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Study Paramedic Science, why & how to study

Paramedics are the first to the scene of an accident, saving lives and helping those in urgent need every day. See what it’s like to study the area, and if the career is for you.

Two NHS paramedics wheeling an injured man out of an ambulance

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Paramedic Science?

  2. What Paramedic Science degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto a Paramedic Science degree?

  4. What topics does a Paramedic Science degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Paramedic Science?

  7. What do Paramedic Science graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as a Paramedic Science graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Paramedic Science

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Paramedic Science?

Paramedic Science, or Paramedicine, is the study of emergency medical care away from the hospital environment. Most Paramedic Science students become professional paramedics.

Paramedics are often the first responders in an emergency. Working in a team of two, they take the lead in unknown situations and work to save people's lives. They may be able to treat patients at the scene of an emergency, or they may have to transport patients to hospital for more medical support.

As a Paramedic Science student, you’ll learn how to give urgent assistance and train for the paramedic profession. This includes knowing how to resuscitate and stabilise patients using expert techniques, drugs and equipment.

What Paramedic Science degrees can you study?

Undergraduate degrees in Paramedic Science include: 

  • Paramedic Science BSc
  • Paramedicine BSc
  • Paramedic Practice BSc
  • Nurse Paramedic MSci 

Options may include an integrated foundation year. Professional practice is essential on this course.

Some ambulance trusts offer the chance to study alongside working. This is an apprenticeship degree that you apply for through an employer.

What do you need to get onto a Paramedic Science degree?

Most undergraduate Paramedic Science courses ask for 104–136 UCAS points. Not every university will base their offer on UCAS points, and some courses may have lower or higher requirements. Qualifications may include:

  • A Levels: ABB–BCC
  • BTECs: DDM–MMM
  • Scottish Highers: AABB–BBBB
  • International Baccalaureate: 32–27
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied: at least one science at an advanced or higher level, usually biology

Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Some unis may require an essay-based subject such as English or history
  • General subjects such as A Level general studies may not be considered
  • You’ll also need five GCSEs (grade C/4 or more) including a science, maths and English

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Shadowing or experience of an NHS ambulance service, or charity first aid services like St John Ambulance or St Andrew’s First Aid (Scotland)
  • Volunteering or working with a range of people e.g. a care home, day-care centre or involvement with youth organisations such as Scouts or Guides

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of science taken at A Level
  • Interview, which may include scenario tests
  • Because you could work with children or vulnerable adults, you'll need to complete Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks (PVG scheme in Scotland)
  • Some unis may require you to have a full UK driving licence

What topics does a Paramedic Science degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Anatomy, physiology and pharmacology for paramedics
  • Emergency care fundamentals
  • Legal and ethical practice in care
  • Major incident clinical care
  • Paramedic care of minor injuries
  • Patient assessment fundamentals
  • Psychosocial aspects of paramedic practice
  • Trauma emergency care

How will you be assessed?

Courses are assessed in a variety of ways, depending on the module. Methods may include:

  • Case studies
  • Clinical, oral and practical tests
  • Coursework
  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Group work
  • Placement assessments

Why study Paramedic Science?

Study Paramedic Science, and you’ll prepare for a career that involves saving countless lives. You’ll develop the right skills for handling emergencies, thinking on your feet and making quick, informed judgements.

Career-specific skills:

  • Ability to treat numerous injuries and illnesses in high-pressure situations
  • Managing unpredictable and stressful scenarios calmly
  • Excellent driving skills such as driving under pressure and passing advanced driver training

Transferable skills:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Research and analysis

Professional accreditation: 

  • Degrees must be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and may be endorsed by the College of Paramedics

What do Paramedic Science graduates earn?

Paramedic Science graduates can expect an entry-level salary of around £25,500 (NHS Band 5). With further training and experience you could become a consultant paramedic, earning £54,500–£63,500 (NHS Band 8b).

Alternatively, you could train to become an urgent care practitioner or emergency care practitioner, based in a range of settings from hospitals to prisons and paid £40,000–£45,500 (NHS Band 7).

What jobs can you get as a Paramedic Science graduate?

After qualifying as a paramedic, you can specialise in different areas or choose to work for the air ambulance – or with further training your skills could lead to other roles. For example:

  • Advanced paramedic
  • Consultant paramedic
  • Emergency or urgent care practitioner
  • Firefighter
  • Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedic
  • Lecturer
  • Operational manager (Ambulance Service)
  • Physician associate
  • Police officer
  • Researcher

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

If you have a first degree in a related discipline, you can take a graduate-entry pre-registration course to qualify as a paramedic. Many graduates of Paramedic Science choose to continue their studies and become specialists in certain areas. Examples of postgraduate degrees include:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice MSc
  • Paramedic Science PhD
  • Paramedicine MSc
  • Physician Associate Studies MSc

Similar subjects to Paramedic Science

If you like to work under pressure to offer support and care to people, you could also consider:

Have any questions?

If you’ve got any questions about studying Paramedic Science, you can email our experts at ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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