bsc paramedic science

the modern paramedic treats and cares for people locally, or in their home, to assist in reducing avoidable hospital admissions, as well as for emergency situations. throughout this challenging and exciting programme you will learn alongside other healthcare practitioners reflecting the collaborative nature of working in a modern healthcare system.

bsc paramedic science is the first full-time undergraduate degree of its kind in scotland. our state of the art simulation laboratory, including high fidelity mannequins and technology will give you an authentic learning experience delivered by excellent lecturers from a variety of clinical backgrounds.

practice-based education within the scottish ambulance service in addition to a range of placements within health and social care will allow you to link and enhance the theory and practical knowledge and skills gained in teaching time.

your progress will be assessed through practical assessments, objective structured clinical exams, coursework assignments, presentations, exams, and a practice assessment document. your progress will be assessed through practical assessments, coursework assignments, presentations, exams, and clinical placement competency logbooks.

your career

this programme will enable you to apply to health and care professions council (hcpc) for registration as a paramedic. whilst the majority of paramedics find employment within an ambulance service, there are increasing opportunities for graduates to work in a range of health and social care settings.

year 1

introduction to core principles in paramedic science (foundations of paramedic practice, legal, ethical and professional frameworks, introduction to human factors), fundamentals of human physiology (anatomy and physiology), foundations of interprofessional practice (principles underpinning working with other health and care professionals), introduction to evidence-based practice in health and social care, paramedic science: clinical practice 1 (clinical skills, patient assessment and management, adult patients presenting with common medical conditions including intermediate life support)

during year one you will also undertake practice-based education in a variety of clinical settings

practice-based education 1: ambulance (january - three weeks), practice-based education 2: fundamental care (ward/care environment), practice-based education 3: ambulance (both in trimester c five weeks each).

during trimester a (september - january) students are also required to attend additional tutorials and online learning training courses in preparation for practice placement. all these sessions are mandatory and may involve sessions scheduled within the designated study period of gcu trimester dates.

year 2

developing care in paramedic science (social and economic impacts on health, mental health, health promotion), clinical life sciences in paramedic practice (pharmacology, paediatric and obstetric anatomy and physiology, physiology of trauma and cardiac arrest), developing clinical practice 2 (advancing clinical skills, assessment and management of paediatric and obstetric patients, assessment and management of patient with mental health impairment and dementia, assessment and management of trauma, ecg interpretation and advancing life support), understanding evidence-based practice in health and social care, practice-based education 4: advancing skills (ambulance, operating theatres and coronary care -  nine weeks total during trimester b with one day per week in university), practice-based education 5: paediatrics and obstetrics, practice-based education 6: mental health care (both in trimester c)

year 3

applying evidence-based practice in health and social care, consolidating clinical practice 3 (major incidents, palliative/end of life care, criminal procedures, assisting critical care and telehealth), applying clinical assessment and decision making in paramedic practice - practice-based education 7 incorporated (advancing consultation skills, referral and discharge decision making, trimester a: two weeks intensive teaching followed by 10 weeks in practice - 50% in ambulance 50% in urgent care setting), minor injuries - practice-based education 8 incorporated (advancing assessment skills, referral and discharge decision making, trimester b: two weeks intensive teaching followed by 10 weeks in practice - 30% in ambulance 60% in minor injuries unit), leadership and mentoring in paramedic practice, practice-based education 9: ambulance (trimester c  five weeks with one week preparation in university)

nb: the academic year for paramedic science utilises trimester c to accommodate the required amount of practice-based education hours.

therefore, the term will run beyond may each year. on successful completion of studies students will qualify and be eligible to register with the hcpc at the end of trimester c of year 3 and will attend the winter graduation ceremonies.

download the programme specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

study options

  • 2021/22


mode of study


start date



full time
3 years
28 sep 2021
gcu glasgow
award mode of study duration start date location ucas  
bsc full time 3 years 28 sep 2021 gcu glasgow enquire apply

year 1
scottish higher: standard entry requirement: bbbb (incl english/essay-based subject and biology/human biology) nat 5: c (maths)
minimum entry requirement*: cccc (incl english/essay-based subject and biology/human biology) nat 5: c (maths)
a level: bbc (incl biology) gcse: c/4 (english and maths)
ilc higher: h2 h2 h3 h3 (incl english and biology/human biology) o2: (maths and english)
btec: science-based (incl human physiology/biology)  gcse: c/4 (english and maths)
college hnc: relevant health-related subject (incl human physiology) or a science-based hnc nat 5: c (maths and english)
swap: health/science-related - bbb

english language ielts score of 7.0 with no element below 6.5 (or equivalent)

all entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

additional information

modern apprenticeships

if you have completed a modern apprenticeship at scqf level 6 in a relevant discipline this would be equivalent to two highers at b.

relevant experience (rpl)

gcu’s flexible entry policies exist to allow relevant work experience and prior learning to be considered towards standard entry or advanced entry into a course. if you have three to five years of relevant work experience, you can apply for the degree that interests you and get in touch with our admissions team about your application and your eligibility for recognition of prior learning.

additional requirements

applicants will be required to attend interview as part of the admissions process.

acceptance to this programme is subject to a satisfactory occupational health screening and pvg clearance. you must be physically fit and have the strength to lift and carry patients and equipment.

there is no requirement for applicants to hold a driving licence to enter the programme. this is because the standards of proficiency for paramedics does not stipulate driving as an element of regulated practice. however, we do strongly advise that you have a full driving licence and aim to obtain the c1 endorsement (for driving vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes) prior to completing the programme to enhance your employment opportunities.

international pathways

if you do not meet the english language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional english programme which is taught at our glasgow campus.

this programme will enable you to apply to health and care professions council (hcpc) for registration as a paramedic.

the tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. what is my student fee status?

tuition fees 2021/22

home: £1,820*
ruk: £9,250**
eu and international: £12,250

*scottish student tuition fees are subject to confirmation by the scottish government and may change once confirmed.
**students from rest of uk will pay no more than £27,750 towards the total fees of a three or four-year degree.

fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

additional costs

additional costs for scottish domiciled students

during this course, you will be required to cover the cost of:

- uniforms, £395.34 each *reimbursements of uniforms for scottish domiciled students is currently under consideration by the scottish government.

invoices will be issued by the university for payment of all of the above additional costs in trimester b (march / april) of the first year of your programme.

if you are eligible for saas student funding, you will not need to pay for pvg checks and occupational health checks. however, while on practice education placements, you will need to meet any additional costs for accommodation and travel. you may be able to apply to saas for additional expense support to help meet these costs.

additional costs for all other students (rest of uk, eu and international)

during this course, you will be required to cover the cost of:

- uniforms, £395.34 each

- occupational health checks and vaccination, set fee of £220.

- membership of protection of vulnerable groups (pvg) scheme. new applications cost £59. updates to existing scheme record costs £18.

- potential accommodation and additional travel costs during practice education placements

invoices will be issued by the university for payment of all of the above additional costs in trimester b (march / april) of the first year of your programme.

additional costs

as a student at the university, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

view additional costs


we provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the university for the common good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2 million per year.

view our undergraduate scholarships.

we use a wide range of learning and teaching methods to ensure that you have both the necessary knowledge and understanding of business and management and a portfolio of intellectual and personal skills.

each module on the programme uses its own learning, teaching and assessment strategy to achieve learning objectives. assessment methods vary between modules and may include unseen examinations, class tests, essays, management reports, case studies, presentations, and group work.

the learning and teaching methods we use ensure that our programme is both vocationally relevant and academically challenging. our approach is student-centred, practical, participative and relevant to the needs of employers.

we've moved away from the traditional teacher-centric learning to a more independent learning approach, where you are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills.

i am a healthcare professional in a different field can i go directly into year 2 or 3?

at glasgow caledonian university we recognise the value of prior learning and your experience will be taken into account throughout the course. we include a year 1 syllabus for all of our students regardless of background. its during year 1 that you gain an understanding of the paramedic science profession and where it belongs within the nhs and wider healthcare sector and this will prove invaluable to you further into your course and career

i am a medic with the army/navy/raf can i enter the programme?

yes, provided you can show you have the necessary academic qualifications at a minimum of scqf level 6, our admissions team can assist you in identifying if you have the appropriate credit levels for your qualifications.

as previously mentioned, the first year is a core foundation in your learning of how to be a paramedic in the nhs and wider healthcare environment and therefore everyone will enter into year 1. your training and experience will be a strong element for your personal statement on application.

