Here is a guide that will walk you through how you can become a paramedic in the UK if it is your calling to work in the emergency medical care field.
Being a paramedic is an exciting and adventurous career. It is a profession that keeps you on the move. One minute you are with the police and firefighters at an accident scene offering emergency medical care to patients, and the next minute you are in the home of an elderly woman that has possibly suffered from a stroke or heart attack administering treatment to them.
As a paramedic, you will usually be the first medical personnel to arrive at scenes and situations where patients need medical help. It is a fast-paced role and you will constantly find yourself in positions where you need to swiftly take charge and save lives. This is why you have to be “called” to pursue this career and really be passionate about it because it is a demanding profession.
Just like every other medical field, you have to go through training that encompasses classroom lectures, clinical practice, and hands-on lab in order to become a paramedic. During your training, you will learn how to resuscitate and stabilize patients using sophisticated techniques, high-tech equipment such as defibrillators, spinal and traction splints, and administering drugs and oxygen.
You will learn how to work with the police, firefighters, and rescue services as well as how to work in varieties of settings and environments to administer your expertise. You will carry out these tasks as a paramedic in the UK and also work closely with other healthcare teams such as GPs, mental health teams, doctors and nurses, occupational therapists, and diabetes specialists.
Paramedics do not actually work alone except in rare cases, they are mostly accompanied by a two-person team comprising of an emergency care assistant or technician to serve as support. In this group, the paramedic is the senior member.
To become a paramedic in the UK you will have to take all the training I mentioned earlier at an accredited emergency medical care college or any accredited institution that offers the program. There are various requirements that come with entering the program and then becoming a qualified paramedic in the UK, you can find more details on this further below.
But before you start applying for this program, it is important that you have some foundational or prior medical knowledge, not only does this prepare you better for this field but it also increases your chances of getting accepted into the program. To this effect, you can start by taking some free online courses on first aid or enroll online for a free course in health and safety and get your certification.
Since paramedic is a public health service, a free online course on public health will better prepare you for the fast-paced role. There are also free online medical courses and a couple of medical books you can download online for free to help you gather as much knowledge as possible before going ahead to apply for a paramedic program.
On our site, you can also find a range of helpful articles like accelerated nursing programs if you are looking to enter the nursing field later and varieties of free online courses with certificates in the UK that cut across different fields including healthcare.
What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Paramedic In the UK
The required qualification to become a paramedic in the UK is either a diploma or a degree in paramedic science or emergency medical care, which takes a few months to 4 years to complete depending on the qualification you are going for.
And the qualification is not all that is required for you to start practicing. After you must have gotten your qualification, you have to sit for a licensure exam which you must pass then proceed to get your licensure and be registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
How To Become A Paramedic In The UK
And here comes the highlight of this article, how to become a paramedic in the UK. Let’s quickly get started…
There are different routes you can take to become a qualified paramedic in the UK. But whichever of the routes you take, you must be registered with the HCPC, as I mentioned earlier, to begin practicing. The three different routes you can take to achieve this are:
1. Getting A University Degree
Universities in the UK offer degree programs in paramedic science or paramedic practice leading to a bachelor’s degree. It typically takes 4 years to complete the degree if you are enrolled in the full-time study format.
When you complete and earn your bachelor’s degree in paramedic science, you can then go on to apply to an ambulance service for a job as a qualified paramedic. You will need 2 A levels (or equivalent level of 3 qualifications), depending on the course. If you think 4 years is too long to get a degree, you can do a diploma which takes lesser time.
2. Become A Student Paramedic
This is the second route you can take to become a paramedic in the UK, and as the title already reads, you will become a student paramedic by applying for the role of a student paramedic and studying while you work. You will need good GCSE grades to be accepted into this program.
3. Apply For Apprenticeship
This is the final route on how you can become a paramedic in the UK. In this route, you will apply for a degree standard apprenticeship in paramedic science with an ambulance service and gradually work your way up to acquiring the degree. With a good GCSE grade, you can be accepted into this program.
These are the routes you can take to become a paramedic in the UK. Whichever of the routes you choose, you should contact the university of ambulance service to learn about their requirements since it varies.
The duration it takes to become a qualified paramedic in the UK is between 2 and 4 years depending on the route you decide to take. The paramedic program is a mixture of theory and practical work including placements with ambulance services and other healthcare settings.
