Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons)

2018-19 (also available for 2019-20)

Prepare yourself for a successful career as an operating department practitioner on this three-year degree course with exceptional clinical placement opportunities.

This is not clearing. It's University of Huddersfield Clearing. Find out more.

Start date

17 September 2018


3 years full-time



Phone contact: 0330 123 2277

About the course

Do you like the idea of working in a dramatic and exciting environment, where you'll be part of a dynamic team in an operating theatre? Then perioperative practice could be a great career option if you want to open up a whole host of opportunities for your future. Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) work alongside surgeons, anaesthetists and other medical staff to provide care for patients at all stages of the surgical process.

On our Operating Department Practice degree you’ll get a strong grounding in the theory exploring what’s involved in the three interconnected aspects of the role: anaesthetic, surgical and post anaesthetic.

The course is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) so you’ll benefit from experienced staff, specialist labs and great links to NHS Trusts.

You’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills in our simulated operating theatre, enabling you to experience the operating theatre environment. We know that learning on the job is often the best way to pick up new skills. That’s why we’ve designed the course to give you valuable hands-on experience in a wide variety of clinical placements. You’ll get the chance to work in the real world as part of interdisciplinary teams in a variety of care settings, so you’ll be able to see how ODPs contribute to all sorts of specialist areas, and be inspired about where your career could take you.

From the very beginning, you’ll be supported in your studies by academic staff and qualified practitioners who understand what it’s like to be an ODP. As the course progresses, you’ll move beyond the fundamentals to delve into the role research plays in perioperative practice and explore leadership and management strategies.

“The unique structure of Operating Department Practice BSc(Hons) provides the opportunity for students to gain clinical skills on placements on a weekly basis for a maximum of 24 hours a week, whilst also gaining academic skills alongside through lectures and seminars on campus.

“The clinical placements provide the opportunity for students to gain experience in three different organisations, enabling students to gain a wider understanding of the operating department practitioner’s role and develop a readiness to work as a qualified practitioner. Students also undertake practical sessions on campus in the University’s skills laboratories, including an operating theatre and high dependency room with equipment and computerised mannequins. This provides them with the opportunity to gain confidence and develop some of the complex skills in a safe environment before they go out into the real world.”

Steven Brown, Senior Lecturer, Operating Department Practice

Steve Brown, Senior Lecturer


You'll spend 73% of your time on the course undertaking clinical placements in a range of settings. This provides a number of opportunities for you to develop the required clinical skills and experience a variety of placements and the diversity of procedures in the perioperative environment. Your placements will be equivalent to 560 clinical hours in Year 1, 624 clinical hours in Year 2 and 576 hours in Year 3.

These placements which will be allocated by the University, will be undertaken in up to two or three different hospitals. As placements are undertaken in the hospitals listed below you must be prepared to travel to any or all of these.

  • Airedale General Hospital
  • Bradford Teaching Hospital
  • Calderdale General Hospital
  • Dewsbury and District Hospital
  • Harrogate District Hospital
  • Huddersfield Royal Infirmary
  • Leeds Teaching Hospital including Leeds General Infirmary, St James’s, Chapel Allerton and Wharfdale
  • Pinderfields Hospital
  • Pontefract Hospital

Placements are also undertaken in some private hospitals including Spire Leeds, the Yorkshire Clinic, Leeds Nuffield, BMI The Duchy Hospital Harrogate, Spire Elland and Spire Methley Park.

“The course provides the opportunity to experience placements in a variety of settings, enabling me to gain both a theoretical and practical understanding of the job role, as well as develop my team working skills.”

Keisha Rufus, Graduated Operating Department Practice

Keisha Rufus, Graduated Operating Department Practice BSc(Hons) in 2016

Entry requirements

Please ring the Clearing helpline on 0330 123 2277.

In addition to the academic entry requirements, you also need to have:

* GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme. * The ability to demonstrate an appreciation of the role and work of the operating department practitioner. * An interview and references. Please note all the information provided in support of your application may be checked and must be verifiable as a true record. * A satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health clearances prior to registration. We arrange these as part of the application process. You will be required to sign a self-declaration at the start of each year. All police contact during the course must be reported to the course leader as a matter of urgency and may lead to suspension or termination. * (For candidates for whom English is not their first language) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 7.0 with no lower than 6.5 in any single component.

