Dip HE Paramedic Practice

Approved by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Course details

UCAS Course code B950

April 2017; September 2017

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The primary aim of this Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Paramedic Practice is to equip practitioners with the necessary knowledge, understanding, skills and competence to be fit for purpose and practice and therefore be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a paramedic. The award aims to meet the requirements within the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Benchmark Statements for Healthcare Programmes for Paramedic Science and recognises the College of Paramedics (2015) Paramedic Curriculum Guidance and Competence Framework.

This programme has been created with the North West Ambulance Services (NWAS) and is aimed at providing the education for a paramedic to work in the modern NHS within a variety of roles. This course will be split into two main parts; theory and placements. The practical placement will be undertaken within the local area and will comprise of; emergency ambulance, hospital, community services, advanced paramedic roles and specialist health care such as maternity. The theory will provide the students with the contemporary knowledge and understanding to practice as paramedic now and into the future.

The students will also have an opportunity to ‘Earn as you Learn’ by applying for a contract with the local ambulance service to work as an Emergency Medical Technician. The University has worked closely with NWAS to ensure that by then end of the first year the student is competent to work at EMT level. This opportunity will enable students to consolidate practices and embed themselves within the local ambulance trust. In addition to this NWAS have guaranteed an interview for any successfully graduated from this programme.

The programme aims to:

  • Prepare students who are knowledgeable and competent in paramedic practice, and thus eligible to apply for registration as a paramedic with the Health and Care Professions Council
  • Recognise and value the prior experience and knowledge of students and develop their skills of reflection and self-direction in learning, providing a foundation for lifelong learning
  • Develop knowledge and practical understanding of how techniques of enquiry enable the analysis, interpretation and application of evidence within paramedic practice
  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which build the ability to make decisions and apply judgement to paramedic practice
  • Provide knowledge and skills which are transferrable and enable students to be versatile and adaptable in progressing to and within employment and adopt a proactive future facing approach to practice and service improvement.

Subject specific skills:

The student will be expected to demonstrate that they have developed and have the ability to:

  • Practice in accordance with recognised professional, ethical and legal frameworks
  • Practice in a safe and professional manner within the work-place, applying the principles of risk assessment and management, and public protection.
  • Communicate effectively across the age range and with people with different needs and abilities, to form supportive therapeutic relationships and involve patients/carers in decision making
  • Undertake a comprehensive structured patient assessment using a range of assessment tools.
  • Practice effective role-specific care delivery underpinned by clinical decision making and evidence base for practice
  • Perform a broad range of clinical scientific or technical procedures
  • Work collaboratively with a range of other practitioners and services, leading and advocating for others as appropriate.

Clinical placements

Each level has work-based learning through clinical placements as an integral part of the programme. In the second year of the DipHE programme, 23 weeks (equating to 810 hours) will be spent learning in practice settings. This will equate to 18 weeks with an NHS Ambulance Service and 5 weeks undertaking key hospital and out-of-hospital services. Students will be mentored and supported predominantly within a Paramedic Emergency Service, but civilian hospitals and other settings will be used to ensure a wide range of experience.

The programme consists of 120 credits of learning at level 4, and 120 credits at level 5. Successful completion of all level 4 modules and qualificatory practice units allows an exit point, if desired, with a Certificate HE in Pre-Hospital and Emergency Care, which has been mapped to the requirements for the role of an Emergency Medical Technician. However, exiting with this qualification will not provide eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC.

Students progressing to level 5 studies undertake the 40 credit module HPHP5002 Developing Clinical Care, Judgement and Competence in Paramedic Practice and 4 further 20 credit modules, aimed at developing knowledge and competence required to be eligible to apply for registration as a Paramedic with the HCPC.

Useful documentation

SET mapping of service user involvement

Programme handbook

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table.

A minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points, consisting of at least 2 A levels. This must include either a natural science (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry or Physics) or a social science (such as Sociology or Psychology). General Studies is accepted, and a maximum of 16 UCAS tariff points from one AS level subject will be accepted.

