Paramedic Science (Accelerated Route) - Module

  • UCAS Code: Not available through UCAS - Apply straight to University
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: April 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (6 weeks plus 1 year)
  • Location: City South

This accelerated programme has been specially designed for currently practicing pre hospital care practitioners from a range of backgrounds; including Institute of Health Care and Development (IHCD) Ambulance Technicians, Associate Ambulance Practitioner (AAP) and Combat Medical Technicians (CMT1), to prepare for practice as a paramedic.

On successful completion you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Paramedic.

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 and capable of life long learning.
  • We aim to provide students with a supportive environment allowing you to develop personally and professionally in order to meet the needs of modern Paramedic practice
  • The programme requires significant engagement in clinical practice, working with mentors to meet the day-to-day challenges of the job, whilst developing pre-hospital care skills
  • Paramedic practice requires quick thinking, initiative and great team working skills, so you are trained to work independently and with professional colleagues developing interpersonal and communication skills
  • A variety of teaching approaches are used including immersive classroom simulations, using specialists from other professions within the faculty in an inter-professional learning environment and using our 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?

  • The Dip HE Paramedic Programme seeks to recognise and value our student's diversity and approaches this with the view that staff and students are partners in the learning experience 
  • 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, Laboratory and immersive classroom
  • 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.
This course is not open to International students

Entry Requirements

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

Depending on qualifications applicants will need to complete at least one module at level 4 before they can apply for level 5. 

Entry to the Accelerated Route:

Hold one of the following qualifications or an equivalent (equivalents will be considered)

  1. IHCD Ambulance Technician
  2. Associate Ambulance Practitioner
  3. Combat Medical Technician
  • Completed a minimum of 750hrs of clinical experience / employment in an area which utilises the above qualification.
  • Minimum of GCSE A* to C in Maths, English and a Science; or a recognised equivalent
  • International applicants who meet residency/academic requirements of UK students but whose language is not English will need to hold IELTS with an overall score of at least 7.0; with no element below 6.5.
  • Successful APEL claim
  • Successful completion of numeracy and literacy tests.
  • Values Based Recruitment.
  • Occupational health and DBS clearance.
  • Birmingham City University will require a new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report prior to commencement of placements. You may wish to consider registering for the DBS (online) update service as an alternative.
  • The University requires assurance from the candidate’s employer that support will be given; this ensures the candidate is able to meet the practice requirements of the Paramedic Science course.
  • Have the full support of their Line Manager and Trust to undertake the course
  • Have access to a mentor who has received/ or is prepared to receive prior to commencement training from Birmingham City university in regard to the specifics of the course learning outcomes, competences and requirements of the programme.
  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: Module

Starting: Apr 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 6 weeks plus 1 year
  • £680 per 20-credit module

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

How to apply

The level 4 module is a mandatory component of the course. Once you have successfully completed this module you will automatically progress onto the level 5 component.

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.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

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.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

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 4

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete the following module for the Academic Route:

Transition to Academic and Professional Practice
20 credits

This module focuses upon the principles and responsibilities that underpin your practice as an aspiring professional registrant with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It will also introduce you to some of the topics that underpin care within the National Health Service (NHS).

On completion of this module you will have updated your core knowledge about issues facing our patients and communities and have developed a good foundation in the reflective and academic skills which underpin this programme; and are required to begin identifying and addressing your personal and professional development needs.

Download the full module specification

OR

Accreditation to Prior Learning (APEL) Modules

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Introduction to Bioscience
20 credits

A working knowledge and understanding of bioscience at the beginning of the programme is essential in providing the basis for future learning in clinical practice and providing holistic, patient centred care. The module will provide you with this essential knowledge and will encourage you to explore and develop your understanding. It will enable you to better apply clinical theory to your practice and to develop your skills as a practitioner.

Download the full module specification

Preparation for Clinical Practice
20 credits

The module will prepare you as a novice clinician to participate safely and effectively in clinical care and to support the paramedic in the pre-hospital environment. You will develop basic knowledge and skills related to managing ‘out of hospital’ patient care through evidence based assessment and treatment techniques. The module will provide you with a solid foundation for obtaining diagnostic information, making clinical and ethical decisions, initiating timely treatment, documenting and communicating information effectively.

Download the full module specification

Foundations of Paramedic Practice
20 credits

The module focuses upon the principles and responsibilities that underpin fundamental safe practice for the paramedic.

You will gain the underpinning evidence base to identify and demonstrate safe professional practice in the clinical setting as you are introduced to direct and indirect factors that influence patient care delivery. You will consider the impact of these and explore how relationships between health care professionals and patients/carers can be enhanced through effective communication strategies to achieve desirable and agreeable outcomes.

