BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree is ideal if you’re seeking a rewarding career as a specialist operating department practitioner working alongside surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and healthcare colleagues to deliver safe surgery. We’ll support you to gain the skills and knowledge needed to provide a high standard of patient-focused care during the anaesthetic, surgical and recovery phases of surgical procedures.

This course is 'Subject to Approval' and has not yet completed the University’s approvals process. Whilst we are confident that the course will be approved, there is the possibility that the course may not run or may be subject to alterations. This course is due to be validated by November 2018 after which we will write to all applicants who have applied for the course to let them know the outcome and of any changes. In the event that a course is not approved the University will make reasonable efforts to offer an alternative course at the University.

BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Course details

Operating department practitioners (ODPs) are highly specialised healthcare professionals who work with patients of all ages in operating theatres and other perioperative environments. There is a shortage of qualified ODPs in the UK, so the career opportunities are excellent.

Our stimulating BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice strikes an equal balance between the technical and scientific aspects of surgery and the softer skills that support communication, psychology and caring for the patient. It focuses on helping you learn to provide skilled assistance to surgeons and anaesthetists and work alongside nursing and healthcare colleagues to deliver excellent individualised care and support during anaesthesia, surgery and recovery. We’ll guide you as you gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours to respond to a patient’s physical and psychological needs throughout their surgical experience and perioperative care.

You’ll spend most of your time in clinical practice placements at our partner Trusts, learning the realities of life as an ODP. Study at the University will complement and enhance your learning in the workplace. We’ll support you as you gain core clinical skills and an extensive knowledge of specialist equipment and drugs. Developing team-working, leadership and management skills will be an essential part of your training, and we’ll encourage you as you learn to support and reassure patients on an emotional level, helping them to cope with the stress of surgery.

As an ODP, no two days will be the same. Our dynamic and multi-disciplinary course team will work to prepare you to manage the care of patients scheduled for routine procedures as well as respond to life-threatening emergencies.

This programme is subject to the approval of the Health and Care Professions Council.

  • UCAS points: 112
  • Start date: 14/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS code: B991
  • Duration: 3 years

Course highlights:

  • This programme is subject to the approval of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • You’ll have access to facilities in the flagship £31 million Bolton One building, including our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites where you’ll be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment and simulators.
  • This course is designed to prepare you to demonstrate the confidence, compassion, competence and effective judgement required of a registered ODP, and to take responsibility for your decisions.
  • We’ll support you to gain essential skills in evidence-based practice. These will inform your actions and help you evaluate their effectiveness, so that you can continually work towards improving patient outcomes.
  • You’ll be guided by staff with extensive experience in this field of practice and in inter-professional education, which is key to the teamwork needed within hospitals.

Key features:

  • The programme offers you opportunities to develop the academic knowledge, clinical skills, and personal and professional behaviours required to meet the Standards of Proficiency as required by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) (2016), and enables you to apply for registration with the HCPC.
  • As a registered ODP, you’ll be able to work in a variety of hospital environments, including operating theatres, pre-admissions wards, and diagnostic and procedural units, such as endoscopy and cardiac catheter labs.
  • The course offers you strong knowledge and skills in patient-centred care and managing the preparation of the surgical environment, drugs, and equipment, such as surgical instruments, endoscopes and anaesthetic machines.
  • We’ll focus on building your competencies so you are ready to anticipate and respond to the requirements of the surgical team, and act as the link between this team and other parts of the operating theatre and hospital.
  • We’ll support you as you develop skills and knowledge of clinical practice, including your awareness of patient safety, human factors, and legal, ethical and professional boundaries.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 112
  • Start date: 14/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS code: B991
  • Duration: 3 years

Please note that this course is only available to Home students.

Your Level 3 subjects must include a science subject; for instance, A-level Biology or BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science. Examples of science subjects include healthcare, human biology, biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, mathematics and social science. Please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be counted towards the UCAS point requirement.

You must also have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language, Mathematics and a science. Please contact us for a list of acceptable GCSE equivalents.

