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Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons)


What is Unistats?

Key Information Set (KIS) Data is only gathered for undergraduate full-time courses. There are a number of reasons why this course does not have KIS data associated with it. For example, it may be a franchise course run at a partner college or a course designed for continuing professional development.


Operating department practitioners (ODPs) play a critical role in helping patients prepare, undergo, and recover from surgery.

7 reasons to study here

Career prospects: No. 1 London Modern University for career prospects in the health professions, Guardian League Table 2016.
Happy students: No.1 London modern university in the UK for Satisfied overall with course in Health Professions (Guardian League Table 2018).
Supportive academic staff: No.1 University in London for Academic Support (National Students Survey 2016).
Professional accreditation: Accredited by the College of Operating Department Practitioners.
Professional links: Through this course you can become a registered operating department practitioner, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.
Work experience: We provide placements across a variety of clinical settings, such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements and the independent sector.
Dedicated facilities: The Operating Department Practice critical care laboratory has been carefully designed to reflect hospital acute care environments.

The course combines academic study with clinical practice to provide you with the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in real work situations. You'll work in the operating theatre team at one of our clinical allocation hospitals to gain valuable hands-on experience. This course covers:

  • the peri-operative environment
  • anatomy and physiology
  • inter-procfessional practice
  • post-anaesthesia care
  • emergency care
  • pharmocology
  • evidence-based practice


Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus

Case studies


Methods of assessment: From an academic perspective, the method of assessment for this course is 55% coursework, 45% examinations.  In addition, three modules per year have a practice component which is assessed with the placement area.

Year 1

  • Basic anatomy and physiology for peri-operative practice
    This module will introduce you to anatomy and basic physiological principles.  It will introduce the concept of systems, and how the relationship of the different body systems contributes to homeostasis.  Functional anatomy of the respiratory and cardiovascular system will be covered in detail.  Anatomy, disease process and treatment modalities relevant to surgical procedures will also be covered for a number of systems.
  • Introduction to peri-operative practice skills
    This module provides some basic principles of peri-operative practice.  It is intended to be an introduction to the clinical area with a lot of emphasis on working safely within the Operating Theatre environment.  This module will enable you to develop an awareness of the key structures, policies and principles which govern the healthcare sector with particular relevance to the Operating Department. It will prepare you to better understand and appreciate the peri-operative environment.
  • Caring for individuals in the peri-operative environment
    This module will introduce the concept of individualised care of the surgical patient. You’ll be encouraged to consider the breadth of impact a surgical procedure may have on an individual’s life.  Ways in which practitioners may be able to alleviate or reduce such an impact, through improved understanding of cultural and social issues and development of interpersonal skills will be appreciated.
  • Understanding fundamental surgery practice
    During this module, you’ll undertake core aspects of the Operating Department Practitioner’s scrub and circulating activities, in a variety of clinical specialities. A series of University lectures and workplace tutorials will underpin the placement activity, and encourage you to identify and apply the theoretical basis to your practice.
  • Understanding fundamental anaesthetic practice
    During this module, you’ll undertake core aspects of the Operating Department Practitioner’s anaesthetic related activities, in a variety of clinical specialities. A series of University lectures and workplace tutorials will underpin the placement activity, and encourage you to identify and apply the theoretical basis to your practice.
  • Concepts of inter-professional and collaborative practice
    During this module you’ll be introduced to the place and value of inter-professional and collaborative working in health and social care delivery. The module aims to support the development of the necessary communication, personal, partnership working and reflective practice skills required to meet the needs of clients/carers and diverse populations who are at the centre of inter-professional health and social care delivery. You’ll work collaboratively online to explore and develop understanding of the purpose, scope and range of inter-professional and collaborative working.

Year 2

  • Developing Operating Department Practice skills – complex care needs
    This module provides the opportunity to apply knowledge of advanced altered physiological parameters, and more complex clinical conditions to the anaesthetic and surgical management of patients. You’ll develop basic skills attained in year 1, in order to be able to participate fully as a member of the multi-professional team in all areas of main theatre care. In particular, mandatory specialist areas of Trauma, Obstetrics (planned and emergency) and ENT/Maxillo facial will be covered. Completion of the module will be dependent on achieving specific competencies from the practice assessment document, including attainment of IPL specific competences.
  • Ambulatory care/ Day surgery practice skills
    This module focuses on the development of skills associated with the whole patient journey through day surgery / ambulatory care.  You’ll build on practice skills from year 1, developing skills and responsibilities in patient assessment, short stay  anaesthetic and surgical management, and an understanding of step down and discharge.
  • Applied anatomy and physiology for peri-operative practice
    This module will develop your knowledge of anatomical and physiological principle, exploring human anatomy and physiology in greater detail and building upon content studied in year 1.  Using a systems approach, it aims to broaden your understanding of renal physiology, Endocrine disorders, the nervous system and disease process.
  • Post anaesthesia care skills
    This module will develop your knowledge and practical skills pertaining to the unique needs of the patient in the immediate post-operative period. You’ll learn to identify potential or actual problems or complications which may occur whilst patients are recovering from general, regional or local anaesthesia.  The patients’ emotional and psychological needs will be considered in addition to physiological issues.
  • Scope of professional practice for Operating Department Practitioners
    This module gives the opportunity to consider and discuss the scope of practice for a qualified Operating Department Practitioner, and how this will develop with the profession.
  • Appraising evidence for research informed practice
    This module will extend your understanding of the concept of evidence based practice and research in practice. The module will equip you with the core skills and understanding to appraise evidence and assess its appropriateness to be implemented into practice. The steps in conducting research, main research methods, approaches to data analysis and presentation are explored.

Year 3

  • Preparation for practice – enhanced peri-operative skills
    This module recognises the need for all health care professionals to monitor and develop their skill sets in relation to service provision. During this module you’ll develop of a set of advanced peri-operative skills in both anaesthetic and surgery, in preparation for joining the multidisciplinary workforce as a skilled autonomous practitioner.
  • Peri-operative practice skills for paediatrics
    This module explores the issues of holistic care and individualised care for the paediatric surgical patient. In order to understand the specialist nature of paediatric care, the theory of specific specialist surgical and anaesthetic procedures and their associated equipment, combined with specialist equipment for paediatric care will be applied in a relevant paediatric clinical placement.
  • Pathophysiology and pharmacology for peri-operative practice
    This module aims to consolidate your understanding of human anatomy and physiology, as well as introduce the pharmacological principles of a range of drugs relevant to the peri-operative arena. Using the systems approach, it aims to facilitate a wider understanding of structural anatomy and the physiological principles that underpin daily human function, and how these are affected by a range of drugs.
  • Contemporary issues in peri-operative practice
    This module aims to prepare you to work in a changing environment and develop awareness of issues that impact on patients and professionals. Particular emphasis will be placed on the management of patients with complex needs or co-morbidities in the context of professional and technological developments, and changes in health care policy. It will enable critical evaluation of professional responsibility in relation to clinical, service and patient experience within the context of ethical frameworks and evidence-based practice.
  • Enhanced recovery and emergency care in theatres
    This module is designed to prepare you for the care of seriously ill peri-operative patients, and those whose clinical status deteriorates suddenly within the clinical environment. You’ll need to demonstrate the ability to think clearly in difficult circumstances, follow agreed national emergency protocols, and adopt safe practice in the management of a range of clinical emergencies.
  • Improving quality, change management and leadership
    This module is the final inter-professional learning module that will explore leadership, quality improvement and change within organisations from an inter-professional perspective. The module looks at a strategic, evidence based approach to change management in a range of environments. It will integrate the perspectives of service users and take an inter-professional approach.


ODP as a career

On completion of this course you are eligible to apply for registration as an ODP with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which allows you to practice both within the UK and a range of other countries. In recent years, all students who qualified as operating department practitioners through LSBU have gained employment in theatre departments in UK hospitals.

Day-to-day duties range from preparing the operating theatre and equipment, to providing the surgical team with items needed during an operation. After surgery, ODPs provide care and expertise to patients in recovery.

ODPs need to be well-organised, have effective communication skills, maintain composure and act calmly. They usually work shifts, which can mean evening and weekend work. Promotion routes include progressing to team leader or senior ODP. There are also opportunities in research, education, training and management. 


Most ODPs work in the NHS, with starting salaries of £21,176, eventually rising to £27,625. With several years' experience this can increase to £34,189. (National Careers Service)

Career progression

In recent years, all students who qualified as operating department practitioners through LSBU have gained employment in theatre departments within UK hospitals.

