Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Operating Department Practice
Are you enthusiastic, great with people and keen to make a living improving and saving lives?
Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are an essential part of the surgical team. They take care of patients, prepare the operating theatre and surgical equipment, and act as a vital link between the surgical team, other hospital departments and patients.
Our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree course, which we've developed with local NHS Trusts and the private sector, provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to work in this demanding and rewarding role.
- Practise examinations and procedures on human patient simulators in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, one of the country’s leading healthcare teaching environments
- Spend more than 50% of your time gaining experience in real operating theatres and wards at our partner hospitals and NHS Trusts, with one-to-one mentorship from a registered healthcare practitioner
- Learn on a course with 100% overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2021)
- Become eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Operating Department Practitioner when you graduate
NHS Learning Support Fund
At least £5,000 a year
On this course, you may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund bursary of at least £5,000 a year.
100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2021)
90% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)
This course is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).
BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree entry requirements
- A levels – BBC
- UCAS points – 112 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science, Sports Science, PE) All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview, including NHS values based recruitment (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 29
- All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course. The Department of Health requires all new Exposure Prone Procedures (EPP) workers, including students, are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The consent, test and managed process of results will be carried out by our Occupational Health Department.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Values and the NHS Constitution
We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.
You'll gain the practical ODP skills and confidence you need in our safe and realistic Simulation Centre.
You'll practise on our high-fidelity patient simulators in our mock operating theatre and wards, before applying your learning on clinical placement in real hospitals.
The University offers state-of-the-art equipment to make simulation as real as possible, with lecturers who have huge experience as ODPs.
Careers and opportunities
The role of an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is to care for patients undergoing surgery in hospital, from preparing the operating theatre and anaesthetic, to ensuring the surgical team have the equipment they need during an operation and supporting patients as they recover.
ODPs are vital to the safe and effective running of an operating theatre, and many are need in both the NHS and private healthcare sector in the UK, now more than ever. As many operations were postponed due to the pandemic, there is high demand for Operating Department Practitioners to help patients get the surgery they need.
Once you complete this Operating Department Practice degree, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which you'll need to work as an ODP in the UK, in areas including anaesthesia, surgery and recovery.
With more training, you could become a surgical care practitioner able to carry out some surgical procedures, under supervision of a consultant surgeon.
What jobs can you do with an Operating Department Practice degree?
As a registered Operating Department Practitioner, you'll be able to progress and develop towards roles such as:
- surgical care practitioner
- advanced critical care practitioner
- team leader
- theatre manager
- sterile supply manager
- practice educator
- research fellow
As an Operating Department Practitioner in the NHS in 2021, you could expect a starting salary of £25,655 moving up to £31,534 (Band 5).
With more experience as a senior ODP or team leader, you could earn from £32,306 to £39,027 (Band 6).
Ongoing careers support
After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.
What I enjoy most about my course is clinical placements, being able to apply theory in practice when in emergency situations and being part of team that saves someone's life has been very rewarding.
You'll need work experience in real hospital settings before you can become an Operating Department Practitioner, so on this course you'll spend more than half your time on clinical placements.
On each placement, you'll have one-to-one expert support and guidance from a personal mentor based at that hospital or NHS Trust. As a registered healthcare practitioner, your mentor will be there to advise you throughout and oversee your placement experience.
Each year of your course includes one work placement module in a clinical setting. Placement locations are liable to change, but recent students have completed placements at:
- Portsmouth NHS Trust QA Hospital
- Southampton General Hospital
- BMI Healthcare, Winchester
- St Richard's Hospital, Chichester
- RSC Hospital Brighton
- Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath
We can also help you find further relevant work experience during your course to boost your career prospects further. We help you identify placements, internships, and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Foundation of Evidence Based Practice
- Foundations of ODP Professional Practice
- Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice
- Science Informing Practice
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Applied ODP Professional Practice (placement)
- Engaging with Service Improvement
- Evidence Based Decision Making
- Perioperative Care of Specialist Patient Groups
- Perioperative use of Drugs
There are no optional modules in this year
Core modules in this year include:
- Complex Perioperative Care
- Enhancing ODP Professional Practice (placement)
- Leading Safe and Effective Care
There are no optional modules in this year
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- tests (academic or practical/skills based)
- performance-based clinical practice assessments
- online assessment
- academic written work/portfolios
- objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- face to face lectures
- live online lectures
- recorded online resources
- practical simulation work
- hospital placements
There's a joint focus on this course between theory and practice, both in academic and real-world settings.
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
Teaching staff profiles
These are some of the expert staff who’ll teach you on this degree course.
Ashley qualified as an Operating Department Practitioner in 1990, after which he worked in the British Army, the NHS, and private practice. As a senior practitioner, he set up anaesthetic support services for a new five theatre department and implemented resuscitation services for the entire unit.
He also spent just under two years as a Deputy Theatre Manager in the private sector.
His focus is the delivery of safe and efficient perioperative care, with a keen interest in anaesthetic practice and resuscitation including human factors. He has worked part time for the university since 2008, as a visiting lecturer teaching on the BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice and the BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science. Ashley is the current course leader for the BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice, having accepted a full time post in June 2015.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.
A typical weekYou'll take part in scheduled study blocks for up to approximately 20 hours a week and in placement activities for roughly 37.5 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll be involved in timetabled activities such as tutorials, lectures and workshops alongside independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching by your third year.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- understanding and using assignment feedback
- managing your time and workload
- revision and exam techniques
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK) for one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to:
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2022 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
This course isn't currently open to International and EU students.
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund of at least £5,000 a year. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.
For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
Your uniform is included as part of your course fee, but you’ll need to pay £20–£50 for extra or replacement uniforms. You won’t need to pay for a replacement due to fair wear and tear.
You’ll need to pay the travel costs associated with your placement, though the NHS may meet some of these costs.
How to apply
To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – B700
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
EU and international students
Sorry, this course isn't currently open to international or EU students.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.