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Undergraduate study
Operating Department Practice Studies

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


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.

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

You gain early exposure to practice and gain experience across a variety of specialist areas including general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, ear, nose and throat, obstetric surgery, anaesthetic and post-anaesthetic care. Over 50% of the course is within operating theatres and placements throughout the North East with supervised practice alongside experienced clinical staff and previous Teesside ODPs. You follow various shift patterns including nights and weekends to gain the maximum learning experience. You develop the essential skills and knowledge supported by evidence-based learning in the University with lectures, seminars and practical activities in our excellent clinical skills labs and simulated operating theatre. Your learning is underpinned and enhanced by the academic team’s decades of collective experience in theatre settings.

All new and continuing 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

  • Our bespoke simulation suite gives you realistic training experience
  • Varied and specialised training in surgical and anaesthetic roles give you valuable learning experience
  • You gain leadership and management skills and experience
  • High employability for ODPs, with varied career opportunities, includes leadership and management roles, in theatres with specialities
  • Postgraduate opportunities to develop advanced roles and surgical care practitioner skills alongside surgeons

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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

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

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.

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

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.
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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

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


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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 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 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: Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

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2022 entry

UK applicants

Complete this enquiry form only if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved grades. If you do not have these at this time, we will be unable to progress your enquiry - please re-visit and complete the form after you have received your results.

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International applicants

Our undergraduate courses are available through Clearing to international applicants. Please only complete this application form if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved your grades. You must upload all requested documents including a copy of your passport, academic qualifications and English language qualification, and copies of any sponsor letters or maintenance documents to meet the requirements. If you have previously applied through UCAS for 2022-23 entry, please include your UCAS personal ID number in the course details box.

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2023 entry

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Choose Teesside

  • On video

    Student operating department practitioner Louise Gibben

    Why Louise is studying operating department practice studies at Teesside University

    Student operating department practitioner Abigail Ilsley

    Why Abigail is studying operating department practice studies at Teesside University

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Abigail Ilsley

    Abigail IlsleyBSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Studies

    I would highly recommend Teesside for anyone who wants to gain a professional career in healthcare. The facilities are amazing, they have great connections with the NHS around the North East and staff are so supportive.

    Meet Abigail

    James Cane

    James CaneBSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Studies

    The course is really interesting, and I feel like I will be well prepared for my first job.

    Meet James

    Christopher Lloyd

    Christopher LloydDipHE Operating Department Practice*

    Christopher is now a surgical care practitioner.

    Meet Christopher


Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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