Operating Department Practice

BSc. (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Being an ODP

theatre scene 1An Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) provides a professional service within the multidisciplinary environment of a hospital’s operating department. They are engaged in the delivery of individualised patient care. The duties of the ODP involve working closely with doctors and other professionals to ensure that the care delivered to patients is in line with best practice and aims for a successful patient outcome.

ODP Programme

The Curriculum has been designed in the belief that the integration of academic and work based learning in the operating theatre environment, is the best way to develop students that are well equipped to meet the needs of future employers. Therefore this is a busy and challenging programme which delivers real opportunities for a lifelong career in the Operating Department. Our ODP Education programme will also create a professional group of learners who have opportunities open to them for lifelong learning. The Operating Department Practice qualification (BSc. ODP)  entitles the holder to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), as a Registered ODP.

Leicester and beyond

If you don't live in Leicester that's fine, placements are facilitated with local hospitals in the East Midlands includes Leicester, Nottingham, Northampton, Kettering, Chesterfield, Boston and Grantham. These placements ensure that students are provided with the necessary experiences to develop their clinical skills and are exposed to the reality of employment where they live.



Life as a student Operating Department Practitioner is interesting. Since becoming a Registered ODP I enjoy the caring environment and gain a high level of job satisfaction. It’s a fascinating and rewarding career with excellent opportunities for further progression.


Scrub ODP







Katherine Green, RODP

Team Leader - Post Anaesthetic Care Unit

What ODPs do

38_0655__26499.jpgODP’s provide a professional service within the multidisciplinary environment of the hospital operating department, engaged in the delivery of individualised patient care. The duties of the ODP involve working closely with other professionals in the work place to ensure that the care delivered to patients is in line with best practice and aims for a successful patient outcome. The aim of this programme is to provide the student with the educational opportunities to gain the BSc. ODP award and as such be fit to practice as a Registered ODP upon qualification and following a successful application for registration.

The overall aims of the programme at Leicester are:


To enable Student ODPs:

  • develop appropriate key and lifelong learning skills required to influence their own practice and that of the multidisciplinary health care team
  • gain the ability to translate the philosophy of care into practice
  • become safe, competent practitioners, working in multidisciplinary teams, accepting diverse roles and remaining aware of professional responsibilities
  • develop skills in, practice evaluation, critical analysis and research
  • perform consistently, confidently and independently the operational skills and procedures required of Operating Department Practitioner across the full range of their role

To provide opportunities:

  • to acquire appropriate learning strategies and become complex problem solvers, constructing their own knowledge, in order to become lifelong learners
  • to learn in a patient focused environment, evaluating care based on best practice
  • for students to gain underpinning knowledge, clinical practice and personal development

To encourage:

  • students to take responsibility for their own learning, reflecting the growing autonomy and accountability of the profession as an established part of healthcare and the perioperative teams, enhancing the quality of care afforded to patients

To embrace:

  • the concepts of inter-professional education and working

To prepare:

  • the ODP for continuous education and professional development

To ensure:

  • that on completion of the programme that students are fit for practice, purpose and award, and eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as an Operating Department Practitioner

BSc - Programme Outline


The ODP Programme at Leicester maximises opportunity by enabling students to achieve and maintain a good level of competence by running the course over a 48 week period each year with 65% of the time spent in clinical placement.

  • Good individual student support infrastructure = OPPORTUNITIY to achieve your personal goals.
  • 30 weeks of Study at University = OPPORTUNITY to reach your academic potential.
  • Varied Clinical Experience = OPPORTUNITY to develop and enhance your clinical skills
  • 100 weeks in Clinical Placement = OPPORTUNITY for you to become Fit to Practise
  • All year round programme = OPPORTUNITY to maximise your employability
  • Variety in Assessment = OPPORTUNITY for you to acquire and develop different key skills
  • Contact with expert ODP teams = OPPORTUNITY to prove your Inter-professional skills
  • Contact with real patients = OPPORTUNITY for you to develop patient care skills’

The programme takes place over a continuous three year-period with two intakes a year. These will commence on April 18th and September 25th 2017. 

The programme is divided into 15 compulsory modules.

