Bachelor of Paramedic Science?

student uses diploma paramedic science to achieve great results studying paramedical science at QUT

Let’s talk about university and the Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree

The University pathway is the only option if your goal is to develop a career in the pre-hospital emergency health care sector. As an example, many people tell us their goal is to become a search and rescue Paramedic, which his very admirable. However, to attain this level of training could take a minimum of 2-3 years full-time at uni. After that, there is normally a year as a probationary Paramedic with an Ambulance Service.

Most people tend to get some real-world experience on-road then start to consider upskilling in areas of acute care such as an Intensive Care Paramedic or Advanced Care Paramedic. To achieve these competencies could take a further 1-2 years depending on your circumstances.

On this page you will find helpful information to help you choose your university pathway into the exciting world of paramedics.

Paramedic registration

This year, the Australian government will introduce legislation which will;

  • Enforce the rule that only Paramedic Science graduates can become a State Ambulance Paramedic
  • Create a new system where every Paramedic is required to register their details with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and Paramedicine Board of Australia
  • Allow only those people who possess the recognised qualifications may use the term ‘paramedic’ to describe their job description.

Paramedic registration will change the pre-hospital emergency health care sector in many positive ways, creating a new level of governance.

The Bachelor in Paramedic Science degree can also be referred to as the Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic) as in the case of Charles Sturt University.

The Bachelor degree is not available through the Australian Paramedical College as we only offer the highest level of paramedical qualifications in the VET sector.

What we do offer is an alternative pathway into a university degree by way of the HLT51015 – Diploma of Paramedical Science for those who have missed out on the chance to go to uni.

The Bachelor degree

The idea of going to university can be overwhelming for some, yet, as we said earlier, a Bachelor in Paramedic Science is absolutely essential if your end goal is to work as a State Ambulance Paramedic.

The Bachelor in Paramedic Science degree is offered by many universities across Australia by way of an on-campus program or by distance (online) learning.

No matter where you live in Australia, studying the Bachelor in Paramedic Science is relatively straight forward – you just have to be accepted into university first – and that can be the tricky part, especially if your ATAR or OP didn’t allow you entry.

Degree curriculum

A typical Bachelor in Paramedic Science degree, can include 24 courses divided into 6 terms. For the most part, you can expect to complete the degree in around 3 years, although we have seen UTAS offer the Bachelor of Paramedic Practice (Conversion Pathway) which can be completed in 2 years.

With the HLT51015 – Diploma of Paramedical Science from APC you meet the entry requirements (most universities) to be accepted into university.

Bachelor of Paramedic Practice

The Bachelor of Paramedic Practice (Conversion) at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) is an online program, designed to help you upgrade your existing qualifications (if you have them) and allow transition into the Bachelor of Paramedic Practice degree. Something to think about…

Are all Paramedical degrees the same?

Absolutely not!

Essentially, the name of the degree is the same, however, the curriculum can be vastly different. Depending on your current academic level, the subjects you naturally find interesting and are good at; and how you see your career developing in the future – can influence which university you choose.

For the most part, universities don’t make it easy for you to see exactly what you’re getting into. Uncovering the right information to make that final decision can make all the difference. Don’t choose a university just because your friends are all going to the same one. Paramedicine is a challenging subject, especially at university level – so you need to be serious about studying.

In a world where universities compete heavily with one another, our advice is to take a good look at a few universities. Discover for yourself how the degree is structured.

A final word…

Your task is to make certain the university you choose offers the right mix of subjects you feel excited about and are capable of completing.

Once you’ve understood just what you’ll be learning, your life at uni will be enjoyable and stimulating. If you get this bit right, you’ll be fuelled with the motivation to complete your studies, become the best version of yourself and show the world you have achieved something great.

Paying for your degree with a government loan (HECS)

Research shows the cost of a Bachelor degree in 2018 will be around $60,000+ – which of course can vary depending on which university you choose.

As most people know, funding tertiary studies (for the majority of us) means getting a HECS-HELP loan.

This is not free money from your government – it’s a loan. You start to make repayments through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) once your income reaches a certain amount. You don’t pay anything back until your income if over $55,874 p.a.  Repayments are calculated initially at 4% of your salary and increase in percentage the more you earn.

2017-2018 HELP & TSL repayment thresholds and rates

2017-2018 Repayment income Repayment % rate
Below $55,874 Nil
$55,874 – $62,238 4.0%
$62,239 – $68,602 4.5%
$68,603 – $72,207 5.0%
$72,208 – $77,618 5.5%
$77,619 – $84,062 6.0%
$84,063 – $88,486 6.5%
$88,487 – $97,377 7.0%
$97,378 – $103,765 7.5%
$103,766 and above 8.0%
[See the repayment calculator here]

As the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) is an Australian government initiative, repayment rates can vary at any moment, so it pays to understand what you’re committing to, especially when dealing with interest and indexation. Take the time to click these links and get familiar with the HECS program.

Find out more about interest and indexation on the government website.

The government openly reveals there is no real interest charged on HECS‑HELP loans, however the interest charged can vary as it is linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and is reviewed each year.

The government has more information on HECS loan repayments on their website.

Figures quoted may not be correct at the time of publishing. The Australian Paramedical College strongly suggests you conduct your own research.

To save you some time and make things easy for you, here’s some additional information.

To be eligible for a university degree HECS‑HELP loan, you must:

  • be studying in a Commonwealth supported place;
  • meet the relevant HECS-HELP residency requirements;
  • be an Australian citizen; or
  • be a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency requirements; or
  • be a permanent humanitarian visa holder;
  • be enrolled in each unit at your university by the census date; and
  • submit a valid Request for Commonwealth support and HECS‑HELP form by the census date (or earlier administrative date) to your university.


What if university isn’t an option just yet?

If university is not an option for you just yet, the HLT51015-Diploma of Paramedical Science is a good place to start. This nationally recognised qualification has been developed by the Australian government Vocational Education and Training department in conjunction with the Australian Skills Quality Authority and the Australian Qualifications Framework.

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Find out more about the Australian Paramedical College Diploma of Paramedical Science

This qualification is delivered by the Australian Paramedical College and is can be completed via a mix of online learning, clinical workshops and clinical placement. No matter where you live in Australia, you can study to gain the heath care qualifications you need.

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Universities in Australia offering a Bachelor of Paramedic Science

If you’d like a list of the universities for future reference, download the list here (PDF).

See the list of Universities here

Australian Capital Territory
Australian Catholic University

New South Wales
Charles Stuart University

University of Western Sydney

Northern Territory
Central Queensland University

Central Queensland University

Queensland University of Technology

University of Queensland

James Cook University

Griffith University

University of Southern Queensland

University of Sunshine Coast

South Australia

Flinders University

University of Tasmania (TAS, NSW)

Western Australia
Curtin University

Edith Cowan University

Federation University Australia
LaTrobe University

Monash University

Victoria University