The Operating Department Practice degree is focuses on a patient-centred service offering you the opportunity to learn in a way that will promote interprofessional understanding and good working practices across professions.
The three year full-time course consists of 17 modules of study, taught within study blocks. These are designed to provide you with the knowledge, confidence and skills required to care for patients of all ages during the perioperative period. All modules are compulsory owing to the demands of professional and regulatory bodies.
All modules are compulsory for the BSc in Operating Department Practice.
Practice modules require you to achieve both the theoretical and clinical practice components (clinical shifts) of study and learning to pass the module.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.
Aims and focus for academic and professional skills development:Stage (Year) One
Year one provides an introduction to the development and
application of fundamental Perioperative Care knowledge and skills, to enable
you to meet a person’s overall needs for comfort with dignity and
compassion. You will be introduced to clinical practice and work towards
basic skills and competencies within the interprofessional operating theatre
setting. Academic and clinical skills
development focus on an understanding of the importance of a strong
evidence base and on reflective self-awareness. Stage (Year) Two
The focus of year two is to enable you to develop
the depth of your understanding of the Operating Department Practitioner role
and broader perioperative and health care knowledge base. This will help to build confidence in
professional skills across a variety of perioperative settings. There is an
emphasis on thorough perioperative care planning, application and
assessment. You will continue to
learn in interprofessional contexts within the practice setting, developing
insights into the inherent diversity of contemporary health and social care. You will develop your theoretical Operating Department Practice and science knowledge base as you take a more critical approach to the evidence. You will have opportunities to apply your knowledge across a range of clinical perioperative specialities as you increase your knowledge, understanding and skills. Stage (Year) Three
Year three focuses on the consolidation and advancement
of evidence based knowledge and professional skills. Core knowledge and skills development themes include: decision making and problem solving; autonomous case management; team working
in a multiprofessional environment; and development of supervision,
management and leadership skills.
three practice modules will allow you to engage with and develop the
advanced surgical role, advanced anaesthetic role and advanced post-surgical
You will have opportunities to demonstrate the
performance of critical thinking, synthesis and evaluative skills in both
academic and clinical settings asyour reflective and practice skills are
- Principles of Professional Practice, level 4 (double): This is a compulsory double practice module that introduces you to concepts and theories associated with professional practice developing both generic and profession-specific skills and knowledge.
- Perioperative Practice One, level 4 (double): This single practice module introduces you to the core concepts and practices related to perioperative practice. This module facilitates the development of the operating department practitioner professional role through the completion of a professional portfolio. This provides evidence of your achievement of compulsory learning outcomes and competencies in clinical practice placement.
- Furthering Professional Practice, level 4 (double): This is a double practice module that further develops concepts and theories introduced in Principles of Professional Practice. You have opportunity to further develop both generic and professional specific skills and knowledge within a multi professional context. This includes recognition of physiological, sociological, psychological and cultural contexts.
- Development of the Human Body and Mind, level 4 (single): This practice-related module introduces you to some of the basic principles of human life sciences using a life span development approach. You are introduced to cell biology and the development of the human body from the reproduction and a single cell. You then explore the roles of the central nervous system, and endocrine system in the physiological control of the human body, and the role of the immune system in protecting the body.
- Life Sciences for Health Care Professionals, level 4 (single): This practice related module takes a systems based approach to anatomy and physiology needed by adult, mental health, learning disability, children’s nurses, midwives, operating department practitioners in practice. Major systems of the human body are explored in their relation to clinical practice. Examples of pathology reflecting a lifespan approach are used in lectures and seminars to further your understanding of underlying anatomy and physiology.
Stage Two and Three
- Advanced Physiology for Allied Health Professionals, level 5 (double): This practice-related module explores aspects of clinical anatomy and physiology relevant to perioperative practice.This module is designed to expand on material learned in Advanced Human Life Sciences and relate such material to both biological theory and practice in the perioperative care environment.
- Perioperative Practice Two, level 5 (single): This single practice module explores the needs of a patient prior to their forthcoming surgical experience. The assessment and planning of care issues, such as information giving, assessment criteria, involvement of significant others and informed consent is examined. Content will address the implementation and evaluation of clinical and technical aspects of care associated with pharmacological and physiological changes to the patient undergoing induction and maintenance of anaesthesia. This module allows you to develop and enhance knowledge from Perioperative Practice One.
- Perioperative Practice Three, level 5 (single): This single practice module allows you to develop, analyse and evaluate clinical practice issues and challenging situations relevant to major and emergency perioperative interventions. Aspects of patient safeguarding and vulnerability are explored in depth with particular focus on paediatric, learning disability and mental health perioperative care needs. Psychological aspects of care such as patient, and staff, anxiety are explored to inform management of care and teams. You will also develop and advance practice knowledge and skills (such as difficult airway management, fibre optic intubation, invasive monitoring, creating and maintaining a bloodless surgical field) through a process of reflection on experiences, clinical practice and achievement of competencies.
- Perioperative Infection Prevention and Control, level 5 (single): This is a single practice-related module which focuses on the principles of infection prevention and control related to UK healthcare practices, and considers issues relevant to the operating department and critical care. Teaching is evidence based and delivered by a blended process of face to face and online learning. This module enables you to contribute to the creation of a safe working environment and promotes evidence based infection control practice for the patients, their relatives and health care workers.
- Advanced Human Life Science, level 5 (single): This module focuses on how the human body reacts to surgery and trauma. Recent advances in medical science and the influence on paramedic and perioperative practice are explored. This builds on the anatomy and physiology components learnt in the first year of the course.
