FdSc
Paramedic Science

* Please note that this course has been replaced by the BSc(Hons) Paramedic Science.*

Side view of an ambulance

About this course

Accreditations and partnerships:

Health and Care Professions Council

Introduction

The University of the West of England (UWE), in partnership with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust, is offering a two year Foundation Degree in Paramedic Science.

The Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Paramedic Science is an exciting course that has been developed to meet the increasing requirement for ambulance services to provide a wider range of treatment options and to broaden their role in the emergency and unplanned care environment.

On successful completion of the course, students are awarded FdSc Paramedic Science, and are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Paramedics are skilled professionals working in a highly physical and mentally demanding role. The recognition of the need to treat patients as quickly as possible following serious injury or medical emergency is widely accepted. The course aims to provide the knowledge and skills needed to be part of the team providing the accident and emergency ambulance service.

The distinctive blue lights and sirens of an ambulance as it speeds on its way to an emergency are perhaps the most familiar image of the Paramedic for many people. Yet the public perception may be inaccurate. With only around 10 per cent of 999 calls involving a life threatening situation, the course recognises that the role requires great compassion, understanding and the ability to provide empathetic care, regardless of the type of emergency call being responded to. Interpersonal and problem solving skills are paramount.

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>> Structure

Structure

Content

The course is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding which underpin the paramedic role and to develop the adaptive problem solving and decision making skills required in practice.

The course provides close integration of academic study with clinical practice experience.

Evidence based paramedic practice is an important module in the course. As a new profession, it is recognised that the Paramedic role and the field of paramedic science suffers from a paucity of practitioner based enquiry and research. This is seen as essential for the future professional development of the individual paramedic and for the paramedic profession. It is important that the student knows not only what to do and when to do it; but also to understand why they applying a specific treatment.

The Foundations of Paramedic Science Practice module runs throughout Year One and provides a solid knowledge base for the more complex Paramedic Practice module which runs throughout Year Two.

The course is delivered over 42 weeks per year; of which 20 weeks are in placement. Blocks of teaching will take place at the university; this will be alternated with practice placements throughout the course.

Year 1

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Interpersonal Skills in the Emergency Environment
  • Social Policy for Health and Social Care
  • Life Sciences for Paramedics
  • Clinical Theory for Paramedic Science 1
  • Foundations of Paramedic Practice

Year 2

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Evidence-Based Paramedic Practice
  • Clinical Theory for Paramedic Science 2
  • Paramedic Practice
  • Contemporary Paramedic Practice
  • Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning

Learning and Teaching

In addition to lectures, a variety of teaching and learning methods are involved in the course delivery including discussion groups, seminars, workshops and skills teaching with demonstration and instruction. Problem based learning will be developed through the use of simulations and role play in prepared medical and trauma scenarios and upon manikins. Independent reading and learning will be encouraged and there will also be some student led learning activities.

You will be expected to discuss and evaluate cases seen in practice; reflecting on your own and others management of the situation. These case studies will be the focus of discussion in which differing clinical interventions will be analysed.

The course will be taught within an evidence and/or research based frame-work utilising current clinical guidelines and protocols where appropriate.

Your learning will be supported in practice by qualified staff (clinical supervisors and placement educators). You will be encouraged to reflect upon practice and to recognise when to seek support and further supervision.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

Computer skills are vital for your academic studies and future employment. At the University of the West of England computing is an integral part of your course - many lecturers make lecture notes and materials available on-line, and some modules will require you to use information technology (IT) to help you undertake and present your work. IT Facilities are available on all campuses. At the main Frenchay Campus there is 24-hour access to computing facilities, and the Department offers help and support throughout your course.

Prior to commencing your course of study you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with some core IT skills:

  • Basic word processing
  • Storing and retrieving files
  • Communicating via e-mail
  • Searching the web for information, e.g. on-line shopping, booking a holiday, homework

There is also a range of information and resources that includes interactive exercises to support study skills on the Department of Allied Health Professionals website.

Assessment

A wide range of assessment methods are incorporated into the course, including coursework, case studies, written exams, scientific posters, along with placement assessments and observed structured clinical examinations (OSCEs).

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features

Placements

You will have placements on the 'front line' of the NHS, dealing with trauma and medical emergencies. This means carrying out life-saving procedures and immediate emergency treatment, sometimes under very difficult conditions.

