Paramedic Emergency Care - September 2014 entry

Foundation Degree Fd(Sc)

A-level: grades BCC or equivalent, including Biology or Human Biology at grade C or above

This course is run by the Department of Clinical Health Care

A paramedic is a health care professional who assesses and initiates pre-hospital care in emergency situations for an ambulance service. Becoming a paramedic is a varied and exciting career choice, which requires a high level of resilience, skill and resourcefulness.
To prepare you for this demanding and challenging role, Oxford Brookes University has developed, in close partnership with the ambulance service, a course which fully integrates workplace training, and meets the College of Paramedics curriculum guidelines and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) standards of proficiency.

Why choose this course

  • There is a 100% employment rate after completion.
  • Average salary of graduates is £22,000 on entry to first job.
  • Past students have fed back that this course has staff who are enthusiastic about what they teach, good at explaining things, and make the subject interesting.
  • Varied learning and assessment strategies are employed.

This course in detail

This course is designed for people who wish to become qualified and registered paramedics. Upon successful completion of this programme you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a paramedic.

The course focuses on six core areas:

  • developing knowledge, understanding and skills related to the physiological basis for paramedic intervention and care
  • developing critical and analytical awareness and understanding of research/evidence-base for paramedic practice
  • developing critical awareness of psychosocial issues and interprofessional working
  • developing a professional portfolio of baseline and advanced paramedic skills
  • principles of leadership and management applied to trauma and emergency care  
  • undertaking a major project of study in order to demonstrate  skills in critical analysis, research and service improvement. 
You will have the opportunity to experience a broad range of ambulance service operational duties and assessment processes, while working on a day and night shift rota basis.

You will undertake the practice placement activity with the South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) and also have placement visits with local NHS Trusts. During the course, you may be able to apply for agency work with the ambulance trust outside of your student activity.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Module descriptions

1 Developing your physiological basis for intervention

Physiology for Paramedic and Perioperative Practice: Basic (double) - the module explores aspects of clinical anatomy and physiology relevant to paramedic practice.

Human Life Sciences: Paramedics and Perioperative Application (single) - expands on material covered in the module above and explores how the human body reacts to trauma.

2 Developing your understanding of research / evidence-base for practice

Research Awareness and Critical Appraisal (single) - focuses on issues related to health and social care research and developing skills of critical appraisal with respect to research designs and practice appropriate for health and social care studies.

3 Broadening your awareness of psycho-social issues and interprofessional working

Partnerships in Practice (single) - this is the foundation for the ‘Partnerships in Practice’ series and introduces key concepts, values and skills pertinent to working in partnership with individuals.

Developing Professional Judgement in Paramedic Practice (single) - this module aims to investigate the issues surrounding role expansion in relation to paramedic practice. It will encourage exploration of the socio-economic, ethical, legal and decision-making processes utilised in practice. You will be encouraged to consider your role parameters and evaluate your effectiveness and decision-making abilities.

4 Developing your portfolio of skills

Introduction to Emergency Medicine Part 1 (single) - this is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to emergency medicine and is delivered with a student-centred approach. The module is practically oriented employing the use of simulation scenarios, problem-based and experiential learning wherever possible.

Introduction to Emergency Medicine Part 2 (double) - this module is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to emergency medicine and is delivered with a student-centred approach. The module is practically oriented employing the use of simulation scenarios, problem-based and experiential learning wherever possible.

Developing Professional Practice in Emergency Medicine (single) - this module represents the start of your supervised workplace learning. Throughout this module you will undertake a range of accident and emergency operational duties on a day and night shift rota basis whilst supervised by a suitably qualified member of staff. You will begin to build a portfolio of evidence of workplace experience and to describe experiences through project work.

Paramedic Skills (double) - this module will provide you with the necessary knowledge, skills and awareness of the key interventions of contemporary paramedic practice. It will extend your theoretical knowledge and practical skills to that required of an HCPC Registered Paramedic.

Developing Paramedic Skills (single) - provides the opportunity to consolidate and reflect upon the Paramedic Skills module whilst working in a clinical environment. You will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and awareness of professional practice whilst having the chance to practise paramedic intervention skills.

Minor Illness Management (single) - the aim of this module is to enable you to explore the physiology and pathophysiology related to minor illness management. Through review of research and literature, current management will be scrutinised and challenged as appropriate. This will be applied to your own clinical practice through case studies.

Clinical Examination and Intervention Skills (double) - this module allows the paramedic practitioner to focus on their own specific needs in order to gain confidence in their area of practice, whilst achieving the generic capabilities required of a registered paramedic. You will develop a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate your experience to date.

Work placements

Placement experience will enable you to integrate theory and practice. You will be required to take part in practical experience throughout your studies, and this will be undertaken with the South Central Ambulance Service and local hospital trusts.

We offer a range of support mechanisms both within the university (a link lecturer) and the placement area to support you through your programme of study. While on placement, you will be supported by a named member of staff, known as a clinical mentor.

We have a dedicated Practice Education Unit that provides administrative and academic support for placement learning/practice education for all its pre-qualifying courses.

