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

Successfully completing this course will enable you to apply to Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a paramedic. The majority of paramedics find employment within an ambulance service and there are increasing opportunities for graduates to work in a range of health and social care settings.

There is work available in private ambulance companies, offshore companies and other various NHS and private areas. However, the majority of newly qualified paramedics will look to consolidate their learning and experience in an ambulance service trust for one to two years before pursuing promotions or other career avenues.

There is a significant need across the whole of Scotland for paramedics and you are likely to be successful in gaining employment here if you wish, while other UK ambulance services are regularly recruiting from degree programmes.

All UK ambulance service trusts offer a form of Newly Qualified Paramedic programme to assist new paramedics transitioning from education into the fully registered role. Members of the Scottish Ambulance Service are invited to speak to third year students to discuss recruitment and support.
This course involves full-time study at the University Monday-Friday, and there are full-time Practice Placement elements.

These may follow shift patterns and may require you attending at nights and weekends. These will vary according to the placement.

All placements will be within the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

Year 1

Modules: 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), Introduction to Clinical Practice for Paramedics: Clinical Skills (Practical skills required for effective patient assessment and management across the lifespan), Introduction to Clinical Practice for Paramedics: Assessment and Management (Patient consultation, simulated patient cases and development of treatment and management of a range of patients across the lifespan.) 

Practice-Based Education: Care Home (November/December – one week), Ambulance (January two-three weeks), Mental Health or Paediatrics (April/May - one week), Maternity (August – one week), Ambulance (May – August – 13 weeks)

Year 2

Modules: Psychosocial Health in Paramedic Practice (social and economic impacts on health, mental health, health promotion), Developing Clinical Practice for Paramedics: Advancing Skills (pharmacology, advancing clinical skills, management of patients across the lifespan and advanced life support), Understanding evidence-based practice in health and social care (research methods and critical analysis of evidence-based practice), Developing Clinical Practice for Paramedics: Advancing Assessment (Assessment skills for urgent and non-emergency care, decision making, referral, discharge and safeguarding) 

Practice-Based Education: Ambulance (November/December – seven weeks), Cardiology (January or May-August – one week), Ambulance (January–March – six weeks), Mental Health or Paediatric (April/May – one week), Anaesthetics (May–July – two weeks)

Year 3

Modules: Applying evidence-based practice in health and social care (application of knowledge to develop a research proposal, Leadership in Paramedic Practice (theories and practice of clinical leadership and mentoring, Practice Based Education: Consolidating Practice (five week placement in ambulance environment including audit of practice assessment document to ensure completion), Consolidating clinical practice for Paramedics (major incidents, palliative/end of life care) – Include final placement block prior to completion (eight weeks in ambulance environment), Preparation for Practice: Continuing Professional Development (evaluation of learning and practice and preparation for registration and CPD in future professional career) Practice Based Education: Ambulance (October – five weeks), Accident and Emergency/Minor Injuries (December or January two weeks), Ambulance (March-May – eight weeks)

Note: During trimester A (September - January) of Year 1, you are required to attend additional external training on moving and handling as well as online learning training courses in preparation for practice placement.

NB: The academic year for Paramedic Science utilises trimester C in year one and two 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 B of year three and will attend the summer graduation ceremonies.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

Study Options

  • 2022/23


Mode of study


Start date



Full Time
3 Years
Sep 2022
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location UCAS  
BSc Full Time 3 Years Sep 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

Year 1
Scottish Higher: Standard entry requirement: BBBB (incl English or Communication 4 and Literature 1 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)

Minimum entry requirements are for widening access students only. If you are from a group that is not currently well-represented in higher education you may qualify as a widening access student. This includes living in a target postcode area, attending a target school or college, attending SWAP, are care-experienced or provide care for someone else, have refugee status or are an asylum seeker.

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.

Note: Any military personal wishing to enter the course must have an academic qualification equivalent to the SCQF Level 6 which includes human biology. This applies to those who have a military background as a medic.

Application process

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

Acceptance to this course is subject to a satisfactory occupational health screening and PVG clearance. 

You will be required to pass a manual handling course and to undertake the physically demanding duties of a paramedic in the practice environment. You must be physically fit and have the strength to lift and carry patients and equipment.

You will undergo an occupational health assessment at the start of the course and will also need to ensure you have specific vaccinations

Driving requirements

You do not have to have a driving licence or complete a driving assessment to enter the course.  The Standards of Proficiency for paramedics does not require driving as an element of regulated practice, so being unable to drive will not prevent you being accepted onto the course.

However, to have a greater chance of finding a job with an NHS ambulance service trust once you have finished your studies, you should:
  • Hold a full driving license for a minimum of one year before graduation
    • This is currently a requirement of the Newly Qualified Paramedic (NQP) job application for the Scottish Ambulance Service  
  • Gain you C1 endorsement (licence to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes) prior to completing the course
    • This is currently required by most UK ambulance services prior to employment. 
    • This is not the emergency driving course which is usually provided by the employing ambulance service trust.
If you are not able to get a driving licence or the C1 endorsement for health reasons, please discuss this with the course team.

This does not affect your entering the course and become a registered paramedic, but there are few NQP posts that do not require these qualifications.

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.

Thirty-nine-year-old student Chris Anderson explains why he chose to study the BSc Paramedic Science course at GCU to become a paramedic.

This course 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?

Annual full-time tuition fees

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
International: £13,000

*Scottish student tuition fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.
**Students from the Rest of the UK (RUK) 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

If you are eligible for SAAS student funding, you will not need to pay for uniform, PVG checks and occupational health checks. While on placement, you may have additional accommodation and travel costs. You can apply for allied health profession students practical placement expenses 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:

  • Occupational health checks and vaccination: set fee of £440
  • Membership of Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. New applications cost £59. Updates to existing scheme record cost £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 course.

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 undergraduate scholarships at GCU.

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.