operating department practice equipment
Mode of Study
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2021


Are you enthusiastic, great with people and keen to make a living improving and saving lives?

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are an essential part of the surgical team. They take care of patients, prepare the surgical environment and equipment, and act as a vital link between the surgical team, other hospital departments and patients.

Our BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree course, which we've developed with the local National Health Service acute Trusts and the private sector, provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to be work in this demanding and rewarding role.

After the course, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Operating Department Practitioner. You'll be able to work in areas such as anaesthesia, surgery and recovery.

NHS bursary – at least £5,000 a year

When you study this course from October 2020, you may be eligible for an NHS bursary of £5,000–£8,000 a year.

Approved by:

This course is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Our Nursing and Midwifery courses are ranked number 11 in the UK (The Guardian University Guide, 2021).

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

90% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBC–BCC
  • UCAS points – 104–112 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science, Sports Science, PE) (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 28
Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course. The Department of Health requires all new Exposure Prone Procedures (EPP) workers, including students, are tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The consent, test and managed process of results will be carried out by our Occupational Health Department.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Develop your skills as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP)
  • Do lots of practical exercises to prepare you for the challenges of this field – you'll spend approximately 60% of your time in clinical practice
  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with patients in a variety of healthcare settings with supervision and support from registered healthcare professionals
  • Practise examinations and procedures on human patient simulators and our high-fidelity patient simulator in the Centre for Simulation in Health and Care
  • Use your skills in one of our clinical placement operating theatres
  • Develop your leadership, communication and problem solving skills
  • Improve your academic research abilities

Careers and opportunities

What jobs can you do with an Operating Department Practice degree?

As a registered Operating Department Practitioner, you'll be able to take on roles such as:

  • surgical care practitioner
  • team leader
  • theatre manager
  • sterile supply manager
  • practice educator

Work experience and career planning

Each year includes one work placement module where you'll get work experience in a clinical setting. Placement locations are liable to change, but recent students have completed placements at:

  • Portsmouth NHS trust QA Hospital
  • NHS Treatment Centre St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth
  • Spire Healthcare Portsmouth
  • NHS Treatment Centre RSH Hospital Southampton
  • Southampton General Hospital
  • RCH Hospital Winchester
  • Nuffield Hospital Eastleigh
  • BMI Healthcare Winchester
  • Chichester Nuffield Hospital
  • RSC Hospital Brighton
  • Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
  • Lymington New Forest Hospital
  • Princess Royal Hospital - Haywards Heath

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find further relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your CV.

You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years after you graduate.

The University offers state-of-the-art equipment to make simulation as real as possible, with lecturers who have huge experience as ODPs.

Sarah Wadham,

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


Core modules in this year include:

  • Foundation of Evidence Based Practice
  • Foundations of ODP Professional Practice
  • Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice
  • Science Informing Practice

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied ODP Professional Practice (placement)
  • Engaging with Service Improvement
  • Evidence Based Decision Making
  • Perioperative Care of Specialist Patient Groups
  • Perioperative use of Drugs

There are no optional modules in this year

Core modules in this year include:

  • Complex Perioperative Care
  • Enhancing ODP Professional Practice (placement)
  • Leading Safe and Effective Care
  • Project

There are no optional modules in this year

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Academic skills support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical work
  • hospital placements

There's a joint focus on this course between theory and practice, both in academic and real-world settings.

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff who’ll teach you on this degree course. 

Steve Moutrey

Steve joined the Royal Navy in 1974 and completed 26 years’ service in the medical branch. He held numerous roles at sea as the sole medical cover, including serving in the Falklands war as part of the Surgical Support Team, 3rd Commando Brigade, operating in Ajax Bay until the surrender.

A hugely experienced and qualified practitioner, Steve continued to study during his time in the Royal Navy, and was awarded senior lecturer status in the Royal Defence Medical College.

After leaving the Royal Navy in 2000, Steve assumed the role of Training and Professional Development Manager for Operating Theatres at Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth, facilitating training for 400 staff and ODP students from the University, and being awarded Honorary Lecturer status for his work.

His academic interests include clinical and educational research in surgery and theatre practice.

Term times

The academic year runs from October to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • Teaching block 1 – October to January
  • Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
  • Teaching block 2 – February to May
  • Assessment period 2 – May to June

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • tests (academic or practical/skills based)
  • performance-based clinical practice assessments
  • online assessment
  • academic written work/portfolios
  • objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
  • presentations
  • project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2021 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase) 

This course isn't currently open to International and EU students.

NHS bursary – at least £5,000 a year

From September 2020, new and continuing students on eligible nursing and allied health professional courses can get an NHS bursary of up to £8,000 a year.

For more information, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Your uniform is included as part of your course fee, but you’ll need to pay £20–£50 for extra or replacement uniforms. You won’t need to pay for a replacement due to fair wear and tear.

You’ll need to pay the travel costs associated with your placement, though the NHS may meet some of these costs.


How to apply

To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B700
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

EU and international students

Sorry, this course isn't currently open to international or EU students.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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