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Undergraduate study
Nursing & Health

Operating Department Practice Studies
BSc (Hons)


  • Note: this course is available to apply for September 2021 or January 2022 intake. Apply online (full-time) through UCAS.

Course overview

Operating department practitioners (ODPs) are a vital part of the multidisciplinary perioperative theatre team, providing a high standard of patient-centred care during anaesthesia, surgery and post anaesthetic care (recovery). You can expect to work within the whole of the perioperative environment across a variety of surgical specialities assisting anaesthetists and surgeons alongside the wider multidisciplinary team.

This patient-centred course prepares you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure that you can contribute fully to healthcare delivery in a dynamic and fast-moving surgical environment. This course leads to the achievement of the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Operating Department Practitioners (ODP). On successful completion of the course, you will be eligible to apply for registration with HCPC as an ODP.

From September 2020 all new and continuing students on this course will receive a £5,000 learning support fund each year if they’re eligible. They will not need to pay it back.
Full details here

The course is designed to ensure early exposure to practice where you will gain experience across a variety of specialist areas including general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, ear, nose and throat, obstetric surgery, anaesthetic and post-anaesthetic care. You will be allocated to surrounding NHS hospital trusts to enable you to develop essential skills and knowledge and this will be supported by evidence-based learning in the University with lectures, seminars and practical activities in our clinical skills labs and simulated operating theatre. As a student ODP, there will be a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice and clinical decision making throughout the course as you work towards achieving the requirements for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Over 50% of the course is completed within the practice environment in NHS and private operating theatres and placements throughout the North East region where you will engage in supervised practice. You will work alongside experienced clinical staff following various shift patterns including nights and weekend working in order to gain the maximum learning experience. The academic components of the course are completed within the University setting with lecture rooms and simulation suites.As with all healthcare professionals, the public place a high level of expectation and trust in their Operating Department Practitioners and therefore to work in this sector, it is essential that you are able to demonstrate the core values embedded within the NHS Constitution:

  • Working Together for Patients
  • Respect and Dignity
  • Compassion
  • Improving Lives
  • Everyone Counts

Student VoiceThe School is committed to the development of quality courses and to the enhancement of the student experience. To that end the Student Voice is central to the design and delivery of the learning experience. We invite you to provide feedback at key points in your student journey and ensure that we respond to your feedback through our 'you said, we did' approach.

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply for registration to the Health and Care Professions Council.

Please note 100% attendance is expected during this programme.


Supporting information for applicants

Our School feedback policy (word - 278kb)
Our School reference policy (word - 276kb)


Course details

In the early part of the course you gain the relevant foundational knowledge and skills needed to work within the perioperative environment. You will gain an understanding of perioperative pharmacology, relevant anatomy and physiology, infection control and the legal and ethical concepts surrounding theatre care. Throughout the course, there will be a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, clinical decision making and continuing professional development.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Physiology for Perioperative Care

You explore relevant topics in anatomy and physiology for operating department practice which informs your practice in relation to assessing and caring for patients in the perioperative environment.

You focus on major organs and organ systems with an emphasis on homeostasis, the systems assessed and physiological parameters that are measured in perioperative patients.

Where appropriate, some basic principles of physics, chemistry and mathematics are incorporated to provide a fuller understanding of anatomical structures, physiological processes and physiological parameters. There’s an emphasis on relating theory to practice and developing the knowledge and skills required to carry out safe and effective patient assessment.

Foundations of Perioperative Care

You are introduced to the foundation knowledge for perioperative practice with an emphasis on reducing the risks of infection in the operating department. Using an evidence-based approach and making reference to local and national guidelines and policies, this module introduces the principles of safe perioperative practice. Where appropriate, selected content from human biology, physics and chemistry is included. Within the context of infection prevention, you recognise your professional responsibilities and apply given tools and techniques to justify your practice. This equips you with the basic knowledge and understanding of key principles required to enter the practice environment.

Legal, Ethical and Professional Concepts in Perioperative Care

This module considers the professional, ethical and legal concepts which underpin professional practice in the operating department.

Perioperative Practice Year 1 for ODP

This module develops your knowledge and skills to actively participate in patient care associated with theatre interventions linked to portfolio competencies. You’re placed in a variety of theatre placements to work towards developing competency in the three areas of operating department practice – anaesthesia, surgery and recovery.


Year 2 core modules

Developing Care in the Perioperative Environment

This module develops your ability to apply, relate and critically analyse evidence-based knowledge that underpins current perioperative practice. The main focus is on clinical decision-making and the effective use of the assessment process to ensure individualised care and applying safe practice within the perioperative environment.

You develop the knowledge and skills to promote independent learning whilst exploring the wider legal, ethical and governance issues that contribute towards the advancement of contemporary perioperative practice. You choose a specific aspect of perioperative care to use as the basis to demonstrate the effective application of theory to practice.

Perioperative Evidence Appraisal

You develop your knowledge and understanding of evidence-based practice and the quantitative and qualitative research methodologies that underpin it. By formulating questions, searching literature and critically appraising research evidence you develop practical skills in key aspects of the evidence-based practice process. The module prepares you for your final-year independent project – you’re encouraged to focus on an aspect of service improvement that is relevant to your area of work.

Perioperative Pharmacology

You develop your operating department practitioner understanding of pharmacology, specifically drug groups used for patients undergoing operative procedures. You do this through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars delivered over seven days and followed by a summative unseen exam. The module develops your knowledge of the methods of storing, handling, preparing and administering of drugs in the operating department environment.

Perioperative Practice Year 2 for ODP

Following on from Perioperative Practice Year 1 for ODP, this module further develops your knowledge and skills to actively participate in the patient care associated with theatre interventions linked to a portfolio of competencies.