The profession of ODP

Watch this video to find out about the profession of Operating Department Practice, what the role of an Operating Department Practitioner involves, careers progression opportunities, as well as information about what the course involves and why you should study this Huddersfield.

Course Detail

Core modules:

Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Perioperative Practice

You will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of a range of essential concepts related to normal and altered anatomy and physiology that underpin perioperative practice. You will also investigate the structure and function of the human body systems and the fundamentals of microbiology related to perioperative care. Assessment will involve completing an exam where you will explore principles of anatomy and physiology relevant to Operating Department Practice.

Introduction to Perioperative Practice and Patient Care

Through this practice module you'll have the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of patient needs and how to undertake effective perioperative patient care. This will involve working as part of the multidisciplinary team under the direct supervision of qualified clinical staff. You'll also have the chance to develop and demonstrate your competence in undertaking the anaesthetic, scrub and circulating roles. Assessment will involve completing coursework, in the form of a skills inventory and professional development portfolio. These will be assessed by clinical mentors, who have responsibility for assessing your competence throughout the placement.

Principles of Perioperative Practice

In this module you will be introduced to anaesthetic techniques and will investigate the role of the anaesthetic practitioner in assisting the anaesthetist during perioperative care. You will also have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the roles of circulating practitioner and scrub practitioner, and explore how these roles function in support of the patient, the surgeon and each other. This will involve examining surgical techniques and equipment required when carrying out surgical interventions. You will be assessed through coursework, where you complete four scenarios via an electronic learning log and undertake a presentation exploring infection control issues.

Professional Development and Research 1

This module involves a multidisciplinary team based learning approach, working with Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy and Podiatry students. The professional development element of the module will encourage you to explore issues of lifelong learning and continuing professional development that underpin the essential skills needed in order to understand registration requirements for your field specific professional/statutory bodies. You will be assessed by four pieces of coursework.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment on the course involves academic and clinical development, which provides links between the theory and practice in the perioperative environment.

Academically we will help you to develop the theories and concepts required to complete the varied and complex roles undertaken in the perioperative environment. You'll be taught using a variety of teaching approaches including seminars, group work, practical sessions, lectures, simulation and problem-based learning. Teaching is delivered on campus and also through our University's Virtual Learning Environment. You'll be assessed through a variety of methods including coursework, simulation assessments and examinations.

The clinical element of the course is initially developed on campus in our skills laboratory, before you put your skills into practice when undertaking your clinical placements. Whilst undertaking clinical placements, you'll be supported and assessed by qualified practitioners including ODP’s and Nurses.

11% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Further information

Once you’ve submitted your application form to UCAS you may be invited to attend an interview.

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration. You can study this course on a part-time basis but, as this is a full-time course, you may have to attend every day of the week.

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 360 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course, subject to any professional, statutory or regulatory body guidelines.

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Operating Department Practice

These images showcase some of the facilities which are used by our operating department practice students in their clinical skills sessions.

Your career

We know you’re coming to university to undertake your course, meet new people and broaden your horizons. However, we also help you to focus on life after you have graduated to ensure that your hard work pays off and you achieve your ambition.

So while you’re here (and even after you graduate) the Careers and Employability Service offer professional help, support and guidance, including industry-supported workshops, careers fairs and one-to-one guidance sessions. Find out more about the Service.

*Percentage of graduates from this course who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers Survey 2015/16)

100% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Hub: a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances and extension requests, organising appointments with academic staff, signposting to other support networks, welfare support, as well as binding, loan of MP3 recorders and print credit.

Academic Skills Development Team: provides guidance about how students can develop their academic skills in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with general academic skills including essay writing, time management, presentations and group work skills; information technology and numeracy; research skills, as well as personal development for example confidence building and assertiveness.

Student Support Officer: provides confidential and impartial advice on welfare and course related issues.

Royal Literary Fund Fellow: a professional writer who helps students improve their essay writing. They provide assistance with structuring essays, developing an argument and improving the style and use of language.

Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Unilearn System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing modules.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.