Operating Department Practice with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

Full Time (4 years)
September 2018
£9,250 for UK/EU Full Time 2018 entry (view all fees)

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses.

Are you interested in rewarding career in perioperative care? Have you got excellent management skills and a passion for supporting others? Start your journey to becoming a vital part of the theatre team, at one of the UK's largest providers of training with our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (ODP) with a Foundation Year course.

Operating Department Practitioners work within operating theatres and critical care areas. They are required to be responsive, anticipate requirements of both patients and staff, whilst providing the highest standards of perioperative care.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as an Operating Department Practitioner.

Tailor your Health and Life Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing and Midwifery. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health and Life Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc Social Work – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health and Life Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

The course combines theoretical and practical skills, complemented with clinical placements in a range of specialities and settings. Our approach to learning means that you will leave with clinical competence and the ability to apply best knowledge to direct patient care in contemporary healthcare settings.

Your work will be assessed using a mix of methods including text based submissions, written examinations, oral examinations, presentations and clinical skills assessment both in placement and within simulated learning environments on campus. You will be encouraged to develop and demonstrate a range of skills to prepare you for a successful career as an Operating Department Practitioner, including confidence in care delivery, the ability to research, appraise and evaluate evidence. 

Why Choose Us?

  • Excellent track record of developing high quality professionals
  • High graduate employability rate
  • Exposure to quality placement learning experiences
  • Wide variety of career opportunities
  • Strong links in industry
  • Study in our £41 million campus

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This course is not open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work in places such as:

  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital
  • Her Majesty's Armed Forces

And in jobs such as:

  • Operating Department Practitioner Band 5

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include mathematics, English language and science or equivalents. 

If you do not already have the required GCSEs, (or their equivalent) for entry onto this course, and are not registered to take them, visit Equivalency Testing for further information.

80 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level 80 UCAS tariff points = CDD. Must include one of Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, Psychology or Social Science at Grade B.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall in Health and Social Care or Science related pathway, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development, Science or equivalents, Applied Science
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development, Science or equivalents, Applied Science
International Baccalaureate Diploma 25 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 80 UCAS points from a maximum of 5 Highers, Must include Health, Social or Science related subjects.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 80 UCAS tariff points from 5 Advanced Highers, Must Include Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development, Science or equivalents.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

tariff points needed for this foundation year

Worried about results?

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Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 Applications Closed

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses in Clearing.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Year One

Academic Skills for Success
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Negotiated Study
Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
Introduction to Human Biology
Health and Well-being in Society

Year Two

Caring in the perioperative environment

This module introduces you, a student Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) to the essential knowledge required for working in a modern operating department and delivering safe and effective perioperative care. The module focuses upon a holistic, patient centred approach that encourages students to become autonomous, dynamic, reflective and self-directed learners within the three perioperative phases of Anaesthetics, Surgery and Post-Anaesthetic Care

Introduction to Anaesthetic and Post Anaesthetic Care

This module provides you with an introduction to the role and responsibilities of the Operating Department Practitioner (ODP). Working in anaesthetics and post anaesthetic care and delivers essential knowledge required for working within a modern operating department, delivering safe and effective perioperative care.

Introduction to Bioscience

A working knowledge and understanding of bioscience at the beginning of the programme is essential in providing the basis for future learning in clinical practice and providing holistic, patient centred care. The module will provide you with this essential knowledge and will encourage you to explore and develop your understanding. It will enable you to better apply clinical theory to your practice and to develop your skills as a practitioner.

Student transition to higher education, becoming an Allied Health Care Professional

This module focuses upon the basic principles and responsibilities that underpin professional practice for the student who is aiming for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It will introduce you to some of the fundamental principles that underpin care within the National Health Service (NHS).

Introduction to Surgical Practice

Surgery is an essential component of health systems across the globe. This module provides you, a first year student Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) on the Diploma in Higher Education and BSc ODP programmes, to study the fundamental principles of surgical practice as part of the multidisciplinary team.

Year Three

Developing Surgical Practice

This module allows you to develop your role as a circulating and scrub ODP to a level capable of dealing with the scheduled, non-scheduled and complex nature of surgery. Using knowledge and skills you acquired in the first year and other second year modules such as the Applied Bioscience and Perioperative Care modules, you will critically examine how your role impacts upon the safe and effective care of the patient during the intraoperative stage of their perioperative journey.

Applied Biosciences

This module builds on the knowledge you gained in the level 4 module Introduction to Bioscience. It allows you to explore the application of this knowledge in situations of injury and illness. You will have the opportunity to investigate the use of pharmacological interventions specific to operating department practice and its use in effective care delivery, this knowledge will then continue to develop throughout the other modules you will engage in throughout the year.

Developing Anaesthetic and Post-Anaesthetic Care

This module will enable you as a second-year student ODP to develop your role, skills and management of anaesthetic and post-anaesthetic care to a level capable of delivering care to patients with complex needs that may be undergoing elective, non-scheduled or emergency procedures. 

