Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons)/DipHE

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
Students in scrubs in a mock operation scenario in the operating theatre

Operating Department Practice (ODP) is an exciting and rewarding career where you work within the perioperative theatre environment caring for patients undergoing surgery.

Year of entry


Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



2 years full-time (DipHE)
3 years full-time (BSc)

Course code

B990 / B991

Start date

September 2023

Available through Clearing

Course overview

Accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) enabling you to register as an operating department practitioner upon successful completion (additional requirements and costs may apply).

  • Home students can apply to receive a payment of £5,000 a year through the NHS Learning Support Fund that does not need to be paid back, with additional bursaries for students incurring childcare costs6.
  • State-of-the-art teaching facilities including mock operating theatre and scrub room, ambulance, high-tech manikins, hospital wards, critical care settings and other real-life environments relevant to practice.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2023

Why you should study this course

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are a crucial part of the inter-professional team interacting and supporting a variety of patients throughout their perioperative journey. The role of the ODP is continually evolving beyond the borders of the operating department. ODPs are increasingly adapting their range of skills and abilities to develop their practice to work in non-traditional acute areas such as the emergency department, Interventional Radiology, cardiac catheterisation, MRI and CT scanning as well as endoscopy units.

  • The skills you will learn and the knowledge you will gain whilst studying towards either the ODP DipHE or BSc (Hons) will be facilitated through simulated activities such as role play and clinical skills development. These will take place in facilities which replicate those found in modern hospitals, include a mock operating theatre and scrub room, mock ward setting, high dependency bays, and utilising high-tech manikins which respond to the treatment provided.
  • Teaching and learning is supported by highly trained, clinically current and experienced staff, clinical partners, service users and peer-supported learning both from fellow ODP students and inter-professionally with students from a range of health courses across the school. Our learning through exploration approach provides a hands-on style of learning which provides context and is designed to prepare you for real-world situations.
  • Successful completion of the course will allow you to contribute fully as part of the perioperative multidisciplinary team in all areas of operating department practice. In the mandatory practice placements throughout your programme (sourced for you by the university), you will apply theory to practice on a daily basis, providing you with a platform to grow in confidence, develop your clinical skills and abilities to enable you to become a safe, confident and competent practitioner. As the course leads to eligibility to apply for professional registration with HCPC, you are required to meet attendance requirements both at university and on placement.
  • By studying two years full-time, you can complete the DipHE and in three years, you can complete the Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons). Both of these awards lead to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as an ODP (subject to additional costs). With the DipHE you are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC after two years and seek employment, so you can enter the workforce more quickly than degree students. The BSc can increase your employability opportunities following successful completion of the qualification. It can enable faster career progression by providing the foundational skills in leadership and management, the surgical first assist role, coaching and supporting learners in practice.
No. 8

for Health Professions in the Guardian University Guide 2023

Guardian University Guide 2023

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

HCPC logo

Health and Care Professions Council

This course is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the 2023/24 intake.

CODP logo

College of Operating Department Practitioners

This course has College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) accreditation for the 2023/24 intake.

What you'll study

Successful completion of the course will allow you to contribute fully as part of the perioperative multidisciplinary team in all areas of operating department practice. In the mandatory practice placements5, which are sourced for you by the university, throughout your programme you will apply theory to practice on a daily basis, providing you with a platform to grow in confidence, develop your clinical skills and abilities to enable you to become a safe, confident and competent practitioner.

As the course leads to eligibility to apply for professional registration with HCPC you are therefore required to meet attendance requirements both at university and on placement.

Year one of both the DipHE and BSc courses introduces the three roles of an ODP. This includes anaesthetics, surgery and recovery.

Before the placement module, key principles in safe and effective patient care are taught within the first semester. We aim to develop you into a confident and competent student practitioner.


  • The aim of the module is to enhance your knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and the importance of maintenance of homeostasis. Although the main emphasis of the module will be normal biological structure and function, you will also be introduced to some common illnesses and altered pathophysiology which may have an impact on perioperative management. You will be introduced to medical terminology and additionally the module will enable you to explore some basic principles of pharmacology relating to the body systems.


  • This module has been developed in order to introduce you to the knowledge, skills and underlying principles of safe and effective anaesthetic practice in preparation for your Year One Anaesthetic placement. You will focus on basic anaesthetic care techniques, equipment, monitoring and the importance of working within national standards and organisational guidelines to deliver high quality, evidence-informed practice, allowing you to develop transferable knowledge and skills. Successful completion of this module will provide you with a thorough knowledge of basic anaesthetic care which subsequent modules will build upon.


