course page main image

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

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry. Switch to 2024/25 Entry

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....

  • Level Apprenticeship
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2023, April 2024
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Explore this course


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).

How to apply

You apply for a degree apprenticeship in the same way you apply for a normal job. You’ll need to submit an application to the recruiting employer.

Employers advertise degree apprenticeships throughout the year and there is no application cycle like there is with university applications. The vacancy will state when the application deadline is, and when the apprenticeship is due to start.

You cannot apply directly to the University for a degree apprenticeship. To apply for an apprenticeship, you first need to find one that you are interested in applying for.

The NHS Jobs website is where the vacancies are advertised. It only shows live jobs (so it won’t tell you previous vacancies, nor what’s coming up), so you will need to check it regularly to see new vacancies as the employers advertise them.

Apply through the employer

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this 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.

What do apprenticeships offer?

  • 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.

Entry Requirements 

You will need to apply for this apprenticeship through your organisation, and your application will be assessed by both your employer and the academic team at Birmingham City University.

As a minimum requirement, you will need to hold the Care Certificate (from the Skills for Health), have at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (formerly grade C) in English language, mathematics and one other and either 112 UCAS points or a NVQ level 3 in healthcare or associated subject and a portfolio of evidence.

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.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • HCPC

Facilities & Staff

We have invested £340 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Mock Wards

These are set up to look like typical hospital wards, with four to six bays. Depending on the topic in hand, different manikins can be used as patients and relevant equipment is provided to practise clinical skills. Some of the manikins are interactive and can simulate different scenarios e.g. some allow you to cannulate, check pulses, intubate etc, and some can talk to you. One ward is often used as an adult ward, and the other as a child ward.

These rooms also allow for scenarios to be set up for other professions such as dietetics, paramedic science and social work.

The Operating Theatre and Recovery Suites

The operating theatre and recovery suite gives you the sense of what it would be like in a real surgical environment.

These spaces emulate the full surgical journey from anaesthetics, through surgery and into recovery. ODP students can practice a range of skills including gowning, hand washing, preparing instrument trays, and working with a patient. Nurses and midwives may experience a surgical placement and need to go to theatre or be part of the midwifery team involved with caesarean sections. Many other Allied Health Professionals may also see patients in recovery if necessary.

Home Environment Room

This space is used to simulate non-clinical settings, as not everything health professionals deal with is hospital based. This is used for simulations of home visits and home births. It also houses soft matting and a bubble machine that are used by the Learning Disability Nursing team.

Assisted Living Space

This space replicates a flat and is used for scenarios such as home visits. The sitting room area provides a different space to practise skills and simulations and work with service users and other students.

Assisted Kitchen

This specially designed kitchen has different areas where you can practice cooking, cleaning, boiling the kettle etc., with someone who has actual or simulated visual impairments. There are adapted devices to help, and simulation glasses for you to wear to experience visual impairments.

Physiotherapy Room

This is a space for physiotherapy students to use, with various equipment to practise client meetings.

Radiotherapy Planning Computer Suite

Our computers allow you to plan hypothetical treatments, in terms of angles and directions, ensuring that radiotherapy reaches where it is needed on a patient’s body.

Radiography Image Interpretation and Reporting Stations Computer Suite

These facilities allow you to view and analyse x-rays.

VERT - Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training

This room contains 3D technology to view virtual patients and look at trajectories for treatment.


This room contains the same bed/couch used when patients are given radiotherapy treatment. While students of course do not administer radiotherapy in this room, it does allow them to practise adjusting the equipment to make sure both it and a patient would be in the correct position to receive treatment.

Telehealth Room

This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with fiv small telehealth booths down either side. These are to allow all our health professions students to practise delivering healthcare and advice remotely, either over the phone or on a video call. This addition to our teaching reflects moves in the sector to offer more flexible access to healthcare services, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Imaging Academy

This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the Midlands Imaging Academy Hub, funded by Health Education England. These expanded facilities will mean we can further develop our courses and expertise in radiography and imaging.

Speech and Language Therapy Resource Room

Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have developed a collection of tools, books and resources to help you learn and understand the implications of a speech or swallowing limitation. You can practise one to one client meetings and clinics and use the video recording equipment to review role play scenarios.

Our staff

Julie Quick

ODP Apprenticeship Course Leader / 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.  

More about Julie

Laura Garbett

BSc ODP Course Leader / Senior 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 & European Advanced Life Support Courses to enhance her role...

More about Laura