I remember the feeling when I was called into my headmasters’ office in late 2014 and seeing my UCAS application on his computer screen. Clicking ‘Send’ was by far the most nerve-wracking experience I’ve had in my 2 years at sixth form. I remember the excitement after opening the congratulatory email inviting me to interview, and then the consequent sense of never-ending determination I had keep up to get a place secured to study Paramedic Science…
So, when you are making your application to a university there are a number of things you should factor in. In my opinion, the major aspect is if you genuinely have a passion for the course, or feel you are able to have fun and enjoy it. Going into higher education is about setting you up for a working life with the right qualifications and experience; make the most of your time here and do your research!
Leading on from research, it’s definitely worth reading up about the course requirements. When I applied to my initial 5 universities I visit each ones’ course page on the websites and checked to see if I met the criteria they set such as UCAS points or grades, including GCSE, A Level and so on… My predicted A Level results were BBB, so I applied to universities that required my predicted grades, but also those that asked for less or more. One university that I applied to asked for higher A Level grades, ABB. To my surprise, not long after submitting my application their admissions team emailed me to ask if I had any additional experience and to tell them more about what I can offer whilst at university. Do not be alarmed if universities email you personally asking for more information; it’s a good thing!
One of the biggest and most important parts of the whole application process is your personal statement. This is formed of up to 4,000 characters and should cover anything and everything you want to include. There is no right or wrong way to go about this, but it certainly is the decider for the Paramedic Science course. This degree is only offered in select universities, as it is a professional course validated by the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council). Across the whole board, it appears that your personal statement is where the universities will get to know more about you as a person, both in education and equally outside of the classroom. They want to hear about the sports club you attend weekly; they want to know about the time you have to call an ambulance for a person who you tended to in the street; they want to know about your personal experiences!
The structure to my personal statement went a little like this: introduction, my educational studies both in secondary school and sixth form, extra circular activities, clubs you attend outside of college, personal experience including any relevant practice (e.g. voluntary work at nursing home, St John Ambulance cadets etc.) and a closing sentence or two. I opened with a statistic about out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK, and briefly discussed the current situation with the NHS ambulance services to set the scene. I later talked about my 2 years experience as a St John Ambulance Cadet down in Hastings and Brighton. I did not mention patients I attended (for confidentiality reasons), however, I said how comfortable I felt treating and helping strangers in their time of need, as well as what inspired me to join St John Ambulance. I was a Young Carer at the age of 10–13 where I cared for my mother with the help from my twin. That exposed me to various care settings and developed me as an individual. Once I finally finished writing my personal statement, the character count was 3,998.
To conclude this blog about applying to universities, I strongly advise you research the course you are interested in, and most importantly don’t panic! To get onto the Paramedic Science course on your first year of applying is incredibly rare. I am very lucky and thankful that I am here at university, although it hasn’t come without putting in the effort. I wish you the best of luck on your application, and to never give up working towards your end goal of becoming a Paramedic.
Anglia Ruskin University offer the 3-year BSc (Hons) Degree in Paramedic Science at their Cambridge and Chelmsford campus. Their course requirements are to have 280 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A Levels. The standard rule of thumb applies that is; 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, Maths and Science. For more information, you can view the Paramedic Science course page on the university website: http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/paramedic-science.