BSc (Hons) Operating Department PracticeSouthwark Campus
A crucial role
The operating department is a crucial part of any hospital or healthcare setting and operating department practitioners (ODPs) play a critical role in helping patients prepare, undergo, and recover from surgery. If you’d like to be part of this team, then this course is for you.
The course combines academic study and clinical practice, providing you with the opportunity to gain experience in a real world environment. You'll work as part of the operating theatre team, at one of our clinical allocation hospitals, experiencing the varied role of the ODP.
Why Operating Department Practice at LSBU?
- 1st in London for career prospects (Guardian League Table 2020).
- The course is accredited by the College of Operating Department Practitioners.
- Thanks to our professional links, you can become a registered operating department practitioner, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.
- Take valuable work placements across a variety of clinical settings, such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements and the independent sector.
- Our Operating Department Practice critical care laboratory is part of the great facilities available and has been carefully designed to reflect hospital acute care environments.
- Ranked 1st for feedback satisfaction in Health Professions amongst London Modern Competitors (Guardian University Guide 2021).
This course combines academic study with clinical practice, so you’ll get 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-professional practice, post-anaesthesia care, emergency care, pharmacology and evidence-based practice.
Some compulsory skills sessions may take place in the evening.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
When you finish the course, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as an ODP with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This 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.
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. You can find out more about professional development courses on offer through our online CPPD prospectus.
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
We’re proud of our professional links with the College of Operating Department Practitioners and the Health and Care Professions Council, the regulator of health, Psychological and Social professionals.
The Health and Care Professions Council is the regulator of health, Psychological and Social professionals.
This course is heavily practice-based; you'll spend a significant part of your time in clinical practice over the three years within a broad variety of healthcare settings and the rest in academic study. Due to COVID-19, students in their first year of study will not currently undertake a clinical placement but will spend the majority of their second and third years in clinical placement. You will usually attend seven University study blocks, usually one week at a time, 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 work 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 initially challenging, practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be an Operating Department Practitioner.
At LSBU we work closely with a number of healthcare organisations to provide a wide range of suitable clinical placements. By the end of the course, you'll have experienced wide ranging healthcare provision. Placements take place across a variety of clinical settings, including 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
- Epsom and St Helier NHS Foundation Trust
- King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) NHS Foundation Trust
- Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospital Lewisham
- Queen's Hospital, Romford
- University College London Hospitals (UCLH) 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, 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, and are the first point of contact if you are experiencing difficulties in the workplace.
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.
Teaching and learning
|Lectures and seminars||Self-directed study||Work-based placements|
As a Health and Social Care student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will have appointments with your tutor at least three times a year for up to 30 minutes throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional support by email.
- 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).
Been out of study for a long time? Or maybe you haven’t met the entry requirements of your chosen degree? Our entry year acts as a bridge to degree-level studies.
If your first language is not English you must have the following minimum International English Language Test Score (IELTS) results at the time of applying:
- 7.0 overall or equivalent
- 7.0 in the listening and reading sections
- 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections.
If your initial application to a Health and Social Care course is successful, you’ll be invited for an interview.
Visit our interview page for information on preparing for the day and what to bring.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
Please send your application through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using our institution code L75. UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education courses in the UK.
See our How to apply page for further details.
See our top tips for writing your personal statement.
If you are unsuccessful in your application to LSBU for this year you cannot apply through UCAS Extra or Clearing. However you can apply for the following year. It is important that you read the comments in the results statement so that you are prepared for any other interviews you may have.
Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
Prepare to start
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)
All pre-registration students need to be DBS cleared before going on placement. You’ll need to have an enhanced DBS check even if you have had one before and will not be able to go on placement until this is complete.
The DBS process is not difficult but can take some time so it's best to get started as soon as you receive your email. You will receive the email during Summer 2021.
DBS update service
If you're part of the DBS update service, your subscription is up to date and you already have a DBS certificate, please bring in your original green DBS certificate for the document check. To take advantage of the update service, your certificate needs to be classified as 'Enhanced' and workforce must be listed as 'Adult and Child'. If you have any queries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to complete your DBS
Our DBS supplier, Verifile, will send you an email with all the details you need to complete your DBS.
Verifile will give you instructions to log into their system and complete your personal details and information. To complete the process, you'll need your passport or driving licence and 5-year address history including dates when you moved in/out.
You can use your application number to track the progress of your DBS.
