Operating Department Practice - BSc (Hons)
Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.
Are you interested in a 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 with our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (ODP) course....
- Level Undergraduate
- Study mode Full Time
- Location City South
- Award BSc (Hons)
- Start date September 2023
- Fees View course fees
- School School of Health Sciences
- Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences
Are you interested in a 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 with our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (ODP) 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 course uses 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 allow you to be eligible to apply for registration with the Heath and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and gain employment as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP).
What's covered in this course?
Using the Allied Health Professions 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, supported by clinical placement experiences to underpin the principles of evidenced-based perioperative care for patients undergoing elective surgery.
In year two, the clinical practice emphasis shifts 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 (SFA). You will also have the opportunity to explore your own specialist interests 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 register with the HCPC.
This course is accredited by:
Why Choose Us?
- Funding - Allied health profession students will receive at least £5,000 a year in additional funding for maintenance and associated study costs. Download the funding FAQs
- Excellent track record of developing high quality professionals who meet the needs of a range of care providers nationally
- We’ve invested £71 million in our City South Campus - get access to innovative education facilities that simulate the real life medical situations - including a hospital corridor with real life mock wards and an operating theatre
- Exposure to quality placement learning experiences to develop skills and professional relationships
- ILS and PILS qualification - second year students have the chance to undertake an extracurricular activity to gain an RCUK accredited certificate in Immediate Life Support (ILS) and Paediatric Immediate Life Support (PILS)
- Wide variety of career opportunities available upon successful completion, such as working in orthopaedic clinics, transplant teams, research and education
- Strong links in industry - benefit from our partnerships with the NHS and Independent Health Providers across the West Midlands and UK
- Learn from the experts - many of our staff are still active operating department practitioners, so you can rely on them for all the practical guidance, advice and knowledge you need for a successful career
- Get work experience abroad – you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas
- Student loan finance - have you already studied an undergraduate degree but would like to do a second one in Operating Department Practice? You may be eligible for funding.
Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Join us for an on-campus Open Day this spring. It’s your chance to learn about our courses, chat to students and explore our campus and accommodation. Before the event we’ll post you an event programme to help plan your day and find your way.
Next Open Day: Saturday 25 March 2023
These entry requirements apply for entry in 2023/24.
All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
If your Level 3 qualifications do not meet the UCAS tariff for this course, you may be offered a place on our Health Sciences Foundation Year instead. This course offers an alternative pathway onto our Allied Health Professions courses. You do not need to submit a separate application but will automatically be considered for this if your predicted grades fall below the UCAS entry tariff. Find out more about the Foundation Year.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|Level 2 qualifications|
|GCSE||GCSE English Language or Literature, GCSE Maths and GCSE Science at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.|
|Scottish National 5||English Language or Literature, Maths and Science at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
|British bachelor's degree||
|NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)||
|NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce||
|City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)||
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma
|Open University courses||
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Applicants’ qualifications that are not listed will be considered on an individual basis.
Recent relevant study to GCE A-level standard or above must have been completed within five years of the course intake date the applicant is applying for.
Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 7, with no subtest below 6.5. If English is studied at GCSE Level but as a second language, IELTS must be completed to qualify for UK L2 requirement.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Those who meet residency/academic requirements of UK students but whose language is not English will need to hold IELTS with an overall score of at least 7.0 with no element below 6.5.
I really want to become an Operating Department Practitioner but do not meet your entry requirements. What advice can you give me?
Portfolio Route for those holding Level 3 Diploma in Perioperative Support (QCF)
You are required to have GCSE at Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics (or Functional Skills English and Maths) and a science subject. (GCSE equivalents are accepted, e.g. Key Skills Level 2, Adult Numeracy, Adult Literacy).
The recognition of prior learning and experience route recognises that your previous experience contributes towards entry to the Diploma in Higher Education and Bachelor of Science in Operating Department Practice and when combined with successful completion of your portfolio, may lead to you successfully gaining a place in the programme.
In order to demonstrate your previous experience, you are required to complete a portfolio which complements your certificated learning, and demonstrates your ability to study in Higher Education.
