On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators and technicians.
You can view information on our facilities and take a 360 tour of our simulation suites here.
- Anatomy, Physiology & Science for Paramedics: You’ll explore the principles of anatomy, physiology and sciences relating to the different body systems and paramedic science, as well as patient assessment skills.
- Paramedic Science Context 1: You'll gain an understanding of the essential principles of social, health and behavioural emergencies within the urgent and emergency care arenas.
- Identifying Core Skills & Strategies for Holistic Patient Assessment: This unit aims to facilitate students in establishing the skills and attributes needed for patient assessment in the paramedic pre-hospital setting.
- Fundamentals of Acute Care for Paramedic Science: This unit will introduce students to the core concepts of acute care in paramedic practice. It will explore communication as a key component of healthcare and develop skills of clinical enquiry.
- Paramedic Practice Portfolio 1: You will participate in professional practice and gain an understanding of the skills, knowledge and professional expectations that underpin and provide the foundation to such practice.
- Pharmacology for Paramedic Science: During this unit you’ll gain knowledge and understanding of the skills necessary for the safe administration of medicines.
- Developing Advanced Paramedic Skills & Strategies: You will build on the knowledge and understanding acquired in year 1 to develop critical thinking, reflection and decision-making skills encountered in paramedic practice.
- Paramedic Science Context 2: This unit explores ethical issues surrounding end of life care, palliative care and mental health. It embeds an underpinning philosophy of patient centred care.
- Exploring Evidence to Guide Professional Practice: This unit aims to raise your awareness of a range of evidence and how it guides practice.
- Anatomy & Physiology for Paramedics - Disease Processes: This unit aims to develop your understanding the organ systems and associated pathophysiological processes which are pivotal to student paramedics' clinical practice.
- Paramedic Portfolio 2: This is a practical unit with an opportunity to gain experience in different areas of practice.
- Fundamentals of Long-term Conditions across the Lifespan: Building on year one, this unit will develop advanced assessment skills, critical thinking and reflection skills in relation to specialist patients seen in the pre-hospital environment. These specialist patients will include: trauma injuries, elderly care including dementia and vulnerability, mental health, end of life and palliative care.
- Paramedic Context 3: This unit explores the role of the paramedic as a leader, mentor and autonomous practitioner. It will consider clinical decision-making and advanced critical thinking which inform paramedic practice.
- Paramedic Care of Minor Ailments: This unit aims to ensure you’re competent in the assessment, examination and treatment of patients with a variety of minor ailments.
- Physical Examination and Minor Injuries: You’ll assess, plan, implement and evaluate the total care and safe discharge of patients presenting with minor injuries with reference to evidence-based practice.
- Service Improvement Project: Whilst working in small teams you’ll reflect upon areas of professional practice or service delivery that need development.
- Exploring Research & Development in Paramedic Practice: This independent study unit allows you to develop a research question and review research literature in one specific area of paramedic practice.
- Paramedic Portfolio 3: Building on your knowledge from portfolio 2, you’ll be expected to demonstrate evaluation and critical reasoning in practice placement competencies.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Throughout the course, 50% of your time will be spent in theory-based classes and the rest of their time on emergency vehicles working with ambulance crew and helping patients. This means that your study time at BU will be split between scheduled learning and teaching activities and guided independent learning, such as preparing for and writing up coursework assignments.
Year 1 – 22% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 504 hours (estimated)
- Independent learning: 96 hours (estimated)
- Placement: 600 hours (estimated)
Year 2 – 42% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 504 hours (estimated)
- Independent learning: 96 hours (estimated)
- Placement: 600 hours (estimated)
Year 3 - 42% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 504 hours (estimated)
- Independent learning: 96 hours (estimated
- Placement: 600 hours (estimated)
28% of the course is assessed by coursework
- Year 1: 38%
- Year 2: 25%
- Year 3: 20%
In addition to coursework the course is assessed by practical exams and there is also written exam work to complete. Coursework assessments are designed to be meaningful and allow students to combine their practice and theoretical learning.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
Provision and arrangements of placements will be across the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and the South Central Ambulance Service. The College of Paramedics and Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) require each student to complete 2,250 hours of practice over the course. Placements are achieved via shift-work where you will follow the shift pattern of your paramedic mentors, including night shifts, weekends and bank holidays.
