UCC Undergraduate courses

BSc (Hons) Paramedic Studies

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    BSc (Hons) Paramedic Studies

  • Code

  • College

    Medicine and Health

  • Duration

    3 Calendar years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BSc (Hons)

  • Fees

    The 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.

  • Entry Requirements

    Minimum grade O6/H7 in at least six subjects in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, which must include Mathematics and a Laboratory Science. Further requirements as specified below. See Requirements for full details.

Course Outline

Delivered in collaboration with the National Ambulance Service, the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Studies is a challenging and exciting programme. You will have access to world-class educational facilities, prehospital training site 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 life-long 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.

Students will be required to register with the Regulator, the Prehospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) in their first year. Students that have satisfactorily completed the first year of the programme shall be listed as Intern Paramedics and subsequently shall be eligible to join the register as Paramedic Practitioners on successful completion of year two of the programme.



  • MD1004 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 1 – 20 ECTS
  • MD1005 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 2 – 15 ECTS
  • MD1006 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 3 – 15 ECTS
  • MD1007 Foundations in Paramedic Practice 4 – 10 ECTS
  • MD1008 Consolidated Learning in Practice 1 – 15 ECTS
  • MD1009 Paramedico-Legal Studies – 5 ECTS

Year 1 total ECTS = 80


  • MD2001 Consolidated Learning in Practice 2 – 20 ECTS
  • MD2002 Consolidated Learning in Practice 3 – 30 ECTS
  • MD2003 Academic Writing, Information Technology and Evidence – 5 ECTS
  • MD2004 Health Protection I – 5 ECTS
  • MD2005 Principles of Human Structure for Practitioner Paramedics – 5 ECTS
  • MD2006 Topographical Anatomy for Practitioner Paramedics – 5 ECTS
  • MD2007 Research in Paramedic Practice I – 10 ECTS

Year 2 total ECTS = 80


  • MD3001 Application of Evidence-Based Practice for Paramedics – 10 ECTS
  • MD3002 Professional Development for Paramedics– 5 ECTS
  • MD3003 Human Physiology for Practitioner Paramedics – 10 ECTS
  • MD3004 Personal Development for Paramedics – 5 ECTS
  • MD3005 Pharmacology for Practitioner Paramedics – 5 ECTS
  • MD3006 Understanding Clinical Practice – 10 ECTS
  • MD3007 Health Protection II – 5 ECTS
  • MD3008 Paramedic Research in Action – 30 ECTS

Year 3 total ECTS = 80

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. Theory and skills modules These comprise 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 throughout each year of the course. The theory and paramedic skills education in year one is delivered face to face in one of the National Ambulance Service Colleges located in Tallaght and Ballinasloe. In year 2 and 3 modules are predominately delivered online with face-to-face delivery taking place on campus at UCC. Clinical practice modules These require you to be in supervised clinical practice in ambulance settings, hospital, community 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.

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 Paramedic will be posted at: 1. www.hse.ie 2. www.publicjobs.ie (you are advised to register your interest with this site)

General entry requirements:

A full unendorsed C1 driving licence.

C 1 Licence description as per NDLS website is:

Category Vehicle type Minimum age

C1 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. 18 years For further information on driving licences and applications see www.ndls.ie

General good health

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:

o Laboratory Science subjects include Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Physics with Chemistry.

o (For those presenting with pre-2017 Leaving Certificates, a minimum grade OD3 in at least 5 subjects).

· A Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) EMT Certificate is acceptable in lieu of a Science subject, where the applicant already possesses six subjects.

· A Level 5 (or above) QQI FE qualification or equivalent may be acceptable in lieu of a Leaving Certificate.1

· 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’ relevant experience may be deemed suitable, subject to the approval by 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

1The 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:

  • Mathematics  ·         Biology/Microbiology·         Chemistry           ·         Physics                               ·         Anatomy/Physiology 

Module Code

Module Title

Old Module Code











Anatomy and Physiology






Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

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

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

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

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


Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can apply online.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact