First full-time Paramedics Degree programme for Scotland

11 January 2018

BSc Paramedic Students with Sam Paterson, Programme Leader

BSc Paramedic Students with Sam Paterson, Programme Leader

Fifty full-time paramedic students have been recruited to Scotland’s first undergraduate degree programme in Paramedic Science, which has been launched by Glasgow Caledonian University.

The new three-year degree is the first full-time undergraduate degree programme of its kind in Scotland in a bid to boost the number of frontline ambulance paramedics and give the profession equality with other healthcare professionals.  

GCU Programme Lead Sam Paterson said: “The paramedic profession is progressing at quite a rapid pace. There are already degree programmes within the UK and, as the profession moves forward, there is a desire that we are a degree-qualified profession. The College of Paramedics, our professional body hope that in the next five to ten years, all paramedics entering the register will have a degree qualification. By introducing this degree we can ensure education of paramedics in Scotland keeps pace with the evolution of the profession.”

The programme has recruited school-leavers, college entrants, and professionals changing careers, with applications for the next intake in 2018/2019 already exceeding the number of places available.

First- year student Chris Anderson, 39, from Belshill, said: “Prior to this I was an audio engineer working for a lot of bands and was lucky enough to travel all over the globe but for me it lacked real job satisfaction.This has always been in the back of my mind from when I was small and saw someone suffer a cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, the paramedics were unable to save that particular patient, but the way in which they came in, the team work, the camaraderie, everything they did to try and help that person is everything that I want to be a part of."

The programme will add to those already delivered by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to educate paramedics for the changing future of healthcare in Scotland.

Modern paramedics treat and care for people locally, in their home, and assist to reduce avoidable hospital admissions as well as providing emergency care.

“A degree qualification in Paramedic Science gives the profession equality with other healthcare professionals and is an important step to the wider health and care in communities and utilise the knowledge and skills paramedics can offer. The Government’s 2020 Strategy has encouraged education providers to increase paramedic numbers to provide the care now required by the public which goes beyond emergency care,” added Sam Paterson.

The programme reflects the collaborative and realistic nature of working in a modern healthcare system. Students have access to the University’s state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, including the high-fidelity mannequins and technology. A range of placements within health and social care allow students to gain the practical knowledge and skills required, with careers in the ambulance service and increasing opportunities for graduates to work in a range of health and social care settings.