Operating Department Practice BSc, 3 years, full-time

Start date:


Course information

UCAS code B991

Institute code L34

HCPC 2021

Accredited by the College of Operating Department Practitioners and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

National Student Survey logo

In the 2021 National Student Survey, 94% of our ODP students were satisfied with their course, placing us in the top 5 of mainstream HE providers of ODP education

The Guardian

Ranked 4th in the Guardian University Guide 2022 (Health Professions)

ODPs are specialist registered practitioners in the operating department, their crucial role combining technical and caring skills to deliver the best possible patient care. This degree covers all aspects of the job, preparing you up for a rewarding career in the profession.

Course description

Course description

Surgery requires an immense amount of patience, expertise and level-headedness. Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) have these skills in abundance and they set the highest standards for patient care in the UK.

ODPs work with nurses, surgeons anaesthetists and more - from the lead up to surgery right through to recovery and beyond. Working in the Operating Theatre, you’re truly at the sharp end of the care provided to patients undergoing surgery. An operation is often an important step on the road back to normal life, and you’ll become a key member of a team that cares for patients at a crucial time. Working as an ODP is an extremely rewarding career that gives you a real sense of privilege.

Our ODP programme offers course-long placements in Nottingham, Derby, Northampton, Kettering, Chesterfield, Peterborough, Grantham and Boston, as well as Leicester. This gives you the option to enjoy the benefits of our excellent ODP programme whilst learning in a local hospital close to home.

The degree blends academic study and work-based learning - we believe that this is the best way to develop your knowledge and skills. In the classroom, you'll study areas fundamental to an ODP's role, such as biological sciences, operating department technology, clinical leadership and management and the legal, ethical and professional issues that affect clinical practice.

However, building your confidence and breadth of experience with patients is vital, so 65% of your time is spent on placement in one of our partner hospitals. Based in the East Midlands and surrounding areas, all our partner hospitals provide high quality, supportive placements where you will be mentored, taught, supervised and assessed to ensure you have what it takes to step into the professional environment.

This course is accredited by the College of Operating Department Practitioners and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can also start the course in April or September.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • GCSEs: 3 passes A*-C/ 4 and above (or equivalent), including Maths and English
  • A-levels: BBC (or equivalent)
  • Access to HE Diploma: 112 UCAS points, including 45 credits at level 3 and minimum 15 at Distinction, in a health-related subject
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass relevant Diploma (preferably in a health-related subject) with DMM
  • Mature Applicants (21+): Applicants aged 21 or over who in the judgement of the University submit sufficient evidence of serious previous study in the health and social care sector, and the academic aptitude to pursue a programme in Operating Department Practice, along with relevant work experience, may be eligible for admission. 
  • Armed Forces into Allied Health: Please contact our Admissions Tutors for an advisory consultation. More information about the AFIAH project.

Please note: Advice and feedback on whether you meet the entry criteria can only be provided after we have received your application.

If you receive an offer of a place on the course, this will be subject to occupational health clearance and a DBS check (for which there is an associated cost covered by the University).

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous assessment results. Suitable applicants will be invited for interview.

Criminal Records Check (DBS)

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. This is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. As part of the course entry requirements you must provide the university with an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. The University will bear the cost for this and will provide successful applicants with details of how to obtain their DBS certificate prior to the start of the course.

Checks can take 4-6 weeks to complete, so please complete your application as soon as possible after you have received instructions from us, to make sure that you receive your DBS Certificate by the beginning of term. If you will not be in the country on or shortly after the results day, you can consider carrying out the DBS application early but bear in mind that if you do not achieve your required results you may not be given a place on the course.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK Students

Starting in September 2023

Tuition fees for 2023/24 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2022/23 were: 

  • £9,250 in the first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years.

You may be eligible for support from the Learning Support Fund, administered by the NHS Business Authority. From September 2020, the LSF has been extended to include a non-repayable £5,000 per year bursary for new and existing students.

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in September 2023

Tuition fees for 2023/24 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2022/23 were: 

  • £29,725 per year.

