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Operating Department Practice BSc

BSc (Hons) - single

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The Operating Department Practice course is mainly based in the South-West, with academic contact primarily at our Joel Joffe Building, Swindon campus. It offers a unique opportunity to develop the knowledge and clinical skills required to deliver care to patients undergoing surgery. During your studies you will gain a very wide range of experience in specialist operating theatre environments and associated clinical areas within the hospital setting, such as adult intensive care. As a member of the operating theatre team, you will work alongside medical and other health care professionals.

Find out about our exciting move to a brand new campus

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 104. Preferably to include a science subject

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Swindon Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: 7 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • This course offers you a unique opportunity to develop the knowledge and clinical skills required to deliver care to patients undergoing surgery.
  • You will gain experience in a range of specialist operating theatre environments and associated clinical areas within the hospital setting, such as adult intensive care.
  • Some of the hospitals you will work in have national or international reputations for excellence and innovation in surgery.
  • This course reflects the multidisciplinary and multiprofessional approach needed by perioperative practitioners working within a contemporary operating theatre environment, and meet the registration requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • The students and course team together have created a trusting environment in which to develop knowledge and skills and share experiences.
  • Courses at Oxford Brookes have gained a reputation for providing students with a strong sense of belonging, friendship and support, through close networking and peer support.

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.

Study modules

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.

Year three practice modules will allow you to engage with and develop the advanced surgical role, advanced anaesthetic role and advanced post-surgical care role.

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 honed.

Stage One

  • 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 double 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.
  • Anatomy and Physiology for ODP 1, level 4 (single): This is a single module, one of two Operating Department Practice (ODP) specific bio-science modules that provide an introduction to anatomy and physiology. These modules are closely related to the first year ODP practice modules. Topics covered include: science in healthcare and organisations, reproduction, early embryology & foetal life, genetics, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system.
  • Anatomy and Physiology for ODP 2, level 4 (single): This is a single module, one of two Operating Department Practice (ODP) specific bio-science modules that provide an introduction to anatomy and physiology. These modules are closely related to the first year ODP practice modules. Topics covered include: the digestive system, blood and transportation, muscles of the body, the genito-urinary system, protection and the immune system, control and coordination.

Stage Two and Three

Stage Two:

  • 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.
  • 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 research. It focuses on the techniques and skills for data collection and analysis in quantitative and qualitative research designs. It provides you with more advance skills to critique research and determine its usefulness for evidence based practice. It is the prerequisite research methods module for the honours degree dissertation.
  • 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.

Stage Three:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Work placements

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 Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Penzance, Swindon, Taunton, Truro, Weston-Super-Mare). Placements are organised for the students by the Practice Education Unit. 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
One 570 hrs
Two 700 hrs
Three 780 hrs

Attendance pattern

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 costs

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.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Learning through experience to integrate theory and practice is a key part of this course. We take a competency-led approach which ensures that you have the best possible conditions in which to gain the knowledge, confidence and skills required to care for people in the perioperative period. You will also undertake appropriate clinical tasks in the perioperative environment and associated areas, under the supervision of mentors. This will enable you to gain competency in a range of clinical skills and achieve each clinical competency set out in your programme of study.

Information technology plays an increasingly important role in health care courses and a range of learning resources can be accessed through our virtual learning environments.

Approach to assessment

Our course team is committed to supporting your academic skills development and maximising your potential to succeed. Module assignments have been designed and selected to enable you to demonstrate the learning outcomes for each module and cumulatively the overall programme learning outcomes.

Examples of academic assessments include reflective essays, presentations, in-class tests and multiple-choice examinations. Practice is assessed through clinical competency achievement and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). These are an integral part of the practice-based modules.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

From 2017 new students on nursing, midwifery and AHP pre-registration courses (which lead on to qualification with one of the health professional regulators) in England will take out maintenance and tuition loans like other students, rather than getting their fees paid by Health Education England and receiving an NHS bursary.

Further information on available funding and forthcoming changes can be found on the following links:

We are happy to answer questions about status from potential applicants. If you are an EU national you will not normally qualify for a student loan. If you are currently employed by the NHS and your Trust has offered to second you while you undertake the course, they will continue to pay you your salary and therefore you will not be entitled to a student loan.