Year One

  • Foundations of Operating Department Practice
  • Foundations of Surgical Practice
  • Foundations of Anaesthetic Practice
  • Practice Development and Progression 1
  • Portfolio in Foundations of Professional Practice in Healthcare

Year Two

  • Specialist Practice
  • Post Anaesthetic Practice_DSC0287_edited-1.jpg
  • Critical Care and Non-elective Practice
  • Practice Development and Progression 2
  • Development of Professional Practice in Healthcare

Year Three

  • Enhanced Practice
  • Practice Development and Progression 3
  • Clinical Leadership and Management
  • Advanced Professional Practice in Healthcare
  • A major project 


Entry Requirements

Applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years of age by the start date of the programme

  2. Possess 3 GCSE passes at Grade C or above, to include Mathematics and English (equivalents accepted).
  3. Possess 280 accumulated UCAS tariff points (112 with 2017 tariff) Or Possess an Access to HE Diploma in a Health related subject with 45 credits at Level 3 (30 minimum at D and remainder at M)
  4. If English is not the first language, be able to demonstrate equivalence to IELTS 6.5 or above)
  5. Be able to display an appreciation of the principles and values that underpin the NHS Constitution

Please see our UCAS Tariff guide: Click here


For further details on how many points your qualifications are awarded, go to the UCAS Tariff Table at:


English Requirements: For more details of our English Language requirement: click here

Applicants who have completed part of the ODP programme at another institution in certain circumstances may be able to enter the programme with some of their prior learning and experience accredited. For details of this please contact us via email.

Application Process

Applications for 2017 are now closed

Applications for 2018

Making your application

Stage 1: UCAS form

All applications, including mature students, must be made through UCAS. The UCAS closing date for 2018 undergraduates is September 6th 2017.

We have minimum academic requirements (see entry requirements). Your UCAS form should detail your academic qualifications (achieved and pending), a current academic reference and a personal statement, plus details of any employment. Follow the UCAS guidance on writing your personal statement and in addition demonstrate:

  • Evidence that you are serious about a career as a registered healthcare professional.
  • Evidence that you have the ambition to be an ODP.
  • Evidence that you have appropriate qualifications, skills and personal attributes to undertake this course and become an ODP.
  • Evidence that you can contribute to the delivery and achievement of the core values of the National Health Service.

The highest scoring applicants will be invited to an interview.

Stage 2: Interview

The interview will take the format of multiple mini interviews (MMIS). The process will last about half a day, and through a number of stations various attributes will be assessed.

Based on consideration of both your UCAS form and your interview, we may then make you an offer.

Stage 3: Offer

Your offer will be conditional if you are still awaiting the results of your A-levels, Access Course or equivalents.

To consider:

    • Do you really wish to make a career out of being an ODP?
    • Do you meet the requirements for the NHS student bursary?
    • Have you given serious thought to the financial commitment in undertaking the course?

Preparatory Steps:

  • Visit the NHS Student Grants Unit to check eligibility for a Bursary

  • Attend a University or ODP Education Open Day

  • Visit a Placement Hospital


All offers of a place on the course can only be confirmed following:

  • Acceptable Enhanced Level DBS checks for which there is an associated cost by the applicant.

  • Satisfactory Occupational Health Clearance. For more details regarding health issues - click here

  • Health requirements

    Candidates applying for places on the course often ask whether there are specific health criteria they must meet before being considered for a place. The following information should answer some of your questions. It is not intended to be totally comprehensive and candidates who would like further advice are advised to contact the Occupational Health Department, Leicester Royal Infirmary, (0116) 2585749.


    The presence of a particular health problem does not mean the candidate will be rejected, but will be assessed on an individual basis. The Occupational Health Department is given the responsibility by the Department of Health to decide whether the candidate meets the current health criteria required to safely function as a qualified ODP. This may involve asking for a report from the candidate’s GP or specialist. However, the final decision on whether the candidate is accepted or not lies with the University, as Occupational Health is an advisory service.


    A Day in the Life of an Operating Department Practitioner

    Working as an operating department practitioner

    Operating department practitioners are an important part of the operating department team working with surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses to help ensure every operation is as safe and effective as possible.

    ODPs provide high standards of patient care and skilled support alongside medical and nursing colleagues during peri-operative care. The ODPs role involves the application of theory to practice in a variety of clinical settings. The ODP therefore needs a broad knowledge and skill base including management and communication skills and will be involved with the assessment, delivery and evaluation of peri-operative care.

    Peri-operative care can be divided into three interconnected phases

    • anaesthetic phase
    • surgical phase
    • recovery phase

    Placement Hospitals

    Parent Hospital vists

    All prospective students are actively encouraged to arrange an informal visit to a Placement Hospital at some stage during the application process.

    When on an informal visit to a Placement Hospital you get to talk to Managers, Registered Operating Department Practitioners and current students.You have opportunities to discuss the course and working as an Operating Department Practitioner. You will be able get a real flavour of the role and what working in an operating department is really like.

