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Operating Department Practice (South West) - DipHE

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

This two-year Diploma programme, delivered with the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as part of a wider peninsular partnership, prepares you to become an Operating Department Practitioner - a vital part of the operating theatre team, with a role that varies from day to day....

  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

This two-year Diploma programme, delivered with the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as part of a wider peninsular partnership, prepares you to become an Operating Department Practitioner - a vital part of the operating theatre team, with a role that varies from day to day.

Operating Department Practitioner programmes at Birmingham City University (BCU) have an excellent track record of developing knowledgeable, compassionate and skilful health professionals who meet the needs of both patients and healthcare employers.

The employability of our students is maximised by exposure to quality placement learning experiences and the development of transferable skills which is reflected in consistent and exceptionally high employment on graduation. This unique partnership, delivered at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Campus, has been developed to meet the future workforce needs of the NHS and independent sector in the South-West as well as providing national employment opportunities

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The programme combines theoretical and practical components, complemented with clinical placements in a range of specialities and settings. The overarching aim is to develop and refine clinical competence and the application of best evidence-based knowledge to direct patient care in contemporary healthcare settings.

Your work will be assessed using a mix of methods depending on the module or area of study and includes text-based submissions, written examinations, oral examinations, presentations and clinical skills assessment both in placement and simulated in university. The range of assessment methods is chosen to not only indicate a level of achievement but to also develop and demonstrate a range of skills transferable to the modern healthcare environment.

It is anticipated that the development of transferable skills throughout your programme will enhance your employability on graduation and provide a sound foundation for future professional development.

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 that helps students develop a clear 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.

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
  • We are one of the largest and most diverse providers of health and social care education in the country.
  • We use advanced and innovative education methods to ensure you get the most from your experience and learning
  • We have close links with a wide range of clinical practice partners to maximise your experience
  • 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

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.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Level 2 Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements
GCSE
  • Three subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Level 2 equivalent qualifications (e.g. Functional Skills) are accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
BTEC Level 2 Diploma
  • Pass
  • Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics and English Language
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate
  • Pass
  • Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics and English Language
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy
  • Pass
  • Adult Numeracy / Adult Literacy
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Mathematics, English Language and Science subject
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2
  • Pass
  • Mathematics and English Language
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Science subject
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Key Skills level 2
  • Pass
  • Application of Number and Communication
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Must be considered alongside GCSE or equivalent in Science subject
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • Three subjects at grade C or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • Three subjects at grade 2 or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
Scottish National 5
  • Three subjects at grade C or above
  • Must include Mathematics, English language and Science subject
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
  • Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application
IELTS
  • 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.
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements
A level and Advanced VCE
  • CCD / 88 UCAS points
  • Including Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject at A-level or Level 3 equivalent
  • Excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking and Extended Project
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or Level 3 equivalents
Access to HE Diploma
  • Health and Social Care or Science related pathway
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 18 credits at Merit or Distinction (of which 12 must be in a Science or Health related subject)
  • If applying with an Access course you only need GCSE Mathematics and English Language at grade C/4 or above or accepted equivalent. You are not required to hold three GCSEs in total and GCSE Science is not required

British bachelor's degree

  • Minimum 2.2 at full honours
  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • MMM
  • Must be in either Health and Social Care or Science subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (2002 – 2010)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award (2002 - 2010)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Health and Social Care or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2016 - present)
  • BTEC Level 3 Certificate (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Health and Social Care or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (from September 2014)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • Grade C overall
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Grade C overall
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
  • Grade C overall
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Grade C overall
City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Must be in Health and Social Care

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4 (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 88 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3))
  • Must include a Health or Science related subject at Higher level

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • MMM
  • Must be in Health and Social Care or Applied Science

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma
    (2016 - present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma
    (until-2016)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
    (until 2016)
  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the OCR level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Open University courses
  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Must be in K101 - An Introduction to Health and Social Care

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
  • Must include a Health or Science subject at Higher level or above

T-Levels

  • 88 UCAS points (Pass [with C or above in the Core] overall)
  • Must be in either Healthcare Science or Science

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • One of the A-level / equivalent qualifications being taken must be a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 88 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • One of the A-level / equivalent qualifications being taken must be a relevant Health or Science subject (e.g Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Other qualifications

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.

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*. Interviews are currently online via Microsoft Teams. Find out more about online interviews.
  • 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.

Portfolio route

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:

  • A testimonial from your Diploma in Perioperative Support education provider; which confirms your progress, identifies your level of engagement in the process and your academic skills
  • A testimonial from your workplace manager; which confirms your commitment to high quality patient care delivery as part of the perioperative team, work ethic and integrity
  • 1 x 1500 written paper, in a formal style which uses the ‘Harvard’ referencing convention. This paper should discuss an aspect of perioperative practice
  • 1 x 1500 written reflection, using Gibbs Model of Reflection. This element requires you to consider a time when you had a positive impact on a patient’s experience

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

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

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: DipHE

Starting: Jan 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

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.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Uniform

On placement, you will be provided with scrubs from a central stock that is laundered by the hospitals. You will also be provided with appropriate footwear.

DBS check

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.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Subscriptions (optional)

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.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

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.

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

Course in Depth

Download course specification

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Course structure

Taught in state-of-the-art facilities, including access to simulation suites and operating theatres, at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospitals education centres. We use a variety of teaching methods to help you get the most from your study, reflecting the subject matter and your individual needs.

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

And as we're one of the largest ODP education providers in the UK, we can offer you opportunities to experience surgical practice in a wide range of specialities; from transplant surgery to ophthalmology to neurosurgery. 

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).

Year Two

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

Employability

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.

Placements

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 Devon and Cornwall.

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

Facilities & Staff

Facilities

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across. Using a mixture of modern classrooms, a skills suite and a real operating theatre we ensure that the students experience offers students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

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.

Find out more about the Research Innovation and Learning Development Building

Operating theatre

The operating theatre is operationally used within in a hospital’s day case unit and has all of the machinery, tools and equipment necessary; however with protected, supported time you will be able to build up confidence and feel comfortable in your working environment.  Operating theatres can be daunting and confusing places on first view but during clinical skills sessions, you will learn to feel more comfortable within that environment.

RILD building

RILD Library 

The library, based in the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) building, is a specialist health education library. 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 and a silent study area as well as a numerous number of computers that students can access during theory.  In addition to this, students will have access to not only the online BCU catalogue but also the NHS libraries in their placement areas.

The library offers extended opening hours and has an ODP specific reading list.

Computer facilities

As mentioned above, the RILD library has computers, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs have:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software

Our staff

Mark Owen

Senior Lecturer in Operating Department Practice / South West ODP Placement lead

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.

More about Mark