When you've finished, your Disclosure Statement will be mailed to the most recent address in your submission, so please make sure it's correct. We don't automatically receive a copy of this Statement, which is why we need you to bring it in as part of the next step.
Frequently asked questions
My Social Work friends said they need to pay. Do I need to pay?
Only Social Work applicants need to pay for their DBS. It costs £46 and can be purchased on our online store.
What do I need to declare on my DBS?
Please include any and all major and minor, spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warning and reprimands, even if they relate to juvenile offences or seem trivial or unimportant. Some minor offences will not prevent you from going on placement or being offered a place on your course, but still need to be reviewed so it’s best to be honest and include everything. Also, the more information you include about any offences can help reduce the time it takes to assess them.
I’ve applied for/had a DBS in past. Do I need to do it again?
Yes, you do. You need to have an up-to-date DBS. Once you have received the email from our DBS supplier make sure you start the process straight away. All details of how to do this will be outlined in the email. If you don’t complete your DBS in the timeframe given, we may withdraw your offer even if term has already started. So it’s important that you get started as soon as you receive the email.
Why do I need an enhanced DBS check?
Government legislation requires all Higher Education Institutions who offer courses where students may come into unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults to have this check. These checks also help us to ensure duty of care to our students, and create a safer environment for patients seen by our students.
Who reviews my DBS?
As part of the University’s admissions process, declarations of any offence may be referred to a virtual panel made up of senior managers from partner NHS Trusts and/or other sectors within Health and Social Care. Any DBS that is considered by the panel will be anonymised. The panel members then deliberate and make a recommendation whether the application be rejected, accepted or request further information or documents.
When will I hear back from the panel about my DBS?
If you have declared an offence, we might ask for more information from you in writing which will help the panel make a decision. Once your declaration has been referred to the panel it can take up to 28 working days to be processed.
Which address do I use?
You need to put your current address on your DBS application because this is where your Statement will be mailed. If you’ve moved house between submitting and receiving your DBS, make sure you have mail forwarding set up so that you’ll receive your statement. If you’ve moved recently, make sure you have proof of your new address (such as a new bank statement) to bring for your document checks.
I’ve lost my statement. What do I do?
If you’ve lost your statement you will need to pay £46 to purchase a new one.
I’ve had my application rejected due to my DBS declaration/disclosure. Can I appeal the decision?
Yes. If your application has been rejected due to your DSB declaration/discloser, you will be sent a letter to confirm this. There will be instructions in the letter about how you can appeal and which supporting information you need to provide. Once a decision has been made you will receive a letter from the School Executive Team.
Once you have completed the online part of the DBS process, you will need to produce three accepted documents from this list (PDF File 248 KB) to be verified.
Providing documents whilst campus is closed due to COVID-19
LSBU help desks are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are temporarily accepting ID documents and DBS certificates for Update Service checks by email. Documents should be clear and legible; DBS certificates should include all pages. Please send your documents to email@example.com.
Document check on campus
Southwark: Southwark Student Help Desk in the K2 building Monday – Friday between 9am-11am or 1pm-4pm
Havering: come to reception at Havering Monday – Friday between 8:30-10:30am, 12-2pm, 4-5pm
Document check at the Post Office
If you’re not able to come to campus, you can get your documents checked and certified at the Post Office for a fee of £10.50. To do this, make photocopies of your three accepted ID documents and take your DBS form, copies and originals of your documents to the Post Office. The Post Office will stamp the form and photocopies and given them back to you. Email your post office receipt, stamped form and stamped documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occupational Health (OH)
An exciting part of many of our Health and Social Care courses is the opportunity to learn off-campus and work with patients, clients and/or service users. Before you start, we need to make sure that you have the correct levels of immunisations.
The second part of your occupational health check is to get any inoculations that you may need from your GP. When attending your GP appointment, please take printed copies of these two documents with you.
Occupational Health appointment
After these steps are complete you will receive an email from OHWorks Ltd inviting you to attend an appointment on-campus with an Occupational Health Nurse. These appointments take place during the week and sometimes when your classes have already started.
The OH team have prepared this guide (PDF File 439 KB) which outlines what to expect at each stage. If you have queries or concerns about your Occupational Health clearance or inoculations please contact the Occupational Health team.
Frequently asked questions
I don't want to get vaccinations. Can I opt out of these?