    Contact details can be found here:


    Placement Hospital

    Visiting Arrangements


    Chesterfield, Chesterfield Royal Hospital

    Derby, Derby Teaching Hospitals

    Contact Clinical Placement Manager via email

    Contact Clinical Placement Manager via email

    Leicestershire Leicester, University Hospitals of Leicester Contact Clinical Placement Manager
    Lincolnshire Boston, Pilgrim Hospital Contact Clinical Placement Manager
    Grantham, Grantham District Hospital Contact Clinical Placement Manager
    Northamptonshire Northampton, Northampton General Hospital Contact Clinical Placement Manager
    Kettering, Kettering General Hospital Contact Clinical Placement Manager
    Nottinghamshire Nottingham, Nottingham University Hospitals Contact Clinical Placement Manager

    Financial Information

    When undertaking any full-time programme of study it is helpful to consider the implications this will have on your financial situation so that you can fully prepare in advance thus avoiding any difficulties once the course starts.

    The following information is intended as a broad guide to costs relating to this course: not all information is relevant to all students as it will depend on individual circumstances.

    Course Fees

    There are no course fees to pay. Course fees are commissioned/contracted by Health Education East Midlands.


    Places on the programme are only available to students who meet the eligibility criteria for the student bursary as published by the NHS Student Grants Unit.

    Bursaried students will receive a means tested bursary from the NHS Student Grants Unit. The bursary will be administered by the Grants Unit who will have received information from the school. Full details of the bursary received are available from the Grants Unit.

    See: NHS Student Grants Unit

    The above only applies in relation to the April 2017 Programme. All subsequent programmes will be supported by the traditional student loan route or self funded.

    Other Considerations

    Textbooks and Journals

    The university and parent hospitals have an extensive library of texts and electronic resources. There will be a small number of books and journals that are recommended to purchase or subscribe to.

    Student Residential Accommodation

    If you will require University accommodation for your course visit the University’s Accommodation website

    If you only require accommodation during study blocks, this can made be available; please contact the school for current costs.


    You must consider any costs that you may have for travelling to and from the Placement hospital for practice learning and the University of Leicester for the academic aspects of the course.

    Car parking

    You must consider any costs that you may have for car parking at the parent hospital for practice learning and the 'on street' or local car parking at University of Leicester for the academic aspects of the course.

    University Facilities

    The following university facilities are available to all student Operating Department Practitioners.


    Students must register in the library on their first visit.  Library staff organise an introductory session on the library and its services during the Induction Programme.  This is followed by a series of smaller group sessions later in the term to introduce the major printed and electronic sources of information in the library.  Keith Knockels, the Information Librarian, runs these sessions and is also available to give detailed individual assistance with complex enquiries from students and staff from the School.  If you need such help, ask for her at the enquiry desk on the ground floor. For the more general basic queries, ask any of the staff on duty there.  There are self-service photocopiers, operated by a pre-paid card system.

    The library attempts to stock as full a range of appropriate books and periodicals as possible, and to provide access to an increasing number of electronic sources of information. Items not in stock can be requested through the Inter-Library Loans service, which is particularly useful when planning and preparing dissertations and practice studies. Lending and enquiry services operate on extended hours in term time, to include weekday evenings and Saturdays.

    If you experience any difficulties in using the library, you will find the library staff exceptionally helpful.  For further details on their resources visit their web site: http://www.le.ac.uk/library/

    Computer Centre

    The computer centre provides the campus network which allows registered users to have computer access.  Open access locations are available to students at the main site and elsewhere in the University.  The facilities available are word processing programmes, spreadsheets, email and the web browsers.   The computer centre can answer questions and provides tutorials to become familiar with the network.  When registered for a computer service, you will be issued with a username that will be used as your email address.  For further questions, the computer centre information desk can be contacted Monday – Friday between 9:30-17:00 at 0116 252 2252/8, email infodesk@le.ac.uk, or visit their web site: http://www.le.ac.uk/cc/

    Printing Work

    Registered users can print work at the open access locations with a copy card that is available from the Main Library.  The charge is 5p per sheet (single sided) or 7p for double sided printing.  More details can be found at: http://www.le.ac.uk/cc/print/

    The Bookshop

    The Bookshop is owned and managed by the University and is physically divided into two parts. The main shop, on the ground floor of the Charles Wilson Building, sells books in the fields of the Arts and the Social Sciences and books of general interest.  The other main site shop, situated in the Medical Sciences Building, sells books in the fields of Science, Engineering, Education, Social Work and Medicine.

    Educational Development And Support Centre (Edsc)

    The Educational Development and Support Centre (EDSC) was established in 1995 in order to provide a fully integrated development and support service for students at the University of Leicester and a range of specific provision for University of Leicester staff.
    Many EDSC services are provided though its specialist units and the following detailed below: Careers Service, Counselling Service, Student Learning Centre, AccessAbility Centre, Hugh Binnie Sick Bay, Welfare Service and the Teaching and Learning Unit.

    Careers Service

    The Careers Service, situated in College House is part of the Educational Development and Support Centre (EDSC), provides an extensive range of resources for home and international students, at all stages of their university careers.  They are committed to providing career guidance and information to enable the University's students to make informed career decisions and to develop the skills and attributes required by employers.

