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BSc (Honours) Operating Department Practice

Three years full-time
UCAS code • B990 | Location • Collegiate Campus

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Train in the specialist role of operating department practitioner in up-to-the-minute facilities that include a virtual reality suite for practical simulations. You also gain extensive real-world experience with over 60% of your course time spent on placement in clinical settings. This practice is an essential component this Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the College of Operating Department Practice (CODP) approved course.

• Train in the specialist role of the operating department practitioner.
• Practice in facilities that include an operating theatre and virtual reality suite.
• Develop extensive real-world experience with 60% of your course on placement in critical care settings.
• Gain an additional health improvement award from the Royal Society of Public Health.
• Study a course that achieved 98% overall student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.

Professional recognition

This course is pending approval by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Graduates are eligible to apply to register with the HCPC and apply to become members of the College of Operating Department Practitioners. You must be registered with the HCPC in order to practise as an operating department practitioner in the UK.

College of Operating Department Practitioners Health and Care Professions Council

Fees – home and EU students

Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase. For further information see our fees and funding pages.

For the course fee see our fees page.

2014/15 academic year

If you are studying a course funded by the Department of Health you will not normally pay any fees yourself, as they will be paid for you by the Department of Health.

You may be eligible for an NHS bursary but you will not be eligible for the bursaries and scholarships described in the Sheffield Hallam University Bursary Scheme. For more information on NHS bursaries visit

Course description


What is  an operating department practitioner?
Operating department practitioners (ODPs) are a vital part of the clinical team and provide professional expertise during the patient’s stay in hospital. ODPs are primarily employed within operating theatres in all aspects of care, however they are increasingly being recognised for their diverse skills in other environments and there are many career paths to explore such as clinical practice in specialist units, people management and education.

What you study
You develop the skills and experience to become an operating department practitioner (ODP) and pursue a career providing highly specialised assistance to surgeons, anaesthetists and other medical practitioners.

You learn key skills relating to the vital duties of an ODP including
• ensuring that instruments, drugs and equipment for an operation are ready for use
• ensuring that the environment is safe and free from hazards
• monitoring the patient using anaesthetic, surgical and diagnostic equipment.

Key areas of study include • anaesthesia and surgical practice • skills required of a registered practitioner • working within a post anaesthetic care unit • interprofessional education • human biology.

You also study interprofessionally alongside students from other health disciplines, such as nurses, radiographers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and paramedics.

This shared learning experience allows you to develop as a member of a team and to understand the contribution of different professionals found in clinical situations.

Additional qualifications
As part of the course you complete a level two award in health improvement, which provides you with a certificate from the Royal Society of Public Health. We are currently the only university in the UK that offers this as part of our operating department practitioner courses.

Your learning takes place on the Collegiate Campus in purpose-built teaching rooms that include a fully equipped operating theatre, 3D virtual reality suite, ward and clinical areas within the Robert Winston Building. Your learning consists of large and small group teaching, seminars, workshops, self-directed and tutor-directed study.

Placements and work experience
Your university-based study consists of two academic blocks each year. The rest of your time is spent on clinical placement and makes up 60% of your course. This is essential to your studies. The clinical experience you gain enables you to match and translate your academic learning to the clinical skills needed to be an ODP. This in turn enhances your career prospects on qualification.

Whilst on placement, you work with clinical mentors and other registered clinical practitioners. This means that you are constantly supervised but, as your skills develop, you take more responsibility for the care of the patient, still under close supervision, until you are safe to practise with minimum supervision and ultimately develop clinical autonomy which enhances your employability.

CPD online
CPD Online, part of our CPD Anywhere™ framework, is being offered free to new graduates of this course for 12 months, as part of our commitment to support your lifelong learning.

CPD Online is an online learning environment which provides information to help your transition into the workplace. It can enhance your employability and provide opportunities to take part in and evidence continuing professional development to help meet professional body and statutory requirements.

For further information, visit the CPD Anywhere™ website at


• written assignments • case studies • presentations • examinations • continuous assessment of skills in placement • practical clinical tests

College of Operating Department Practitioners Health and Care Professions Council

Entry requirements

2015 entry requirements

You must have some experience of delivering care in a professional or voluntary capacity and a reference from a current or recent employer or educational institution.

Normally five GCSEs at grade C or above, including a science, English language or literature and mathematics (or equivalent such as Level 2 adult literacy/numeracy or Key Skills Level 2 communication/application of number), plus one of the following

• 280 points with at least 160 points from 2 GCE/VCE full A levels or BTEC National qualifications. AS levels and general studies A levels do not count towards this score.