You'll experience placements in a variety of settings including emergency ambulances and rapid response vehicles, usually over a consolidated period of time which may span from four weeks in your first term to three months later in the course. You'll typically spend time at BU learning theory and practising skills and then go on placement where you’ll have the opportunity to apply the theory and skills you’ve learned, a process which will be repeated throughout the course.
In addition to these placement blocks, you'll also go on four lots of five-day specialist placements which include spending time in clinical theatres, maternity units or working with community midwives, with mental health crisis teams and in NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit). These will be in Dorset and Somerset (Yeovil) to ensure you access the necessary breadth of placement experience.
While on placement your will be allocated a mentor, who will be your professional assessor, and you'll also have a personal tutor assigned to you who teaches on the course. You'll be expected to work the same shift pattern as your mentor, and you will be responsible for getting to and from your allocated placements.
Going on placement will involve some travel, and you may choose to find short-term accommodation in order to participate in the specialist placements, travel costs are your responsibility.
What hours do you work?
When on placement you will experience the full 24 hour shift pattern to include 12-13 hour shifts, weekends and night shifts. You will follow the shift pattern of your allocated placement mentor, which means you cannot chose which days you work. Although this does involve some weekend working, it is highly unlikely that you will be working every weekend.
Background and experience
For Paramedic Science we are looking for applicants who:
- Have a clear understanding of the profession, as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
- Have undertaken relevant work experience
- Can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to the course.
It is essential that you gain some work experience before applying, preferably of at least six months. This experience can be from within an ambulance service, military environment, acting as a first responder, or within a similar healthcare setting. We can consider experience from Lifeguarding/St. Johns Ambulance/Red Cross etc in addition to other experience but not alone regardless of duration of membership. Possession of a current first aid certificate is also desirable.
Our courses are built around the NHS’ constitution values, and when assessing your application we will take these values into consideration:
- Working together for patients
- Respect and dignity
- Commitment to quality of care
- Improving lives
- Everyone counts.
Find out more about the NHS Constitution principles.
In the healthcare sector IT is now a vital tool for accessing and maintaining patient records, accessing literature to client care and conducting clinically-related research. As a student you will receive an introduction to IT near the beginning of your course and you will be provided with computer access and your own email address. During the course you will be expected to use your developing IT skills to produce assignments, to conduct literature searches, and to use client-related record systems in the clinical setting.
We’ll use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.
Because we need you to have practical and applicable skills in this particular subject, we’ll then invite the very best students for an interview. These interviews are designed to demonstrate that you have the necessary insight into the profession, as well as the motivation and commitment to become a Paramedic.
What to expect at interview
Interviews take approximately half a day, starting either in the morning or the afternoon. A member of the faculty and the admissions team will register your attendance and welcome you to the interview day. This will be followed by a tour of the skills facilities and other key parts of the university, before being presented with an overview of all three years of the course by a member of the paramedic science team. Multiple stations are set up to assess your suitability for this course of study; this includes a group work activity and multiple scenarios involving interaction with actors or service users, which will be observed by members of the faculty.
You can find further information about interviews with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences here.
In addition to the reference on your UCAS form, once we’ve received your application we will contact you to ask for a second reference; this can be a different teacher/lecturer, employer or person who knows you in a professional capacity.
Our offer making process
Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.
If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.
How we'll assess your application
We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.
If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.
Unconditional offer scheme
Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/DDD in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications).
We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.
2017 entry requirements
The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.
The entry requirements for this course are 112 tariff points, from 3 A-Levels including 40 points from a required subject, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma of DMM. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.
BTECs in Health & Social Care or Public Services considered only when accompanied by A-Level Biology or equivalent. Some experience in a paramedical/care environment is a requirement.
UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.
