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
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
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
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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
Attendance at the University for taught sessions will generally be
between the hours of 0900 - 1700 with some evening and weekend
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.
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