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Operating Department Practice (Degree Apprenticeship) - BSc (Hons)

  • Level: Apprenticeship
  • Starting: September 2021, April 2022
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City South / South West

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Operating Department Practitioners provide holistic care for a diverse range of patient groups, both within and beyond the operating theatre. This BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Degree Apprenticeship (ST0582) is a work-based integrated degree, which enables you to become Operating Department Practitioner, whilst being employed within the operating theatre.   

The apprenticeship has been developed in collaboration with employers within the region and beyond and complies with the HCPC Standards of Education and Training (2014) which makes you eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) upon successful completion of the course.

The Apprenticeship course aligns to the Modernising Allied Health Professions Career Framework, which spirals through each of the three years to align to the ‘Four Pillars of Practice’ to maximise the choice available to you within the operating theatre and beyond. Successful completion of the Course will give you the confidence to enter the perioperative workforce with the knowledge, skills and behaviour required as a registered ODP and allow you to be eligible to apply for registration with the Heath and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

What's covered in the course?

Using the AHP career framework the course embeds the ‘Four Pillars of Practice’ within each year to provide a spiralling curriculum covering:

  • Pillar One: Clinical Practice (anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care)
  • Pillar Two: Facilitation of Learning (of self and others)
  • Pillar Three: Leadership
  • Pillar Four: Evidence, Research and Development

The proportion of teaching and learning of each pillar varies in each year, with the first year aimed at preparing you for academic work and self-development, which will be supported by your on the job experience to underpin the principles of evidenced-based perioperative care for patients undergoing elective surgery.

In year two, the emphasis shifts on the job to providing care for patients undergoing complex and emergency surgery. You will learn to understand the principles of leadership whilst supporting others to learn as well as developing inquiry-based learning in order to support research and development.

You will work towards becoming an autonomous practitioner in year three, developing proficiency in anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care as well as gaining experience in acute care beyond the operating theatre and developing in the role of a Surgical First Assistant. You will explore your own specialist interests to evaluate inquiry based learning as well as developing your leadership skills in order to manage people and resources within the perioperative environment as you transition to a registered ODP as you prepare to undertake the End Point Assessment and apply for registration with the HCPC.

Why study an apprenticeship?

  • Work based learning – the opportunity to build on existing knowledge and skills
  • A wide range of placement opportunities to broaden your understanding of healthcare provision across the lifespan
  • Highly experienced tutors who are all professionally qualified to support you at university
  • Work based clinical educators to support you in practice
  • A wide range of support services available to you at university to support your learning journey


This course can be studied at City South Campus, Birmingham starting in April 2021 or Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, South West starting later in 2021.

This course is not open to International students

Contact us 

If you have any queries about this course please contact the course leader, Julie Quick on:

How to apply

Your employer will advertise an ODP Degree Apprenticeship position and you need to apply and be successful at interview before you can apply for this course.

If you are successful in securing an apprenticeship position your employer will contact our Course Leader and they will send an application link to you to enable you to apply for the course. 

Download the course specification for entry requirements and course details

How will I study? 

As an apprentice on this course you will be released by your employer to study part-time at university while having exposure to a range of practice placement settings. In university, you will experience a mixture of face-to-face and virtual teaching, self-directed study and practice-based clinical placements. On the job, you will engage with practice partners and service users to learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to care for a wide range of patients in anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care as well as beyond the operating theatre. ODP Apprentices are required to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA) on completion of the programme. The EPA is independently assessed outside of the university. 

Course Accreditations


The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to jiu jitsu.

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

Simulation Mannequins

SPACE skills practice model


SPACE is an innovative practice area all students can access to use equipment and resources to practise a wide range of skills in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. It provides students with a creative learning environment to get the best educational experience before becoming a health care professional.


Learning Facilities

We offer 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.

Learning Facilities

Nursing - Facilities - Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

Explore our facilities in 360 panoramas, including welcome videos from key members of staff and Health and Wellbeing student profiles.

Virtual Tour

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Laura Garbett

Laura Garbett

Lecturer in Operating Department Practice

Laura is an Operating Department Practitioner registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Clinical experience includes anesthetic, surgical (scrub), post-anesthetic care and resuscitation. She successfully completed the Resuscitation Council Advanced Life Support Course and European Advanced Life Support Courses to enhance her role as an ODP and resuscitation officer.

Read Laura's full profile

Fiona Urwin

South West ODP Lecturer and Admissions tutor / Clinical lead

Fiona is a Registered Nurse and during her career up to 2018, she worked within Operating Theatres of both NHS and private hospitals; her final position being that of Theatre manager. Fiona's expertise is predominantly in the surgical phase of the perioperative environment and also in team leading and management of a busy NHS department.

From 2006, she also worked closely with different Universities, supporting and mentoring their Student ODP’s and nurses whilst they were undertaking their peri-operative placements and she is passionate about the importance of a good student experience during their placements to ensure that their learning is enhanced.

Fiona has an interest in inter-professional education/learning and shared experiences and how this contributes to high quality care in the perioperative setting.

Julie Quick

Senior Lecturer Clinical Lead & Enterprise/Research

Julie has spent 25 years working within the perioperative environment. In her last NHS post she worked as a Surgical Care Practitioner in general surgery at Trust within the West Midlands. Julie is passionate about perioperative care and has a particular interest in surgery, research and advancing surgical roles.  

Mark Owen

South West ODP Senior Lecturer and Course Leader

Mark is an Operating Department Practitioner registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Clinical experience includes anaesthetic, surgical and post-anaesthetic care. He successfully completed the Surgical First Assistant training to enhance his role in surgical care.

In Mark's academic role he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have a Master of Science in Health and Social Care Education. He has led a variety of modules including, surgery and enhanced surgery, management and leadership at pre-registration level and a post-registration module for the surgical first assistant.

Mark has an interest in Interprofessional education/learning and how this contributes to high quality care in the perioperative setting.