Required subjects:Biology or Human Biology
Relevant subjects:Science, Health Studies, Psychology or Sociology
Excluded subjects:This course does not accept General Studies A or AS-level but Critical Thinking is accepted.
GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.
Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.
We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.
Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3 remainder at level 2 or equivalent). A minimum of 15 level 3 credits in Biology is required. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects; any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.
BTEC Qualifications: The requirements for BTEC applicants are changing for 2018 entry. This course will only accept applicants with a BTEC qualification in Health Science
- Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects. BTECs in Health & Social Care or Public Services considered only when accompanied by A-Level Biology or equivalent.
- Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level to achieve the overall tariff. Offers will be subject and grade specific particularly in the science subjects.
- 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.
- Subsidiary Diploma:The Subsidiary Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.
A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.
For 2018 entry: This course will only accept applicants with a BTEC qualification in Health Science.
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.
European Baccalaureate: This course requires a minimum score of 70%.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 30 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.
Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff and include required subjects as appropriate.
Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.
Open University: If you currently have some academic qualifications but do not have Biology/Human Biology and this is a required subject for your course we recommend you consider studying the Open University course SK277.
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma and one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.
Extended Diploma:This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.
Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.
Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.
Other Health Care Level 3 Qualifications and Bridging Programmes: We are aware that there are a wide range of health care qualifications which people undertake in their workplace. Find out more information about Bridging Programmes and some frequently asked questions about them here. If you would like to know if the qualifications you have or are working towards meet our entry criteria; please ring 01202 967307 or email us: for further information and advice.
Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.
Occupational Health Checks
Paramedic Science is physically and mentally demanding and you will need to be mentally and physically able to undertake your chosen course. Places are offered subject to passing an OH check, and this will be carried out at the University Hospital Southampton. Health conditions need to be dealt with on an individual basis e.g. deafness, blindness, eczema (or other dermatological allergic reactions) on exposed areas, epilepsy, back problems, or mental health conditions, eating disorders and other disabilities. These do not automatically exclude you but please ensure that you fully disclose your condition to OH. The University can then consider the recommendations made by OH and whether reasonable adjustments can be made to support you on your chosen course. If you require more guidance please contact us for more information.
You will be required to provide a record of your immunity status or be vaccinated or have the required blood tests. Please see this table for the required immunisations, including EPP clearance. You may need to ask your GP or current OH department or find your childhood vaccination record for details of your past immunisation records. You should be aware that there may be charges made (for which you will be liable) relating to your gaining the appropriate immunity required prior to starting your training programme.
The University has an expectation that all students will comply with the vaccination programme. This ensures that you will be able to undertake the wide range of training placements that your course will require. Occasionally some vaccinations are contraindicated in certain medical conditions. OH will advise the University in these cases.The University will consider students on an individual basis. Refusal to have immunisations will result in the student not being allowed to attend practice placement and being withdrawn from the course. There is no opportunity to appeal against the requirements of the immunisation policy.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously known as CRB)
All successful applicants will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barred List check; this will be a condition of offer and will need to be completed prior to commencing the course. Please see the Government website for the most up to date information.
Bournemouth University have a revised policy for all Paramedic Science students, in line with Ambulance Trust guidance, effective from September 2013, which requires all applicants and students to hold a full UK driving license with no more than 3 penalty points.
International entry requirements
From September 2017 we will be welcoming international students to this course.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
- IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.
Academic entry requirements
You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.
We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.
- Students in working/studying six months after graduation: 97%*
This course will prepare you for work in the fast-paced world of emergency care, giving you the skills you need to work as a paramedic. This is not the only career path open to you though, as you can also work in other areas of the healthcare sector, such as minor injuries units or GP surgeries, or even take your skills to the private sector, for example by working on an oil rig.
As the BSc (Hons) version of this course is a relatively new at BU, we don't have specific statistics about where our graduates are working now. What we can tell you is that within six months of graduating from FdSc Paramedic Science 98% of our students were in in work or study.
Industries worked in
- Private sector, e.g. oil rigs
Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.
*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.