BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (Degree Apprenticeship)

Our HCPC-approved degree apprenticeship allows you to invest in your workforce by combining university education, work-based learning and professional development. You can offer apprentices a rewarding career as a registered operating department practitioner. While working as a valuable part of your team, apprentices can gain the skills and knowledge needed to provide a high standard of patient-focused care during the anaesthetic, surgical and recovery phases of a patient’s surgical journey.

Operating Department Practice (Degree Apprenticeship)

Key information


BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:



3 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


Start date:


Course Details

The Level 6 BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (Degree Apprenticeship) is designed to develop highly specialised healthcare professionals that will perfectly match the current and future needs of your organisation. You can offer structured on-the-job training and an internationally recognised qualification, helping you to attract the best new talent and retain valued staff through career progression. Studying flexibly alongside work will allow your apprentices to put their new skills and understanding into practice immediately, benefitting your organisation without delay.

Striking a balance between the technical and scientific aspects of perioperative care and the softer skills that support communication, wellbeing and caring for the patient, study at the University complements learning in the workplace. This course focuses on helping your apprentices learn to provide skilled assistance to surgeons and anaesthetists and work alongside nursing and healthcare colleagues to deliver excellent individualised care and support during anaesthesia, surgery and recovery. We’ll guide them as they gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours to respond to a patient’s needs throughout their surgical experience and perioperative care.

Our dynamic and multi-disciplinary course team will work to prepare your apprentices to manage the care of patients scheduled for routine procedures as well as respond to life-threatening emergencies. Our aim is to support apprentices to develop the core knowledge, skills and behaviours required to work with patients of all ages in operating theatres and other perioperative environments.

If you’re looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer who is offering apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment.

  • The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and on successful completion your apprentices will be eligible to register as a qualified operating department practitioner (ODP). They will also receive a Degree Apprenticeship Certificate, and be awarded an academic degree – the BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice from the University of Bolton.
  • Your apprentices will have access to facilities in the flagship £31 million Bolton One building, including our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites where they will be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment.
  • This course is designed to prepare your apprentices to demonstrate the confidence, compassion, competence and effective judgement required of a registered ODP, and to take responsibility for their decisions.
  • We’ll support your apprentices to gain essential skills in evidence-based practice. These will inform their actions and help them evaluate their effectiveness, so that they can continually work towards improving patient outcomes.
  • Your apprentices will be guided by staff with extensive experience in this field of practice and inter-professional education.
Key Features
  • The programme offers your apprentices opportunities to develop the academic knowledge, clinical skills, and personal and professional behaviours required to meet the Standards of Proficiency as required by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) (2016), and enables them to apply for registration with the HCPC.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing your apprentices to prepare work at home and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • During the final stage of the course, your apprentice will undertake a substantial work-based research project.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice’s progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the University. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.
Professional recognition

The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

On successful completion of the programme, your apprentices may submit an application to the HCPC to join the register for operating department practitioners (ODPs).

Whilst studying this course apprentices are not currently required to register as a member with the HCPC. However, they must follow the HCPC’s standards of proficiency and standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Apprentices will be required to sign a declaration of on-going fitness to practise at regular intervals during their studies.

After qualifying as an ODP, your apprentices will need to be committed to learning and always keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. To maintain their registration to practice with the HCPC, they will need to continue to meet the HCPC’s standards of proficiency, and conduct, performance and ethics standards.

  • 112 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • The applicant’s Level 3 subjects must include a science subject; for instance, A-level Biology or BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science. Examples of science subjects include healthcare, human biology, biology, physics, chemistry, psychology and social science. Please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be counted towards the UCAS point requirement.
  • The applicant must also have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language, Mathematics and a science. Please contact us for a list of acceptable GCSE equivalents.
  • Applicants don’t need to have prior experience of working in healthcare, but they must have a passion to care for others.
  • Applicants will need to provide evidence of recent study, professional development or work experience, as well as demonstrate an understanding of healthcare professional standards, the operating department practitioner profession and patient care delivery in the perioperative setting.
  • Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • If your applicant is successfully short-listed, then they will be asked to attend an interview. The interview process will involve a face-to-face interview with academic and practice staff. They will also be assessed on their values, behaviours, communication and problem-solving skills and undertake a numeracy and literacy assessment. We’re seeking students who can demonstrate commitment to a health care career, who have excellent communication skills and who are caring, compassionate and assertive.
  • If applicants are successful at the interview stage, they will be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a DBS check.
  • Applicants will be required to satisfactorily pass occupational health screening.
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate that they are of good health and good character prior to enrolment and on an on-going basis throughout their studies and career.
  • Admission to this programme is only available to candidates who meet the following criteria. 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is participating in the Degree Apprenticeship scheme. 4) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to attend the University (times and dates to be determined). Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed.
  • If an applicant doesn’t possess GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9, or hold an equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, they will be asked to complete initial assessments for English and mathematics. The results of these assessments will determine whether they are accepted on to the apprenticeship with their current qualifications, or a recommendation of delayed entry is made so they can undertake studies enabling them to achieve the required level of English and mathematics prior to commencing the apprenticeship.
  • If English isn’t the applicant's first language they will also need IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and applicants must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service.
  • The University of Bolton recognises prior learning, whether gained through academic credit and qualifications or through professional and employment experience. Previous learning may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for this programme or for exemption from part of this programme. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning, and each claim will be considered in accordance with the University’s policy and regulations for the recognition of prior learning.
  • Please note that it's not possible to join this course at Level 3 (HE6). Applications to join the course at Level 2 (HE5) will be considered.
  • To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 394.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Operating department practice is an exciting, fast-changing field with opportunities to work across different surgical and anaesthesia specialities. The BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (Degree Apprenticeship) programme is designed to meet the Operating Department Practitioner (Integrated Degree) Level 6 Apprenticeship Standard (ST0582). This highly practical degree apprenticeship aims to develop clinical knowledge, skills and behaviours for working in operating theatres and wider perioperative settings.

