Visit our Open Day
Saturday 4 October, 9am-3pm
Meet lecturers and current students. Find out about fees and funding opportunities.
The course enjoys an excellent record in graduate employment, and gives you eligibility to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)* registration. It prepares you to play a vital role as an operating department practitioner, working primarily within operating theatres as a surgical, anaesthetic or recovery practitioner, caring for patients through the perioperative journey, and ensuring the safe preparation of instruments and equipment.
What's covered in the course?
Your study and academic skills are developed through structured lectures, enquiry-based learning and use of our multimedia facilities. The focus for learning in the classroom is to help you to work as part of a team, and how, as an operating department practitioner (ODP), you fit into that team. However, you spend the greater part of your time learning through practice.
You gain an understanding of the role played by other professionals, and learn how to effectively manage your clinical workload. You learn how to make informed decisions, communicate effectively, and adapt to different practice settings. You also gain effective reporting and recording strategies.
Placements are primarily within operating theatres within NHS trusts and private healthcare facilities throughout Birmingham and beyond, and there may also be opportunities for broader healthcare experiences. While on placement, you receive continuous support and encouragement from both your personal tutor and trust placement manager.
*The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) formerly known as the Health Professions Council (HPC).
“It’s challenging...two years ago I never thought I would be in an operating theatre, standing there handing instruments to the surgeon; it’s fantastic.”
Why Choose Us?
- Strongly emphasising practical skills and experience, the course involves spending up to 70 per cent of your time on clinical placement.
- Our excellent relationships with NHS trusts and other health providers mean you will have plenty of opportunities to gain relevant and beneficial experience.
- Our teaching staff, all of whom have an appropriate clinical background and many years of teaching experience, can offer unique first-hand perspectives on current practice.
- The course offers excellent potential for career development and typically achieves a 100 per cent employment record for graduates.
- You will be based in the £30 million award-winning Seacole Building, outstandingly equipped with mock hospital wards, mock operating theatre, plaster room and laboratory.
Literacy and Numeracy testing is now required as part of the selection process for this programme. Try our sample tests – see how you would do!
A minimum of 220 UCAS tariff points:
|Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved prior to application:|
|GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. (GCSE equivalents not accepted, e.g. Key Skills Level 2, Adult Numeracy, Adult Literacy).
|Irish Leaving Certificate, Grade B3 or above to include English and Mathematics and preferably a science subject.
|Scottish qualifications, Intermediate Standard 2 or above in English and Mathematics and preferably a science subject.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 qualifications which you may be working towards:|
|GCE A/A2 Level
220 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of three A/A2 level passes. A typical offer would be CCD. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.
|GCE AS/A1 level
Two subjects accepted with A/A2 Level passes. Must achieve a minimum or 220 UCAS tariff points. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.
|GCE/AVCE Double Award in Health and Social Care
Minimum Grade AB required (220 tariff points)
|GCE A/A2 Level with additional AS/A1 (9 units)
Will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications to equate to 220 tariff points.
|BTEC National Certificate in Health and Social Care
Minimum Grade DD required (240 tariff points)
|BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social Care
Minimum Grade MMM required (240 tariff points)
|BTEC National Certificate in Early Years
Will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications to equate to 220 tariff points.
|BTEC National Diploma in Early Years
Minimum Grade MMM required (220 tariff points)
|International Baccalaureate Diploma
Minimum Grade 24 (260 tariff points)
|CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education
Minimum Grade C required (240 UCAS tariff points)
|Access to HE Diploma
Full award (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3 including 18 at Merit or Distinction of which a minimum of 12 must be in a Science or Health related subject and 15 at Level 2, must include Mathematics and English Language GCSE equivalent if not already achieved.
|Advanced GNVQ in Health and Social Care
Distinction required (equates to AB at A2 - 220 points).
|NVQ Level 4 in Health and Social Care
Full award required.
|Irish Leaving Certificate
Maximum of 5 Highers at Grade C3 or above to achieve 220 UCAS tariff points.
|Scottish Leaving Certificate
Maximum of 5 Advanced Highers at Grade C or above to achieve 220 UCAS tariff points.
|14 –19 Progression Diploma in Society, Health and Development
Minimum Grade B required (250 points).
|14-19 Advanced Diploma in Society, Health and Development
|OCR National Diploma
Minimum Grade D (240 points).
|OCR National Extended Diploma
Minimum M3 (240 points)
|The Open University K101 - An Introduction to Health and Social Care (or equivalents)
Completion of full year (transcripts will be required).
