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Medical professional on hospital ward
Year of Entry 2020/21
BSc (Honours)

Operating Department Practice

Learn to work in operating theatre departments and critical care environments — providing important care for patients undergoing surgical and anaesthetic interventions.

Everything you need to know...

What is the fee? Home/EU: £9,250 per year
How long will I study? 3 Years
Where will I study? Collegiate Campus
What are the entry requirements? 112 UCAS Points
What is the UCAS code? B990
When do I start? September 2020

University of the Year for Teaching Quality, The Sunday Times Good Univeristy Guide 2020

Course summary

  • Qualify for practice on a College of Operating Department Practitioners-accredited course.
  • Be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) under the protected title of Operating Department Practitioner.
  • Learn in practice based environments including operating theatres, maternity units, critical care and A&Es.
  • Get hands-on practice in our simulated operating theatre, ward, skills rooms and anatomy labs.

ODPs are the only undergraduate Allied Health Profession in the UK trained to work in operating theatres. On this course, you’ll learn to work effectively as an autonomous practitioner. You’ll also work alongside anaesthetists, surgeons and others to prepare and assist during surgical and anaesthetic procedures — transforming the experiences of care for patients.

How you learn

Watch course leader Helen Lowes talk about this course.

On this course, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to enter into highly skilled employment. At every level of the course you will gain a variety of clinical experiences to give you real world experience. This will enhance your employability and prepare you for your career as an ODP in the dynamic health and social care environment.

The course is grounded in research. By learning alongside other professions and students you will develop knowledge, confidence and a strong professional identity.

You learn through

  • theoretical lectures, tutorials and seminars
  • clinical practice based learning
  • simulation
  • technology enhanced learning
  • practical sessions
  • virtual and distance learning
  • independent learning

Course leaders and tutors

Victoria Cadman
Victoria Cadman
Senior Lecturer in Operating Department Practice

I am an Operating Department Practice lecturer in the College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences. I am also a review panel member for the Journal of Perioperativ … Read more

Applied learning

Work placements

Practice-based learning on placement is central to your development and you spend 50% of each year on placement within a perioperative or critical care environment. We currently provide placements in both NHS and private Trusts across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bassetlaw, Barnsley, Derby, Mansfield, Chesterfield, Leeds, Lincoln and Nottingham. You will undertake a range of exciting placements in stimulating environments, helping you build your clinical portfolio of skills your confidence, resilience and professional integrity. These are essential to healthcare provision.

During your placements, you will always be supported by practice educators to help you develop your skills and competence. Your academic study supports your learning on placement and your placement experience allows you to consider the application of evidence to practice.

Some of our students have been involved in volunteer work abroad.

Live projects

The ODP teaching team are part of a project which has just been given a grant of nearly £50,000 by the Office for Students (OfS). The funding will go towards improving work experience opportunities and pre-admission resources for all prospective students across three disciplines — diagnostic radiography, therapeutic radiography and operating department practice.

As part of the course you will get hands on experience in our laboratories dissecting specimens including a heart and a kidney. These early practical session allows you to practice safety with sharp equipment reflective of that used in the clinical environment as well as understanding the importance of health and safety.

Networking opportunities

As an ODP at SHU you attend our National ODP Conference for free. The conference is currently the only national conference for ODPs and is developed by the course team. It provides places for qualified practitioners, prospective employers, medical companies and practice partners gather to debate contemporary themes in perioperative care.

Practice partners such as Anaesthesia Assocaites (Formerly PAA) deliver specialists lectures.

You will have the opportunity to join the ODP student Society.


There are currently two prizes available for students to be awarded at graduation. One prize is for the overall highest academic mark, the other for outstanding clinical practice, both our prizes are sponsored by local partners including Swann Morton who also provide specialist teaching sessions and a free visit around their factory which is international renowned for making surgical blades and equipment.

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Find out more at our undergraduate open days. Book now for your place.