If you graduate from this course, you will be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level as well as gaining additional specialist skills and expertise through continuing professional development frameworks. Find out more about professional development courses on offer through our online CPPD prospectus.

LSBU Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search.

As an LSBU student you have access to the Employability Service and its resources during your time here and for two years after you graduate.

Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or a placement/internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the career you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

  • Direct engagement from employers who come in to network with students
  • Job Shop – daily drop in service to help with, tailoring CVs, cover letters and applications, sourcing online resource, mock interviews and general job searching. One to one appointments for further support also available
  • Mentoring and work shadowing schemes
  • Higher education achievement report - The HEAR is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording student achievement, which acknowledges fully the range of opportunities that LSBU offers to our students.
    It pulls into one certificate: Module grades, Course descriptions, Placements, LSBU verified extra-curricular activities
  • Employability workshops - delivered free to students all year round on a variety of related topics
  • Careers fairs throughout the year to really focus your thoughts on a career after university

Find out about any of these services by visiting our student employability page


Time spent on placements

This course is heavily practice based; you will spend the majority of your time involved in clinical practice within a broad variety of healthcare settings and the rest in academic study. You will attend seven University study blocks, usually one week at a time, and this will be approximately every  five-seven weeks. The rest of the year is spent in placements, with holidays at set times.

A clinical practice placement allows you to put theory into practice by working with a range of health professionals in clinical situations to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to become a competent Operating Department Practitioner.  Although sometimes initially challenging,  practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be an Operating Department Practitioner.

Clinical placements

At LSBU we work closely with a number of healthcare organisations to provide a wide range of suitable clinical placements so that by the end of the course, you will have experienced healthcare provision that is wide ranging and is suitable for the chosen programme.  These placements take place  across a variety of clinical settings such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements and the independent sector. 

We are proud to offer a range of placements within the following Trusts:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George's Hospital
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital Lewisham
  • Whipps Cross Hospital
  • The Homerton Hospital
  • Queen's Hospital, Romford
  • University College Hospital London (UCLH) 
  • Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Support from a mentor

Each Trust has a Practice Educator who undertakes the organisation and allocation of individual placements. They provide an interface between the University and the Trust and act as work based mentors.  The Practice Educator will regularly meet with and provide you with a year on year practical  training programme, which is designed to make best use of learning and assessment opportunities. They are also responsible for providing regular structured tutorial sessions for you, collating clinical assessment documentation and ensuring all required competencies are facilitated. Practice Educators  are able to assist you with portfolio construction and management. They are the first point of contact if you are experiencing difficulties in the workplace environment.

Role and responsibilities on placement

During placements you will work alongside qualified staff during normal routine operating lists and will be learning on the job in real work situations.  You will undertake competency assessments as part of your placement activity, and these assessments will be carried out by the staff you are  working with on a day to day basis.  You will not be shielded from the realities of life in the operating theatre; you will be expected to take part in the actual operations and anaesthetic management of patients. The level of involvement and responsibility will grow over the duration of the course.

You will be required to learn about various policies and procedures which govern your behaviour in theatre.  Discipline will become a way of life, as there are no excuses for not adhering to the rules and regulations on infection control, health and safety and the various legislative requirements  associated with this are of healthcare.  You will also be required to adopt a professional attitude.

There are times when you will find the operating theatre environment claustrophobic; hot; sometimes crowded with people and equipment; emotional and stressful; and, believe it or not, sometimes very boring if a long operation is happening which you are not directly involved with.  It is not usually  as intense as some television programmes would have you believe, but clearly there will be times when concentration is paramount for the patient's safety. However, the rewards for meeting these necessary responsibilities are great; you have the privilege to be involved in a patient's care at the  most vulnerable time of their stay in hospital, even while you are learning and this will form the basis of a long and worthwhile career.



Jackie Kent

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer - Perioperative Practice

Jackie's particular areas of expertise within the peri-operative field include anaesthetic care, management of the critically ill patient and acute physiological disorders and utilising simulation facilities (such as "Sim-Man") to enhance understanding in these areas.

Chris Mahoney

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Senior Lecturer - Perioperative Practice

Chris' specialist interests are in enhancing the understanding of psychosocial issues associated with patients undergoing surgical procedures. She is also involved in interprofessional healthcare teaching.