- Perioperative Pharmacology, level 5 (single): This is a single, practice-related module that enhances and consolidates your knowledge of pharmacology and its application to clinical practice. This module builds on the knowledge and experience gained through previous knowledge of anatomy and physiology and clinical practice experience. Through a problem-solving approach that focuses on the critical use of pharmacology knowledge in practice, you will be able to understand the theoretical underpinnings of your practice and your role in empowerment and client education in relation to drug therapy.
- Leadership and Management in Perioperative Practice, level 6 (single Honours Component): This single, practice-related module explores leadership skills and techniques in the management of people and resources. Through the critical analysis of operating theatre management, you gain knowledge and understanding relevant to change management, problem solving in complex and unpredictable situation, clinical decision making and application to perioperative care. In addition you are required to critically evaluate how variation in resources impact directly and indirectly on perioperative care. Multi-professional teamwork, managing conflicts and challenging behaviours are also explored.
- Perioperative Practice Four; Advanced Anaesthetics, level 6 (double Honours Component): This double practice module examines the needs of the patient during the perioperative journey with particular emphasis on advanced anaesthesia. Altered anatomy and physiology, and the pharmacokinetics and dynamics associated with anaesthesia are explored. Additionally, the holistic care of the patient during all phases of anaesthesia are explored, including pre-operative patient assessment, care planning, clinical and technical management of the patient, and legal and professional issues. This module facilitates opportunities for you to develop self-awareness and reflection, and to expand both theoretical evidence-based knowledge and practical skills relating to the perioperative and critical care environment.
- Integrated Perioperative Practice; Management of Patients in the Perioperative/Critical Care Environments, level 6 (single Honours Component): This single practice-related module explores the holistic management of patients in the perioperative/ critical care environments. Operating department practice within the multi-professional context and the provision of comprehensive health care interventions are examined. In particular, this module develops independent, self-directed learning as well as team work, reflective and critical appraisal, skills, through its problem-based enquiry of clinical practice scenarios approach to learning.
- Perioperative Practice Five; Advanced Surgical Role, level 6 (double Honours Component): This double practice module explores the advanced surgical role of the ODP and provides you with the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge, skills and competence associated with assisting a surgeon or surgical care practitioner in the perioperative environment. Professional accountability and boundaries of practice for the performance of enhanced surgical skills by an ODP within the multi-professional team are explored and assessed. Current evidence is used to inform safe practice regarding the scope of practice for ODPs providing enhanced surgical skills. You are given opportunities to develop personal learning strategies and use reflective analysis to provide safe patient care in the context of advanced surgical roles for the ODP.
- Research Methods and Analysis, level 5 (single): This module teaches you the research process, research methods, data analysis and the ethical considerations associated with health and social care research. It focuses on the techniques and skills for data collection and analysis in quantitative and qualitative research designs. It provides you with more advanced skills to critique research and determine its usefulness for evidence based practice. It is the prerequisite research methods module for the honours degree dissertation.
- Dissertation: Operating Department Practice, level 6 (double Honours Component): This double practice-related module is the final module of the undergraduate programme and is an opportunity for you to identify a research question of your choice and to answer this question by conducting a critical literature review. The module also equips you with the necessary skills to disseminate and apply research findings into your practice area.
Practice education for the programme is undertaken in partnership with local NHS Trusts and independent providers in the whole of the South West Region (places such as Barnstaple, Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, Exeter, Gloucester, Penzance, Plymouth, Swindon, Taunton, Torquay, Truro, Weston-Super-Mare). Placements are organised for the students by the Practice Education Unit at Oxford. However; it may be possible to place some students outside of this geography subject to placement availability.
You will have the opportunity to undertake clinical placements in a selection of the following areas: orthopaedic surgery, general surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery, plastic surgery, genito-urinary surgery, gynaecological and obstetric surgery, minor and major vascular surgery, ophthalmic surgery, and other specialist clinical areas if appropriate.
Whilst in clinical placement you will be expected to undertake shift patterns determined by the placement area into which you are placed. Practice experience will occur in more than one hospital in order for you to gain the best learning opportunities. Applicants invited for interview will be asked to identify their preferred placement area, although your preferred placement area cannot always be guaranteed.
When in clinical placement students undertake a 40-hour week inclusive of lunch, tea and coffee breaks in order to comply with regulatory body requirements. Each student will adopt practice hours which reflect the established placement's shift pattern in order to gain optimal learning.
When in clinical placement you will complete a minimum of 2,050 hrs. Many of our students take up the offer of an additional 725 hrs of optional practice hours to consolidate their learning and skills.
These practice hours are divided up as presented in the table below:
June exam board deadline
Attendance at the University for taught sessions will generally be between the hours of 0900 - 1700 with some evening and weekend teaching.
You also learn through flexible teaching and assessment strategies including skype, Google Hangouts, online activities and, where possible, local delivery.
Additional travel costs to clinical placement may be incurred. The cost of Occupational Health screening and Disclosure Barring System checks may also need to be covered. Please ask about this at our open days or contact our admissions team to enquire about this. Because of the change in funding we are unsure who will bear the cost of the following items: theatre clogs, skills uniform. We will update students as and when we are informed.
There are currently no university halls of residence for Swindon based students. However, there is more information about securing accommodation in the Swindon area on our website.
You are encouraged to source your primary accommodation close to your practice education placement area. This constitutes a period of 60% of the programme learning.
The current practice for students in study block periods is to organise short periods of accommodation in local bed and breakfasts, room lets and hotels. These are readily available within the Swindon area. This would be at your own expense.