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Future careers

This course prepares you for a career in

  • operating theatres
  • recovery units
  • critical care
  • resuscitation and A&E
  • further studies leading to roles such as Surgical First Assistant (SFA), Anaesthesia Associate, Surgical Care Practitioner
  • leadership and management

Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for

  • The National Health Service
  • private healthcare companies such as BMI Healthcare Limited & Claremont Hospital
  • global medical technology companies such as GE Healthcare
  • universities such as Sheffield Hallam University
  • The Army, Navy and RAF


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.

Student success story

Operating Department Practitioners are a vital part of the surgical team. Here, our students explain what it’s like to work in an operating theatre. Learn more about Jack’s story.

Where will I study?

You study at Collegiate Campus

Collegiate campus

Collegiate Campus can be found just off Ecclesall Road, a bustling student district.

Collegiate Campus map
Collegiate Campus map

Collegiate Crescent
S10 2BP

Get directions
Students outside Collegiate Library
Collegiate library

Collegiate Library can be found just off Ecclesall Road. It's open 24 hours a day, every day.

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Equipment and facilities

On this course you work with a

  • simulation operating theatre and other clinical environments
  • clinical skills rooms
  • dissection laboratories
  • anatomy laboratories

Learn more about your department

Take a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities that enrich student learning in the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.

Entry requirements

All students

UCAS points


With at least 64 points from two A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We do not accept AS levels or General Studies.

For example:

  • BBC at A Level
  • DMM in BTEC Extended Diploma
  • A combination of qualifications

You can find information on making sense of UCAS tariff points here and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.


  • Access to HE Diploma from 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 merit level.
  • FdSc Professional Practice in Health & Social Care - If you are in the process of completing or have successfully completed the above programme at one of our partner colleges (Sheffield College, Barnsley College, Chesterfield College, North Lindsey College, Dearne Valley College, Manchester College, Stockport College and Doncaster College) and are looking to progress your career as a registered professional within the Health & Social Care sector, we would welcome an application from you via UCAS, to commence this programme at Year 1.
  • Successful completion of our Foundation Year in Health, Sport & Social Care.

Other equivalent qualifications are considered individually.


GCSE's (single or double) in

*GCSE Science equivalents

**GCSE Math's equivalents

***GCSE English equivalents

  • Science at grade C or 4 or equivalents*
  • Maths at grade C or 4 or equivalents**
  • English Language or Literature at grade C or 4 or equivalents***
    • OCR Science level 2
    • Science units gained on a level 3 BTEC or OCR National Diploma or Extended Diploma quualification
    • Science credits gained on Access to Higher Education Diplomas (at least 12 credits at level 2 or 6 credits gained at level 3)
    • Science equivalency test from
    • Level 2 Key Skills/ Application of Number/ Level 2 Maths credits from an Access course
    • Maths quivalency test from
    • Level 2 Literacy
    • Level 2 Key Skills


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 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 and Care Professions Council (HCPC) require IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5 for registration



Helping your application succeed




Experience of interacting with members of the public from a range of backgrounds in different settings is essential when applying to a health or social care course. It is important to be able to understand and explain how your experiences relate to the activities and qualities which are required of an Operating Department Practitioner. The NHS values are key to all our health courses. For further information on the standards required of students in the allied health professions please take a look at the Health and Care professions code of conduct and ethics.

There are many ways you can gain experience - this might be as part of a programme of study or in a paid or voluntary capacity, and doesn't always need to be within a care setting. Interacting with people with different life experiences will help you develop a deeper level of understanding of the diversity of the population who access health and social care. In your personal statement please reflect upon your learning from any of these experiences demonstrating an understanding of the Operating Department Practitioner profession and a genuine, reasoned commitment to studying an operating department practice course.

You will be invited to attend an interview if these key elements are included in your personal statement.

Learn more at our health and social care application support sessions


You must provide a reference from a current or recent employer or educational institution with your UCAS application.

