Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Operating Department Practice - DipHE

Clearing places available

72 points required

Work out your points with our UCAS points calculator

  • UCAS Code: B990
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Location: City South
Waiting for results? Download Clearing Guide Got your results? Apply online now

72 points

(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

This is a specially designed two-year Diploma to prepare you to become a fully qualified Operating Department Practitioner - a vital part of the operating theatre team who supports surgeons, nurses, anaesthetists and patients throughout surgery.

Our Operating Department Practice course here at Birmingham City University has an excellent track record of developing high quality professionals who meet the needs of a range of care providers nationally, evidenced by our 100% graduate employability rate (DLHE 2016/17) 

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 should 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 simulated in university. Simulation activities will prepare you for clinical practice, by allowing clinical skills and behaviours to be rehearsed before applying these in the clinical setting.

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. 

Where will I study?

You will study at our recently extended £71 million City South campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham, complete with a fully equipped operating theatre and specialist surgical simulation facilities to support you as a practitioner throughout the course.

Our academic team are dedicated to your development and have many years of experience in delivering perioperative education in academic and clinical settings. Our experience provides an excellent resource that will help you develop a clear understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.

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    
  • High graduate employability rate - 100% of our 2016/17 graduates went on to work or further education on an average starting salary of £22k (DLHE 2016/17)
  • Exposure to quality placement learning experiences to develop skills and professional relationships 
  • 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
  • We’ve invested £71 million in our City South Campus - get access to innovative education facilities that simulate the real life medical situations at City South campus - including a hospital corridor with real life mock wards and an operating theatre
  • 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
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

Entry Requirements


(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

We recruit to the values of the NHS constitution. This influences our selection criteria and especially the values we are seeking to be demonstrated in both your application and interview, which we view as essential in any individual involved in patient care.

A minimum of 88 UCAS tariff points:

Essential Requirements
Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved prior to enrolment:
GCSE at Grade 4 or above (previously Grade C) in English Language, Mathematics and Science. Passes in the following qualifications are also acceptable: Functional Skills Level 2 (English and Maths), Key Skills Level 2(Application of Number or Communication), and City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates (Adult Literacy/Adult Numeracy). 
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
88 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 88 UCAS tariff points. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.
GCE/AVCE Double Award in Health and Social Care
Minimum Grade AB required (88 tariff points)
GCE A/A2 Level with additional AS/A1 (9 units)
Will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications to equate to 88 UCAS tariff points.
BTEC National Certificate in Health and Social Care
Minimum Grade DD required (88 UCAS tariff points)
BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social Care
Minimum Grade MMM required (88 UCAS tariff points)
BTEC National Certificate in Early Years
Will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications to equate to 88 UCAS tariff points.
BTEC National Diploma in Early Years
Minimum Grade MMM required (88 UCAS tariff points)
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Minimum Grade 24 (88 UCAS tariff points)
CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education
Minimum Grade C required (88 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 - 88 UCAS tariff points).
NVQ Level 4 in Health and Social Care
Full award required.
Irish Leaving Certificate
88 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 5 Highers at Grade C1/H4 or above.
Scottish Leaving Certificate
Maximum of 5 Advanced Highers at Grade C or above to achieve 88 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
Full award.
OCR National Diploma
Minimum Grade D
OCR National Extended Diploma
Minimum M3 
The Open University K101 - An Introduction to Health and Social Care (or equivalents)
Completion of full year (transcripts will be required).
Foundation Degree
Foundation degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require a transcript of the content of the course.

Other qualifications:

Applicants’ qualifications that are not listed will be considered on an individual basis.

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

In addition:
  • 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.

* Interviews: Candidates who are successfully short listed will be invited to attend a selection event. This will consist of a presentation from one of the ODP team which will include an outline of the day. Candidates will participate in group activities and several mini interviews. Students will be offered a tour of  Birmingham City University facilities on the selection day. 

International candidates

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.

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: DipHE

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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.

Places available to start in September 2020

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and get your results day 2020 questions answered.

Get advice

International and part-time students can apply online as normal using the links above.

Want to start in September 2021?

You can apply via UCAS from September 2020.

Personal statement

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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

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.

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.

