Paramedicine Major - Bachelor of Health Science

Paramedicine is New Zealand’s most trusted profession, helping the community in times of need. Study the Paramedicine major in the Bachelor of Health Science degree to prepare for this rewarding career.

Paramedics are the backbone of emergency ambulance services run by St John and Wellington Free Ambulance, as well as helicopter rescue services. Paramedics often work independently in remote or difficult environments and have to make critical, often complex decisions. The Paramedicine major prepares you for these challenges.

You learn from staff who are intensive care paramedics, emergency nurses, defence force medics, midwives, medical specialists and emergency management specialists. There’s a focus on practical experience with clinical placements in ambulance services, hospitals, mental health institutions, ski fields, and community or primary health centres.


This is part of the Bachelor of Health Science.

Start date: 2019

As part of your paramedicine degree you complete over 1,000 clinical hours of clinical placement (about a third of the programme). At the successful completion of the paramedicine degree you meet the requirements to apply for the Intermediate Life Support (ILS) Paramedic scope of practice.

Entry to AUT's paramedicine degree is limited and well sought after. Applicants who hold ambulance, nursing or military medicine qualifications are eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning and a part-time study pathway. A full clean drivers licence and a good level of physical fitness is required.

Year 1

Semester 1 papers

You develop an in-depth understanding of general healthcare, learning alongside other health science students.

Semester 2 papers

Year 2

You develop further theory and skills related to paramedicine practice. There’s an emphasis on cardiology and managing patients with altered haemodynamics (resuscitation, defibrillation, 12 Lead ECG, intravenous access and drug therapy).

You also become familiar with pharmacology and research methods for paramedics and complete large amounts of clinical practice. Ambulance operations are also covered.

Papers you study

Year 3

You apply your skills from the previous years to develop a safe, integrated clinical paramedicine practice. This includes resuscitation, mental health, primary care and health law. This year focuses on preparing you for employment as a practising paramedic. It also includes a clinical reasoning component.

Papers you study

Workplace experience

Throughout your degree you complete approximately 1,000 hours of clinical placement in ambulance services, hospitals, mental health institutions and community or primary health centres. These placements require you to be mobile and work shifts.

Te ara hauora Māori health papers

There’s a growing need for health professionals to work with Māori. That’s why you can include Māori health papers as part of your study and develop the skills to work more effectively with Māori, an essential skill in the diverse health sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Through these papers you gain access to Māori networks and become comfortable working with whānau and Māori communities. We encourage all students to include at least one Māori health paper. You don’t need to know te reo to enrol in the Māori health papers.

  • Paramedic
  • International relief work
  • Safety services and emergency management roles
  • Medic on super-yachts and cruise liners
  • Working in an environment where out-of-hospital emergency care may be required, including frontline ambulances, oil rigs, industrial sites, ski fields, emergency manager in the corporate sector, and repatriation services

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Paramedicine Careers

Key features
  • The only New Zealand university degree in paramedicine
  • Includes 1,000 hours of clinical placement
  • Meets the requirements to apply for the role of paramedic across Australasian, Canadian and UK ambulance services
  • Offered at the South Campus
See yourself as
  • Able to make good judgments
  • Mature, caring and calm
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Able to work well under pressure
Josh McInnes
Kate Livingston
Joyce Giheno

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.