Emergency Medical Science

The Advanced Paramedic Training programme is run jointly by HSE National Ambulance Service College and the School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin. The programme offers the Graduate Diploma in Emergency Medical Science (Advanced Paramedic) to successful candidates.

This programme began in 2004 and represents a significant step forward in the professional development of Emergency Medical Sciences in Ireland by contributing advanced pre-hospital care to patients who are seriously ill or injured.

The course will provide the opportunity to develop the professional, clinical and scientific competencies required to practice as an Advanced Paramedic in the Irish health service. Advanced Paramedics have an important leadership role both in managing emergencies and in contributing to the development of emergency medical systems in Ireland – this course should support practitioners in doing both.

Learning Outcomes

The Advanced Paramedic has an enhanced range of abilities, which permit the safe delivery of advanced care within the framework and limits specified by PHECC CPGs. Examples of learning outcomes include the following knowledge skills and professional values outcomes:

The content of all CPGs and drug formularies approved by PHECC for use by Advanced Paramedics

The indications, contra-indications, complications and techniques of advanced airway management

The indications, contra-indications, techniques and complications of parenteral access and administration of drugs and fluids

Advanced airway management (including endotracheal intubation / SGA).

The Advanced Paramedic must be capable of carrying out the procedures safely and providing monitoring and continuing care until handover.

IV catheter placement; fluid and drug administration.

Rigorous adherence to all procedures relating to IV catheter and fluid / drug selection, use and monitoring.

Administration of indicated drugs and fluids in correct dosages by intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, oral, sublingual, intra-nasal, buccal, inhaled, rectal and intraosseous routes.

Professional Values
Understanding and respect of the autonomy, consent to treatment and confidentiality of patients.

Commitment to high-quality, pre-hospital emergency care.

Observation of the limitations and procedures imposed by PHECC CPGs.

Appreciation of the necessity to fully maintain all clinical documents.

Demonstration of leadership, initiative and ability to work within the healthcare team.

Appreciation of the importance of clinical and procedural audit

Entry requirements

Admission Criteria

Nominations are submitted to UCD through the Health Service Executive ( HSE) and Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB). Prospective nominees should contact their local service regarding the internal application process. The following are the minimum entry requirements for all nominees.

Possess the UCD Diploma in Emergency Medical Technology or a third level equivalent.

Possess a minimum of two years post qualification experience at DipEMT/DipEMS level

Demonstrate a commitment to continuing professional development (CPD) within the field of Emergency Medical Science.

Assessment Info

Assessment includes both continuous and end of course assessments in all blocks.

Block 1: Continuous assessment and combined multiple choice question/short answer question paper

Block 2: Clinical case reviews, combined multiple choice question / short answer question papers and objective structured clinical examination

Block 3: Continuous assessment and panel Assessment

Subjects taught


The programme duration is one year. Its broad structure includes:

Block one: Distance learning and classroom learning (six modules)

Block two: Clinical Placements (six modules)

Block three: Internship (four modules)

Block One

Block one comprises distance learning and on-campus structured teaching. The block is made up of six modules which provide the underpinning knowledge in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and professional practice needed to enable candidates to move successfully to the next part of the Programme. The block includes attendance at a series of workshop days self-directed study individually and in groups

Block Two

Block two comprises six modules divided into taught components and supervised clinical placements in Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetics, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and General Practice. During clinical placements students will be required to satisfactorily complete a schedule of pre-determined learning objectives. Examples of skills to be acquired include endotracheal intubation, intravenous cannulation / intraosseous access, the administration of pharmacological agents and team based care. The use of Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) Clinical Practice Guidelines is the basis for clinical decision-making and provides the context in which all teaching and learning will take place.

Block Three

Block three comprises four modules focusing on the Advanced Paramedic internship, with modules on leadership and critical appraisal of evidence in clinical practice. The emphasis in this phase of the course is to facilitate the development of problem-solving abilities and to integrate and consolidate knowledge, skills and behaviors into practice in the pre-hospital environment.

Successful completion of Blocks 1, 2 and 3 will lead to the award of the Graduate Diploma in Emergency Medical Science (Grad Dip EMS).


1 year

Post Course Info

The course also serves as a foundation for further studies in the field at UCD:

MSc EMS (Advanced Paramedic)
MSc EMS (Immediate Care)

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  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

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