Learning Disability Nursing team.
Assisted Living Space
This space replicates a flat and is used for scenarios such as home visits. The sitting room area provides a different space to practise skills and simulations and work with service users and other students.
This specially designed kitchen has different areas where you can practice cooking, cleaning, boiling the kettle etc., with someone who has actual or simulated visual impairments. There are adapted devices to help, and simulation glasses for you to wear to experience visual impairments.
This is a space for physiotherapy students to use, with various equipment to practise client meetings.
Radiotherapy Planning Computer Suite
Our computers allow you to plan hypothetical treatments, in terms of angles and directions, ensuring that radiotherapy reaches where it is needed on a patient’s body.
Radiography Image Interpretation and Reporting Stations Computer Suite
These facilities allow you to view and analyse x-rays.
VERT - Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training
This room contains 3D technology to view virtual patients and look at trajectories for treatment.
This room contains the same bed/couch used when patients are given radiotherapy treatment. While students of course do not administer radiotherapy in this room, it does allow them to practise adjusting the equipment to make sure both it and a patient would be in the correct position to receive treatment.
This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with fiv small telehealth booths down either side. These are to allow all our health professions students to practise delivering healthcare and advice remotely, either over the phone or on a video call. This addition to our teaching reflects moves in the sector to offer more flexible access to healthcare services, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the West Midlands Imaging Academy hub, funded by Health Education England. These expanded facilities will mean we can further develop our courses and expertise in radiography and imaging.
Speech and Language Therapy Resource Room
Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have developed a collection of tools, books and resources to help you learn and understand the implications of a speech or swallowing limitation. You can practise one to one client meetings and clinics and use the video recording equipment to review role play scenarios.
Senior Lecturer & Course Lead for Paramedic Science
Karen joined West Midlands Ambulance Service in 1996 and qualified as a paramedic in 1998 within the Birmingham area. She was promoted to a first line manager in 2000 working with Wolverhampton. Karen then moved into the Training and Education Department in 2004 as worked as an Ambulance Tutor teaching all aspects of patient transport, ambulance...More about Karen
Lecturer in Paramedic Science
Gema joined WMAS on the student paramedic programme, due to already have undergraduate and post graduate degrees, and worked as gaining her Associate Ambulance Practitioner qualification working at Dudley hub, before moving to Bromsgrove hub, where she completed her university FdSc Paramedic Science at the University of Worcester, registering...More about Gema
Lecturer in Paramedic Science
Sam completed his first undergraduate degree at The University of Central Lancashire studying BSc (Hons) in Fire and Leadership Studies. Soon after graduating he started with West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust as a Student Paramedic where he completed by Associate Ambulance Practitioner qualification and by Emergency...More about Sam
Mr Keith Andrew Vallance
Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Science
Keith started working for Staffordshire Ambulance Service in 1999, as a Care Assistant within the non-emergency patient transport services at Goodhope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield. He then trained and qualified as an Ambulance Technician in 2000 responding to emergency 999 calls working at Lichfield ambulance station in Staffordshire. Keith...More about Keith Andrew
Lecturer in Paramedic Science
I have been working for Birmingham City University as a Lecturer since January 2021 after a 22 year career in the NHS Ambulance Services. I started my NHS career in 1998 working as an Ambulance Care Assistant on the Patient Transport Service (PTS) for the then Staffordshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. I qualified as an Ambulance Technician in the...More about Stuart