Published: 01 April 2019

A week in the life of a paramedic student

From ambulance shifts to lunch by the campus lake, discover what a typical week looks like for first-year BSc Paramedic Science students at Surrey.

Paramedic practice degree students on placement university of surrey

Typical Timetable

The following timetable is a general example, merging campus-based study, Professional Training placements and ambulance shifts.

The programme is not seven days a week and ample time off is provided for rest and recovery.

For the latest module information, visit the BSc Paramedic Science programme page.

Typical campus day

  • 9am to 10:30am - Physical Health Science lecture
  • 10:30am to 12pm - Discussion session looking at the cardiovascular system
  • 12pm to 1pm - Lunch by the campus lake
  • 1pm to 4pm - Concepts of Caring module – lecture on the importance of teams and interprofessional working
  • 4:30pm to 6pm - Meet coursemates at Library and Learning Centre for study session

Typical placement week

Monday to Wednesday

Self-directed study, which may include:

  • Utilising the designated study rooms at the Library and Learning Centre
  • Using SurreyLearn, Surrey's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

"The tutors are great and I love being on placements, working alongside ambulance staff on the front line."

Steve Pawley, BSc Paramedic Science

Ambulance shifts


  • 6:30am - Arrive on station for start of shift and start preparing ambulance for the day
  • 7:10am - 87-year-old male has fallen (taken to hospital with a fractured neck of femur)
  • 8:26am - 69-year-old female unwell (urinary tract infection – referred to her GP)
  • 9:45am - Roadside cover
  • 10:20am - 79-year-old difficulty in breathing (exacerbation of chronis obstructive pulmonary disease – referred to a respiratory specialist district nurse)
  • 1:10pm - Grab some lunch
  • 1:40pm - Roadside cover 
  • 2:50pm - 98-year-old female has fallen (no injuries - did not require hospital)
  • 4pm - 15-year-old male has fallen from his bike (minor injuries – did not require hospital)
  • 5:15pm - Hospital transfer - move patient from Royal Surrey to St Georges, London
  • 7:30pm - Return base to finish shift


  • 6:30am - Arrive on station for shift
  • 6:58am - 63-year-old female with loss of movement on left side (taken to hospital with stroke)
  • 8:30am - 65-year-old male suffers cardiac arrest (patient resuscitated for 45 mins but was pronounced dead)
  • 10:30am - Roadside cover 
  • 11:45am - 45-year-old male with chest pain (heart attack – taken to specialist hospital)
  • 1pm - 35-year-old male overdosed (taken to hospital for psychiatric assessment)
  • 3pm - Quick late lunch
  • 3:30pm - 84-year-old male fallen (uninjured but wife unable to lift him – not taken to hospital) 
  • 5:15pm - 4-month-old baby fitting (high temperature – taken to hospital)
  • 7pm - End of shift and time for some well-deserved sleep

Saturday to Sunday

  • 7pm - Next shift starts
  • 7:20pm - Road traffic collision (two drivers with minor injuries - did not require hospital)
  • 9pm - 92-year-old female collapsed in the bathroom (patient had a cerebral bleed - taken to hospital) 
  • 10:15pm - 24-year-old female taken overdose of 30 paracetamol (taken to hospital)
  • 11:30pm - Respond to call about male collapsed in the street (no patient found)
  • 12:15am - Call from police to a fight (one patient with facial injuries - taken to hospital)
  • 1:30am - 83-year old female fallen from bed (no injuries - returned to bed and left at home)
  • 2:34am - Call to care alarm (patient had rolled on alarm in sleep - ambulance not required)
  • 3:02am - Meal break
  • 3:32am - Roadside cover 
  • 5am - Move to another cover location
  • 6:30am - Return to base for end of shift
  • 8am - Home to bed

Work hard, play hard

Outside of lectures and library sessions, there’s lots to do during your free time at Surrey.

Campus life

The Students’ Union lies at the heart of campus life. With over 100 sports clubs and societies on offer (such as the Paramedic Society), it’s bursting with opportunities for you to discover new interests, have fun and make friends. The Union nightclub, Rubix, is a popular choice for nights out, and our beautiful lakeside campus has plenty of places to get a coffee, drink or bite to eat.

Ten minutes to town

The campus is also a short ten-minute walk from Guildford town centre, home to over 70 pubs, bars and restaurants. From ice skating at Guildford Spectrum to watching a film at the Odeon, Guildford has plenty to offer when you’re looking for a well-earned break from your studies.

“The main reason I loved living in Guildford is that it has everything you could need in a small area, from entertainment venues to shopping, as well as areas of countryside to explore.”

Pooja Rabheru, BSc Paramedic Science

Further afield

From London to the coast, discover some of the places our students like to visit during their free time at University.

Learn more about our Health Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery degrees and read what our students have to say about life at Surrey to discover why we were named ‘Best University for Student Experience’ by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016.

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