Foundation degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require a transcript of the content of the course.
Should you feel that you hold relevant qualifications which are not listed above – please email: firstname.lastname@example.org marking the subject field as: "Admissions Tutor - Dip HE Operating Department Practice" and provide the information you wish to be assessed. The tutor will respond directly to you.
- Applicants must have evidence of study within the last 5 years.
- Applicants are required to undertake an interview.
- Places are subject to a satisfactory Occupational Enhanced Heath Check, Disclosure and Barring Service report and registration with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
- Applicants should be aware that qualifications, personal statement, interview and reference all form part of the selection criteria for this course.
Sample Numeracy and Literacy Test and Answers
How to Apply
Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: B990.
Apply via UCAS
This course is not available to International Students.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.
You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.
Fees and Finance
Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
|Sep 2014||FT||2 years||DipHE||NHS Funded|
Most of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses start in September/October, at the beginning of the academic year. However, some courses also have January/February or April start options. Short courses take place throughout the year.
Many of our courses can be studied on a Full-Time (FT) or Part-Time (PT) basis.
We also offer a Sandwich (SW) option for some courses – this usually involves two periods of Full Time study separated by a 'sandwich' placement spent working in an occupation related your course.
Online Learning (OL) courses can be studied remotely, usually using online learning tools.
Fees quoted are only for the academic year or start date stated. Fees may change in future years.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
This course is not available to International Students.
We recommend you join a Union or professional body, approximate annual fee £35.
Eligible UK students who have a place on a NHS-funded course will normally have their tuition fees paid on their behalf and may apply for a means-tested maintenance bursary plus funding for subsistence. They may also be able to apply for a partial student maintenance loan from Student Finance England if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Full-time and part-time undergraduate EU students may be eligible to apply to the NHS for support with their tuition fees only.
For further information (UK and EU students) visit the NHS Student Bursaries website.
We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes how to access non means tested grants, means tested bursaries and any additional grants.
Saturday 4 October and Saturday 15 November 2014 (9am - 3pm)
Our Open Days provide you with the perfect opportunity to visit the University and discover just what we have to offer.
You can learn more about our courses, great teaching and links with leading employers - as well as our £260 million investment in facilities.
There is a non-stop programme of events and activities running throughout the day, so we recommend that you arrive at 9am to ensure you get the most out of the day.
Who is it for?
The day will cover all levels of study but is predominantly for undergraduate courses.
University Approach to Employability
Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.
Read our Employability Statement to find out more.
Upon registration as an ODP with the Health and Care Professions Council you will work within a multi-disciplinary operating theatre team. Although primarily employed within operating theatres, they are increasingly recognised for skills, clinical experience and knowledge which can be transferred to many health care settings, including:
- Anaesthesia, resuscitation, surgery, transplant
- Trauma teams
- Post-anaesthesia care unit (recovery)
- Intensive care units
- Accident and emergency
- Helicopter emergency medical services
- Pre-assessment clinics
- Casting rooms/orthopaedic clinics.
Other student opportunities
To enhance your CV, we offer extra-curricular student opportunities, such as a major incident simulation, that you can get involved in.
Placements are available within NHS Trusts and Private Healthcare Facilities throughout Birmingham and beyond. Placements are primarily within Operating Theatres but opportunities may be available for broader Healthcare experiences.
A placement is your chance to be a part of the working world of health and social care as it really is: your first taste of your career. For most of our courses, it's a compulsory part of your training; it's that important.
Placements help you with your confidence, by putting theory from the classroom into practice. We make sure you get a quality experience and that you are fully supported by a workplace mentor on hand throughout your placement.