Professional practice placements account for precisely half of the course and students will gain experience in a variety of clinical settings. There are placements across Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire in the settings of emergency and unplanned care. These include the South Western Ambulance Service, emergency departments in most of the major hospitals, operating theatres, coronary care units, children's units, and community mental health and primary care teams.

Study facilities

The Department is superbly equipped with an extensive range of teaching and learning resources.

The library on the Glenside Campus is one of the best health care libraries in England with a huge selection of books, journals and audio-visual materials including access to specialist health and social care software packages. You will also have access to all of the University's seven libraries. The libraries provide areas for quiet study as well as computers providing access to research databases.

The Interprofessional Simulation Suite provides excellent opportunities for the demonstration and practice of professional competencies for all health and social care students. The Simulation House provides a realistic environment in which to practice applied knowledge in clinical simulation.

Information Technology provision is in the form of multimedia laboratories. Remote Access links with some placement areas, Smart boards and innovative projects such as 'multicasting' are used to deliver teaching material.

Most of the course lecture notes are posted online to a UWE Paramedic Science website containing a rich source of links to study material.

High quality residences are situated on both the Glenside and surrounding Campuses. For further information please take a look at the University's Accommodation Services page. Alternatively call or 0117 3283601 or e-mail accommodation@uwe.ac.uk.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

On successful completion of the foundation degree you can progress your award by undertaking a part-time BSc (Honours) in Applied Paramedic Science offered by UWE. Your tutor will help you make the right choice for you.

The course is structured around the College of Paramedic and the Health Professions Council curriculum guidance. This will lead, upon successful completion of the course, to eligibility to apply for Paramedic registration with the Health Professions Council.

The Foundation degree will allow you to practice as a Paramedic in a variety of unplanned and urgent care arenas in both NHS and private health care sectors. Career progression within the paramedic profession will allow you to develop your skills and knowledge to practice at an Advanced Level.

NHS Careers - Provides information about careers in the NHS.

Extra information

Please note: applicants are advised that NHS paramedics are also required to undertake emergency driving courses. Some also require a C1 and D1 category on their driving licence. This is not part of the curriculum contents for this course as it is not a specific requirement for paramedic registration.

Useful links

The College of Paramedics is the professional body for paramedics. This website provides information for prospective students and qualified paramedics.

>> Fees

Fees

FeeCost (£) / per year
Full-time home / EU7,500
Full-time home / EU placement938
Part-time home / EU (per 15 credits)938
Full-time offshore7,500
Full-time offshore placement938
Part-time offshore (per 15 credits)938
Full-time International10,750
Part-time International (per 15 credits)1,344
Full-time International (per 15 credits)1,344

Supplementary fee information

You may be eligible for an income-assessed UWE Bursary.

EU/overseas applicants should contact Admissions and International Development for further information.

>> Entry

Entry

Joining instructions

For students starting this course in September 2014, view your joining instructions. For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 320
  • GCSE: A minimum of 5 subjects at grade C or above, to include English Language, Mathematics and preferably Science
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DDM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit; achievement of level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalence (where appropriate) in English Language, Mathematics and Science.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 27 points

Entry requirements

We require evidence of recent assessed academic study or work experience within the last three years.

Applicants who are unable to offer the above will be assessed on an individual basis using evidence of accreditation and/or experiential learning (A(E)L).

Applicants whose first language is not English must have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall. Full details of this language test can be obtained from the British Council. Please note the University's published list of alternative English Language qualifications does not apply to this course.

We frequently accept the completion of further or adult education courses as an appropriate entry qualification. Completing an Access or Foundation course may be a good move for people who have been away from formal education for a number of years.

Additional selection criteria

As well as meeting the academic entry requirements, applicants should meet the following selection criteria:

Health assessment/declaration- applicants must be in good health. Those offered a place are required to complete a questionnaire and be prepared to undergo a medical examination if necessary.

Disclosure of criminal background - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. This is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Interview - Some applicants may be asked to attend an interview prior to a decision being made on their application.

Completing the application form - We will be looking for applicants committed to a career in Paramedic Science. You should clearly demonstrate in the 'personal statement' section your commitment to the course. This should include any relevant work experience and skills which you have gained to date.

For further information

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