Paramedic Science FdSc

Paramedic students practicing at West Midlands Fire Services' Safeside
UCAS code B780
Location Stafford Campus
Duration 2 Years

2015/16 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,000 per year of study
  • International students: £10,500 per year of study

2016/17 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,000 per year of study
Course start September
School Social Work, Allied and Public Health
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stafford CampusFull-time2016/17 Academic YearApply via UCAS
  • This Award meets the statutory requirements for paramedic education, and successful completion entitles you to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registration. A prerequisite for employment as a Paramedic within the UK
  • This Award is split between 50% universitybased elements and 50% practicebased elements
  • You will be taught by experienced paramedic lecturers and other key educators with a prehospital knowledge-base
  • The practicebased elements are focussed upon gaining experience within the prehospital environment. This will take place under the mentorship of an appropriately experienced paramedic normally within the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Course content

The Foundation Degree is delivered over 2 years. During the first year you will have the opportunity to study with other occupational groups in healthcare (Midwives, Nurses, Operating Department Assistants) in some modules. This year will provide you with study skills, the foundation skills in paramedic practice, essential paramedic skills, professional practice and integration of theory and practice in the out of hospital placements. During the 2nd year you will gain knowledge of the assessment of patients throughout the lifespan, the interpretation of the signs and symptoms and the impact of illness and disease. You will learn about disorders affecting all ages across the lifespan, and the management of care of these including advanced paramedic skills. You will look at the professional issues that surround paramedic practice and be aware of the research based theories that underpin paramedic practice. Your communication skills with families, carers and members of the multi disciplinary and multiprofessional team will be developed in various out of hospital placement areas.

Entry requirements

  • 160 UCAS points (which translates, for example, to A levels DDE or CC) AND 5 GCSE passes (or approved equivalent) at grade C or above to include English and Mathematics and a single GCSE standard science award (Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Sociology and Psychology) at grade C or above. Evidence of recent study is necessary i.e. within the last five years.
  • If your GCSEs do not include English and/or Maths you will have to provide evidence of: - Literacy at level 2 (for example the ‘Learn Direct’ Adult Literacy Certificate) - Numeracy at level 2 (for example the ‘Learn Direct’ Adult Numeracy Certificate)
  • A QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Health or Nursing Course
  • Intermediate GNVQ (6 units studied) plus 1 GCSE A-C
  • BTEC National Certificate (MM) or BTEC National Diploma in a relevant subject
  • Degree or other Higher Education qualifications
  • Staffordshire University Foundation Certificate in HE Access to Higher Education course (QAA pass)
  • Students whose first language is not English are normally required to have: IELTS 7, TOEFL computer-based >250

Additional criteria for admission

  • Applicants must be 18 years or over on commencement of the programme
  • Satisfactory health screening
  • Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced check
  • All students on Health and Social Care Pre-Qualifying Awards are required to sign a Contract of Professional Behaviour
  • Satisfactory attainment of a math test
  • Selection will normally be conducted with representation from the University and the partner Ambulance Trust.


This Award meets the statutory requirements for paramedic education, and successful completion entitles you to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration, a prerequisite for employment as a Paramedic within the UK. It incorporates relevant aspects of the College of Paramedics Curriculum Guidance and meets the HCPC's Standards of Education and Training and the Quality Assurance Agency's Benchmark Statements.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning strategies focus on the role of the paramedic practitioner in the provision of high quality care in the prehospital setting. The Award will be delivered over two extended academic years and consists of a minimum of 1500 hours of universitybased learning and 1500 hours of practicebased learning (50/50 split), with additional placement opportunities in specialist placement areas.
The principal teaching and learning methods include, lead lectures, workshops, seminars, student led activities, group work, tutorials, clinical laboratory practice and placementbased learning. Problembased learning (PBL) scenarios will feature throughout the Award to encourage integration of subject matter studied on different modules, concepts of team working, and application of knowledge to practice. The teaching and learning is intended to integrate theory and practice, promote an evidence based approach and promote greater learner independence as the award progresses. Support and guidance materials will be accessed via the University's virtual learning environment (VLE).

The university-based elements will primarily take place at the Stafford campus, although some scenario sessions will take place at Stoke on Trent. Simulated practice of clinical skills will take place in the Faculty of Health Sciences well equipped clinical skills laboratories, and various other specialist facilities/locations are used to promote realistic scenarios. These include; the University's fully-kitted ambulance; a "community house" (which has been furnished and fitted with audio and video facilities); casualty extrication training with Staffordshire Fire Service; and scenario training at the Safeside at Eastside village site.

Some teaching sessions may also be undertaken with students preparing for other Health Care professions, affording opportunities for interprofessional education. Please note that during practical sessions you may be requested to take on the role of prehospital service-users to support your learning.

With reference to Staffordshire University's new training ambulance, Aimee Trimbee OD Officer for West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (Practice Placements) said: "The new vehicle will provide the students with the opportunity to gain firsthand experience of working within this environment and provide a chance for them to familiarise themselves with their surroundings before they take on their student placements out of the road. We work extremely closely with Universities and students to ensure they get the best training possible; helping them on their way to a career within the service."

The practicebased learning elements are a key feature of the Award and are normally facilitated within West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. It is here (whilst under the mentorship of an experienced paramedic) that you will respond to urgent and emergency calls, and apply the theoretical knowledge and the clinical skills that you have learned at university. In addition, within this element there is the opportunity to experience additional potential placements, such as Theatres, and Accident and Emergency. The clinical focus of the practicebased element is designed to enable you to meet the competency requirements identified within the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency.


The assessment strategy for this Award is underpinned by the need to ensure fitness for practice by meeting the specified academic and professional outcomes and competences. Assessment is an essential part of the learning process. It is the process which measures educational attainment on the basis of your performance and provides you with feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of your performance. In order to provide this feedback you will experience a variety of methods, which aim to give both a formative (developmental) and summative (for final grading) evaluation of achievements and progress which may include self and peer assessments.

The purpose of this assessment strategy is to ensure that the defined outcomes of the Award are explicitly and appropriately tested through a variety of assessments which may include essays, workbooks, posters and powerpoint presentations, portfolios, analytical learning logs, reflective case studies, critical appraisal, practical assessments and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). It has been designed to actively promote learning and to provide an opportunity for the student to demonstrate achievement of the intended learning outcomes.

This strategy facilitates your personal, educational and professional development whilst undertaking the Award. It also contributes to maintaining standards and assuring the safety of patients, prehospital serviceusers, and carers. The assessment strategy is intended to ensure that appropriate attention is given to assessing theoretical and practical elements of the Award, and allow you to develop a body of knowledge in the context of clinical practice. Universitybased and practicebased assessments are intended to ensure that you have developed, as a minimum, the threshold level of skills and knowledge required to be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Employment opportunities

As prehospital service provision and paramedic autonomy continues to evolve, there is an ever expanding field of opportunity in this area. This exciting career path is set to continue to diversify, offering the potential for greater specialisation in the future. Should you wish to further develop your clinical skills and theoretical knowledge, this Award will also provide a foundation for the Paramedic Science BSc(hons) award.

Graduate destinations

This Award meets the statutory requirements for paramedic education, with most graduates seeking employment as a paramedic within the NHS or the private sector. If you wish to progress, it will also provide you with the necessary foundations of knowledge for the Paramedic Science BSc(Hons) award (which requires an additional 120 credits of study at level 6).

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