BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Our HCPC-approved BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree is ideal if you’re seeking a rewarding career as a registered operating department practitioner working alongside surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and healthcare colleagues to deliver safe patient-focused care. We’ll support you to gain the skills and knowledge needed to provide a high standard of care during the anaesthetic, surgical and recovery phases of a patient’s surgical journey.

Operating Department Practice

Key information


BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:



3 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


UCAS code:


Start date:


Course Details

Operating department practitioners (ODPs) are highly specialised healthcare professionals who work with patients of all ages in operating theatres and other perioperative environments. There’s a shortage of qualified ODPs in the UK, so the career opportunities are excellent.

Our stimulating BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice strikes an equal balance between the technical and scientific aspects of surgery and the softer skills that support communication, wellbeing and caring for the patient. It focuses on helping you 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 you as you gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours to respond to a patient’s needs throughout their surgical experience and perioperative care.

The greater part of your studies will be centred in clinical placement at one of our partner trusts, learning the realities of life as an ODP. Study at the University will complement and enhance your learning in the workplace. We’ll support you as you gain core clinical skills and an extensive knowledge of specialist equipment and drugs. Developing team-working, leadership and management skills will be an essential part of your training, and we’ll encourage you as you learn to support and reassure patients on an emotional level, helping them to cope with the stress of surgery.

As an ODP, no two days will be the same. Our dynamic and multi-disciplinary course team will work to prepare you to manage the care of patients scheduled for routine procedures as well as respond to life-threatening emergencies.

  • The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and on successful completion you’ll be eligible to register as a qualified operating department practitioner (ODP).
  • This employer-led training and qualification opportunity offers you the chance to graduate will the skills and knowledge needed to immediately enter this recognised and in-demand occupation.
  • You’ll have access to facilities in the flagship £31 million Bolton One building, including our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites where you’ll be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment and simulators.
  • This course is designed to prepare you to demonstrate the confidence, compassion, competence and effective judgement required of a registered ODP, and to take responsibility for your decisions.
  • We’ll support you to gain essential skills in evidence-based practice. These will inform your actions and help you evaluate their effectiveness, so that you can continually work towards improving patient outcomes.
  • You’ll be guided by staff with extensive experience in this field of practice and in inter-professional education, which is key to the teamwork needed within hospitals.
Key Features
  • The programme offers you 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 you to apply for registration with the HCPC.
  • As a registered ODP, you’ll be able to work in a variety of hospital environments, including operating theatres, pre-admissions wards, and diagnostic and procedural units, such as endoscopy and cardiac catheter labs.
  • The course offers you strong knowledge and skills in patient-centred care and managing the preparation of the surgical environment, drugs, and equipment, such as surgical instruments, endoscopes and anaesthetic machines.
  • We’ll focus on building your competencies so you are ready to anticipate and respond to the requirements of the surgical team, and act as the link between this team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital.
  • We’ll support you as you develop skills and knowledge of clinical practice, including your awareness of patient safety, human factors, and legal, ethical and professional boundaries.
Professional recognition
The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP). On successful completion of the programme, you may submit an application to the HCPC to join the register for operating department practitioners (ODPs). Whilst studying this course you're not currently required to register as a member with the HCPC. However, you must follow their standards of proficiency and standards of conduct, performance and ethics. You’ll be required to sign a declaration of on-going fitness to practise at regular intervals during your studies. After qualifying as an ODP, you’ll need to be committed to learning and always keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. To maintain your registration to practice with the HCPC, you’ll need to continue to meet their 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.
  • Please note that this course is only available to Home students.
  • Your 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, mathematics and social science. Please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be counted towards the UCAS point requirement.
  • You 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.
  • You don’t need to have prior experience of working in healthcare, but you must have a passion to care for others.
  • You’ll 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 application is successfully shortlisted, then you’ll be asked to attend an interview. The interview process will involve face-to-face interviews with academic staff, practice staff and service users. You’ll also be assessed on your values, behaviours, communication and problem-solving skills, and undertake a numeracy and literacy assessment. We’re seeking students who can demonstrate a commitment to a health care career, who have excellent communication skills and who are caring, compassionate and assertive.
  • If you’re successful at the interview stage, you’ll be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • You'll be required to satisfactorily pass occupational health screening.
  • You’ll need to demonstrate that you are of good health and good character prior to enrolment and on an on-going basis throughout your studies and career.
  • We work with numerous NHS trusts across the North of England. Should your application be successful and you choose to take up our offer of a place, then please note that your practice learning will be subject to rotation to ensure you are able to gain an appropriate range of experience. Normally, your clinical placements will take place within one trust, but we are unable to guarantee this.
  • This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally 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.
  • The University of Bolton recognises prior learning, whether gained through academic credit and qualifications or through your 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 your 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.
  • You'll need to ascertain if you're eligible for a student loan via Student Finance England or will need to be able to self-fund.

