Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons)


Are you enthusiastic, great with people and keen to make a living improving and saving lives?

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are an essential part of the surgical team. They take care of patients, prepare the surgical environment and equipment, and act as a vital link between the surgical team, other hospital departments and patients.

Our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree course, which we've developed with the local National Health Service acute Trusts and the private sector, provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to be work in this demanding and rewarding role.

After the course, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Operating Department Practitioner. You'll be able to work in area such as anaesthesia, surgery and recovery.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Develop your skills as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP)
  • Do lots of practical exercises to prepare you for the challenges of this field – you'll spend approximately 60% of your time in clinical practice
  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with patients in a variety of healthcare settings with supervision and support from registered healthcare professionals
  • Practise examinations and procedures on human patient simulators and our high-fidelity patient simulator in the Centre for Simulation in Health and Care
  • Use your skills in one of our clinical placement operating theatres
  • Develop your leadership, communication and problem solving skills
  • Improve your academic research abilities

Work experience and career planning

Each year includes one work placement module where you'll get work experience in a clinical setting. Placement locations are liable to change, but recent students have completed placements at:

  • Portsmouth NHS trust QA Hospital
  • NHS Treatment Centre St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth
  • Spire Healthcare Portsmouth
  • NHS Treatment Centre RSH Hospital Southampton
  • Southampton General Hospital
  • RCH Hospital Winchester
  • Nuffield Hospital Eastleigh
  • BMI Healthcare Winchester
  • Chichester Nuffield Hospital
  • RSC Hospital Brighton
  • Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
  • Lymington New Forest Hospital
  • Princess Royal Hospital - Haywards Heath

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find further relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your CV.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules in this year include:

  • Foundation of Evidence Based Practice
  • Foundations of ODP Professional Practice
  • Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice
  • Science Informing Practice

There are no optional modules in this year.

Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied ODP Professional Practice (placement)
  • Engaging with Service Improvement
  • Evidence Based Decision Making
  • Perioperative Care of Specialist Patient Groups
  • Perioperative use of Drugs

There are no optional modules in this year

Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Complex Perioperative Care
  • Enhancing ODP Professional Practice (placement)
  • Leading Safe and Effective Care
  • Project

There are no optional modules in this year


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical work
  • hospital placements

There's a joint focus on this course between theory and practice, both in academic and real-world settings.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • tests (academic or practical/skills based)
  • performance-based clinical practice assessments
  • online assessment
  • academic written work/portfolios
  • objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
  • presentations
  • project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Careers and opportunities

What jobs can you do with an Operating Department Practice degree?

As a registered Operating Department Practitioner, you'll be able to take on roles such as:

  • surgical care practitioner
  • team leader
  • theatre manager
  • sterile supply manager
  • practice educator

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

104 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science, Sports Science, PE). All applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance. The Department of Health requires all new Exposure Prone Procedures (EPP) workers, including students, are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The consent, test and managed process of results will be carried out by our Occupational Health Department.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

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