  • The aim of this module is to introduce you to your role and responsibilities as Scrub Practitioners. This module is designed to provide you with a broad introduction to the principal surgical skills, theoretical knowledge and terminology necessary for working in the circulating and scrub practitioner roles within the operating department. You will also learn about the management of patients undergoing surgical interventions and their individualised care plan, an appreciation of infection control, sepsis and the significance of homeostasis.


  • The aim of this module is to introduce you to the Anaesthetic setting and your role in supporting the Anaesthetist within the perioperative environment, in support of the care of the patient throughout their perioperative journey. You will explore the basic principles of perioperative anaesthetic care, to include anaesthetic adjuncts, pharmacology, anaesthetic techniques, including the anaesthetic assessment, planning and implementation of patient care.


  • The aim of this module is to introduce you to the surgical care setting and your role in supporting the surgical team within the perioperative environment, in support of the care of the patient throughout their perioperative journey. The module aims to provide you with a wide-ranging introduction to the principles of perioperative surgical skills and care, including associated theory essential for practising within the sterile field. Additionally you will learn about the management of the patient undergoing a surgical intervention, and the planning and implementation of an individualised patient care plan.


  • This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the social, politico-economic, cultural and environmental factors that influence individual and community health and wellbeing. You will examine key international, national and local initiatives to support your understanding of this area.


  • Throughout this module you will be introduced to the basic principles of research design and data collection as well as searching strategies available to identify relevant evidence related to practice challenges. You will utilise key academic skills in order to appraise relevant literature, developing key lifelong study skills that will enable you to apply evidence to support your academic learning and professional development in the context of the perioperative environment.


Year two of both the DipHE and BSc courses explores advanced anaesthetics and surgery, developing your skills and knowledge gained in year one.

You will now be working towards becoming independent student practitioners experiencing patients with more complex needs, for example in the emergency department and emergency theatre.


  • This placement module aims to enable you to build upon previous placement experiences in Year One. You will experience working inter-professionally as a member of the multidisciplinary team in order to demonstrate the safe planning, delivery and evaluation of patient care in the role of Scrub Practitioner and Circulating Practitioner.


  • The aim of this placement module is to further develop your knowledge and clinical ability in your role in both anaesthetic and post anaesthetic care. You should learn how to assess, apply and evaluate care delivery not only in elective, non-scheduled and emergency situations but also when dealing with complex and diverse patient groups and the deteriorating patient. You will learn how to interpret clinical data, plan care and recognise individual patient’s needs.


  • This module aims to further develop your skills, competencies, knowledge and understanding of the role of the scrub and circulating ODP. Building on the experiences of Year One, this module will further develop your ability to become a safe, efficient and capable surgical practitioner.


  • This module aims to further develop you as a student ODP, building upon the knowledge and skills from previous placement experiences and their application of theory into practice, whilst demonstrating the safe planning, delivery and evaluation of care in the anaesthetic and postoperative environments.


  • This module aims to develop and extend your understanding of evidence-informed practice, building on the first year module Foundations of Evidence-Informed Practice. You will strengthen your searching and appraising skills, enabling you to effectively locate and appraise appropriate evidence in the context of the peri-operative environment.


  • This module aims to develop you to be a professionally aware, autonomous and reflective practitioner, addressing the professional, leadership, management and development issues of operating department practitioners. This will support your continued development and transition to being a qualified practitioner and registered with the Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC) (additional costs may apply).

    You will explore the moral, legal, ethical and professional standards expected of a practitioner and organisational topics and by applying HCPC policy and procedures recognise the importance of the professional in care delivery, managing and adapting to a changing environment, lifelong learning and career development.


BSc (Hons) only
Year three - the final year of the BSc (Hons) course - builds on the knowledge, skills and abilities developed in years one and two to enhance your experiences in more acute and challenging clinical, managerial and coaching roles as well as developing a more in-depth understanding of evidence-based practice.


  • This module aims to support the development of the leadership behaviours and management skills you will need to function effectively as a newly qualified registered healthcare professional working within the multi-professional team in the delivery of high-quality care. You will examine clinical leadership and “followership” models and the concept of empowerment and distributed leadership, to gain understanding of ethical leadership, culture and values within the delivery of care.


  • This module is designed to provide you with the skills to take an individual and holistic approach to the assessment, planning, management and evaluation of care for acutely ill patients undergoing complex, non-scheduled or emergency care. You will build upon prior knowledge, skills and experiences as an anaesthetic care practitioner acquired in the first and second year modules in order to provide competent and skilled anaesthetic and critical care assistance.


  • This module aims to enhance and develop your skills to a level commensurate with the first assistant role assisting the surgeon throughout the perioperative journey of the patient. It will provide the underpinning knowledge and practical skills required to ensure the practitioner becomes competent and safe to practice in the first assistant role. The module is designed to enhance your ability to engage in this evolving and challenging role in any operative environment and specialty whilst maintaining patient safety. Support in the clinical environment will be gained from Consultant Surgeons and Clinical Practice Mentors. The theoretical components will include accountability, consent, risk assessment, problem-solving and the legal and ethical issues in the role as well as the clinical aspects.