    Counselling Service

    The Counselling Service, situated in a single storey addition behind the Student Health Centre at Freemen's Common (161 Welford Road), is part of the Educational Development and Support Centre (EDSC).  The service assists in study problems, difficulties adjusting to University life, difficulties with families, problems in relationships, etc.

    Student Learning Centre

    The Student Learning Centre, situated in College House is part of the Educational Development and Support Centre (EDSC), offers services tailored to meet the needs of busy students who want to get the most from their study time. They provide advice on the general study skills and on skills for studying, presentations, writing, math and IT.  The Centre can be contacted at 0116 252 5232.

    Accessability Centre

    The AccessAbility Centre is situated in the Fielding Johnson Building and is part of the Educational Development and Support Centre (EDSC).  The Centre offers academic and practical support for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties such as physical, mental health, or mobility difficulties, deafness or visual impairment

    Hugh Binnie Sick Bay

    The Hugh Binnie Sick Bay is located at the Student Health Centre at Freemen's Common (161 Welford Road).  The sick bay is a small unit staffed by nurses offering 24-hour care.

    Welfare Service

    The Welfare Service is situated on the first floor of the Percy Gee building and is part of the Educational, Development and Support Centre (EDSC).   The Student Welfare provides practical advice and support for students on childcare, student health, legal advice, finances and accommodation.

    Teaching and learning Unit

    The English Language Teaching Unit in the Ken Edwards Building offers a range of courses designed to help international students acquire the English they need for effective academic study on their chosen degree courses.  The following courses are offered during the academic year:

    • Study speaking and Writing (3 levels)
    • English Pronunciation
    • Listening Skills
    • English Grammar in Use
    • Language and Literary Studies
    • Business English
    • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

    Education Unit, Student's Union

    The Education Unit is located in the Percy Gee and provides a free service to help and advise students about options available to them on a wide range of topics such as academic appeals, changing courses, leaving university, difficulties with their department or simply guidance about where to go and what to do.

    Open Days - Come and meet The Team


    At our Open Day you will meet programme staff, Registered Operating Department Practitioners and current student Operating Department Practitioners. There will be opportunities to discuss the course, life as a student ODP and working as an ODP in an Operating Theatre. The next Open Day is on:

    Thursday February 16th 2017 @10.30 a.m.

    To book a place please click here or email odpeducation@le.ac.uk and insert 'Open Day' into the subject header.



    “What if I feel queasy due to the nature of OD work?”

    Often new students report feeling a bit queasy when they first encounter the sights, sounds and smells of an Operating Theatre. It is something you get used to and when you are there actually learning and participating rather than just watching. The perspective is different and the work distracts you from any uneasy feelings.

    “What if I need to do a part time job to make ends meet?”

    We recognise that many students will need to supplement their student bursary with paid work. We have developed the following 2 guiding principles in relationship to this.

    1. No students should work in employed employment for more than 15 hours a week.
    2. If we or a student recognises that paid work is affecting their progress on the course then the issue needs to be redressed.

    Finally, this is the sort of issue that students should feel free to discuss with their personal tutor or any member of our staff team.

    “What does it feel like to work in an enclosed room all day?”

    As a general principle lighting levels and ventilation levels are good in the Operating Department and few students report this as a problem. In the event that you might find this difficult we do advise that students leave the department and get some fresh air and natural light during their lunch break.

    “How much help do students get with regards to coping with patients that might be critically ill and dying?”

    Dealing with ill and dying patients comes with the job and all theatre staff have had to learn coping mechanisms to deal with this. Therefore there is a great deal of direct support in placement for you when you experience these situations. You should also feel free to discuss your feelings with colleagues and staff.

    “What course would you suggest I do if my qualifications don't meet your entry requirements?”

    There are many options for those that don't meet the entry criteria depending very much on what they already have. The common routes that people follow include repeating existing qualifications to try to improve grades, undertaking base academic qualifications at a college, or enrolling on a Access to Higher Education programme which focuses on a health related area at a college. The latter route is becoming more popular as it directly prepares people for the type of work that they will do on our course.

    “What if I need accommodation during the study blocks?”

    Basic accommodation is available on a study block by study block basis (not full time). The students will have to pay for this out of their bursary. We spread the cost of this out over the duration of the course.

    “I notice that the course is full time with no terms/ semesters, do I get any holiday?”

    Yes! Students have 22 days holiday plus bank holidays per year. We programme in a 2 week vacation in the summer and over the Christmas period. The remaining entitlement is negotiated with practice and school staff.

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    Contact ODP

    Operating Department Practice Education
    Room 2.51
    Centre for Medicine
    University of Leicester
    LE1 7RH
    : odpeducation@le.ac.uk