Paramedics of tomorrow to be trained at Queen Margaret University

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, is delighted to announce that it has been awarded funding from the Scottish Government to offer a three-year ordinary degree in Paramedic Science.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service, this new three year ordinary BSc Paramedic Science programme reflects the requirement that all paramedics entering the profession from 2021 must have a degree.

The new programme will provide approximately 60 places for students from September 2020 to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to provide out-of-hospital care in a range of health settings as a member of an integrated health and social care team.

Over three years, students will learn how to respond safely and effectively in emergency and non-emergency situations, and will develop skills of assessment, diagnosis, management and treatment of people. The new programme will also utilise virtual reality, provided by Viarama - Scotland's leading virtual reality social enterprise - which will allow students to practice real-life scenarios in a safe environment.

The role of paramedics is set to expand beyond acute trauma with an increasing focus on the management of long term conditions, mental health care, support of older people and the reduction of unnecessary hospital admissions. A broad range of allied health programmes are already provided at QMU and so an interprofessional learning experience alongside a wide range of other health and social care professions unrivalled in any other university in Scotland can be provided to these students.

Professor Fiona Coutts, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, said: “The announcement of this exciting new programme is a testament to our commitment to interdisciplinary healthcare programmes that give students the knowledge they need to make a real difference in their communities. Our School of Health Sciences offers the largest range of professional healthcare programmes of any university in Scotland, and these are designed to create healthcare graduates who think critically and are ready to develop existing practice. With our focus on person-centred practice and our excellent student experience, we are delighted to be working alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service to educate paramedics of tomorrow.”

Queen Margaret University is one of five Scottish universities set to deliver the degree from September 2020.

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We are absolutely delighted to work in partnership with these universities – it is exciting to know they will be educating new generations of paramedics who will enter the workforce armed with the latest skills and trained to the highest standards.

“These changes not only increase our capacity for training more paramedics, helping us meet predictions for future demands of patients, but they support the delivery of integrated health and social care.”

Find out more about Paramedic Science at QMU. 


Notes to Editor

1. The BSc Paramedic Science programme will offer approximately 39-60 places to student initially in September 2020.

2. Topics covered in the three-year programme include: biological sciences, management of health and illness, communication skills, person-centred practice, leadership and management.

3. This programme will enable graduates to work as a paramedic to contribute to the future of health and social care provision in Scotland. From September 2021 all paramedics in Scotland entering the profession will be required to have an ordinary (BSc level) degree. This is because the role of the paramedic is expanding beyond acute trauma and will have increasing focus on the management of long term conditions, mental health support, support of older persons and preventing hospital admissions. Following registration individual paramedics will also be able to take on new roles including prescribing and advanced practice.

4. QMU is also well-equipped to provide paramedic science students with the necessary skills to work with patients with hearing or speech impairments. The University teaches British Sign Language (BSL), and QMU aspires to lead the way in terms of responding to the Scottish Government’s BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. With aims to provide a BSL-friendly culture at QMU, this will have great influence on the teaching of paramedic science at the University.

5. Entry requirements:

  • Scottish Higher - Standard: BBBB; Minimum: BBCC 
  • A-Level - BCC 
  • Irish Leaving Certificate - H2, H2, H3, H3 

Required subjects - Human Biology or Biology and a discursive subject, such as English, History, RMPS, Modern Studies, Philosophy at Higher/A-Level. Also, English and Maths required and second science preferred at Nat 5/GCSE if not studied at Higher level.

6. Find out more about Paramedic Science at QMU

7. For media enquiries, please contact Karen Keith, Media Relations and Content Officer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:, T: 0131 474 0000.

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