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Paramedics are vital to the health, safety and wellbeing of the nation.
If you’re ready to work at the frontline of the NHS, this BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science degree will prepare you for life as a registered paramedic.
- Practise your skills on medical manikins and simulated patients safely and under expert supervision in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, one of the country’s leading healthcare teaching environments
- Gain more than 1,500 hours of practical experience on placement with real paramedic teams and in clinical settings, including community medicine, emergency departments, minor injuries units, maternity and critical care
- Get expert support from a personal mentor within the Ambulance Service
- Receive an induction, full uniform and PPE (personal protective equipment) from the NHS Trust you're assigned to
Become eligible to register as a paramedic with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) when you graduate
of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course
(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/2019)
for Anatomy and Physiology in the UK
(Guardian University Guide, 2024)
Explore BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science at Portsmouth
Discover how our BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science degree course will equip you with the skills and experience you need to become a Paramedic and work on the front lines of the NHS.
Rob Isherwood: Paramedic Sciences is a three-year undergraduate programme that takes people from civilian life, as it were, to become paramedics of the future. We are regulated by the Healthcare and Professions Council. When you come onto the course, we do quite an intensive early study block, learning those important theoretical building blocks that you need, preparing you for some of the important things in placement.
We've got a really good working relationship with our local ambulance trust. They provide our students with their placement time. While they're out on placement, they're working as part of a team. They are given mentors, existing paramedics with lots of experience.
What sets us apart is we have a really nice culture here, a welcoming culture, and we're supportive of our students throughout their whole time with us.
We've got some fantastic facilities here at the University of Portsmouth. We really believe in using high quality simulation equipment in order for them to get the feedback that they need to improve what they do. We have simulated spaces, so we've got a simulated flat, used to have a simulated ward area and we have a GP area. We make sure the simulated spaces that we've got reflect the modern world of paramedic practice.
Once you've completed your degree here at the University of Portsmouth, the world is your oyster now. There is no other job like it in the world, and I genuinely mean that. UK paramedics are well respected across the world. You could go and work internationally like I've done. In the UK, the predominant employer of paramedics is going to be ambulance services, but we also have the opportunity to work in hazardous area response teams on HEMS, so Helicopter Emergency Medical Services, the opportunity to work within a Minor Injuries Unit or Emergency Department or you go work in a GP surgery. We now work in so many different environments and we have got some really interesting transferable skills. So there are lots more opportunities even outside of healthcare.
It's been fantastic to see the development of our students from day one, year one. It's great to see people's confidence grow and see the impact that this course is having on their lives. It's got a family atmosphere here at the University of Portsmouth. It's one of the most supportive universities, and I think it's a really good place to come and study.
BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
- A levels - ABB-BBB
- UCAS points - 120-128 points to include 32 points from an A level in a single Science subject, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- T-levels - Merit. Acceptable T Level Subjects:
T Level in Health (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Supporting the mental health team, Supporting the care of children and young people), T Level in Healthcare Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Assisting with healthcare science), T Level in Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Laboratory sciences, Metrology sciences)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM
- International Baccalaureate - 25
- Applicants must be 18 or over when the course starts.
- Applicants with a full, category B (car) driving license should have no more than three penalty points.
- Applicants will be required to take an admissions test.
- All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in support of their application.
- Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.
- If successful, applicants will be required to declare if they have been subject to any disciplinary procedures of fitness to practice by any other regulator, professional body, employer or educational establishment.
- The Department of Health requires all new Exposure Prone Procedures (EPP) workers, including students, are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The consent, test and managed process of results will be carried out by our Occupational Health Department.
You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
We look at more than just your grades
While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.
Values and the NHS Constitution
We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.
Before you join real paramedics on placement, you'll practise life-saving skills on manikins in our safe and supportive Simulation Centre.
You'll work through scenarios you'll experience as a paramedic, including simulated examinations and treatments in our realistic bedded ward and high-fidelity patient simulator.
The Paramedic Science course at University of Portsmouth was my first choice as they have a great reputation for health care courses. Being a city campus, you get a strong sense of not just being part of the University, but of Portsmouth itself.
Careers and opportunities
As the first healthcare providers on the scene in an emergency, paramedics have to take rapid action to save lives, often working alongside other first response teams like the police and the fire service.
A career as a paramedic is fast-paced and demanding, but also incredibly rewarding. As ambulance call-outs continue to rise, paramedics are needed in ambulance trusts nationwide – there were 783,050 incidents in June 2021, 80,000 more than in the same month two years ago.
Delivering frontline care when it's needed most
On this Paramedic Science degree, you’ll master the complexities of acute pre-hospital care, and learn to assess patients and treat patients using life-saving equipment safely and effectively – in line with HCPC Standards of Proficiency.
At the end of the course, you'll be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for professional registration as a qualified paramedic in the public or private sector.
As a paramedic in the NHS in 2021, you'd begin your career on a Band 5 salary of £25,655 to £31,534, before moving up to Band 6 after two years in your role, which ranges from £32,306 to £39,027.
With more experience you could progress to become a consultant paramedic, making up to £75,874 (Band 8c).
Once you graduate, you’ll also be prepared for jobs in clinical settings like telephone triage services, helicopter emergency medical services, with ambulance trusts, or in special operations response.
Where could you work as a paramedic?
Many graduates work in ambulance trusts – recent graduates have gone on to work for organisations including:
- South Central Ambulance Service
- London Ambulance Service
- South Western Ambulance Service Trust
- East of England Ambulance Service
- Welsh Ambulance Service
- North East Ambulance Service
What else can I do with a Paramedic Science degree?
You could also work in clinical settings such as:
- GP surgeries
- Primary and secondary healthcare
- Telephone triage services (such as NHS 111)
- Helicopter emergency services
- Special operations response
You can also continue your study at postgraduate level or take on a career in teaching, research or clinical management.
Ambulance and clinical placements
To prepare you for your career as a paramedic, you'll get at least 1,500 hours of experience on work placements in paramedic teams and other clinical settings.
Being on placement is a fantastic experience and my favourite aspect of the course. I was made to feel part of the ambulance crew and have been encouraged to be actively involved in patient care from the start.
Each year, you'll complete an ambulance placement, working 37.5 hours a week (which includes 7.5 hours a week study time).
You'll be allocated a clinical mentor from the Ambulance Service and you'll work with a clinical team that consists of a team leader, paramedics, specialist paramedics, ambulance technicians, associate ambulance practitioners, emergency care assistants and other student paramedics.
You'll work alongside and be supervised by a paramedic on every shift and work in different ambulance stations across Hampshire or the Isle of Wight (depending on where you live during your studies). Your shift patterns will mirror what you'll experience as a paramedic and will include weekend and bank holiday shifts, night shifts, early shifts and late shifts.
You'll also undertake the following clinical placements:
- Year 1 – a 1-week community placement in a setting such as a drugs and alcohol rehabilitation team, with a learning disabilities team, or with the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)
- Year 2 – a 2-3 week in-hospital placement, which allows you to experience various clinical departments such as maternity, emergency departments and coronary care units
- Year 3 – a 1 week placement in both a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) and a GP Practice
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
What you'll study
Core modules in this year include:
- Foundation of Evidence Based Practice (Paramedic) – 20 credits
- Foundations of Paramedic Professional Practice – 40 credits
- Fundamentals of Paramedic Practice – 20 credits
- Science Informing Practice (Paramedic) – 40 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Acute Prehospital Care – 20 credits
- Applied Paramedic Professional Practice – 40 credits
- Engaging With Service Improvement (Paramedic) – 20 credits
- Evidence Based Decision Making – 20 credits
- Patient Assessment – 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Assessment and Care of the Older Adult – 20 credits
- Enhancing Paramedic Professional Practice – 40 credits
- Pathology and Therapeutics for Paramedics – 20 credits
- Project – 40 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- practical work
- clinical placements
There's an emphasis on applying theoretical and practical components to clinical placements, so you're well prepared for your future career.
Your study weeks and placements won't overlap, so you'll get the best of both academic work and placement experiences.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- tests (academic or practical/skills based)
- academic written work/portfolios
- objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies. As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.
A typical week
You'll be in timetabled teaching activities such as simulated activities, lectures, seminars and group activities for about 18 hours a week, this includes time for self directed study. Alternatively, you'll be on placement, which are about 37.5 hours a week and you'll usually be allocated around 30 hours of shifts within your placement area. The rest of the time, you'll do independent activities such as updating your practice assessment documents or evaluating what you've learned on placement.
You'll spend more of your time on placement and have less scheduled teaching as you progress through each year.
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- understanding and using assignment feedback
- managing your time and workload
- revision and exam techniques
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.
You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.
If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Course costs and funding
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
This course isn't currently open to International and EU students.
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund of at least £5,000 a year. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.
For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
How to apply
To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – B900
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
EU and international students
Sorry, this course isn't currently open to international or EU students.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.