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

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.

We'd be delighted to chat with you about the course and your future career as an operating department practitioner. Please sign up to one of our Nursing & Midwifery open events where you can meet our staff and find out more about the University and support services for students.

Operating department practice is an exciting, fast-changing field with opportunities to work across different surgical and anaesthesia specialities. Our highly practical course is designed to develop clinical knowledge, skills and behaviours for working in operating theatres and wider perioperative settings.

After graduation, and once you have registered as an operating department practitioner (ODP) with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), you’ll be expected to take responsibility for a patient’s welfare and personalise their care activities. You’ll work as part of a multidisciplinary team that is made up of professionals from a variety of clinical disciplines. You may find work in any of the three phases of perioperative care – anaesthesia, surgery or recovery – or in a role that combines all these areas.

As a graduate, you’ll possess in-depth knowledge in areas such as human anatomy and physiology, psychology, medicine management, and legal and ethical issues, as well as skills in surgical and anaesthetic procedures, teamwork and interpersonal communication. You’ll be adept at forward planning and time management, and have a clear understanding and appreciation of the role of other healthcare professionals.

This programme is not a direct route to nursing or medical programmes. It is designed to prepare you for a specialised role working in the operating department setting.

What can I do with this qualification?

There’s currently a national shortage of ODPs so job prospects for graduates who are registered with the HCPC are excellent*.

As a registered ODP, you can expect to gain employment with the NHS, an organisation that provides NHS services, or a private healthcare provider. ODPs are primarily employed in operating theatres, but increasingly work in other healthcare environments. For instance, you may find opportunities in intensive care units, transplant teams, pre-assessment clinics, obstetric units, resuscitation teams, orthopaedic clinics, patient transfer and day surgery units.

You’ll be able to consider further training and development in a number of 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 you to complete certain surgical procedures under the supervision of a consultant surgeon.

* accessed on 17 December 2019

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping stone to enter a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required.

  • Public health
  • Management
  • Armed forces
  • HE teaching
  • Clinical research
  • Universities

Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/222022/232023/24

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.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/2020.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

For this course you may apply either through UCAS or directly to the University.

Apply Via UCAS

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211

Apply Directly to the University

Applications are made directly using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

If your course runs at multiple locations be sure to apply for the correct instance below.

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

  • Apply online: University of Bolton BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice-21 September 2020 (Course not available to international students)

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

Modern operating department practitioners require a range of skills and values and our practice partners and tutors will help you gain understanding and experience of perioperative care. We’ll support you as you develop your skills in a safe and supportive environment. Learning focuses on the workplace environment so you’ll spend the majority of your time in practice gaining on-the job knowledge and experience, and devote the rest of your time to university learning and independent study.

Your practice placements will be based at our partner NHS Trusts; for instance, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust (please note, considerable travelling may be required). As you progress through the course, we’ll guide and encourage you to draw on your practice placement experience while studying theory, and apply the theory learned to your practice, so that you can understand how the two complement each other.

We offer a wide variety of learning opportunities designed to arouse your curiosity and support your personal learning journey. Work-based learning and formal face-to-face timetabled sessions are combined with extensive online resources and our community of students, university tutors and practice educators. Our blended approach includes lectures, presentations, simulations delivered by tutors, seminars, tutorials, problem-based enquiry and work-based learning. The course is highly interactive, requiring you to collaborate with colleagues in the workplace and fellow students. Online and face-to-face learning and discussion will be essential, and you’ll also need to undertake a significant amount of guided independent study, such as background reading, preparing for seminar activities, and working on assignments.

To help support your learning, the University also offers additional study skills sessions, such as essay writing, library skills and electronic searching, and numeracy.

You can expect a range of assessment methods, such as coursework assignments, practice competencies, problem-based learning and examination of practice. The assessment of practice and theory both contribute to the final award.


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
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

Heather Darwen

+44 (0)1204 903746

Jo Wroe
Associate Lecturer

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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