Operating Department Practice (BSc (Hons))

the United Kingdom

For more information about Operating Department Practice at University of Portsmouth, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BSc (Hons)

How long you will study
3 Years

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Operating Department Practice at University of Portsmouth


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.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • 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

Work experience and career planning

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.

Clinical Placements

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.

Module Details

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.

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.

Programme Assessment

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)
  • presentations
  • project

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
  • seminars
  • 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.

Student Destinations

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.

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

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course


Entry requirements

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. 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 proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at University of Portsmouth to prepare for your chosen course:

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