Learning Support Fund

From 1 November 2017 you may be able to apply for elements of the learning support fund if:

  • you are studying a pre-registration healthcare course
  • are studying in England and
  • your course started on or after 1 August 2017

Visit NHS student services for more information

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Course structure

Taught in state-of-the-art facilities, including an operating theatre, at Birmingham City University we use a variety of teaching methods to help you get the most from your study, reflecting the subject matter and your individual needs.

And as we're one of the largest ODP centres in the UK, we can offer you the chance to experience everything from transplant surgery to specialist oncology to neurosurgery.

From structured lectures to personal use of our multimedia facilities, we'll teach you how 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

You will study 120 credits each at Level 4 and 5 and there's a 60-40 split between blocks of study and clinical placement.

Course breakdown

Year One

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Introduction to Bioscience
20 credits

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
20 credits

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 Anaesthetic and Post Anaesthetic Care
20 credits

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.

This module will focus upon basic anaesthetic and post anaesthetic care techniques, equipment, monitoring and the importance of working within national standards and organisational guidelines to deliver high quality, evidence based holistic care. You will concentrate on patients undergoing elective procedures in conjunction with a registered practitioner.

Introduction to Surgical Practice
20 credits

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.

Caring in the Perioperative Environment
40 credits

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.

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Applied Biosciences
20 credits

The application of physiology and pharmacology in clinical practice is fundamental in providing high quality patient centred care. Additionally, an understanding of the scientific principles that provide the basis of clinical monitoring and investigation are essential to the operating department practitioner.

Influences on Perioperative Practice
20 credits

This module encourages you to develop an understanding of evidence based practice and the relationship to wider influences on perioperative care. To be successful and to function safely as a student Operating Department Practitioner and post qualification, you need to know how to apply relevant information to your practice and academic work.

This module explains evidence-based practice (EBP) and its importance and relevance to your profession; with a clear understanding that if you practice an evidence-based approach, then you are set to give the best possible care for patients.

Transition to Registered Practioner
20 credits

Considering the Programme Philosophy and Aims this module prepares you to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and subsequent employment on graduation. You will be encouraged to become a professionally aware, autonomous and reflective practitioner at the point of registration and it enhances your employability skills on qualification and beyond. 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.

Managing Anaesthetic Care and Post Anaesthetic Care
40 credits

During the first year of the Dip He in Operating Department Practice you studied the basic principles of anaesthetics and post-anaesthetic care and established how your role fits with the other members of the multidisciplinary team. This module enables you to develop your role and practice as a second year student ODP; enabling you to deliver care to patients undergoing elective and non-elective cases. This will include patients with complex needs.

Developing Surgical Practice
20 credits

In your first year of the DipHE and BSc (Hons) ODP programme you studied the fundamental principles of surgical practice and identified the role of the scrub and circulating ODP as a member of the multidisciplinary team.

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, the decisions you make as well as the role of others impacts upon the safe and effective care of the patient during the intraoperative stage of their perioperative journey.

Further study

After completing this Diploma, you can specialise post-registration, or move into management or teaching.

A comprehensive portfolio of post-registration courses called Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is available within the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences and can be found here. Many are taught as part-time flexible modules to fit around your work and domestic commitments.

Practise your skills in SPACE 

Filled with state-of-the-art equipment, our SPACE (Skills Practice and Care Enhancement) area is the perfect place for you to practise a wide range of skills at your own pace.

Watch our video to see how access to SPACE has helped our students to succeed.

Explore SPACE

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.

Links to industry

 The programme has long established links with NHS and private health providers and has worked with the military in training ODP’s since the course started.


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 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.

Examples of real graduates and their roles

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.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

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).

100%...of students are in work or full time study six months after graduating2016/17 DLHE Response


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.

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.  

Dave Hughes

David John Hughes

Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

David qualified as an Operating Department Assistant in 1984 and following 16 years clinical experience gained at City Hospital (formerly Dudley Road), he moved into Operating Department Practice education. Initially, David was tutoring students at the Centre for Operating Department Practice Education, West Lodge, Selly Oak Hospital Birmingham, the largest provider of ODP education in the UK, before moving into Higher Education.

Read David John's full profile