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BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (with Foundation Year option)

Become an instrumentally vital part of the operating department team. Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are responsible for delivering safe, high-quality care to surgical patients during anaesthesia, surgery and post anaesthesia (recovery).

  • UCAS Code:
  • Institution:
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

With foundation year: B992

Why study Operating Department Practice at BU?

  • ODPs work with surgeons, anaesthetists and other healthcare professions to ensure every operation is as safe and effective as possible, to save or improve patients’ lives
  • Preparing you for placement and beyond, our newly built facilities include a operating theatre simulation suite with highly accurate and life-like manikins
  • Get hands-on experience working in surgical theatres with multiple and varied practical work placements that make up approximately 60% of your time on the course 
  • You will be taught by actively practicing lecturers or those with perioperative experience
  • Placements are diverse and career options are too: you could work in pre-assessment, intensive care, A&E, patient transfer teams and other more specialised areas of care.

Find out more about the content of this course.

Funding support: ODP students may be eligible for a non-repayable government training grant of at least £5,000 a year. Find out more information about the funding. Please note that this funding is not eligible for students on the Foundation Year, however you will be able to access it once you complete the foundation year and move onto the degree.

Foundation Year: We have a Foundation Year option for UK students who do not meet the entry requirements for the degree course. This additional year of study will give you a grounding in the scientific skills needed to prepare you for the ODP degree, building your confidence, knowledge and skills for further study. The Foundation Year is based at our Talbot Campus. After successful completion of the Foundation Year, you will progress to the full degree and begin your ODP study. 

Approved by: 

This three-year course is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) meaning that, upon successful completion of the programme, you will be eligible to apply to the Health & Care Professions Council for registration as an Operating Department Practitioner. 

Key information

Next start date:

September 2021, September 2022


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus. Foundation Year: Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus.


3 years, including mandatory placements. Foundation Year: 4 years, including mandatory placements

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: 104 - 120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. Foundation Year: 48-72 UCAS tariff points. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

For September 2021 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with minimum 6.5 in each component, or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are an instrumentally vital part of the perioperative team and are responsible for delivering safe, high-quality care to surgical patients during anaesthesia, surgery and post anaesthesia (recovery).

Taught by actively practising lecturers, in state-of-the-art facilities – including a simulated operating theatre – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to put your learning into practice – working in clinical settings supervised by registered healthcare professionals during multiple work placements that make up approximately 60% of your time on the course.

As well as the expert knowledge and skillset you’ll acquire, you’ll also gain numerous transferable skills, such as leadership, problem-solving, teamwork and communication – all essential for a career in an NHS or private sector operating department.

Contact hours and assessment

Details of the assessment methods and contact hours for each unit of the course can be found in the programme specification.


An important feature of the programme is the hospital that you will be based at and practical work placements will make up approximately 60% of your time on the course. Your placements will include a range of acute settings that give students a good opportunity to develop their skills. 

Find out more about Health & Social Care placements

Your application

For Operating Department Practice, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have an interest in the compassionate care of surgical patients to improve their lives as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
  • Show respect and give dignity to people recognising that everyone counts
  • Have undertaken care experience, preferably within an operating department
  • Have an awareness of the technical as well as the caring aspects of the profession
  • Can demonstrate commitment to the quality of care and the importance of personal skills and qualities to work together for patients.

How to apply

Entry requirements


You might think that the name of this course covers all the potential career options, but the skills you'll gain through this degree will make you just as suited to a role in critical care as to operating department practice.

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section, including NHS finance information. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be.

Our staff

On this course, you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. 

You can find out more about some of the staff that are currently teaching on the course and their research activities below. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Course changes

Hear from our staff

Lesley Elcock

This course prepares students for a career in a perioperative environment through mixing clinical skills and academic knowledge, with 60% of the course working alongside practitioners in the operating departments of the region's hospitals

Hear from our alumni

James Ackroyd

I really would recommend BU to anyone that wants not only to achieve a great qualification, but also wants to have a great time doing it.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.