From Diploma to Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree

Learn how studying with Australian Paramedical College (APC) can best prepare you on your journey to becoming a paramedic.

Your pathway to becoming a medic or paramedic

  • Step 1

    Learn online with flexibility around your schedule

  • Step 2

    Practice and hone your skills at clinical workshops

  • Step 3

    Apply your skills on-the-job at clinical placements

  • Congratulations! You’re now nationally qualified!

  • Get a job in the sector

    Start working immediately as an EMT, ESO, Event Medic, Industry Medic, Patient Transport Officer, and more!

  • Continue studying to become a registered paramedic

    Get into university, complete your degree and become a registered state paramedic!

Paramedical degree pathways

There are two pathways to obtain a university science degree to become a paramedic practitioner in Australia or New Zealand.

Direct Entry

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


Diploma Pathway

Gain a VET qualification before progressing onto university: APC’s HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care is perfect for students who choose this pathway!

Diploma pathway benefits

If you’re wishing to become a paramedic, studying the HLT51020 – Diploma of Emergency Health Care at Australian Paramedical College (APC) is an excellent place to start.

This pathway allows you to build up your practical skills and medical knowledge, not to mention qualify you, so you’re able to get a job in healthcare before applying for university! 

  • 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.
  • Give yourself the chance to 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.

Didn’t get the ATAR score you were hoping for, or didn’t receive one at all?

That’s ok!

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 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. This means 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!

Learn more about our School Leavers Direct Entry Scheme here.


At APC, we are passionate about giving people a chance to follow their dreams by helping them to start studying with ease.

Whether you’re looking to change careers, gain a formal qualification for the first time, or simply returning to studying after a break – we’re here to help!

Our Mature Age Entry Scheme supports this initiative where eligible students over 25 years can apply for direct entry with no ATAR requirement.

Click here to learn more about applying for Direct Entry at APC.

APC is proudly partnered with 15+ established organisations across Australia to create real employment outcomes for our students and graduates.

What does this mean for you?

By choosing to study at APC you can gain hands-on experience while you study through Clinical Placement with one of these amazing partners and even get the chance explore employment opportunities once you graduate!

If your dream is to become a paramedic, why not get real experience while you’re in training and furthering your studies at university by working in the industry in the meantime? Learn more about our Industry Partners and the exciting opportunities available to APC students.

You can receive credits for completing the HLT51020 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, however we recommend contacting your preferred university to directly enquire what you may be eligible for. 

Feel free to check out our FAQs page to learn more about APC’s offering too!

Apply now

Why study with APC

As a leading education provider in prehospital healthcare, APC has been a reliable and trusted pathway for students for 10+ years. For students whose career goal it is to become a paramedic in Australia or New Zealand, APC offers the unique opportunity for them to gain the skills, experience and confidence required to thrive in the healthcare industry while they continue studying at university to achieve this.

AUS and NZ (Universities)

Choosing a university

Paramedic degrees can vary across Australia and New Zealand to focus on a range of specialties, so depending on your interests and career goals it’s important to find the right university for you.

If your dream is to become a paramedic, check out some universities that accept VET Entry and have RPL available.

Understanding your options

Not all paramedic degrees are the same, even if they share a similar or same name. This means the subjects you study can vary from one university to the next so it’s helpful to get informed as best you can before starting the application process.

Further to this, subjects credited differ depending on the content structure of the degree and the university. This can also be subject to change as some universities have different entry and recognition requirements, so we recommend you check with your preferred university first.

Don’t forget many universities offer online study so be sure to explore this option if you’re worried about living too far from your preferred choice!


Learn how to become a paramedic

If you’re based in or close to New South Wales, Charles Sturt University (CSU) accepts VET Entry and have RPL available.

This means if you’ve already completed a HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care with APC, you may be eligible for credit from your diploma to bachelor degree when applying at CSU.

I’m doing distance study with CSU, and they said it would take off roughly a semester!” – APC Graduate

Victoria University accepts VET Entry and have RPL available too.

This means if you’ve already completed a HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care with APC, you may be eligible for credit from your diploma to bachelor degree when applying at Victoria University.


As a Queenslander, CQUniversity (CQU) accepts VET Entry and have RPL available.

This means if you’ve already completed a HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care with APC, you may be eligible for credit from your diploma to bachelor degree when applying at CQU. 

CQU also offers online study options, so if you enjoyed this style of learning at APC, you will no doubt fit in there too! 

CQU recognises the diploma significantly more than anywhere else.” – APC Graduate

For students in Western Australia or wishing to study there, Edith Cowan University (ECU) accepts VET Entry and have RPL available.

This means if you’ve already completed a HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care with APC, you may be eligible for credit from your diploma to bachelor degree when applying at ECU.

If you’re looking to work as a paramedic in New Zealand, studying the HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care is a great place to start. 

By getting qualified with APC first, you can apply for Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to further your studies and gain a bachelor’s degree, putting you on the pathway to your dream job.*

*Please check with AUT directly regarding any specific entry requirements, RPL or credit requests for your course.

Apply for university

Check out some frequently asked questions about applying for university and how funding works too.

Yes. To be able to work as a registered State Ambulance Paramedic, you are required to hold a relevant Paramedic Science/ Paramedicine Bachelor’s degree from university and be Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered.

Here’s some more information you might find useful about registering to become a paramedic once qualified:

  • Paramedics are required to register their details with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme and Paramedicine Board of Australia.
  • Paramedic registration is managed through AHPRA.
  • Only registered Paramedics can legally use the term ‘paramedic’ to describe their job role.


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.

Depending on which career path you wish to take, the benefits of studying a diploma versus gaining a bachelor degree may vary.

Here’s just one example to help explain what’s required to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) compared to a paramedic, and the differences in required training.

EMTs and paramedics complete the same training however paramedics go on to complete further education at university (completing a Bachelor of Paramedic Science) to enable them to treat more advanced injuries and illnesses in patients. This is why APC students with the HLT41120 Certificate IV in Health Care or HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care can apply for positions as a “medic” upon graduation but cannot call themselves paramedics without further completion of studies at university. You can learn more in our blog here.

Apply now

To help you get started on the Diploma pathway, please fill in the form below to receive more information on our HLT51020 Diploma of Emergency Health Care course.

One of our friendly Course Advisors will be in touch soon to discuss your interest in studying at APC.

Supporting all students

Meet Jessica, one of our amazing student who studied the Diploma at APC. 

As someone who wishes to go to university to further her studies when she can afford to, Jessica has enjoyed the flexibility of studying online while working full-time.