Operating Department Practice BSc

3 years, full-time

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.

Operating Department Practice BSc, 3 years, full-time

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.

Start date:

2024
2025

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)

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 as part of the multidisciplinary team (MDT), including with surgeons and anaesthetists, 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 within the School of Healthcare 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.

We also offer a three-year Apprenticeship in Operating Department Practice in partnership with the NHS and other healthcare providers.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • GCSEs: 3 passes grades 4/C and above (or equivalent), including Maths and English Language
  • 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.
  • T Levels: Merit in either: Health (with an Occupational Specialism in Supporting the Adult Nursing team), or Health (with an Occupational Specialism in Supporting the Midwifery team), or Health (with an Occupational Specialism in Supporting the Theatre team), or Health (with an Occupational Specialism in Dental nursing), or Healthcare Science (with an Occupational Specialism in Pharmacy Services Assistant), or Healthcare Science (with an Occupational Specialism in Healthcare Science Assistant).

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).

Other official national and international qualifications considered from across the world. You can review some of the qualifications we accept on our countries page and English Language equivalencies.

If your qualification or country is not listed, please contact us for more information, including the name and result of the qualification you have studied.

Contextual offers

The University of Leicester is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all applicants from all backgrounds. We make contextual offers to support students who may be impacted by the area they live in, their personal circumstances or who have completed one of our progression programmes. These offers are usually one or two grades lower than the standard entry requirements. To qualify for a contextual offer, you must apply for an eligible course and meet specific criteria – check if you’re eligible.

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.

Occupation Health and Criminal Records Check

Home Students

An offer to study this course at the University of Leicester is subject to satisfactory Occupational Health clearance, which will include current vaccination and testing requirements as stated by our placement providers. Alongside our NHS colleagues, we consider vaccination to be a professional responsibility and the best way to protect students, NHS colleagues and their patients. If you receive an offer, you will be required to complete and submit an Occupational Health Questionnaire.

Offers are also subject to a satisfactory enhanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Overseas Students

An offer to study this course at the University of Leicester is subject to satisfactory Occupational Health clearance, which will include current vaccination and testing requirements as stated by our placement providers. Alongside our NHS colleagues, and the GMC we consider vaccination to be a professional responsibility and the best way to protect students, NHS colleagues and their patients.  If you receive an offer, you will be required to complete and submit an Occupational Health Questionnaire Form.

Offers are also subject to you providing a Certificate of Good Standing or Good Conduct Letter from your embassy or local police force, which should be no more than 6 months old prior to starting the course. This must specifically include confirmation that there is no known reason that you cannot work with vulnerable adults and children.

If you have studied in the UK for a minimum of 12 months prior to starting the course we will not require the Good Conduct Letter but will require a satisfactory ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’ (DBS) check (as required for Home students) upon arrival.

 

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 2025 or April 2026

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 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 2025 or April 2026

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 were:

  • £25,900 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.

Accreditation

Accreditation

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

Careers and Employability Service


Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Careers and Employability 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

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

Placement

Placement

Operating Department Practice (ODP) is an exciting and varied Allied Health Profession based in the operating theatre and associated acute areas. As such, building your confidence and experience with patients is fundamental; 65% of your studies will be based in clinical placement.

How placement works

You will be partnered with a single hospital/trust from the beginning of your course and will live close to your designated placement area. You will work on a year-round programme with bookable annual leave throughout your studies in contrast to the traditional student cycle.

During your time at the placement hospital, you will become part of a professional clinical team, where you will learn new skills every day as well as undertake assessments in this environment.

Learning the role of an ODP

You will work as part of the multi-disciplinary team across the patient’s perioperative journey; this includes anaesthetics, surgery and recovery. Also clinical specialities such as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), orthopaedics, gynaecology, plastics and general surgery, colorectal, cardiothoracic, day case surgery, emergency, and maternity. Working within these areas will allow you to develop key skills in patient care, including advocacy, reassurance, building rapport to produce the best possible care.

The anaesthetic role will see you assisting with cannulation, airway management, the monitoring of patient progress, the use of anaesthetics drugs and monitoring and maintenance of fluid balance, among countless other practises. 

As part of your learning, you will circulate or ‘scrub in’ during surgery to provide instrumentation, sutures, swabs, and sundries. You will complete care plans and documentation, handle specimens for pathology and main infection control throughout.

In ‘recovery’, the ODP is responsible for the patient while they recuperate from anaesthesia. During this time, you will ensure the patient is safe and comfortable.

You will also be responsible for assessing the patient and making appropriate clinical decisions to reduce their pain, maintain a patent airway and limit nausea alongside other side effects from anaesthesia.

Managing patient care 

As well as clinical knowledge, working with patients directly will improve your dynamic skills in maintaining patient confidentiality and dignity, along with proficient teamwork and communication skills, which are all integral to the ODP profession.

As well as learning clinical knowledge and skills, you will be working directly with patients, caring for them throughout the perioperative journey. Teamwork, communication and empathy are fundamental to the ODP profession and to quality patient care.

Placement areas

We have a wide range of partner hospitals across the region. At all hospitals, you will be mentored by experienced professionals every step of the way. Students currently complete placements in the following areas*:

*placements are allocated by the School of Operating Department Practice, at the point of UCAS offer, and are dependent on availability. For further information, please contact odpeducation@le.ac.uk.

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

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

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

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 outstanding facilities, including a dedicated ODP practical room that allows for simulation and rehearsal of your clinical skills.

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 Centre for Academic Achievement 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

students working in an operation theater

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

Kylie

Back to top
MENU