Evidence based practice for the Allied Healthcare Professional

The focus for this module is evidence based practice and its relation to clinical practice. You will build upon your critical and analytical skills that you developed during the first year of your programme. As part of the module you will learn how to approach literature in a critical and analytical way discovering the various ways that data can be collected, turned into information and how this can be used to develop and enhance best practice. You will appreciate why certain research methodologies are used to help answer certain questions and add the ever expanding knowledge base around perioperative practice.

Human factors and the perioperative practitioner

The focus of this module is around the development and maintenance of a culture of safety within the perioperative environment. This culture will be explored and discussed in this module within the context of ‘Human Factors’ and their relationship with healthcare.

Year Four

Changing demands and notions within the wider healthcare context

This module considers the wider context of the publicly funded system of healthcare in the NHS which operates within a complex environment with its economic, political and social dimensions; and is significant for your development as an Operating Department Practitioner as you gain an understanding of the pressures on, and accountability of the service you provide.

Enhanced Anaesthetic and Post- anaesthetic Care

This Enhanced Anaesthetics and Post Anaesthetic Care module provides you, a third-year student ODP to take an individual and holistic approach to the assessment, planning, management and evaluation of care for acutely ill patients having undergone complex, non-scheduled or emergency care.

Enhanced surgical skills

This enhanced surgical skills module allows you as a student ODP to develop enhanced surgical skills that includes clinical skills, teamwork and communication to enable you to provide high standards of perioperative care as an interprofessional member of the surgical team.

Extended studies in operating

This module will test your abilities to educate yourself, to demonstrate your expertise in collecting and analysing information. It will draw upon and utilise the academic skills that you have developed during the first two years of your programme. It will give you the opportunity to carry out an investigation into an area of professional practice and produce a written piece of work up to the standard required for publication in a health care journal. It will be based on the best evidence to support your professional practice.

Transition to registered practitioner

The module prepares you to be a professionally aware, autonomous and reflective practitioner at the point of registration and enhances your employability skills on qualification. It is designed to prepare you for the transition from student to Registered Operating Department Practitioner and develop skills to support your continuing professional development alongside the ability to manage yourself and others.

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Your programme is delivered using a modular approach and divides the content of the programme into manageable elements of study and practice learning opportunities.

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 to enhance clinical practice using the evidence base to support this
  • Communicate effectively with the multidisciplinary team and service users
  • Adapt to different practice settings and be proactive in identifying and responding to your development needs.

The knowledge and skills in relation to the 3 main areas of perioperative practice; anaesthesia, surgery and post-operative care are introduced, developed and enhanced over the 3 year duration of the course.

The module delivery is arranged in blocks to allow you to apply your new knowledge in the clinical setting.

You will experience a mixture of teaching, self-directed study and practice-based clinical placements, spending 60% of your time each year on placement.

Successful completion of this programme gives eligibility to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as an Operating Department Practitioner.

Additional support

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.

Number of hours in the classroom per week

You will spend between 25 - 30 hours per week in the classroom when on study block. 

Accreditation or professional associations

Successful students can apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. 

Further study

You can specialise post-registration or move into management or teaching.

A comprehensive portfolio of post-registration short courses that focuses on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is available, along with other postgraduate schemes.

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.

Enhancing employability skills

To prepare students to meet the requirements for eligibility to apply for entry onto the Health and Care Professions Council register as Registered Operating Department Practitioners.

Combines theory with clinical placement to enhance awareness of different specialities in preparation for employment in operating theatre departments.

Develops transferable skills for working in a range of health care settings and recognising the need for life-long learning.


You will be required to travel for your clinical placements to engage in a broad range of specialities and practice areas. These placements will be with both NHS and independent health providers across the West Midlands.

It is important you appreciate that fees for accommodation and/or travel will require personal financial outlay; these may be reimbursable to some extent, the most up-to-date information can be found on the NHS Business Service Authority website and the administrative team can also advise. Additionally there is no guarantee of a placement in a specific hospital or area.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

The very nature of the Operating Department Practice course is that it is a professional program leading to eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC if successful.

The course develops essential skills enabling you to practice safely and effectively as a Registered Operating Department Practitioner and gain employment post qualification. However, we also want to encourage you to think about your potential future career path and help you plan your development to meet your long term expectations. Future career choices and development may lead to roles in the following but not limited to management, education, extended health care role (perioperative care practitioner, surgical first assistant).


We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

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 cutting-edge learning facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

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.

Operating theatre

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 Care Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Care 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.

Computer facilities

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 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.

Our staff

The academic team are dedicated to the development of future caring professionals and have many years of experience delivering perioperative education in the academic and clinical settings. The teams’ experience of delivering perioperative care in the ‘real world’ provides an excellent resource to develop an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice. Additionally, the team are committed to the enhancement of perioperative care more widely through publication and information sharing in the wider healthcare environment.