Download the full module specification

Community Based Practice
20 credits

This module is designed to allow you to explore how biopsychosocial models and determinants of health, including the factors that influence social differences, needs and inequality, impact on an individual in health and illness. This will enable you to explore these issues in relation to the role of the paramedic and enable you to apply these in context to promote compassionate, effective care in the clinical practice setting.

Download the full module specification

Developing Clinical Practice
20 credits

Forming part of the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Paramedic Science, this module is intended to further develop the fundamental knowledge and skills required for paramedic practice at level 4, and 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. Furthermore, this module brings together the knowledge learnt in other level 4 modules allowing for subject knowledge to be applied in practice.

Download the full module specification

Standard Entry Only

Introduction to Professional Development and Responsibilities
20 credits

This module focuses upon the basic principles and responsibilities that underpin your practice as an aspiring professional registrant with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It will introduce you to some of the topics that underpin care within the National Health Service (NHS).

Download the full module specification

Level 5 Modules

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

Applied Biosciences
20 credits

The application of physiology and pharmacology in clinical practice is fundamental in providing high quality patient centred care. Additionally, an understanding of the scientific principles that provide the basis of clinical monitoring and investigation are essential to the operating department practitioner. This module builds on the knowledge you gained in the level 4 module Introduction to Bioscience. It allows you to explore the application of this knowledge in situations of injury and illness.

You will have the opportunity to investigate the use of pharmacological interventions specific to operating department practice and its use in effective care delivery, this knowledge will then continue to develop throughout the other modules you will engage in throughout the year.

Download the full module specification

Clinical Decision Making and Diagnosis
20 credits

Your study within level 4 and 5 has so far allowed you to learn the signs and symptoms associated with a diagnosis; this is an important way of building your clinical knowledge but in reality patients have a presenting complaint and list of symptoms for which you need to develop a working diagnosis, not the other way round. You will need to be able to sort through these symptoms and employ a range of advanced diagnostic skills in order to diagnose and make decisions on treatment and care pathways.

Download the full module specification

Using the Evidence Base to Support Practice
20 credits

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. Patient 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 (EBP) is central to the provision of optimum care and supports positive patient outcomes. Critical thinking is a core requirement of evidence-based practice and this will be enhanced through your participation in this module.

Download the full module specification

Effective Pre-Hospital Care Across the Lifespan
20 credits

As a paramedic you will need to engage with a variety of patients and their carers in your communities and the focus of this module to explore specialist areas of pre-hospital care across the life span including gynaecology, pre- and post-natal emergencies, paediatric and elderly care.

You will be taught the knowledge and skills required to be flexible and responsive to these service users with a syllabus reflecting the range of anatomical and physiological differences at each stage of life from conception to end of life care, as well as those specific to men and woman’s health. You will also additional assessment and diagnostic skills needed to manage the out of hospital clinical care of these patients groups through familiarisation with the variations and modifications required for assessment and treatment when managing their care.

Download the full module specification

Transition to Paramedic Practice
40 credits

The need to think independently and critically is paramount to providing a safe and effective service to patients; 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 Transition to paramedic practice module links and draws together the knowledge learnt in other level 5 modules allowing for subject knowledge to be applied in both simulated and clinical practice; ultimately developing you towards an “industry ready” safe and effective practitioner.

Download the full module specification

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 undertake a minimum of 225 demonstrable supernumerary practice based hours; and students should consider that outside of this requirement extensive further experience, as a supervised student Paramedic, may be required in order to demonstrate practice competence in the clinical setting.

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.

Lectures

These are more formal sessions that will introduce new information.

Inter-professional Learning

Collaboration is central to the work of all health care practitioners and underpins the delivery of high quality care.  You will experience working and learning with other professional groups.

Clinical Practice Placement:

You will complete placement hours in areas that have been deemed safe, suitable and which offers the best opportunities for your education and support

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

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.

Placements

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.

It is expected that a minimum number of hours will be undertaken as supernumerary practice based hours; and students should consider that outside of this requirement extensive further experience, as a supervised student Paramedic, may be required in order to demonstrate practice competence in the clinical setting.

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 encouraged 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

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.

Firewalking

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

Student Sgt. Barry Kirkland 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.

Facilities

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 cutting-edge learning facilities.

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 a mock operating theatre and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

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 Care Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Care 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.

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.

Sharon Hardwick

Sharon Hardwick

Course leader / Senior Lecturer Dip HE Paramedic Science

Sharon has been a paramedic for over 20 years after starting her career with West Midlands Ambulance Service working in Coventry.  In 2001 she became a clinical supervisor in what was Hereford and Worcester Ambulance Service, where she supported and mentored newly qualified staff through their training period.