Departmental research highlights

The Department of Clinical Health Care has two focuses of research, cancer and palliative care and interprofessional education and collaborative practice. In addition, Paramedic staff members are researching Paramedic education.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching and learning

During your studies you will undertake modules which are practice and theory based. Each module is accompanied by a specific module handbook. You are encouraged to use tutorial opportunities for advice on reading, preparation for seminars and written work. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to continually review your own progress. 

In health and social care no professional group works in isolation. Oxford Brookes teaches a very wide range of pre-qualification and foundation courses including health and social care, nursing (adult, children's and mental health), midwifery, occupational therapy, osteopathy, operating department practice, physiotherapy and social work. You will share some of your learning with these other health care students. This is a key component of the course as it is essential to developing your teamwork skills and your understanding of the other professional roles you will encounter in practice. 

Information technology plays an increasingly important role in health care courses and a very extensive range of learning resources can be accessed through Moodle, an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises.

Approach to assessment

This course is assessed with the following methods:

  • Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) - practical exam
  • coursework (eg case studies, assignments, clinical workbooks)
  • placement hours/competencies
  • presentations.

Learning outcomes

Each module will have a list of compulsory learning outcomes for both theory and practice, which must be achieved in order to complete the course.

Key facts


Department of Clinical Health Care

Course length

Full-time: 2 years

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Marston Road

Start date

September 2014

UCAS code and Key Information Sets

B780 FdSc/PARA

How to apply / Entry requirements

Typical offers

A-level: grades BCC or equivalent, including Biology or Human Biology at grade C or above

IB Diploma: 32 points

  • BTEC Extended Diploma (DMM)
  • Access to Higher Education Award (45 Level 3 and 15 Level 2 credits). You will need to achieve 45 Level 3 credits (12 of these Level 3 Credits must be in Biology) plus 15 Level 2 credits (12 of these Level 2 credits must be in Maths if you do not have GCSE Maths at grade C or higher). At least 15 Level 3 credits must be achieved at Merit grade, and at least 15 Level 3 credits must be achieved at Distinction grade.


Specific entry requirements

A-Level: Grades BCC or equivalent, including Biology or Human Biology at grade C or above

GCSE: minimum of 5 GCSEs (including Mathematics, English Language and a science subject at grade C or above) or the equivalent academic grade

On application, you should have a B category UK full, clean driving licence (car). You will be required to obtain provisional C1 entitlement as a condition of any offer.

Mature students are encouraged to apply. Please contact us for advice on the best route to take to achieve the minimum requirements for application or for potential accreditation of prior learning (APEL), for example, if you already have a relevant degree (eg nursing).  Applications are considered on an individual basis, and therefore offers will vary.

In addition to being screened for fitness for practice and through the Disclosure and Barring Service, all students are screened for HIV and Hepatitis A, B and C. This is a Department of Health requirement for this professional group.


All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

For shortlisted applicants, all candidates will have to have a panel interview as part of the second stage of application.

Any place offered is subject to satisfactory Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance and health screening.

English language requirements

If English is your second language, you must be able to demonstrate that your level of English is of a sufficient standard (IELTS 7.0 or equivalent).

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Student numbers are limited for this course and therefore securing a place is highly competitive.

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Conditions of acceptance

When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Student experience

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

As a student in Oxford, you will be able to learn in clinical and community settings with excellent reputations, exposing you to up-to-the-minute practice in patient care and support.

One of the world's great academic cities, Oxford is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects. It is a vibrant city with plenty of attractions for its large student population, from theatres and cinemas to museums, art galleries and music venues. A bustling and stunning cosmopolitan city, Oxford has excellent shopping, restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs.

Situated in the heart of rural England and home to around 150,000 people, Oxford offers students a clean and safe environment less than an hour from London and international airports.

Support for students studying Paramedic Emergency Care

All our courses adopt a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and are strongly focused on encouraging you to attain your full potential as a lifelong learner. There is a range of support mechanisms for students, such as academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development, and student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for queries about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The university’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research, or preparing for an exam. There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. Here, staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Specialist facilities

We offer a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn. We have excellent teaching facilities including a 280-seat lecture theatre, dedicated clinical skills suites and fully networked computer rooms. Our simulation resources include a very well-equipped movement laboratory, a family of computerised simulation manikins, including a simman, simbaby (newborn and an older baby under six months old) and birthing mother, and an extensive range of anatomy models. We also have excellent library resources, accessible both through the web and through a range of locally based facilities on university and NHS sites.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

After graduation

Professional accreditation

This course meets the College of Paramedics curriculum guidelines and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency. 

Career prospects

Upon successful completion of this programme you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a paramedic.

Potential career opportunities include:

  • Paramedic practice/operational
  • Ambulance/Paramedic service management
  • training and education
  • specialist clinical roles (e.g. Emergency Care Practitioner).
Many of our graduates are employed with local ambulance services after graduation. 

Further study

On completion of the foundation degree, you may consider further study to gain a BSc (Hons) - please see our Student Designed Award course for further details.