Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic)

Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic)

Gain skills to provide emergency and non-urgent medical care in a range of situations. Develop skills to assess, stabilise, treat and refer patients. Learn through clinical placements in ambulance services, hospitals and other situations.

Programme outline

Due to the large number of applications received for the 2022 Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) programme, the intake is now full, with a waitlist for places. Applications can still be made; however, they will only be processed if places become available.
Before applying for this qualification please ensure you have read the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

The Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) is a three-year full-time programme, run in conjunction with Wellington Free Ambulance (WFA), designed to prepare students for practice as paramedics.

Paramedics provide emergency and urgent medical services to the community through a specialised body of professional knowledge, delivering care in variable environments. Using clinical assessment, advanced medical procedures and treatment, they stabilise patients in clinically challenging environments, refer to primary and secondary care and provide on-going emergency medical care during transportation.

The BHSc (Paramedic) programme is delivered with a combination of theory classes, self-directed learning, simulation on campus, and clinical placements. The programme involves considerable study and serious thought should be given before a student undertakes paid employment that will make it difficult to maintain sufficient study time, or to attend clinical experience. It is suggested that no more than ten hours per week are worked.

A distance version of this programme is offered for working or volunteering paramedics. The Flexible Learning Stream (FLS) of the Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) is designed for students with an existing National Certificate or National Diploma in Ambulance Practice (Level 5) or with a practising level of EMT or paramedic.

More detail about this qualification

Entry requirements

University entrance or equivalent academic/work experience and evidence of suitability based on an interview, health screening, safety check and referee reports.  Applicants must be 18 years of age by the start date of the programme.

International students

Proven equivalence of entry requirements plus IELTS 6.5 in each band

Find your country's equivalent academic entry requirements here

*International fee displayed is for 1 year of study (equivalent to 120 credits) and does not include insurance and administration (approximately $924 per year of study).

Suitability requirements

Applicants will be invited to attend an interview to determine their preparedness for study and ability to meet the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (if applicable). Applicants must be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

1. Effective interpersonal communication skills
2. Understanding of, and capability to, work in the professional health and social services sector
3. Commitment and motivation to succeed 4. Health screening, safety check* and referee reports.

*Safety Check: The Children’s Act (2014) requires all students, who may work with children during the course of their study, to be safety checked. Safety checking includes reference checking, work history, identity check, police vet and an overall assessment of the applicant’s safety to work with children.

Driver licensing

It is recommended that students hold a full driver’s licence before starting the BHSc (Paramedic) programme. A full clean New Zealand Class 1 driver’s licence, held for a minimum of three years (without convictions and free of demerit points within the last two years), is a requirement of both WFA and St John employment.
If students do not hold a full driver’s licence, they must consider the implications of the start and finish times of their clinical placements in relation to the restrictions of their licence.


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all students applying for entry to a health or social practice programme are strongly recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Course-related costs

Required costs associated with the Bachelor of Health Science are detailed below:

Health screening: $250 must be completed prior to programme start

Uniform: $320 must be ordered prior to programme start

Stethoscope: $150

Vaccinations: If required, costs will vary depending on vaccination required i.e. clinical placement: flu, whooping cough

Clinical Practice Guidelines: $50

Stationary: $50

E-Resources and Textbooks:  Students will be provided with access to online resources including textbooks, journals and, if required by the programme, the vSIM online simulation package. Any required hardcopy textbooks will be noted on the course related requirements list

How to apply

Applications for the BHSc (Paramedic) should be submitted by Friday, 29 October 2021. However, the select committee will continue to review applications received after this date.

1. Apply online from the Whitireia website.
2. Before you start your online application, you will need to have the following documentation available to upload when requested:

  • Completed supplementary application for health and social services programmes
  • Referee report
  • Verified ID
  • Verified official transcripts
  • Curriculum Vitae

*Give the referee report to someone who is willing to be your referee. Ask them to complete the forms and either return to yourself (so you can upload with your application), or scan and email to within 10 days. Please note applications will not be processed until the referee report has been received.

Alternatively, completed applications can be printed off and either:

Mailed to:
Enrolments, Whitireia New Zealand DX SX33459, Porirua 5022

Dropped into: 
Enrolments, Whitireia New Zealand 3 Wi Neera Drive, Porirua

Credit recognition

If you have relevant skills and knowledge through study or experiences in work or other activities, you may be able to receive credit for them when enrolling in a programme of study. This is done through a process called credit recognition. Credit recognition may not exceed two-thirds of your chosen programme. Information (including the Credit Recognition Application form and fees information) is also available here.

Employment concerns

If an applicant has any medical or physical concerns, or any criminal convictions it is recommended that the applicant contacts the Human Resource Department of WFA and/ or St John to discuss any impact this may have on future employment prior to enrolment.

Offering institute

This qualification is offered by Whitireia.

From 2023, Whitireia and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. All programmes offered by Whitireia and other subsidiaries of Te Pūkenga are under review, to ensure they are portable, consistent and aligned with the needs of industry. The programme you have enrolled in may change over time.

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