Every paramedic is required to have the following skillset:
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to stay calm in tough situations
- Listening skills
- A great sense of humor
- Organizational skills
- Be physically fit
- Navigational and driving skills
- Resilience and confidence
- Ability to make swift decisions and stay calm under pressure.
Best Paramedic Schools In UK
The following are the best paramedic schools in the UK where you can pursue a BSc or a diploma.
- The University of Surrey
- The University of Bradford
- The University of Hull
- The University of Bedfordshire
- The University of West England (UWE), Bristol
- The University of Plymouth
- The University of Lincoln
- The University of Gloucestershire
- Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen
- The University of Brighton
1. The University of Surrey
The University of Surrey offers the best paramedic course in the UK as ranked No.1 on the list by the Complete University Guide. The university offers a BSc (Hons) in paramedic science that takes 3 years to complete. The program consists of a hands-on, clinical curriculum that trains you to meet the diverse needs of patients, families, and carers.
To enter the program, an A-level in a relevant science subject and GCSE or equivalent in English, math, and science at grade C is required. International students can also apply but must meet the English language requirements by taking the IELTS or TOEFL.
2. The University of Bradford
The University of Bradford offers one of the universities in the UK where you can earn a reputable BSc degree in paramedic science. The program consists of clinical placement and an innovative curriculum to prepare you for a challenging career as a paramedic.
The program takes 4 years to complete and to gain entry, you must have a driving license, and an ABB from three A levels to include at least one science subject. International students are accepted into the program and are required to satisfy the English language requirements. The tuition fee is £9,250.
3. The University of Hull
The University of Hull is one of the top-ranking institutions in the UK for paramedic science. The program is full-time and takes 3 years to complete. One of the perks of studying this course at the University of Hull is that students will receive a minimum payment of £5,000 a year and it doesn’t have to be paid back.
Applicants are required to have A level grades, BTEC grades, and 120 tariff points from three A levels in English, math, and science subject at a grade of C or above. You must be at least 18 years old at the time of applying for this program. International students are required to provide proof of their English language proficiency. The fee for domestic students is £9,250 per year while international students are charged £18,300 per year.
4. The University of Bedfordshire
The University of Bedfordshire is offering a 3-year BSc in paramedic science that is completed in full-time mode and open to EU and international students as well. EU and UK students pay the same fee of £9,250 per year while international students pay £14,300 per year.
5. The University of West England (UWE), Bristol
UWE Bristol is offering a full-time paramedic science program leading to a bachelor of science degree that can be completed in 3 years. The course is offered by the School of Health and Social Wellbeing and accepts students from the UK, the EU, and other parts of the world.
This university also offers a £5,000 grant to students enrolled in this program. The tuition for an international student is £14,250 while domestic students pay £9,250 per year.
6. The University of Plymouth
The School of Health Professions under the University of Plymouth has a reputable BSc (Hons) in paramedic science that you can enroll in to become a licensed paramedic in the UK. The program is full-time and takes 3 years to complete. The tuition is £9,250 per year for domestic students and £14,200 per year for international students.
7. The University of Lincoln
At the University of Lincoln, you can enroll in the prestigious bachelor of science in paramedic science degree to become a qualified and registered paramedic in the UK. Also, the paramedic science at Lincoln is one of the best in the UK, ranked among the top 10 by the Complete University Guide.
The tuition fee is £9,250 per year for UK students and £14,700 per year for international students.
8. The University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire is among the best schools in the UK offering a BSc in Paramedic Science. The program takes 3 years of full-time study to complete and is open to international students. The cost of the program is £9,250 per year for domestic students and £15,000 per year for international students.
9. Robert Gordon University (RGU), Aberdeen
The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice is a division at RGU, Aberdeen responsible for training and educating some of the quality paramedics in the country through its BSc in Paramedic Practice program. The study format is full-time and it takes 3 years to complete the program.
10. The University of Brighton
The University of Brighton is another institution in the UK where you can study for a paramedic program and earn your BSc in just 3 years. The program is approved by the HCPC and endorsed by the College of Paramedics. Students are open to a grant of £5,000 for each academic year and tuition is £9,250.
These are the 10 best paramedic schools in the UK and of course, they are all accredited by the HCPC. Whichever one piques your interest, you can visit their websites to learn about the entry requirements, application process, and other information that will help facilitate your admission into the program.
How To Become A Paramedic In The UK – FAQs
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