Entry requirements and training (paramedic)

This page has information on entry requirements and training needed to become a paramedic. There is also information on the financial support available for those studying at university. 

To practise as a paramedic, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete an approved qualification in paramedic science. 

There are different routes to studying and qualifying as a paramedic. You can:

University

This is still the most common route to becoming a paramedic. Courses are offered by universities across the country.

For a diploma, foundation degree or undergraduate degree, you need:

or one of:

Each university sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully. Wherever you study, you will need to show that you have an understanding of the work of a paramedic. It is a good idea to spend some time with an ambulance service.

Courses take between two and four years full time. They include a mixture of theory and practical work including placements with ambulance services. It will help to have some relevant experience in healthcare or first aid, either voluntary or paid.

Financial support

You'll be entitled to received at least £5,000 a year towards funding your studies while at university. Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be entitled to more. 

Student paramedic route

Only a few ambulance trusts now offer this option and each will set its own entry requirements. They usually ask for:

or

Bear in mind that entry to student paramedic schemes is very competitive and many applicants have higher qualifications.

Employers also look for:

Most student paramedic schemes usually recruit once or twice a year. The recruitment process often involves several stages including an assessment centre which might include:

Degree apprenticeship in paramedic science

To get onto a degree apprenticeship, you'll need to apply for an apprentice position with an ambulance service trust. Numbers are currently small but you can search for vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and Find an Apprenticeship website.

You are likely to need  some relevant experience, either voluntary or paid. For example, working as an emergency care assistant or volunteering with St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross. 

Driving licence

When applying to an ambulance service trust as a student paramedic or once you are are fully qualified, you'll be expected you to have a full, manual driving licence. If you passed your test after 1996, you may need an extra driving qualification to drive larger vehicles and carry passengers. Ambulance service trusts use vehicles of different sizes, so check carefully which classifications you need on your licence.

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