From Diploma to Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree

To be able to work as a registered State Ambulance Paramedic, you are required to hold a relevant bachelor’s degree and be AHPRA registered. Find out everything you need to know about progressing from diploma to university with APC.

All about paramedical degree pathways

There are two pathways to get a University paramedical degree


Direct Entry

Gain direct admission into university (3 years full-time study or 3-6 years part-time)


Diploma Pathway

Gain a VET qualification (e.g. the HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care), and then progress onto university

Why choose a Diploma pathway?

Starting off with a diploma before moving onto a university degree is an excellent way to build up your practical skills, medical knowledge and career confidence.

It’s also a great choice if you’re the kind of person who ‘learns by doing’. The HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care with APC includes two clinical workshops to help you hone your hands-on skills with real-world paramedical equipment and patient care, and a work placement that will get you out into the field with the opportunity to use your skills in the real world, on real patients.

  • Ensure that this is the right career for you without enrolling in a 3-year, full-time, 30k+ university degree.
  • Develop confidence in your foundational knowledge and hands-on skills to give yourself a head-start at university.
  • Become nationally qualified to immediately start working in the private emergency healthcare sector. You can do this while studying at university, meaning you’ll have more practical experience and be way more employable when you graduate.
  • Obtain university credits to shorten the length of your degree.
  • Start building a network of future uni peers and industry colleagues.
  • Work your way up towards the degree if you didn’t get into university this time.
  • Stop worrying about your low ATAR

In fact, your ATAR doesn’t matter.

  • The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has developed a step-by-step way to progress from vocational qualifications, all the way to degree and beyond. 
  • By choosing a pathway and developing your healthcare career through continuous training and education programs, you can be awarded credits for what you have learned previously and step up to the next level.
  • You’ll be well prepared for university by the time you finish the Diploma and have a significant advantage over new students who are only just beginning the degree.

Good question! You can receive credits for completing the Diploma of Emergency Health Care. The amount of credit awarded will vary depending on the university you choose.

Credits are awarded by universities through a Recognition for prior learning (RPL) application process. This varies by each university but it’s usually straightforward and there is lots of information available. 

APC graduates have received up to 10 credits towards their degree.

See what they had to say:

  • “Central Queensland University will give you 7 subject credits.”
  • “Edith Cowan University (WA) credit 7 subjects with the diploma.”
  • “I had my credit assessment finished and received 6 Subjects at Charles Sturt Uni and they said it would take off roughly a semester.”

Choosing a degree and university

No. Essentially, the name of the degree is the same or similar but the subjects you study can vary from one university to the next.

So it’s worth considering what you might want to specialise in, or what you’re most interested in before you apply. This will help you find the right degree for you, giving you the best chance of enjoying it, succeeding, and ultimately building a rewarding career.

What are my options?

Across Australia, paramedic degrees can vary to focus on a range of specialisms including mental health and aged care (two critical industry needs), obstetrics and paediatrics, infection control, epidemiology and biochemistry, and professional development and leadership for those aiming to move into management positions.

The subjects credited differ depending on the content structure of the degree and the university. This can be subject to change as some universities have different entry and recognition requirements. We recommend you check with your chosen university first.

See the some Universities below that accept VET Entry and have RPL available:

Australian University Pathways_V2

Applying and funding

You may be able to apply directly to the university of your choice, or you can apply via UAC – Universities Admissions Centre.

During the application process, you will be required to provide the details and evidence of your previous qualifications. This is also when you will apply for credits if this option is available.

The cost of your degree will depend on the university you choose to study with, the degree itself and the subjects you elect to study. Typically, full-fee Bachelor of Paramedical Science or Paramedicine degrees cost ~$30,000.

Government funding may be available to help with some or all of the cost of your degree, be sure to do your research before you apply.

Registering to work as an State Ambulance Paramedic

  • You are required to complete a Paramedic Science degree (or equivalent on-road experience) to apply to become an Ambulance Paramedic with a state ambulance service.
  • Paramedics are required to register their details with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and Paramedicine Board of Australia.
  • Paramedic registration is managed through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  • Only registered Paramedics can legally use the term ‘paramedic’ to describe their job role.
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