Daniel Rodger

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Lecturer, Perioperative Practice

Daniel’s areas of interest include teaching paediatric anaesthetic skills, health care ethics and the scope of professional practice. He has an MA in Ethics and enjoys reading and drinking tea.

Rebecca Sherwood

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Allied Health Sciences
Job title: Lecturer, Perioperative Practice

Rebecca is a lecturer in perioperative practice with particular interests in anaesthetic care and how simulation can be used to enhance student’s acquisition of both technical and non-technical skills.


Critical Care Laboratory

The Operating Department Practice (ODP) critical care laboratory has been carefully designed to reflect hospital acute care environments. At one end it resembles an operating theatre and at the other there is a recovery/intensive therapy unit.

The theatre has an operating table, theatre lights, anaesthetic machine with oxygen pipelines, patient monitoring, suction machine, resuscitation trolleys and the fully functioning SimMan equipment. There is also a scrub area, with sinks, gowns and gloves so students can get "scrubbed up" when taught to handle instruments. 

There are various anatomical trainers and we can teach students about airway management and intubation as well as CPR. The operating table is used to teach patient positioning and patient anaesthetic scenarios are recreated using equipment and a mannequin.

  • Operating theatre facilities

    Operating theatre facilities

    LSBU's operating theatre and critical care skills laboratory gives Health and Social Care students a real simulator experience of nursing and operating department practice.

Teaching and learning

Percentage of time spent in different learning activities
Lectures and seminars Self-directed study Work-based placements
Year 1 15% 25% 60%
Year 2 13% 27% 60%
Year 3 11% 39% 50%

Entry requirements

2018 Entry

  • A Level BBC or;
  • BTEC National Diploma DMM or;
  • Access to HE qualifications in Nursing or similar with 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits or;
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 112 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths, Science and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).

We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Attributes and values

Personal qualities and values in line with those expected by the NHS constitution.

Additional desirable criteria – applicants can evidence engagement in academic activity within the previous five years.

Assessments and interview

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview and, if offered a place, must successfully complete both a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS), occupational health check and satisfactory references. A valid passport will be required for enrolment purposes.

English language

Those whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall or equivalent with not less than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and not less than 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) at the time of application.

How to apply

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

All full-time undergraduate students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.

Four stages to your application

  1. Attend an Open Day (not compulsory but highly recommended)
  2. Apply to us through UCAS
  3. Write your personal statement and use this as a tool to illustrate why you are right for the course
  4. Prepare for your interview

Personal statements

Remember the personal statement is extremely important. This is essentially a selling tool on why you are right for the course. The personal statement is taken into consideration when shortlisting applicants for interview. Download our Personal Statement Guide (PDF File 160 KB).


Shortlistingdecisions will be made on a continual basis as applications are received. 


If you have been successful in shortlisting you will be invited to an interview. Attendance at face to face interviews is essential for all courses. Service colleagues from NHS Trusts and people with lived experience of peri-operative care (patients) form part of the interview panel. Download and read our Interview Guidance (PDF File 88 KB) to help you prepare for your interview.

You will also be asked to complete a Declaration of character and conduct form (PDF File 166 KB), which is a disclosure of any convictions you may have and bring this with you to your interview.

Preliminary fee assessment:

At your interview we start the process of checking your eligibility for NHS funding.

In order for us to ascertain your eligibility for NHS funding, download the Preliminary Fee Assessment Form (PDF File 65 KB), complete and bring it with you to the interview. Also, ensure you bring along your evidence as noted in the letter which will enable us to assess your residency status.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursary Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

The fee shown is for entry 2017/18.
UK/EU fee: £9250International fee: £0
AOS/LSBU code: 4136Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK/EU £27750
International £0

Recent changes to funding of Health and Social Care courses

If you’re starting a pre-registration undergraduate course in nursing, midwifery or allied healthcare in September 2017 you’ll be eligible to apply for tuition fee loans via Student Finance England, as NHS bursaries will no longer be available.

In the following video Professor Warren Turner, Dean of our School of Health and Social Care, answers some of the questions you may have around funding and financial support.

Funding for students with existing undergraduate degrees

Students who have previously studied another undergraduate degree may be eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan for a second undergraduate degree in nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare. More information is available by reading the Council of Deans of Health page.

Further information

Download our fees and funding guide (PDF File 139 KB) which details the financial support now available to you.