The portfolio will require:
Applicants holding the Level 3 Diploma in Perioperative Support will be invited to interview and if successful will then be asked to create the portfolio. Once completed, you will need to send it electronically to the admissions tutor who will then evaluate the work and make a judgement about its suitability for entry onto the Operating Department Practice programme.
Fees & How to Apply
Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2023
- Full Time
- 3 years
- £9,250 in 2023/24
- Apply via UCAS
Sorry, this course is not available to International students.
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.
Placement expenses (mandatory)
There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online
Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)
For practice learning opportunities, you will be expected to adhere to the BCU HELS Faculty Dress Code and/or the dress code for the relevant placement provider(s). This may involve the purchase of new items of clothing and/or shoes.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.
You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.
You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.
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.
From August 2020, nursing professional degree students will receive at least £5,000 a year in funding support.
Find out more about the funding available
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
School or college experience
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
Non-accredited skills or achievement
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
Foundations of Learning in Operating Department Practice aims will introduce you to learning styles and relevant theoretical models of learning and teaching which can help you appreciate the academic and clinical environment.
You will identify your own learning style and needs and identify how this will impact on your transition to higher education within healthcare. You will also learn to understand how services users are important to your own learning and equally how you affect the service user.
Essential Biosciences for Operating Department Practice module aims to introduce you to biosciences and the essential knowledge of the human body that is required as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) to care for a range of service users. This module will enable you to understand the human body, its normal functions and deviations from this normality.
You will learn anatomy of the human body, physiology and the principles of pharmacology in relation to the perioperative patient. You will identify how homeostasis affects altered states of health and its impact on care.
Foundations of Care in Operating Department Practice aims to introduce you to the role and responsibilities of the Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) working safely as part of the anaesthetic, surgical and post anaesthetic teams. It will allow you develop your knowledge and understanding of the individualised, holistic care provided to elective surgical patients and the notion of human factors in ensuring a safe patient journey through the operating theatre.
You will learn the principles of perioperative care and the impact this may have upon patient and staff safety and be able to assess, plan, implement and review the care required for patients in anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care.
The Foundations of Evidence-based Practice (EBP) allows you to explore the concept and principles of evidence-based practice in the context of your role as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP). The key elements of evidence-based practice will be introduced and the contribution of evidence to the quality of service delivery in the operating department will be explored.
You will learn what EBP is and how it guides quality perioperative care. You will learn how to search for good quality evidence from appropriate sources determining the suitability of the evidence and using the evidence to provide high quality care for service users.
Becoming an Allied Health Professional (AHP) will introduce concepts such as professionalism, student’s code of conduct, personality traits and your impact within the operating theatre team. The module is closely aligned to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) standards, which you will be expected to work within throughout your student and post-qualification careers.
Foundations of Operating Department Practice in clinical practice, aims to help you develop safe and effective transferable practice under direct supervision of a mentor.
You will contribute to the interprofessional team caring for the patient undergoing elective procedures in anaesthetics, surgery and post anaesthetic care units. This will include checking, selecting and preparing equipment, participating in the five steps to safer surgery and patient assessment.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
Facilitation of Teaching and Learning in Operating Department Practice aims to build upon the foundation knowledge of how learners learn from your first year to facilitate teaching and assessment of learners in clinical practice.
You will explore teaching pedagogies and theories, which will help you to understand the evidence base behind approaches utilised to facilitate effective teaching and learning in practice. You will also explore the importance of diversity and inclusivity and its role in engaging learners throughout their professional clinical journey.
The Diversifying Surgical Care Delivery Module builds upon the knowledge, skills and abilities from year one including the Bioscience and Foundations of Care in Operating Department Practice module. This will allow you to deliver care to a wide range of patients with diverse individual needs as a member of the multi-disciplinary theatre team within the operating theatre and beyond.
Diversifying Anaesthetic & Post Anaesthetic Care module aims to build upon the foundations you acquired in year one and further explore anaesthetics and post-anaesthetic care delivery. It will allow you to develop in your role as an anaesthetic practitioner as you begin to deliver care to diverse patient groups undergoing elective and non-elective surgery.