The selection event

If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to a selection event. To confirm your identity on the day please bring a valid form of photo ID with you, preferably a passport or photo driving licence.

View our selection event guidance to ensure you understand the selection process and how you can prepare.

Course enrolment - professional requirements

Before enrolling you must fully declare the following information on the pre-admission declaration forms provided during the admissions process:

  • 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
  • enrolment on a health or social work professional course at another University

In addition

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Criminal Record Check

  • you will be required to 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.
  • you will need to present valid identity documents (PDF) as part of the application process
  • if you have lived outside of the UK for more than six consecutive months in the last five years you must provide an overseas criminal record check. Further information on obtaining an overseas criminal record check.
  • where your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate contains any recorded information you must present this to the Professional Issues Team within ten working days of receipt of the certificate.

Occupational Health Screening

You will need to undertake occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course. This will be provided by the University free of charge. As part of this assessment you are expected to provide all relevant, truthful and accurate information to ensure a safe environment for yourself and service users.


You must undertake a programme of immunisations as required by the Department of Health and meet the immunisation and immunity requirements of placement providers. This will be provided by the University free of charge. Please obtain details of your immunisation history from your doctor so you can submit this during your Occupational Health Screening.

Pre-course Day

After completing the above professional checks, if you reside in the UK it is important for you to make every reasonable attempt to attend a Pre-Course Day event to undertake the next stage of the professional requirements for your course. The pre-course day is also a good opportunity to meet fellow applicants on the health & social care courses who will be starting their studies at the same time as you, as well as some current students and teaching staff. We will look forward to welcoming you on the day.

Other professional suitability information

Your full enrolment on your course will be confirmed when the Professional Issues Team have verified that your Enhanced DBS Disclosure (and overseas criminal record check where relevant) indicates that you are suitable to work with vulnerable groups including children and clearance from your health screening has been received. 

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements, from when you apply to the end of your course, please tell the Professional Issues team immediately by calling 0114 225 5637 or emailing

Disability support

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 Health and Care Professions Council standards of proficiency and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement.

You can contact our disability coordinator for allied health professions on 0114 225 2588 to explore any issues you may have, or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom).

The Disability Disclosure booklet 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

Our open days give you an opportunity to come and talk to our teaching staff and current students on the course you are considering. You can explore the campus, view our facilities and ask any questions you may have in a relaxed environment. To book a visit please follow this link: University open days

Please note the University will only admit students who are aged 18 at the point of enrolment.

Additional information for EU/International students

This course is not open to international students who require a Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK. If you are an international applicant but do not require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, contact our Admissions Team to find out whether you’re eligible to apply.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

Year 1

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Collaboration For Individual And Community Wellbeing Credits: 20 Assessment: Practical
Module: Odp Applied Science Credits: 20 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Odp Foundations In Clinical Practice Credits: 20 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Odp Foundations In Peri-Operative Practice Credits: 40 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Personal And Professional Development Credits: 20 Assessment: Coursework

Year 2

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Assessing And Addressing Complexity Credits: 40 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Evidence And Enquiry For Practice Credits: 20 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Odp Developing Clinical Practice Credits: 20 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Odp Developing Peri Operative Practice Credits: 40 Assessment: Coursework

Final year

Compulsory modules
Module Credits
Module: Odp Complex Peri Operative Practice Credits: 20
Module: Odp Preparation For Professional Practice Credits: 20
Module: Professional Leadership Credits: 20
Module: The Advancing Professional Credits: 40
Module: Working With Complexity In Practice Credits: 20

Fees and funding

Home/EU students

Our tuition fee for UK/EU students starting full-time undergraduate study in 2020/21 is £9,250 per year.

† If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

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Health and social care funding

Find out how to fund your studies by visiting our health and social care pages for more information.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Operating department practice courses (PDF)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.

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How do I apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now via UCAS

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