You don’t need to have prior experience of working in healthcare, but you must have a passion to care for others.

You’ll need to provide evidence of recent study, professional development or work experience, as well as demonstrate an understanding of the operating department practitioner profession and patient care delivery in the perioperative setting.

Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

If your application is successfully short-listed, then you’ll be asked to attend an interview. The interview process will involve face-to-face interviews with academic staff, practice staff and service users. You’ll also be assessed on your values, behaviours, communication and problem solving skills, and undertake a numeracy and literacy assessment. We’re seeking students who can demonstrate commitment to a health care career, who have excellent communication skills and who are caring, compassionate and courageous.

If you’re successful at the interview stage, you’ll be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a DBS check.

You'll be required to satisfactorily pass occupational health screening.

You’ll need to demonstrate that you are of good health and good character prior to enrolment and on an on-going basis throughout your studies and career.

This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. Find out more

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

The University of Bolton recognises prior learning, whether gained through academic credit and qualifications or through your professional and employment experience. Previous learning may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for this programme or for exemption from part of this programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning, and each claim will be considered in accordance with the University’s policy and regulations for the recognition of prior learning.

Please note that it's not possible to join this course at Level 3 (HE6). Applications to join the course at Level 2 (HE5) will be considered.

Career opportunities

Operating department practice is an exciting, fast-changing field with opportunities to work across different surgical and anaesthesia specialities. Our highly practical course is designed to develop clinical knowledge, skills and behaviours for working in operating theatres and wider perioperative settings.

After graduation, and once you have registered as an operating department practitioner (ODP) with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC), you’ll be expected to take responsibility for a patient’s welfare and personalise their care activities to meet their psychological and physical needs. You’ll work as part of an interdisciplinary theatre team that is made up of professionals from a variety of clinical disciplines. You may find work in any of the three phases of perioperative care – anaesthesia, surgery or recovery – or in a role that combines all these areas.

As a graduate, you’ll possess in-depth knowledge in areas such as human anatomy and physiology, psychology, medicine management, and legal and ethical issues, as well as skills in surgical and anaesthetic procedures, teamwork and interpersonal communication. You’ll be adept at forward planning and time management, and have a clear understanding and appreciation of the role of other healthcare professionals.

This programme is not a direct route to nursing or medical programmes. It is designed to prepare you for a specialised role working in the operating department setting.

What can I do with this qualification?

There’s currently a national shortage of ODPs so job prospects for graduates who are registered with the HCPC are excellent*.

As a registered ODP, you can expect to gain employment with the NHS, an organisation that provides NHS services, or a private healthcare provider. ODPs are primarily employed in operating theatres, but increasingly work in other healthcare environments. For instance, you may find opportunities in intensive care units, transplant teams, pre-assessment clinics, obstetric units, resuscitation teams, orthopaedic clinics, patient transfer and day surgery units.

You’ll be able consider further training and development in a number of areas, such as management, education, clinical research and advanced practice. Experienced ODPs can take further training approved by the Royal College of Surgeons to work as surgical care practitioners. This would qualify you to complete certain surgical procedures under the supervision of a consultant surgeon.

* accessed on 16 April 2018

Alternative career options

  • Public health
  • Management
  • Armed forces
  • HE teaching
  • Clinical research
  • Universities

Professional recognition

This programme is subject to the approval of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

On successful completion of the programme, you may submit an application to the HCPC to join the register for operating department practitioners (ODPs).

Whilst studying this course you're not currently required to register as a member with the HCPC. However, you must follow their standards of conduct, performance and ethics. You’ll be required to sign a declaration of on-going fitness to practise at regular intervals during your studies.

After qualifying as an ODP, you’ll need to be committed to learning and always keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. To maintain your registration to practice with the HCPC, you’ll need to continue to meet their conduct, performance and ethics standards.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

No hidden extras

  • There may be some additional or optional costs associated with this course. These will be published after approval of the programme. ()

How to apply


September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

  • Apply online: University of Bolton BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice-14 September 2020 (Course not available to international students)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    3 years

Contact us

Richard Oldfield
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903753

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903