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Undergraduate study
Simulation suite

Operating Department Practice Studies BSc (Hons)

As an operating department practitioners (ODP) you are a specialist vital part of the multidisciplinary perioperative theatre team, providing a high standard of patient-centred care during anaesthesia, surgery, and post anaesthetic care (recovery).


Course overview


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Over the 3-year course, you work within the entire perioperative environment across a variety of surgical specialities. You assist anaesthetists and surgeons alongside the wider multidisciplinary team and gain experience in various NHS and private hospitals.

This patient-centred course equips you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to contribute to healthcare delivery in a dynamic and fast-moving surgical environment. Graduates of the course will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Gain practice and experience across a variety of perioperative areas including general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, ear, nose and throat, obstetric surgery, anaesthetic and post-anaesthetic care. Over 50% of the course is spent in hospitals on a rotation basis throughout the North East, alongside experienced clinical staff and previous Teesside ODPs. You follow various shift patterns including nights and weekends to gain the maximum learning experience. You are supported by evidence-based learning in lectures, seminars and practical activities in our clinical skills labs and simulated operating theatre. Your learning is underpinned and enhanced by the academic team who have decades of collective experience in theatre settings.

All eligible students on this course will receive a £5,000 learning support fund each year, which is non-repayable. Eligible students can also apply for reimbursement of essential expenses for travel and accommodation to attend practice placements.

Top 5 reasons to study this course

  • Gain valuable learning experiences and specialised training in hospital theatres across the North-East
  • our bespoke simulation suite gives you realistic training experience
  • gain mentoring, leadership and management skills
  • become highly employable with varied career opportunities, including leadership and management roles
  • postgraduate opportunities for advanced roles including surgical care practitioner and surgeon

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Supporting information for applicants

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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

An Introduction to Evidence-based Practice for Health Professionals

You examine the role of evidence-based practice and sources of evidence: primary and secondary research, guidelines, audits and evaluations to support clinical decision making. You develop skills in formulating focused questions, developing effective search strategies and literature retrieval.

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.

Introduction to Human Physiology for Healthcare Professionals

This multidisciplinary module introduces basic processes principles and concepts of human physiology required by a range of health professionals, including healing and repair processes.

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.

Professionalism for Health Professionals

You develop an understanding of your role in the delivery of contemporary health and social care within the context of interprofessional practice and behaviour, preparing you for the demands of practice and ensuring you are sufficiently informed and equipped to practice safely. The module will also introduce you to the concepts of continuous professional development and lifelong learning and the tools to demonstrate this through the use of the e-portfolio. This will prepare you to produce evidence of professional development to maintain your professional registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council or General Dental Council.


Year 2 core modules

Clinical Decision Making 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.

Dissertation Planning for Health Professionals

You further develop your knowledge of research methods and critical appraisal. The module will build upon the knowledge of the different research methodologies gained at level 4 and allow you to apply that knowledge to design a project using primary or secondary research methods.

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

Perioperative Practice Year 3 for ODP

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.

Service Improvement for Operating Department Practice


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
96-112 points from two or three A levels, or equivalent T 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
96-112 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
96-112 points (MMM).

CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care
96-112 points (C) in health and social care.

Foundation degree
A pass in any subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate
96-112 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
96-112 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 you will be measured against the following criteria which is mapped against the NHS Constitutional Values (DH, 2013): NHS Constitution

  • Knowledge of chosen profession/career
  • an appreciation of the demands of the course and chosen profession
  • enthusiasm for the course/profession
  • ability to communicate effectively both verbally and non verbally

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

A qualified ODP is trained in all areas of theatre work and can specialise in surgery, anaesthetics or post-anaesthetic care. New areas of practice are also opening up to the ODP such as accident and emergency, intensive care units and specialist theatres. Career opportunities exist within NHS hospital trusts and private hospitals, primary care trust clinics and the armed forces.

You can progress to postgraduate study to develop to an advanced role and surgical care practitioner skills alongside surgeons. You can also develop your role through teaching, or pursue theatre management roles.


Information for international applicants


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

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Useful information

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

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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.


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 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
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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