Applications of Evidence-based Practice module will allow you to explore the relationship between research and evidence within perioperative care. You will develop an understanding of the research process to move the profession forward.
You will learn to analyse methods of enquiry in operating department practice and appraise research evidence to identify areas of good practice and those requiring further research.
Identifying & Developing Leadership Skills for the Operating Department Practitioner module will allow you to identify, examine and discuss the importance of leadership abilities and the impact of these upon others. You will examine current themes within healthcare settings which ultimately have an impact on patient care and safety, and how the Operating Department Practitioner’s (ODP) leadership abilities can manage this.
Development of Operating Department Practice in clinical practice, aims to help you develop safe and effective transferable practice under supervision of a practice supervisor to plan and deliver care for a range of patients across the lifespan.
You will contribute to the inter-professional team caring for the patient undergoing complex and emergency procedures in anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care units. This will include paediatric, shared airway, trauma and obstetric surgery.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
The Advancing Leadership into Management for the ODP and Supporting Learners in Practice module will focus on your professional development with a specific focus on developing your leadership skills ready to transition as a registered Operating Department Practitioner (ODP).
Acute Care Beyond the Operating Theatre aims to prepare you for the demands of an ever-evolving perioperative environment once you are qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP).
The Surgical First Assistance module allows you to understand the care of the surgical patient as a member of the extended surgical team. It will prepare you to work in the role of the Surgical First Assistant (SFA) as an ODP once you are qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Independent Research within Operating Department Practice will allow you to develop inquiry based learning as you undertake a primary or secondary research study as a research investigator to inform perioperative practice.
You will learn the importance of self-management, supported by a Faculty supervisor, to collect and analyse data within your chosen methodological framework, and learn how to disseminate the findings of research in order to make recommendations for future practice within the operating department setting.
The Negotiated Professional Practice module is designed to consolidate your learning over the last two years to prepare you for the demands of an ever-evolving Operating Department Practice (ODP) profession. As ODPs practise in increasingly diverse settings, this module allows you to select a specialist area of interest and evaluate its benefits to service users as well as your own professional development as a future registrant of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Proficiency of Operating Department Practice in clinical practice, aims to help you demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment as an Operating Department Practitioner exercising initiative and personal responsibility to meet the professional standards required by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
You will contribute to the inter-professional team caring for the patient within and outside of the operating theatre as a member of the theatre team and extended surgical and anaesthetic teams.
Download course specificationDownload now
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.
If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.
Accreditation or professional associations
Successful students can apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Health and Care Professions Council
This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, and will give you eligibility to apply for registration if you successfully complete the course.
College of Operating Department Practitioners
This course is awaiting endorsement from the College of Operating Department Practitioners, the professional body for the profession.
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.
Examples of real graduates and their work
Previous graduates are now holding management posts within the NHS and private sector.
Alumni have senior educational posts in the NHS and as part of the course teaching team. This includes individuals who have published and presented at a national level.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the West 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.
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
Lecturer in Operating Department Practice / Admissions Tutor
Katie's career as an ODP began at Birmingham City University 15 years ago when she undertook the Diploma in Higher Education in Operating Department Practice, she has been qualified for almost 13 years.More about Katie
Rene Macias Morales
Lecturer in Operating Department Practice / Placement Lead
Rene is a Registered Adult Nurse. During his training he had exposure to Orthopaedic theatres for a year, finally settling down in Cardiothoracic theatres, where he specialised in cardiac surgery. Rene joined BCU as a Lecturer since beginning of 2019.More about Rene
Lecturer in Operating Department Practice
Paul is an Operating Department Practitioner and Alumni of BCU. During his training he attended the Birmingham hospitals circuit rotation for his first year and at City Hospital for his second. Paul initially worked at City Hospital post qualification for three and a half years, and then moved to Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH) in...More about Paul
Tom Graeme-Drury is a lecturer and researcher who teaches across Biomedical Sciences and Operating Department Practice. He enjoys delivering accessible sessions about anatomy and physiology, and is passionate about inclusivity and tackling barriers to higher education. After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Plymouth, he...More about Tom