• an Access to HE Diploma for a QAA recognised Access to HE course in health studies, health science, nursing or another science- based course. Normally we require 15 credits at Level 2 and 45 at level 3 of which at least 15 credits should be graded at distinction level.

• other equivalent qualifications, including degrees in other subjects

This course is only open to home or EU assessed students.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

Care experience
Before you apply for health courses, we require you to have gained some practical experience relating to your subject area. Download our applicant experience guidelines for information about the kinds of experience we expect you to have and the best places to gain it.

Examples of different settings include
• Hospital wards– on NHS or private hospitals
• outpatients departments
• accident and emergency
• hospices
• nursing homes
• clinics
• GP surgeries
• working with vulnerable adults
• caring for people with learning needs
• first responder for the Ambulance Service (contact the Ambulance Trust)
• voluntary aid societies dealing with care
• life guarding

Evidence of the experience gained, understanding of the profession and a genuine, reasoned commitment to studying a professional course must be explicit in your personal statement..

We also expect you to have visited or spoken to someone, such as a clinical placement co-ordinator, involved in the education and training of ODP students. This can usually be obtained by contacting any theatre department. We expect details of this and for you to show an understanding of the ODP role in your personal statement to be selected for interview.

Personal qualities
You must be able to demonstrate
• good communication and interpersonal skills
• a caring personality
• the ability to work well as part of a team

Skill requirements
As well as the entry requirements above, we normally expect you to have
• a caring personality
• a commitment to working with others
• good written and verbal communication skills
• initiative, reliability and responsibility
• the ability to study in a planned and organised way
• the ability to study independently
• good attention to detail
• good IT skills
• a realistic expectation of the course
• a knowledge of the operating departmental practice profession gained from discussions with an ODP, ODP mentor or clinical placement coordinator

The selection event
If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to a selection event, and you should bring a passport or photo driving license with you. You can bring other forms of photo ID for the selection event, but if you do, you will still need to present valid identity documents required by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at your pre-course day.

View our selection event guidance to ensure you understand the selection process.

Course enrolment – professional requirements
Before enrolling, you must fully declare during the admissions process any
• unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on convictions that must be declared see the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.
• disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or educational establishments
• involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations

You also need to complete
• a DBS Enhanced Disclosure, and provide us with a copy of your DBS Enhanced Disclosure Certificate if requested. Enrolment also depends on the DBS check being deemed suitable for professional training.
• occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course and an approved programme of immunisation, as recommended by the Department of Health. Health screening and immunisation are provided by the University.
• a pre-course day

If you fail to comply with any of these requirements your offer could be withdrawn.

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements – from when you apply to the end of your course – you must tell the Professional Issues Team immediately by calling 0114 225 3995 or 0114 225 5786.

Disability support
If you are a disabled person or have a long term health condition, you are advised to read the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) booklet: A disabled persons guide to becoming a health professional.

We strongly recommend that you tell us about any long term health conditions, learning difficulty or disability you may have. This is so we can assess whether we can deliver the course in such a way that you can meet the HCPC standards of proficiency and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement. You can contact our disability co-ordinator for allied health professions on 0114 225 2588 or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom) to discuss any queries you may have.

The Disability Disclosure booklet also provides information for students on health and social care courses and will help you understand the importance of disclosing your disability at the earliest possible stage. This is so you can be assessed for the support you may require to succeed on the course.

Open day
As this profession can involve strenuous physical, psychological and emotionally taxing work, we recommend that you come along to a University open day to learn more about the general expectations of the course.

Course content

Year one modules

• anaesthetic practice 1 • surgical practice 1 • clinical education 1 • fundamentals • applied science • foundations of effective collaborative practice (interprofessional education)

Year two modules

• anaesthetic practice 2 • surgical practice 2 • clinical education 2 • research and management • applied science 2 • dcecp (interprofessional education)

Year three modules

• anaesthetic practice 3 • surgical practice 3 • enhanced perioperative practice • leadership and a education • writing for publication • EQSECP (interprofessional education)


As a qualified ODP you have a range of employment opportunities, such as working in the NHS, independent healthcare and clinical practice in some countries outside of the UK.

Continue to develop your career by completing management training courses, enabling you to become a team leader or manage departments. There are also opportunities in diverse clinical areas.

Some ODPs find that they are suited to formal teaching and courses are available to enable you to become a clinical educator or university lecturer or to combine teaching with clinical practice.

Further information is available on the NHS careers website at

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