You are placed in a variety of theatre placements to develop competency in the three areas of operating department practice - anaesthesia, surgery and post anaesthetic.


Final-year core modules

Continuous Development in Perioperative Care

This student-negotiated independent learning module is the equivalent of a dissertation, enabling you to evaluate evidence in your professional practice, develop recommendations and propose improvements. You are equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute to improving practice based on evaluating evidence about a focused, student-determined area of professional practice.

You are allocated a project supervisor who guides you throughout. Student-centred learning and teaching strategies facilitate continuous improvement in your area of practice and encourage you to be more independent and self-managed.

Perioperative Practice Year 3 for ODP (Apprenticeships)

This module develops your knowledge and skills to actively participate in leading patient care and develops your understanding of advanced theatre care, associated with theatre interventions linked to a portfolio of competencies. Specific aspects of leadership and management are highlighted, including developing decision-making processes in relation to prioritising, co-ordinating and implementing care. Aspects of advanced theatre care include catheterisation, draping responsibilities and advanced theatre roles.

Through a series of lectures, skills workshops and enquiry-based learning you develop your self-directed learning and teamwork skills to promote personal and team effectiveness.

Professional Development for Operating Department Practitioners

The Health and Care Professions Council standards require that registrants maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of continuing professional development. This module enables you to identify and apply strategies that promote and encourage the concept of lifelong learning and prepares you for effective engagement with continuing professional development. You explore the drivers, legal, ethical and professional requirements of professional development and how it contributes to the provision of high quality care. You explore frameworks used to identify your own professional and developmental needs and engage in strategies to demonstrate how you can effectively engage with professional development.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You will engage in key lectures, seminars and workshops. Practical workshops will be a key feature within the simulated theatre suite where you will practice in a realistic safe environment using SimMan technology to enhance your learning.

How you are assessed

Each module is assessed separately, using a variety of methods including examination, practice portfolio, poster presentation and written assignments

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You are expected to have:

  • a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English language and maths. Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2 in Communication and Application of Number can be accepted in place of English and maths GCSE. Please note these are not required if you are doing an Access course – however, you must have English and maths as listed below.*

Plus any of the following qualifications:

GCE and VCE Advanced Level
96 points from two or three A levels.

AS Level
One AS level can be accepted when combined with two or three A levels to meet the 96 points required.

Access course
96 UCAS points from a QAA-recognised course (any combination)
*We can accept level 2 Access units in communication and maths in place of English and maths GCSEs.

BTEC QCF Extended Diploma
96 points (MMM).

CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care
96 points (C) in health and social care.

Foundation degree
A pass in any subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate
96 points from four or five Highers/Honours subjects.

Level 3 plus 40 credits at level 4 in any subject.

Open University
60 credits at Level 4 with the Open University, or a CertHE pass in any subject.

Scottish Highers
111 points from four or five Highers.

Advanced Scottish Highers
96 points from three Advanced Highers.

For further detailed entry requirements for this course please visit

  • The selection process includes shortlisting of your application, following which, if successful, you will be invited for an interview.

Shortlisting criteria
Your application will be measured against the following criteria:

  • Your ability to complete all sections of the application form fully and correctly
  • The level of all qualifications and grades are specified
  • Appropriate academic entry requirements achieved or predicted
  • Personal statement supportive of chosen course and demonstrates an understanding of the uniqueness of the profession and the role of the professional
  • A satisfactory reference

If you are invited to interview and the date is not suitable we may not be able to offer you an alternative date due to the high volume of applications received for this course - but it is important that you contact the Admissions Office immediately.

Interview criteria
At the interview, which will be structured around multiple mini interview (MMI) workstations you will be measured against the following criteria which is mapped against the NHS Constitutional Values (DH, 2013): NHS Constitution

  • Privacy and Dignity
  • Resilience and reflective ability
  • Problem solving
  • Advocacy and empowerment
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Team working
  • Choice of career and the ODP role

A range of scenarios will be used to enable you to demonstrate your ability to address the NHS constitutional values alongside communication skills based on your performance throughout the workstations.

If you are successful in both shortlisting and interview you will receive a conditional offer which is subject to the following:

  1. Evidence of achievement of any required academic qualifications
  2. A successful work based risk assessment which will reflect the HEOPS recommendations - please read these here. For more information on all of the HEOPS standards click here
  3. An enhanced criminal history (DBS) check may be required for certain modules or placements which involve working with children and/or adults at risk. Where an enhanced DBS check is required, applicants will cover the cost of these checks which can only be processed through the University.
  4. A satisfactory reference

International applicants
  • International applicants must have IELTS 7.0 with a minimal score of 6.5 in all sections or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 100/120 (in conjunction with a Teesside University English language test)* before an unconditional offer is made
  • If you are successful at shortlisting you will be invited to attend an interview (which may be in person OR video call) in one of our international offices in either India, Malaysia or China, or through a secure web link (which will be arranged by the University).
  • If you can not attend an interview as stated, you will be unable to proceed with your application.

*Students holding TOEFL qualifications at the required grade will be able to combine the qualification with a Teesside University English language test to meet the English language requirement. The English language test will assess listening and speaking competency.

For international enquiries please email

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

The qualified ODP is trained in all areas of theatre work and can specialise in surgery, anaesthetics or post-anaesthetic care. They can develop their role through teaching or pursue theatre management roles. New areas of practice are also opening up to the ODP such as accident and emergency and intensive care units. Career opportunities exist within NHS hospital trusts and private hospitals, primary care trust clinics and the armed forces.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: B990 BSc/ODPS
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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