You can specialise post-registration or move into management or teaching.
Many are taught as part-time flexible modules to fit around your work and domestic commitments.
Advice is available on an individual basis on request, with reference to appropriate subjects, levels and routes of access.
About KIS data
From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.
Putting our students first
We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.
100 per cent of leavers from the Operating Department Practice course who responded to our survey entered employment (and/or further study), earning an average salary of £21,000 after six months. Employers including Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust offering positions such as Social Worker and District Nurse.
Working with your Students’ Union
Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.
The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.
As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.
The course is taught in state-of-the-art facilities, including a mock theatre and plaster room, where we use a variety of teaching methods to help you get the most from your study, reflecting the subject matter and your individual needs.
From structured lectures to personal use of our multimedia facilities, the focus for learning in the classroom is to help you to:
- Work as part of a team
- Understand how an ODP fits into the team and what they do
- Understand the role played by other professionals
- Manage your clinical workload
- Make informed decisions
- Communicate effectively
- Adapt to different practice settings
- Adopt effective reporting and recording strategies.
What else we offer
In 2013 after months of training, a select few health professionals ventured to Nepal to learn about international healthcare as part of an optional extra-curricular experience. This is their diary.
If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.
We offer extra technical and learning support.
You will study 120 credits at each of Levels 4 and 5.
Upon successful completion you will graduate with a Diploma in Higher Education, Operating Department Practice (ODP), which will make you eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
ODPs are a vital part of the operating theatre team and their role varies from day to day.
Working alongside surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and healthcare support workers, they ensure that every operation is as safe and effective as possible. Primarily employed within operating theatres to work as surgical, anaesthetic or recovery practitioners, they maintain and restore the physical and psychological patient status at all levels, through the assessment, planning and delivery of individualised care.
ODPs are involved in the preparation of instruments and equipment including anaesthetic machines, intravenous equipment and airway devices to ensure the safety of patients.
ODPs assess and deliver individual care to patients throughout the perioperative experience and then assess the patient before discharging them to a surgical ward. This includes the assessment and management of pain, including the administration of analgesia, communication with the patient and evaluation of their vital signs.
Assessment methods include written assignments, examinations, simulations, staged tests, workshop examinations and clinical placements. Assessment takes place throughout the year to enable you to monitor your progress and obtain appropriate support.
Some of the assessments are designed to test certain competencies or essential skills but do not count as credits towards the final award. Those assessments are as follows:
|Title of Module||The non-credit assessment name (e.g. competencies)||Brief description||When (year) the assessment takes place in the programme|
|ODP4005 Learning in Clinical Practice||Competencies||Clinical competences achieved in practice. Pass/fail. 2 attempts||End of year 1|
|ODP5013 Learning in Clinical Specialist Practice||Competencies||Clinical competences achieved in practice. Pass/fail. 2 attempts||End of year 2 (final year)|
|ODP5012 Specialist Nature of Operating Department Practice||Medicines Management Exam (Drug Calculations)||Drug Calculations exam, pass/fail. 2 attempts.||¾ way through year 2 (final year)|
Star Alumni Spencer Hampton graduated in 2009 and is now an Operating Department Practitioner.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.
We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.
These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses some of the best learning facilities in the UK.
In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.
The mock operating theatre is set up in the way that you would it find in a hospital, with all of the machinery, tools and equipment necessary. Operating theatres can be daunting and confusing places on first view but with access to our mock theatre, you will be able to build up confidence and feel comfortable in your working environment.
Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility
The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.
It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.
Mary Seacole Library
The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.
You will have access to all of the University’s libraries, including the main Kenrick Library on the City North Campus, which is open for almost 90 hours a week and holds more than 320,000 books, 2,000 print journals and carries more than 4,000 electronic journals online.
The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:
- Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
- Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
- Microsoft Office software
- Research and statistical software
- Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home
Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.
The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Corporate ICT Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.
Prospective students from the UK or EU
- Take a look at our for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
- If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the
- Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.