5 GCSEs at Grade C or grade 4 or above in Mathematics, English and Science. Equivalent qualifications accepted.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements

Selection criteria

Alternate qualifications accepted for entry include:

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (QAA Accredited) in a Health or Science related subject area with a minimum profile of 15 Distinction and 30 Merits
  • Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care/Applied Science – DMM.

Equivalent qualifications other than those listed above may be accepted. Contact enquirycentre@cumbria.ac.uk for more information. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is also accepted and information relating to this can be obtained from the programme specification, admissions department and programme team.

Conditional acceptance can be given to applicants who have yet to obtain these qualifications.

If a student is a disabled person or has a long term health condition, they are advised to read the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) booklet: A disabled person’s guide to becoming a health professional.

Applicants also:

  • Must demonstrate they have obtained relevant experience relating to some aspect of the paramedic role.
  • Must be settled in the UK – (British Citizen, holder of Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode in the UK, have Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain or Refugee status.
  • Must also be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the programme, and must have been ordinarily resident in the UK and islands for the full three-year period before the first day of the first academic year of the programme.
  • Need a reference from a current or recent employer or from an educational institution where recent study has been completed.
  • Must have regular access to a computer with an internet connection.
  • Must have a full UK driving license, and it is preferred that selected applicants have a provisional C1 entitlement prior to commencement of the programme.


If English is not a student’s first language they must have an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

All places are offered subject to successful interview, as well as Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (DBS formerly CRB), medical fitness to practise and proof of qualifications.

Fitness to practise and health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening. Further information will be provided following the offer of a place.

Please note that Professional Bodies such as the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have certain requirements regarding health and character status of applicants and their ability to meet the required core professional competencies and to practise safely without direct supervision. Please read the HCPC information to find out more. Please ask us for advice and/or support as early as possible in the application process if you have any questions about this requirement.

For more information about core competencies and medical fitness to train please click here. There are fitness standards provided here for most programmes of study: health professions, social work and teaching.

In some instances, an applicant may be invited to attend a professional practice panel to discuss any recommended reasonable adjustments, and whether or not core professional competencies are achievable.

In order to be admitted and continue on the course, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

If you are offered a place we require you to comply with an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check. Further information about the DBS clearance process can be found here.

Value Based Recruitment

* Since 1 April 2015, all Higher Education Institutions delivering NHS training programmes are required to assess students for their values using the core requirements set out in the Value Based Recruitment (VBR) framework. This assessment will take place as part of our recruitment process.

Equality and Diversity

The University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in education and employment, details on our policy can be found here.

Making your application

For both April and September entry apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get an invitation with a date to attend a selection process. The selection process will consist of a group discussion and individual interview. The Value Based Recruitent (VBR) framework will be used to assess that students’ values and principles are in line with those enshrined within the NHS constitution.

The interview process will be conducted by the University of Cumbria along with a representative from North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Eligible applicants will be interviewed, and a decision made, with regard to their suitability to be offered a place on the programme.

If you are successful at this stage an offer will be made, subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (DBS formerly CRB), medical fitness to practise and proof of qualifications

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 606 1144.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk

This programme offers a good range of employment opportunities, within the NHS and within other organisations which deliver pre-hospital and emergency care, such as off-shore sites as a remote medic, within rescue services and disaster management.

The role of paramedic is developing to include roles in new clinical areas. For example, paramedics may work alongside doctors and nurses as emergency care practitioners (ECPs), also known as senior paramedics, based in:

  • health centres;
  • GPs' surgeries;
  • minor injuries units;
  • hospital accident and emergency departments;
  • community hospitals.

It is also possible, with further training in critical care and trauma, to move into the senior role of critical care paramedic.

We are amongst the UK’s leading health and science faculties and are proud of the high level of support we are able to offer to our students. We provide a wide range of high-quality courses supported by expert academic and clinical practice staff.

If you join us you will enjoy great facilities and learn alongside caring, committed and experienced professionals. Our employment record is excellent.