BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time

Apply now Register your interest Book an Open Day Course Finder Order a prospectus

Contact information


Please note that due to exceptionally high demand,  this course is no longer recruiting for September 2022 entry.

A crucial role

Doctors and nurses aren’t the only key players in hospitals and healthcare settings: Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) also play a crucial role. If you’d like to be part of the valuable team helping patients prepare, undergo, and recover from surgery, then this course is for you.

The operating department assists patients throughout their time in whichever healthcare setting they may be in. Gain both expertise and experience with a combination of academic study and clinical practice in a real world environment at our clinical allocation hospitals.

Thanks to our specialist skills and valuable work placements, you’ll graduate with excellent career prospects, as well as the opportunity to become accredited and registered as an ODP with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Why Operating Department Practice at LSBU?

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).


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


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 perioperative 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.

Year 1

  • Basic anatomy and physiology for perioperative 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 systems 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 perioperative practice skills
    This module provides some basic principles of perioperative 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 perioperative environment.
  • Caring for individuals in the perioperative 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 perioperative 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 Advanced Perioperative Practice
    This module recognises the need for operating department practitioners to monitor and develop their skill sets in relation to service provision. Students will use this module to facilitate the development of a set of advanced perioperative skills, in preparation for joining the multidisciplinary workforce as an autonomous practitioner. It will also consider the specialist nature and challenges involved with caring for children in the perioperative setting, as well as the advanced knowledge and skills required to provide holistic and individualised care.
  • Pathophysiology and pharmacology for perioperative 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 perioperative 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 perioperative 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 perioperative 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.

Employability Service

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.

College of Operating Department Practitioners

Health and Care Professionals Council logo

The Health and Care Professions Council is the regulator of health, Psychological and Social professionals.


This course is heavily practice-based; you'll spend the majority of your time in clinical practice over the three years within a broad variety of theatre areas and the rest in academic study. You will attend a number of University study blocks, usually one week at a time, every 4-7 weeks depending on the point in the programme. 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.

Clinical placements

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.

The following trusts have previously provided placements for student ODPs. Please note: The course admissions tutor can advise on the most up to date affiliated 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
  • 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

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%

Personal tutor

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.


Entry requirements

  • 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).

English language

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.

Foundation Year

If you have been out of study for a considerable amount of time or have slightly missed the entry requirements this course, you can take your first steps to becoming a registered practitioner with our Health and Social Care Foundation year. Boost your qualifications and confidence for further study with this one-year introductory course and on completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry on to one of our 13 health BSc pre-registration health and social care degrees.

Advanced entry

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.

Course status

  • Accreditation and Course validation status

    This course is validated by London South Bank University. Applications are being accepted.

How to apply

International students

International (non Home) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Home applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
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.

Personal statement

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

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?

What do I need to declare on my DBS?

I’ve applied for/had a DBS in past. Do I need to do it again?

Why do I need an enhanced DBS check?

Who reviews my DBS?

When will I hear back from the panel about my DBS?

Which address do I use?

I’ve lost my statement. What do I do?

I’ve had my application rejected due to my DBS declaration/disclosure. Can I appeal the decision?

Document check

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

Document check on campus

Document check at the Post Office

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.


Once you have enrolled, students will be asked to complete an occupational health check, the first part is completing an online questionnaire sent from our occupational health provider.

GP appointment

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.

Vaccination Screening Advisory Letter (PDF File 126 KB)
GP Vaccination and Screening History (PDF File 117 KB)

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 588 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

Do I need to be double vaccinated?

My local GP doesn’t have my vaccination history. What should I do?

What if I can’t make my OH appointment?

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?

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?

Numeracy practice

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?

Which uniforms will I receive?

How long do the uniforms need to last?

How do I know what size I am?

Am I able to request a longer tunic?

Can I use a preferred name or a nickname on my name badge?

What do I do if I lose or damage my name badge?

Can I order more uniforms?

Can I try on my uniforms?

What do I do with my uniform after I complete my studies?

Practice placements

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

The fee shown is for entry 2022/23
UK fee: £9250International fee: £17500
AOS/LSBU code: 4136Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK £27750
International £52500

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.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

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.

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations; read notices of PhD studentships.