We have a duty of care to students and patients and so need to make sure you have the correct level of immunisation before you go on placement. You won’t be able to go on placement if you don’t have this or are not OH cleared.
My local GP doesn’t have my vaccination history. What should I do?
Contact the OH team at email@example.com who will be able to advise you.
What if I can’t make my OH appointment?
Please contact the OH team to reschedule at least 48 hours in advance. Remember that you won’t be able to go on placement until you’re cleared.
I’ve already registered with LSBU’s Disability and Dyslexia Support Unit (DDS). Do I still need to tell the OH Nurse about my condition?
Yes. Tell the OH Nurse about all conditions including specific learning difficulties even if you’ve declared these in the past. This will allow us to make reasonable adjustments whilst you’re on placement.
If I’ve declared a condition to the OH Nurse, do I need to register with LSBU’s Disability and Dyslexia Support Unit as well?
The information you share with the OH Nurse will be treated with confidence, meaning that it won’t be automatically shared with the DDS team. The DDS team can help you to receive support for your lectures, assignments and exams so it’s worth to register with them and provide evidence of your condition if you need this support.
Before starting your course, you may want to check or practice your numeracy skills. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free online tool that helps you learn, revise and quiz your essential numeracy skills. You’ll also be able to get a certificate to show your efforts.
Enrolment and Welcome Week
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our new students pages.
Most placements and some practical sessions in our skills laboratories will require you to wear a uniform and name badge. You will be measured for uniforms specific to your course as part of your Welcome Week activities after enrolment. In the meantime, we have prepared answers to frequently asked questions that you might find useful.
Frequently asked questions
Do I get a uniform for when I go on placement?
Yes, LSBU will supply you with uniforms for your placement with the exception of Social Work and Health and Social Care BSc students who are not required to wear uniforms for their placements.
Which uniforms will I receive?
Nursing and midwifery students will receive two pairs of trousers, three tunics and a name badge. Polo shirts will be issued instead of tunics for students studying mental health nursing, physiotherapy, chiropractic and sport rehabilitation. ODP students will receive one set of scrubs top and trousers.
How long do the uniforms need to last?
The items are to last for the duration of your programme of study.
How do I know what size I am?
A measuring and distribution service will be available by the uniform provider at both Southwark and Havering campuses. As garments are fitted for work purposes they need to allow for flexibility of movement so it’s best to have the uniform provider measure you up.
Am I able to request a longer tunic?
You can request a longer tunic for religious or medical reasons. To do this, you should advise the uniform supplier at the measuring session. These tunics are 2 inches longer and sleeves finish just above the elbows. Due to infection control, full length sleeves are not permitted.
Can I use a preferred name or a nickname on my name badge?
Name badges are professional and need to include your formal names.
What do I do if I lose or damage my name badge?
You can order a replacement name badge direct with the uniform provider. Badges need to be worn at all times when you are at placement.
Can I order more uniforms?
You are welcome to purchase additional items at Work in Style. You will need to log in using your student ID and then follow the step-by-step instruction. Please note that dresses are not available.
Can I try on my uniforms?
You should try on your uniforms the day you receive them so that the staff at the measuring service can help arrange any size exchanges. If you choose not to try on your uniforms and require different sizes at a later date you will need to purchase these through the uniform provider’s online portal at your own cost.
What do I do with my uniform after I complete my studies?
They are yours to keep – you do not need to return the garments.
Most health and social care courses’ practice placements will operate outside normal working hours e.g. evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays.
Your holiday periods will not follow the normal University timetable because of placements. You’ll receive more details once you start your course.
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 Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
BSc(Hons) Operating Department Practice - Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK fee: £9250||International fee: £16500|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4136||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.
Juliette Anne Luxford, student, BSc Operating Department Practice
Juliette tells us why she chose to study at LSBU, what it takes to be an operating department practitioner and how the role has changed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Daniel Rodger, lecturer, BSc Operating Department Practice
Daniel tells us why he chose to lecture at LSBU and gives important advice to anyone considering becoming an operating department practitioner
Mehnuhlik Lynch, alumnus, BSc Operating Department Practice
Mehnuhlik Lynch graduated with BSc in Operating Department Practice from London South Bank University.
Bex Calpin, BSc Operating Department Practice (ODP), mature student, placement opportunities
After working in healthcare for eight years, Bex wanted to take the next step in her career by achieving a formal qualification—while learning on the job.