The Funding Clinic on the Council of Deans of Health web pages is also a useful resource and will provide information tailored to your circumstances.

Students who have previously studied another undergraduate degree may be eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan for a second undergraduate degree in nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare. More information is available by reading the Council of Deans of Health page.

Possible fee changes

Current regulatory proposals suggest that institutions will be permitted to increase fee levels in line with inflation up to a specified fee cap. Specifically, LSBU may be permitted to increase its fees for new and existing Home and EU undergraduate students from 2017/18 onwards. The University reserves
the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.


We offer students considerable financial help through scholarships, bursaries, charitable funds, loans and other financial support. Many of our scholarships are given as direct tuition fee discounts and we encourage all eligible students to apply for our Access Bursary. New home full-time undergraduate
students meeting eligibility criteria could receive a £1,000 cash bursary by joining us in the 2017/18 academic year. Find out more about all our scholarships and fee discounts for undergraduate students.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

Prepare to start

Adult Nursing LSBU - phase 1b

The following information is for applicants once you have been successful at interview and have been offered a place on your chosen course.

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and Declaration of character and conduct form

You are required to complete a declaration at your interview and declare any previous convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands. After the interview you will also be asked to complete a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) (formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau or CRB). Have a look at our DBS process for applicants and Declaration of Character and Conduct information to find out more.

To check the categories as identified by the DBS as being filtered and will therefore not be included in any criminal record certificate issued by the DBS look at the filtering rules for the criminal record check certificates. For more information please read our DBS FAQs.

To complete the DBS application and get your ID documents checked, please follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Please complete the online DBS application and ensure you refer to the corresponding DBS course title (PDF File 462 KB) when completing your application, to ensure we can track your application.

Organisation: LSBUHSC
Password: london2013

If you already have a DBS certificate and are part of the DBS update service, we need to see the hard copy of your DBS certificate. You’ll also need to e-mail the details below so that we can perform a status check on the update service website:

  • Your DBS certificate number
  • Your name as it is on the DBS certificate
  • Your date of birth

Step 2:

Once you have completed this process, please ensure you bring three accepted ID documents so we can verify your application. You can visit the Southwark Student Help Desk in the K2 building during working hours, Monday-Friday (9am-11am, 1pm-4pm). No appointment is needed. Please find the link above with a list of the appropriate ID.

Please note:
If you are unable to physically come to campus and show your three forms of required ID, you can use the Post Office which offers an identity document checking service for a fee of £10.50.

  • Take photocopies of your 3 items of ID documents and the 3 original documents with you.
  • The Post Office will stamp the form and the photocopies and give them back to you
  • Documents will then need to be scanned (including their post office receipt so that we know that it has gone through due process) and sent to

If you have further questions you can email us at

Occupational health

You need to complete an occupational health assessment once you have been given an offer on a health and social care course.

Download and print the following documents on vaccination guidelines and carefully read the guidance on the occupational health process:

You must take the GP vaccination and screening history form to your GP for them to complete, sign and stamp. This must be done prior to enrolment. This form also needs to be taken to the meeting with the occupational health nurse following enrolment in which the nurse can check immunisation status and confirm this for your placement. You should be aware that if you do not complete the occupational health process you will not be permitted on placement and this may jeopardise your continuation on your course.

Applicants who have met the conditions of an offer need to download and complete an online medical questionnaire. This will go to our current occupational health provider. Any delays in completing the medical questionnaire will delay enrolment. For further information please read our Occupational Health FAQs.

If you have any more questions you can email us at


Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses.

Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.


You will receive fixed holiday periods, which will not follow the normal University timetable. Further details will be available upon commencement of the course.

Practice placements

Practice placements are provided under our contract with NHS Trusts and other organisations. On some health and social care courses you may find local arrangements require you to attend practice placements outside the normal work hours (evening, nights, weekends and bank holiday).


If you are required to wear a uniform on placement and during some practical sessions in the skills laboratories then this will be provided along with a formal name badge.

ODP students will be required to wear theatre scrubs on placement, which will be supplied by the host Trust.  During practical sessions in the skills laboratories you will be required to wear LSBU scrubs which will be provided, along with a formal name badge. ODP students will receive one set of scrubs. No further items will be issued, and you'll have to pay for any additional or replacement uniform.


If you wish to change your address, change your personal details or withdraw your application, you must put this in writing to the Admissions Office who you can email at

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