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BSc (Honours) Operating Department Practice

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

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Operating Department Practice degree overview

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.
• Study a course that achieved 98% overall student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You must be registered with the HCPC in order to practise as an operating department practitioner in the UK.

This course is endorsed/approved by the College of Operating Department Practitioners.

College of Operating Department Practitioners Health and Care Professions Council

Fees – home and EU students

For further information see the Department of Health section on our fees and funding pages.

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.

The key skills you gain include
• 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.

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

Entry requirements

2016 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 English language or literature and mathematics and a science subject (single or double) or equivalent*, 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.

*GCSE maths and English equivalent

• equivalency test from

*GCSE science equivalents

• OCR science level 2

• science units gained on a level 3 BTEC or OCR National Diploma or Extended Diploma Qualification

• science credits gained on Access to Higher Education Diplomas (at least 12 credits gained at level 2 or 6 credits gained at level 3)

• science equivalency test from


If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 6.5 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English. Please note that the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) require IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5 for registration.

This course is only open to home or EU students. We are currently not accepting applications from international students.

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.

Professional requirements

Before enrolling you must fully declare during the admissions process any

• unfiltered criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on unfiltered offences please see the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

• involvement in disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or education establishments

• involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations

In addition

• you must attend a Pre-Course Day event to undertake the professional requirements of your course.

• you must undertake an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check prior to or during the enrolment week of your course. This will be provided by the University free of charge.

• where your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate contains any recorded information you must present this to the professional issues team within five working days of receipt of the certificate.

• your full enrolment on your course will not be confirmed until the professional issues team have confirmed that your DBS Enhanced Disclosure indicates that you are suitable to work with vulnerable people.

• you must undertake occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course. This will be provided by the University free of charge.

• you must undertake a programme of immunisations as required by the Department of Health. This will be provided by the University free of charge.

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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