Operating Department Practice

Operating Department Practice BSc (Hons)

Degree Apprenticeship

Operating Department Practitioner - Level 6

The Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) pre-registration course is designed to prepare learners, not only for demanding clinical practice immediately upon qualification, but also for continuing their learning beyond registration and for promoting continuous improvement in care delivery.

Year one introduces the notion of professionalism and evidence-based practice in the clinical setting. Introduced to the fundamental skills required for perioperative practice in the operating department environment.

Year two builds upon the skills and knowledge gained in year one. The focus of year two is on the specialist areas of anaesthetic, surgery and post-anaesthetic care and you will undertake modules and placements in each discipline. Three key concepts are also explored in year two of the programme; the pathogenesis of disease, pharmacology within the operating department and the contribution of research to Operating Department Practice.

Benefits to the apprentice

  • Fully funded through the Apprenticeship Levy
  • Accelerate your career without a career break
  • Achieve a professional qualification/accreditation alongside the degree.
  • Share and learn with a unique peer network of professionals

Benefits to the employers

  • Upskill future leaders to help scale your business
  • Industry led learning to apply in your business
  • Access funding to develop highly qualified professionals
  • Projects deliver tangible business benefits

Read more information for employers

What does the programme lead to

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are registered healthcare professionals specialising in caring for people of all ages before, during & after surgery. ODPs therefore mainly work in operating departments. They work alongside other professionals (such as doctors and nurses) and take a lead role in ensuring a patient is safe during each stage of a patient’s journey through the operating theatre. ODPs must continually make professional decisions to ensure the patient receives the best care before, during and after their surgery. ODPs also ensure that the operating theatre environment is safe and effective and therefore have expertise in the management of specialist equipment & materials in a highly technical environment, for example handling surgical instruments, checking anaesthetic equipment, moving patients and giving medication. ODPs must demonstrate confidence, compassion, competence and effective judgement; being responsible for their decisions. They must use evidence-based practice to inform and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions they take with the aim of continually improving outcomes for patients. They are responsible for ensuing their own professional knowledge and skills through continuous professional development (CPD) and support the development of others.

Job Roles

Apprentices qualify to practise as an Operating Department Practitioner.

Professional qualifications

On successful completion of an approved programme, apprentices are eligible to apply to the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as an Operating Department Practitioner, which is a requirement to practice under the protected title of Operating Department Practitioner.

UCLan works with employers to design and deliver degree apprenticeships and establishes the content and delivery of a programme according to their needs on an individual basis.

UCLan is committed to the principle of an apprenticeship being the development of an individual into a role of which the course is one component. What and how this is delivered is designed with the employer through the tailoring of delivery both mode and content.

Information for apprentices

LEVEL: Level 6
START DATE: September
DURATION: 4 years

FEES: Tuition Fees are paid by funding through the Employer and/or Government via the Apprenticeship Levy, meaning that you as the learner do not pay the standard tuition fee rates. Students on Degree Apprenticeships do not qualify for any funding from Student Finance.

How you can access the programme

Contact our course enquiries team on 01772 892400 or email cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk.

If you are already in a relevant job role, talk to your manager or your employer and share the programme information with them. They may be willing to support you through the Apprenticeship. Contact our Business Development team on 01772 895500 or email uclanapprenticeships@uclan.ac.uk for support.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should be 18 years or over with;

  • 112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2; General Studies accepted
  • BTEC: Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • 112 points from Access Course
  • GCSE English and Maths at grade C (new GCSE Grading System Equivalence Grade 4) or FS2 or
  • KS3 or Adult Key Skills Level III in Numeracy & Literacy or Functional Skills Level II in Numeracy & Literacy.
  • Successful Completion of UCLan Foundation Entry Health and Social Care

Applicants with fewer than 112 UCAS points will be considered on an individual basis.

Specific Entry Requirements

  • Degree Apprenticeship students who do not possess level 2 English & Maths will need to achieve this level prior to completing the end-point assessment.
  • Personal interview Medical screening
  • There should be evidence of a good command of reading, writing and spoken English, International Students require overall IELTs of 7.0, with no category less than 6.5.
  • Acceptance will also be conditional on a satisfactory medical examination.
  • A Degree Apprenticeship Employment Contract with a minimum of 30 hours is required.

Degree and Higher Apprenticeships have flexible entry requirements. We work closely with the employer and apprentice to consider previous qualifications and experience. This may also include consideration of year of entry.

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.


You can register with the government Find Apprenticeship Service to receive updates on all Degree Apprenticeships.

Course Content

Level 4

  • Foundations of Operating Department Practice
  • Anatomy and Physiology Applied to Operating Department Practice
  • Introduction to Professional Practice

Level 5

  • Developing Skills in Operating Department Practice
  • Pathophysiology Applied to Operating Department Practice
  • Research for Operating Department Practice

Level 6

  • Enhanced Operating Department Practice
  • Embedding Professional Practice
  • Leadership in Healthcare
  • Transition to Operating Department Practitioner

Each member of the University teaching staff has extensive clinical experience and expertise. Their teaching is informed by their experience and through research that has been undertaken from studying higher degrees. Since their appointment in their University roles, they have undertaken additional studies to achieve post-grad certificates and higher degrees in education, business administration and research.


All of our degree apprenticeships are day release (1 day per week). 

Learning Environment and Assessment

UCLan has an extensive array of learning resources both on and off campus. For those off campus there are many resources:

  • Electronic resources including e-journals and e-books
  • Search by Subject guides to help access journals and books, etc
  • Online access to other libraries and information services (perhaps closer to home) through local and national schemes such as Sconul Access.
  • Inter-Library Loans Service
  • Information Skills training programme
  • Access to IT help and advice from LIS Customer Support
  • The Remote Access services allow students to access their UCLan network account, the library's electronic resources and some core software applications from their own computer as if they were on-campus.

End Point Assessment

The Degree Apprenticeship programme includes an End Point Assessment (EPA) to check that students have met the Apprenticeship Standard competencies and are ready to join the profession with full occupational competence.

Read further information about EPA

Information for Employers

Apprenticeships allow the learner to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with classroom learning. An apprentice will be employed to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week at one of our UCLan campuses or training centres. By the end of their apprenticeship, they will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to either succeed in their chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level.

Apprentices in every role follow an approved study programme, which means they’ll gain a nationally recognised qualification at the end of their apprenticeship.

AWARD: BSc (Hons)
APPRENTICESHIP STANDARD: Operating Department Practitioner - Read more
LEVEL: Level 6
FUNDING BAND: up to £24,000
View more information on Levy and Non-levy paying organisations and eligibility.

Funding bands range from £1,500 to £27,000 and sets the maximum amount of digital funds an employer who pays the levy can use towards an individual apprenticeship.

How to access the programme

Contact our Business Development Team:
Telephone: 01772 895500, email: uclanapprenticeships@uclan.ac.uk

Further Information about Degree Apprenticeships

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Sport and Health Sciences
For more information, contact Business Development on 01772 895500 or email uclanapprenticeships@uclan.ac.uk


The Apprenticeship Standard along with the degree qualification forms the degree/higher apprenticeship programme. View the standard.

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry |
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.