BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice (ODP)

Our Operating Department Practice (ODP) degree is aimed at individuals who have an interest in anaesthetics, surgery and patient care and wish to work in operating departments or any other healthcare settings where anaesthetic or surgical intervention is required. 

You will learn about perioperative practice, supporting a wide range of functions including preparation of patients and facilities, working alongside surgeons to ensure safe and effective practice and dignified and respectful care.

Operating departments have a special place in healthcare practice, instantly recognised as highly specialist and skilled facilities that fulfil a crucial role in managing a wide range of conditions. Their safe and effective function relies on a wide team, within which operating department practitioners assume a central role.

Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and membership of the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) to enable them to practice as a qualified Operating Department Practitioner bringing a wide range of employment opportunities.

This course is recognised by Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and endorsed by the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP)

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
B992 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
B992 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A

The course is designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge required to practice as an Operating Department Practitioner. Modules studied help develop a core underpinning knowledge of the medical sciences, involve interprofessional learning and working to enable the highest quality integrated practice, and deliver the fundamental skills required by the Operating Department Practitioner.

Modules focusing on the basic and medical sciences, cover the layout, equipment and instrumentation associated with patient preparation, anaesthesia, and surgical practice. This knowledge, and the associated skills, are developed throughout all levels of the programme to underpin the management of increasingly complex situations.

Your studies will include the opportunity for interprofessional learning in theory, simulation scenarios and during practice learning experiences. This includes three IPE modules focussing on developing your confidence and decision making in practice and progression to being a proficient operating department practitioner.

You will also have shared learning where core themes are considered and then applied to each unique professional group, these modules include the modules focussing on promoting health and preventing ill-health, professional, legal and ethical issues in health care practice and leading and managing quality care across settings.


The course is delivered full-time over 3 years, with a mix of theory and practice. Practice skills are developed in our extensive simulation facilities as well as in a range of practice environments.

Our on-campus Clinical Simulation Centre replicates clinical environments for education and training. The Centre is used for healthcare education and training, dealing with everything from essential clinical skills to complex, multidisciplinary clinical scenarios. You’ll use the same equipment you will find in healthcare settings.

During the course you will spend 50% of your time learning in practice. These practice learning experiences will focus on the client journey as you experience all aspects of pre, interoperative and post-operative care and will also include a wide variety of other experiences, for example in intensive care settings, surgical wards and with interprofessional teams.


USW helps every kind of student excel by creating a social and supportive environment for studying and living. There is close support from the academics and practitioners you meet on campus and on placement.

What kind of student does this course suit?

Operating Department Practice (ODP) is a science-based, applied health discipline that demands high-quality and confident teamwork. Practically oriented team players who are attracted to healthcare practice and in particular surgical practice will be ideally suited to this rewarding career that brings many demands due to the focus of the working environment.


Operating Department Practice (ODP) is an applied discipline and will use practical examinations undertaken in both University and within practice placements, with up to 80% coursework. These assessments methods will be used alongside a range of traditional assessment techniques including essays, presentations, and written exams. You will also have the opportunity to work on a project to improve or enhance an aspect of service delivery.



The course benefits from extensive clinical simulation facilities and a community flat simulation area in which a range of practical skills are taught, practised and examined. The University has an extensive range of partner organisations, including and extending beyond healthcare partners, to deliver a high-quality placement programme.

For some elements of your course, you will be taught interprofessionally alongside Physiotherapists, Nurses, Midwives, Occupational Therapists and will benefit from the holistic understanding this brings.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.  

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here


Additional requirements include:

One satisfactory reference

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service (no offences are considered spent).

Applicants are required to attend an interview. You will be required to demonstrate a real insight to, and enthusiasm for, the discipline. You should learn as much as you can about the profession, including where practitioners practice, and their role in modern healthcare. You must also demonstrate insight to your organisational skills and ability to effectively manage your studies.

Unfortunately as this nursing course is funded by the NHS and students have to have placements in the local NHS Health Board we are unable to accept applications from students who require a Student Route Visa.

We do not accept deferred applications for the BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice course. If you are unable take up your place, you will need to reapply.



Typical A-Level Offer

BBC to exclude General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and BB at A Level to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Merit, Merit

Typical Access to HE Offer

Science/Mathematics/Health Care/Nursing Diploma. Must complete 60 credits overall with at least 45 at level 3 and equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Mathematics. (Must be achieved since 2016).

Full-time fees are per year. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

The places on this course are currently funded by the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme which provides access to a tuition fee bursary and support grant, as well as placement expenses.

To receive NHS funding, students will have to commit to working in Wales for two years after completing their degree. Any applicant wishing to self-fund should refer to the fees outlined below. We recommend you read the bursary information on the NHS website and our own NHS Fees and Funding FAQs before applying.

Applicants are welcome to self-fund and should refer to the fees outlined above and may be eligible for Student Finance Wales funding.

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £15260 

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £53.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Computers to Support Study

Students from the most deprived areas of Wales (bottom 20%) as ranked within the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) will be provided with £200 to purchase a computer to support their studies whilst on the course.

You can view your home address WIMD ranking at

Securing a place on the Operating Department Practice (ODP) course will require you to demonstrate real insight into, and enthusiasm for, the discipline.

You should learn as much as you can about the profession, including the focus of Operating Department practice, and their developing role in modern healthcare. You must also demonstrate insight to your organisational skills and abilities to manage the demands of full-time degree-level study.

Offer of a place on this course is subject to an interview that is designed to establish candidates’:

  • Values
  • Understanding and insight into the discipline
  • Motivations
  • Abilities.

Interviews are conducted by academics and NHS practitioners.

Operating Department Practitioners are found in and around operating departments, and there are opportunities to work in different theatres across a range of specialities. Opportunities are emerging for ODPs to develop advanced and extended skills that support career progression, and this includes into role emergent areas such as increased involvement in pre-operative practice.

How does the course prepare me for employment?

This course prepares graduates to work in Operating Departments in a range of locations in the NHS and in private healthcare. Graduates will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and membership of the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) to enable them to practice as a qualified Operating Department Practitioner bringing a wide range of employment opportunities.