While the University delivers an academic course in semesters, you will be expected to undertake further clinical placements to meet professional requirements. This means that you should apply for student loans for 42 weeks a year. You can find out more information on the student loan website.

For general sources of financial support, see funding for Undergraduate students from the UK and EU

Please also see our Healthcare students FAQs.

You may also be entitled to apply for a university bursary. Please contact our student finance unit to enquire about this.

For general sources of financial support, see funding for Undergraduate students from the UK and EU

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 104. Preferably to include a science subject

A-Level: BCC (preferably including a science subject)

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.


Access Course: Equivalent to 104 UCAS points, to include 12 credits in Biology

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C) to include Mathematics, English Language and Science

Note: GCSE English and Maths are now required as separate qualifications. Functional Skills Level 2 qualifications for English and Mathematics will be accepted.

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry for this course, calculated on the same A-level equivalence for BCC, are 104 points. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Note: for applicants who have been out of education for more than 5 years we recommend an Access course to help prepare for study on the BSc ODP programme.

Securing a place is subject to both a satisfactory DBS and an Occupational Health clearance. If neither clearance has been completed prior to enrolment or a DBS issue has been declared on application, then enrolment may not be possible. If enrolment has been agreed, then continuation on the programme will be contingent on satisfactory clearances.


All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

All Oxford Brookes University Health and Social Care Programmes conduct Value Based Recruitment (VBR). We recognise that values and attitudes have the greatest impact on the quality of people's care and their experiences.

VBR is a way of helping our Programme recruitment teams to assess the values, motives and attitudes of those who wish to work with people in health and social care settings. When we refer to values we mean, for example, the values included in the NHS constitution.

VBR focuses on 'how' and 'why' an applicant makes choices in how they act and seeks to explore reasons for their behaviour. Further details about the VBR framework can be found here.

All potential students are interviewed, with a clinical service partner present.

The health of applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and exposure prone procedures. A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring System (DBS) check has to be completed in order to start the course.

Many of our prospective students have found related work experience, such as working as a Theatre Care Assistant or relevant voluntary work, has helped them to gain a good insight into the Operating Department Practice role prior to starting the ODP course. This is also a valuable way to enhance your application. The Admissions Officer may be contacted for advice on the application process on (01865) 483713.

English language requirements

IELTS score of 7 (no section less than 6.5).

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

How to apply

Home / EU applicants

Full-time: apply through UCAS »

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Support for students studying Operating Department Practice BSc

There is a range of support mechanisms for students, including:
  • academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development
  • student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for queries about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The University’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research and preparing for exams. They also give advice on statistics and mathematics.

There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. The service's staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including accessibility, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Specialist facilities

The Joel Joffe Building at Swindon provides excellent facilities for students, with a friendly and supportive environment in which to learn. Facilities include:

  • clinical skills suites equipped with simulation resources and models
  • comfortable seminar rooms
  • well-equipped lecture rooms with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment
  • a resource centre
  • a student common room area and refectory
  • fully networked student computers with internet access including the university's online resources


Find out about our exciting move to a brand new campus.
Oxford Brookes offers information resources which are accessible online as well as locally based library facilities on University and NHS sites.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

The course leads to a nationally recognised qualification and eligibility to apply for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Please note that HCPC approval for this course is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

Career prospects

Post-registration, operating department practitioners (ODPs) can develop their careers in specialist clinical settings. The most common route is a career in an operating theatre department but opportunities are also available in emergency departments and intensive care units.

A range of post qualification/registration work opportunities exist, for example in industry, the independent health care sector, the armed forces, research, management and teaching, or you may choose to work abroad.

The course leads to a nationally recognised qualification and eligibility to apply for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Please note that HCPC approval for this course is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

Further study

As health care becomes ever more complex, with new treatment options and strategies adopted, ODPs have to be effective lifelong learners. As a qualified ODP there are opportunities to update and develop your skills though continuing professional development (CPD).

Oxford Brookes University offers a full range of post-qualification / postgraduate learning pathways.