After graduation, and once apprentices have registered as an operating department practitioner (ODP) with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), they will be able to take responsibility for a patient’s welfare and personalise their care. They will be qualified to work as part of an multidisciplinary team in any of the three phases of perioperative care – anaesthesia, surgery or recovery – or in a role that combines all these areas.

What can I do with this qualification?

Registered ODPs are primarily employed in operating theatres, but increasingly work in other healthcare environments. Opportunities may arise in intensive care units, transplant teams, pre-assessment clinics, obstetric units, resuscitation teams, orthopaedic clinics, patient transfer and day surgery units.

After further training and development, registered ODPs may prove valuable in areas such as management, education, clinical research and advanced practice. Experienced ODPs can take further training approved by the Royal College of Surgeons to work as surgical care practitioners. This would qualify them to complete certain surgical procedures under the supervision of a consultant surgeon.

Course fees

Apprentices will need to be employed by your organisation for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Your organisation will also need to commit to sponsoring apprentices to complete this qualification.

For further information on how your organisation can access funds to support apprentices, please e-mail

Whether you’re an employer, employee or school leaver, please visit our Apprenticeship web page for support and advice regarding apprenticeships.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. If your organisation has a wage bill of more than £3 million per annum, then it may be able to fund this Degree Apprenticeship through its Apprenticeship Levy contributions. If your organisation does not pay the levy, it may be eligible for government support to fund apprenticeships. This support, called co-investment, covers 95% of the apprenticeship’s tuition fees with your organisation funding the remaining 5% of the fees.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021/2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021/2022 policy on for information.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Programme Contacts section of this page.

For support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit our Apprenticeship web page.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Operating department practice is a multi-faceted discipline, so we use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours that are essential for success in this field. Learning focuses on your workplace environment – your apprentices will spend the majority of their normal working week in practice gaining on-the-job knowledge and experience. They will also be required to devote at least 20% of their time to university learning and independent study (classified as off-the-job training).

As well as attending timetabled lectures, tutorials, discussions, demonstrations and computer-aided learning sessions, apprentices will also be expected to allocate significant time to independent and self-directed studies. For example, building a portfolio of evidence, background reading, revisiting practical work, preparing for seminars, working on assignments and revising for exams will support their timetabled learning and develop good habits for lifelong learning. Our friendly and supportive tutors will be here to guide them, and will gladly help them devise an independent study regime focused on their individual development needs. Learning will also be supported by the University's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

Your organisation will need to provide each apprentice with a workplace mentor to support their development. They will also benefit from regular visits from a university tutor. The workplace mentor, university tutor and apprentice will work together to create an individual learning plan.

For the degree element of this programme, we assess each apprentice’s performance through a strategic blend of assignments, practical assessments, projects, oral presentations (including viva voce) and formal examinations. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they need to seek extra support from course tutors.

In addition to the assessments associated with the degree programme, apprentices will undertake the end point assessment (EPA), at the end of the apprenticeship period. Apprentices are also required to develop learning logs/professional development plans and build up a skills portfolio in preparation for the EPA.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Introduction to Principles of Professional Practice
  • Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology and Psychology
  • Infection Control, Prevention and Promoting Safer Surgery
  • Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in the Perioperative Practice
  • Principles of Research in Healthcare
  • Care for the Surgical Patient
  • Principles of Post-Anaesthetic Care
  • Principles of Medicines Management
  • Principles of Clinical Governance
  • Care of the Patient with Mental Health Issues, Long Term Conditions and Other Specific Groups
  • Managing the Acutely Ill Patient
  • Leadership in Perioperative Practice
  • Achieving Proficiency in Professional Practice (EPA)
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 50%, Practical exams 50%
Level twoCoursework 50%, Practical exams 50%
Level threeCoursework 50%, Practical exams 50%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 9%, Placement/study abroad 71%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%
Level twoGuided independent study 9%, Placement/study abroad 71%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%
Level threeGuided independent study 9%, Placement/study abroad 71%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 20%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Chloe Rich
Programme Leader

Alex Robinson

Jo Wroe
Associate Lecturer

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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