UCC Undergraduate courses

Paramedic Studies

Course Fact File
Duration3 Years
Teaching ModeFull-time
QualificationsBSc (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8
FeesThe National Ambulance Service discharges employee’s student fees; there is no additional financial burden to students. The arrangement for payment of fees by NAS to UCC is covered in the tender documentation. See Fees and Costs for full details.

Course Outline

Delivered in collaboration with the National Ambulance Service (NAS), the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Studies is a challenging and exciting programme. On this course, you will have access to world-class educational facilities, pre-hospital training sites, and clinical placements all supported with expert tuition.

Our state-of-the-art simulation suites and our modern virtual learning environment will give you an authentic learning experience delivered by excellent lecturers from a variety of academic and clinical backgrounds. The programme will prepare you for a career as a Paramedic Practitioner equipped for lifelong learning throughout your professional career. You will study modules in theory and clinical practice and will participate in ambulance placements and clinical settings, for example, the emergency department and coronary care unit. Practice-based education within the National Ambulance Service will allow you to link and enhance the theory and practical knowledge and skills gained in teaching time. The programme provides excellent opportunities to develop skills relevant to the scope of practice for paramedics to allow you to practice in the field of pre-hospital care.

In Year 1 you will be required to register with the Regulator, the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC). When you have completed the first year of the programme you will be listed as an Intern Paramedic, and will subsequently be eligible to join the register as a Paramedic Practitioner upon successful completion of Year 2.

Course Modules

Year 1TitleCredits (80 total)
MD1004 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 1 20
MD1005 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 2 15
MD1006 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 3 15
MD1007 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 4 10
MD1008 Consolidated Learning in Practice 1 15
MD1009 Paramedico-Legal Studies 5


Year 2 TitleCredits (80 total)
MD2001 Consolidated Learning in Practice 2  20
MD2002 Consolidated Learning in Practice 3 30
MD2003 Academic Writing, Information Technology, and Evidence 5
MD2004 Health Protection I 5
MD2005 Principles of Human Structure for Practitioner Paramedics 5
MD2006 Topographical Anatomy for Practitioner Paramedics 5
MD2007 Paramedico-Legal Studies 10


Year 3 TitleCredits (80 total)
MD3001 Application of Evidence-Based Practice for Paramedics 10
MD3002 Professional Development for Paramedics 5
MD3003 Human Physiology for Practitioner Paramedics 10
MD3004 Personal Development for Paramedics 5
MD3005 Pharmacology for Practitioner Paramedics 5
MD3006 Understanding Clinical Practice 10
MD3007 Health Protection II 5
MD3008 Paramedic Research in Action  30 

Course Practicalities

Entry to this programme is restricted to National Ambulance Service employees recruited and sponsored by the National Ambulance Service College as Student Paramedics. A temporary specific purpose employment contract is issued to students.

The programme comprises lectures, seminars, workshops, clinical skills training, experiential learning sessions, field visits, and protected study time scheduled throughout a thirty-nine-hour week. Modules are taken at the National Ambulance Service College and University College Cork (UCC) throughout each year of the course.

The theory and paramedic skills education in Year 1 is delivered face-to-face in one of the National Ambulance Service Colleges located in Tallaght and Ballinasloe. In Years 2 and 3, modules are predominately delivered online with face-to-face delivery taking place on campus at UCC. Clinical practice modules require you to be in supervised clinical practice in ambulance settings, hospitals, communities, and other healthcare settings for thirty-nine hours per week for scheduled weeks each year. Clinical placements take place throughout the country at designated sites. 

Why Choose This Course

Paramedic training at UCC is a highly sought-after course, as evidenced by the consistently high number of applications made to the Health Service Executive’s National Recruitment Service. We can offer you a wide variety of clinical placements across our nationwide ambulance system including select university hospitals and community facilities, representing all of the major medical specialities.


IEAD logo

The HSE National Ambulance Service has recently been recognised by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) as an Accredited Centre of Excellence (ACE) for emergency dispatching. Accreditation from the IAED is the highest distinction given to emergency communication centres, certifying that the HSE Ambulance Service is performing at or above the established standards for the health sector.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The Paramedic Studies programme places students in major hospitals and ambulance bases throughout the State enabling students to consolidate their learning and gain clinical exposure throughout the programme.

Skills and Careers Information

The course aims to provide you with sound paramedic skills (and the supporting knowledge base) necessary for starting your professional career as a Paramedic. These skills will be further developed through clinical experience. You will also develop skills in independent thinking, problem-solving, and analytical and clinical decision-making, as well as fundamental research utilisation and application skills. As this programme includes a significant piece of scholarly research it allows you the option to continue exploring the discipline in an academic context. The combination of academic rigour and reflection on current practice also provides you with various options in your future career development including postgraduate education.


NAS Specific Entry Requirements

The HSE National Recruitment Service manages the selection process for Student Paramedics. Advertisements for Student Paramedics are posted at:

General Entry Requirements

  • General good health
  • A full unendorsed C1 driving licence as per the NDLS websiteC1 Vehicles in category C having a MAM1 weight not exceeding 7,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. For further information on driving licences and applications see the National Driver Licence Service (www.ndls.ie).

The selection process involves aptitude tests, a driving assessment and an interview process. If successful, applicants are placed on a panel from which they are called to the National Ambulance Service College for training.

Call for Training

Offers of places on paramedic programmes are made by The National Recruitment Service (NRS) subject to:

√ Garda clearance

√ Occupational Medical Assessment

√ Reference checks

Academic Requirements

Minimum grade O6/H7 in at least six subjects in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, which must include Mathematics and a Laboratory Science (Laboratory Science subjects include Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Physics with Chemistry).

  • For those presenting with pre-2017 Leaving Certificates, a minimum grade of OD3 in at least 5 subjects.
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) EMT Certificate is acceptable in lieu of a Science subject, where the applicant already possesses six subjects.
  • Level 5 (or above) QQI FE qualification or equivalent may be acceptable in lieu of a Leaving Certificate.*
  • Candidates who do not have a Leaving Certificate or Level 5 QQI FE qualification, but are over 21 years of age and have a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience may be deemed suitable, subject to the approval of the University College Cork Course Director and Admissions Office.
  • Leaving Certificate Applied or Leaving Certificate Vocation Programme will not be accepted.
  • Subjects taken at Foundation Level or LCVP Link Modules will not be accepted.
  • Candidates who completed secondary school education in other jurisdictions must have a recognised school leaving qualification. Please note that vocational qualifications are not accepted.
  • Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement indicating on their application form their reasons for wishing to enter this programme.
  • Candidates whose first language is not English must have a minimum IELTS of 6.5 with scores in no individual sections less than 6.5, or equivalent.

*The level 5 QQI FE awards which we currently accept for entry onto the BSc Paramedic Studies include: 



Old Code


Food Science



Laboratory Techniques



Community Health Services



Healthcare Support



Nursing Studies


Note: Module requirements are Distinctions (80% or greater) in 4 modules which must include at least one of the following: Mathematics, Biology/Microbiology, Chemistry, Physics, or Anatomy/Physiology.

Module Code

Module Title

Old Module Code











Anatomy and Physiology





Fees and Costs

The National Ambulance Service discharges employee's student fees; there is no additional financial burden to students.

How To Apply

The HSE human resources department, on behalf of the National Ambulance Service, retains sole responsibility for the marketing and recruitment of candidates for this programme.

The National Ambulance Service recruitment campaigns can be found under Patient and Client Care on hse.ie/jobs. Search for 'Student Paramedic' under the Patient and Client Care careers tab. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact