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Paramedic Science - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 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
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

This course is:

Overview

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.

This course is not open to International students.

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...

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • HCPC

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.
Shaun Kemp

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
  • Clinical experience - you’ll spend a significant period of time gaining experience, building confidence and skills in clinical placements in a variety of environments.
  • Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of the Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas
  • You’ll learn though a variety of teaching methods, including simulations in our extensive skills facilities, such as our SPACE learning facility (Skills Practice and Care Enhancement), home environment and mock ward spaces using a range of kit including manikins that can ‘breathe’, talk and display a range of symptoms.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £400m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

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.

Essential

120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Candidates who are successfully shortlisted are required to undertake an interview. Interviews may take place via Microsoft Teams. Find out more about online interviews.

Places are subject to a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and Disclosure and Barring Service report.

Evidence of care experience or customer facing experience.

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.

You must be prepared to travel to a variety of diverse and sometimes distant locations as part of your clinical experience.

Applicants must normally have evidence of formal study within the last five years. However, we are sometimes able to waive this requirement if a candidate has a significant amount of professional experience in a relevant field, for example healthcare, social care, or education.

While a driving licence 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.

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

  • BBB / 120 UCAS points
  • Including Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject at A-level or Level 3 equivalent
  • Excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking and Extended Project
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or Level 3 equivalents

Access to HE Diploma

  • Health or Science related pathway
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 30 credits at Merit or Distinction (of which 24 must be in a Science or Health related subject)
  • If applying with an Access course you only need GCSE Mathematics and English Language at grade C/4 or above or accepted equivalent. You are not required to hold five GCSEs in total and GCSE Science is not required

British bachelor's degree

  • Minimum 2.2 at full honours, in a relevant subject
  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • DDM
  • Must be in either Health and Social Care, Public Services or Science subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (2002 – 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Public Services or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Public Services or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award (2002 - 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Public Services or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Grade B overall

City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Must be in Health and Social Care

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 30 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4 (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3))
  • Must include a Health or Science related subject at Higher level

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • DDM
  • Must be in Health and Social Care or Applied Science

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be Public Services or a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma
    (2016 - present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma
    (until-2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be Public Services or a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be Public Services or a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Open University courses

  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Must be in K102 - Introducing Health and Social Care

Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCC.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CC in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
  • Must include a Health or Science subject at Higher level or above

T-Levels

  • 120 UCAS points (Merit overall)
  • Must be in either Healthcare Science or Science
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table, please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

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

Extra information for EU/international students

IELTS

  • 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

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

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 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

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.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

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.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Uniform

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.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join the College of Paramedics.

Subscriptions (optional)

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.

Funding

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

Download the funding FAQs

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.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Year Three

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Download course specification

Download 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. 

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.

HCPC
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.

Employability

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.

Placements

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 over £400 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.

Mock Wards

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.

Assisted Kitchen

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.

Physiotherapy Room

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.

Radiotherapy

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.

Telehealth Room

This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with five 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.

Imaging Academy

This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the 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.

Ultrasound simulation suite

Students have access to a wide range of Ultrasound simulation equipment to develop their clinical skills and aid in training. The equipment includes two ultrasound machines with a range of phantoms, scan training stations and eve body works.

Our staff

Karen Gubbins

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

Sam Davies

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

Stuart Vallance

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