Operating Department Practice

Study options


BSc (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
Centre for Health Innovation Stafford
Study option:
3 Years
Start date:
23 September 2024

HCPC approved

Provides eligibility to apply to the HCPC as an ODP

Hands-on experience

You'll spend approximately 50% of your time in clinical practice

Simulation-based immersive learning

Learn in our new £5.8m Centre for Health Innovation

Learn the skills needed to deliver essential services in the operating theatre and give high standards of perioperative care to patients.

On our BSc in Operating Department Practice, you will follow the patient journey as they go under anaesthetic through to their recovery. The role of an ODP is varied with lots of career opportunities in different areas of hospital settings.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Work placements

To give you hands-on experience of working with patients, combined with plenty of opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge in the operating theatre environment, you’ll spend approximately 50% of your time in clinical practice during the course of your studies. Your placements will take place at a variety of hospitals across Staffordshire and Shropshire. You will work in a range of surgical areas, including general and abdominal surgery, orthopaedics, obstetrics, and ear, nose and throat.

Course content

You’ll develop your skills in clinical laboratories that are equipped with some of the most advanced teaching equipment available. In our state-of-the-art simulated Operating Theatre, for example, you’ll train in the delivery of basic care, right through to managing emergency situations.

This will enable you to reach a level of confidence and proficiency before carrying out procedures on real patients.

To give you hands-on experience of working with patients, combined with plenty of opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge in the operating theatre environment, you’ll spend approximately 50% of your time in clinical practice during the course of your studies.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Professional body accreditation

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as an operating department practitioner.

There will always be job security as an ODP

There will always be job security as an ODP


ODP student Samantha talks about the role of an ODP, her career ambitions, the diverse routes available to graduates and how ODP inspires her.

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The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Entry requirements

Typical UCAS offer: 112-120 points, plus GCSE in Mathematics and English at Grade C (4) or above.

  • GCE A Levels - grades BBC or equivalent
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass Access with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points. Applicants to Staffs who are taking the Access to HE Diploma receive a reduced tariff point offer as part of our access and participation plan activity
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • T Levels - Eligible T Level applications will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of P (A*-C) or Higher Pass as a condition of offer

All applicants are required to complete a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health check.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Operating Department Practice - Skills session

Operating Department Practice - Skills session


ODP students give a snapshot of the clinical simulations helping them to train for a career as an operating department practitioner.

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For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.




Graduate Destinations

Our ODP graduates provide a broad range of hospital services in the operating department ,and associated areas, such as intensive care and emergency departments. Some choose to continue their studies through degree and higher degree pathways. Others work abroad in countries such as New Zealand and Australia.

Employment Opportunities

Your qualification could ultimately lead to roles in management, teaching or specialisation – in areas such as resuscitation, intensive care or accident and emergency environments.

Graduate earning potential, starting as band 5 in the NHS Agenda for Change pay scale at £25,655.

Potential career progression to Team Leader and Manager in the theatre environment or specialising in other areas such as Critical Care, Emergency Care, Pre-operative Assessment; Education and many more. The scope of practice increases as does the demand for ODPs in healthcare in the NHS and the private sector, with worldwide opportunities.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Immersive Skills Labs - Centre for Health Innovation

Immersive Skills Labs - Centre for Health Innovation


Emily Browne introduces the Immersive labs in our Centre for Health Innovation in Stafford that can create environments from roadside to emergency room to living room.

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Teaching and assessment


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course.

Immersive simulation

We are sector-leading in the use of simulation and virtual reality (VR) within the curriculum. Our students are involved in learning anatomy and physiology with the inclusion of VR to embed their knowledge using this amazing three dimensional technology.

Throughout your studies, you will participate in real-time simulations and scenarios on mannequins using technical operation theatre equipment within our Skills Labs. These sessions include:

  • Basic A-E sessions in year 1
  • Deteriorating patient and co-morbidities simulations in year 2
  • Moving to more advanced Emergency scenario simulations in year 3

Supporting the acquisition of practical skills, students also have learning experiences using our Advanced Task Trainers including: urinary catheterisation, intravenous cannulation and laparoscopic camera holding.