If you are resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland, you will need to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

From 2022 onwards, EU nationals will pay the International fee. If you are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, you may qualify for the UK fee (subject to criteria).

Find out more about scholarships and funding.



This course is validated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and entitles you to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Registered ODP.

The course is also endorsed by the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP), the professional body for Operating Department Practitioners.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

The Operating Department Practice qualification (BSc ODP) entitles you to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Registered ODP.

Career opportunities are strong, there is a good starting salary and 100% of graduates are in full-time employment within the healthcare sector.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have found work in local, regional and national NHS hospital trusts and in independent sector hospitals.

Graduate testimonial

"Life as a student Operating Department Practitioner is interesting. Since becoming a Registered ODP I enjoy the caring environment and gain a high level of job satisfaction. It’s a fascinating and rewarding career with excellent opportunities for further progression." Katherine

Career Development Service

Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Career Development Service. We're here to give you a lifetime offer of support, even after graduation. Our team of specialist careers advisers and mentors will help you every step of the way. From supporting you with CVs and interviews, to volunteering opportunities and placements, we're here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

We are committed to providing skills and knowledge to help prepare you tackle global challenges. We have mapped our undergraduate degrees for learning which aligns to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This degree includes learning which relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1

Year 1 is a foundation year in which you learn the core skills and knowledge for the surgical and anaesthetic phases of the role.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

Year 2 builds upon these transferrable skills in clinical specialties including post anaesthetic care, obstetric and emergency specialties.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3 involves gaining experience in the enhanced aspects of the role including enhanced clinical skills, leadership and management and conducting your major project.


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

Reading list

See the types of texts you might read, over the summer, to get a feel for the course and arrive prepared and ready to go.

View a reading list for Operating Department Practice degrees

Your career prospects are superb - our ODP course has a 100% employability rate. By studying this professional qualification you will become eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as an Operating Department Practitioner.

ODP education at the University of Leicester has been established for more than 40 years. By studying at the major provider for ODP training in the East Midlands, you'll learn from a dedicated team of experts with a huge amount of experience.

Get all the practical experience you need. You will be placed in one of our partner hospitals in the East Midlands for about 65% of the course, allowing you to develop your clinical skills and experience real life scenarios. We have partner hospitals in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and beyond, where you'll be fully supported.

We have very happy students. According to the 2021 National Student Survey, 94% of our students were satisfied with their course, placing us in the top five of universities that offer ODP education.

Teaching and learning

The Operating Department Practice BSc is a vocational degree, designed to maximise your experience.

Unlike a typical degree, which runs over three terms or two semesters with a long summer break, this degree runs full time for 48 weeks each year (total 114 weeks) with annual leave entitlement. You can start the course in April or September. 

Over the three years you will spend up to 30 weeks in the classroom. The rest of the time is spent undertaking your practical clinical placements and self-directed study.

Clinical placements account for around 65% of your course. You will be allocated a placement in one of our partner hospitals for the duration of your studies. This will allow you to become part of the clinical team at that hospital, develop your clinical skills and be fully supported by colleagues. Our partner hospitals are:

  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital
  • Derby Teaching Hospitals
  • University Hospitals Leicester
  • Boston Pilgrim Hospital
  • Grantham District Hospital
  • Northampton General Hospital
  • Kettering General Hospital
  • Nottingham General Hospital
The course is divided in to 15 modules covering key areas, including biological sciences, principles of peri-operative care, operating department technology and the legal, ethical and professional issues that affect clinical practice.

We use a variety of learning methods, including classroom sessions, private study and critical evaluation, as well as experiential learning and reflective practice. You will be assessed through practicals, student assignments, presentations and projects, as well as examinations.

Along with classroom study, you will work with real patients and expert ODP teams, allowing you to get varied and detailed experience. This wealth of first-hand experience will enable you to develop and enhance your clinical skills and confidence.

In addition, you will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they be academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Start Dates Availability
Course Operating Department Practice Qualification BSc Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code B991 Start Dates April and September each year Availability How to apply

Data about this course

This is a very challenging course but every day is rewarding – you cannot get better than that.


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