  • This module aims to provide an opportunity for you to produce an individual research proposal developed from an aspect of perioperative practice. You will build on the skills developed from successfully completing Foundations of/Developing Evidence-Informed Practice modules.


  • In this module you will review the accountability and responsibility of the registered Operating Department Practitioner in clinical practice. You will explore the key attributes of accountable practice such as individual accountability, escalating concerns, managerial responsibilities, safety, quality, delegation and clinical decision-making within the context of the provision of safe, effective, person-centred compassionate care.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

We aim to provide you with a range of learning environments and styles of teaching and learning which will suit the varied subject matter within the different modules and support your needs at all levels of the course. Teaching and learning will take place in the context of lectures, seminars, workshop activities and practice area placements, each supported by a comprehensive course of tutorial support.

These range from formally taught sessions to case studies, group work, online discussions, online quizzes and practical hands-on sessions in our state-of-the-art facility with a mock operating theatre and scrub room which is equipped with a range of equipment you would expect to be exposed to, and use on a daily basis, in a real operating theatre.

You will normally have around 15 hours per week contact time, which consists of a mixture of lectures, workshops and practical skills sessions in our clinical simulation areas. In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20-25 hours minimum of self-directed study each week.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/24 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Academic coursework
  • Online examinations
  • Viva voce (oral interviews/discussions)
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE)
  • Poster presentations (individual and group)
  • Work-based practical observations.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

International experience opportunities

Students may have the opportunity to engage in international experiences whilst on the course such as internships, work experience, industry visits, field trips or study abroad opportunities5.

I am proud to be a part of the team that helps our students become confident and competent practitioners. Here at Coventry, we are an enthusiastic teaching team all with a wealth of experience to assist your learning and development. We are lucky to have use of the amazing facilities which allows us to simulate real life situations in a safe and controlled environment.

George McSharry, lecturer, quoted in 2022
Three people in scrubs in a mock operating theatre

Entry requirements

Clearing places available on this course

See if you have enough points (UCAS tariff 2023)

Don't know your points total? Work it out
Additional requirements may apply

Haven't met the entry requirements or don’t have the right qualifications? You may still be able to progress onto a degree you’d love by studying a foundation course.

View our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page. 

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £9,250 per year Not available
EU £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
£19,850 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £19,850 per year Not available

A non-repayable grant of £5,000 and extra payments worth up to £3,000 may be available to eligible home students for each year of study. Read more about this in the NHS Learning Support Fund information booklet

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in-line with that of UK students. Students studying a Degree with a Foundation Year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building features a range of mock healthcare settings, including hospital wards, ambulance, therapy suites and community houses, giving you the opportunity to replicate real-life situations before you go on placement4.

Students in scrubs in the mock operating theatre

Mock operating theatre

Our operating theatre is set up to accommodate procedures that would take place during hospital surgery. It includes a scrub room and the machines, equipment and lighting you will need to use to be an effective operating department practitioner.

Students practicing patient care in an ambulance

Alison Gingell Building

Our state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building features a mock ambulance, high-tech manikins, hospital wards, critical care settings and therapy suites. This gives you the opportunity to learn in situations that mirror real life scenarios.

Students and a tutor with a manikin in the hospital ward

Mock hospital wards

We have two fully-equipped mock hospital wards, each containing 4 beds. The wards are built to NHS standards and contain moveable beds, first aid equipment and patient monitoring tools, so that you can study a complete patient pathway.

Careers and opportunities

Our ‘learning through exploration’ approach is designed to prepare you for real-world situations, and using the mock operating theatre and scrub room will provide the opportunity to undertake realistic scenarios before you go onto your placements.

Your mandatory practice placements5 (sourced for you by the university) enable you to apply theory to practice on a daily basis, providing you with a platform to grow in confidence, develop your clinical skills and abilities to enable you to become a safe, confident and competent practitioner.

ODPs are sought-after employees and we provide support for all Coventry University graduates to help them secure employment on completion of the course.

Where our graduates work

Past graduates have found work in the perioperative environment in both the NHS and private sector in anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care environments.

How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.


    Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required. As part of the health clearance checks you will be required to provide information about your immunity and vaccination status. You will also be required to provide information about your COVID-19 vaccination status. We therefore recommend that you are fully vaccinated including the COVID-19 vaccine. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility to go on placement(s). Placements are provided at the placement provider’s discretion. The University is therefore unable to guarantee the provision of placements or the location and type of placement offered.

    6NHS payment

    The rules may be subject to review by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the future and as a result may change. Please therefore check the NHSBSA website for up-to-date information before applying.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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