Alongside these are hands on sessions involving Service Users as patients, keeping our students focused on the patient-centered approach to excellent healthcare.


Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include:

  • study skills such as reading, note-taking and presentation skills
  • written English, including punctuation and grammatical accuracy
  • academic writing and how to reference
  • research skills
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills
  • time management

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Meet Iona - ODP Vlog

Meet Iona - ODP Vlog


ODP student Iona recorded a vlog series giving a valuable into life as an ODP student.

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Your overall workload will consist of class contact hours, independent learning, assessment activity and study visits where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. However, you can normally expect that time spent in scheduled teaching and learning activity will be highest in Level 4, decreasing in Levels 5 and 6 as independent learning becomes more significant.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.


You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Your tutors are experienced practitioners who will bring real-life experiences to your learning using the most up-to-date skills and technologies.

Rebecca Wright

Senior Lecturer

I am the lead for direct entry BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice I contribute to both the teaching and planning for both direct entry and apprenticeship students.

Rebecca's profile

Dawn-Marie Sharman

Senior Lecturer


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BSc (Hons)-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £19,000 per year of study

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:
  • The School will fund uniforms, occupational health screening and DBS services.
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

Some students may choose to take an elective placement outside of our standard Practice Learning Placement circuit. Where this is the case, the costs associated with travel, accommodation, insurance etc will be the responsibility of individual students.


International Students, like all others, should be aware of the additional costs they will incur of travelling to their Practice Learning Placements (which constitutes fifty per cent of the course over three years). This is in addition to the costs associated with studying away from home such as accommodation.

International Students are unlikely to be eligible for the additional financial support offered to some UK/EU students. The International tuition fee includes a contribution to the yearly Practice Learning Placement tariff which will allow students to access the full range of clinical learning experiences.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by reading our additional funding web pages, or visiting www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

Our simulation suite can be set up as a theatre, the mannikins talk to you. You can set it up to be whatever situation you want. And it is a great help because you can practice on all of those, get any mistakes out of the way before you head into placements.

I think it's an important part of learning to have that facility and I think we're very lucky to have that.

Samantha Powell


ODP is a valuable career because it's being part of a surgical team. As being part of a multidisciplinary team, you can have a say, you can be part of the treatment, but you're playing a big role in implementing care. So, it's assisting the anaesthetist, assisting in the surgical or recovery. You're a big helping hand for the physicians.

Nikhil Kana


Placement is a great time to figure out what you want to do with the ODP role. You get hands on experience; you work with a great team of mentors, and you can go around various hospitals. You learn real life skills and you can go around many theatre areas and different specialties with different members of the team, including surgeons, anaesthetists, other ODPs, scrub nurses, it's a good experience.

Mikey Blakeley


I had nearly a ten-year gap when I started the course. I didn't know anything, but the lecturers here are very supportive. I am proud to be a part of Staffordshire University. I feel like I'm in the right place. So that has built my confidence. I’ve learned so many things, just in the first year. I feel like I'm on the right track.

Jacob Mattu


The skills lab is amazing. You get to develop skills which you can use in practice. Before we even got a placement, I learned how to scrub up. It just gives you that extra bit of confidence and a little head start.

Coral Edge

Graduate now working at Leighton Hospital

The course has a really good reputation and practice. A lot of people locally like people who are trained at Staffs.

Jules Brown


In my maternity placement I got to be involved in scrub and delivering a baby through caesarean section which was an amazing experience

Catherine Williams


As an ODP, your days are never dull, filled with moments of triumph, challenges overcome, and lives forever changed. You're not just a healthcare professional; you're a guardian of hope, a champion of healing, and a true embodiment of the power of teamwork and compassion in the face of adversity.

Simona Cashen



Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Centre for Health Innovation Stafford BSc (Hons) Full-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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