can gcu help guide me on funding my studies?

our university fees and funding department would be happy to provide their expert advice on grants, saas, funds and scholarships.

do i need to be able to drive before i can apply?

to be a paramedic, as defined by the hcpc standards of proficiency, you do not need to be able to drive and therefore whether you have a driving licence or not will not be a factor when considering your application.

however, we strongly advise that you have a full driving licence before starting the course and that you obtain your c1 category before you finish the 3 years. the c1 licence allows you to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes and this licence is usually a requirement of ambulance trusts on application for employment. the employing service will then provide your emergency driver training.

if you have your driving licence before january 1997 you have the c1 category on your licence already. if you obtained your licence after this date you will need to apply to the dvla for a provisional c1 category on your licence. to do this you will have a medical and then undertake the theory elements before the practical test.

what is the difference between this course and the one the scottish ambulance service (sas) are recruiting to for technicians?

if you enter the bsc paramedic science course, you are a full time student and at the end of 3 years successful study you will be eligible to register with the hcpc and apply for a position of employment as a paramedic with any provider advertising for this grade of healthcare staff.

the courses offered by sas means that you need to apply for employment with them, requiring a c1 classification on your licence, and is subject to sas recruitment policies. if successful you will attend a regional centre for initial training before entering the workplace as a student technician. you will need to complete a logbook of evidence of learning to gain qualification as a technician. throughout this time you will be a paid employee of sas. you will then be eligible to apply for the paramedic course delivered by sas educators at gcu. following successful completion of this programme you will exit with a diploma he in paramedic practice and be eligible to register with hcpc as a paramedic. there is no guaranteed time frame for your progression to paramedic through this route as it is subject to service operational need and availability of courses as well as successful application.

what is the difference between the two qualifications? why is there now a degree course?

both courses are hcpc approved and therefore give eligibility to register as a paramedic on successful completion. the addition of this exciting bsc paramedic science course is not only the pathway towards becoming a paramedic, but also enhances the lifelong education and confidence of the student.

the landscape of paramedic education has been rapidly changing and continues to do so. the professional body, the college of paramedics, is driving for paramedics to have equal education to other healthcare professions to enable graduate attributes in the wider profession. it is anticipated that at some point in the near future (after 2020) that paramedics will be required to have a degree level qualification to enter the hcpc register, which this programme provides.

do i need to pass a fitness test?

paramedics are often the lifeline for their patients and for that reason although you will not be required to undertake a fitness test to enter the course, you will be required to pass a manual handling course and to undertake the physically demanding duties of a paramedic in the practice environment and therefore we strongly advise that applicants and students remain fit and healthy!

how much time am i in practice placement? where do we go? will i be on a shift pattern?

to ensure that our students are confident and comfortable in their paramedic practice, you are required to do 2250 hours of practice based education over the 3 years. this is why we use trimester c and extend you learning into the traditional university summer break.

50% of your placement time is with the scottish ambulance service and the other 50% is in a variety of other clinical settings. as we cannot guarantee that you will see all the types of patients required to meet the learning outcomes for particular areas of practice during your placements, we will place you in an environment where we can ensure your exposure to these patient groups allowing you to transfer your learning into the paramedic clinical environment.

the working environment you are placed in will dictate what hours you work. you should be prepared to work in a 24/7 health service, this is likely to include nights and weekends during your time in practice placement. this allows you to become accustomed to the working pattern that you could face in paramedic employment upon graduation.

can i choose the location of my practice placement?

for our ambulance service based placements we offer you the opportunity to be placed within 1 hour and 15 minutes from either your term time or home address. however, with the non-ambulance placements these will be allocated and cannot be adjusted due to the complex nature of managing the number of healthcare students accessing these environments. however, we do have a wide variety of locations we can access and therefore we will endeavour to place you appropriately.

do i need to buy anything before coming or are there books i need to purchase?

all texts associated with the course modules are available in the gcu library or online.

there is one text which will be used extensively throughout the 3 years and in practice which is the joint royal colleges ambulance liaison committee (jrcalc) uk ambulance services clinical practice guidelines, a core text utilised in practice across the uk. the guidelines are reviewed on a regular basis and you will be updated throughout the course of any changes and the implications to your education, assessment and practice. we would advise that you get the main textbook and the pocketbook.