• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2021

Course Overview

Do you want to be a part of a professional team that changes lives for the better? The Operating Department Practice course gives you the skills to play a valued role in the operating theatre. Throughout this programme you will gain real life experiences as well as receive the theory behind the perioperative environment and care delivery. Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive the award that leads to eligibility to apply for admission on to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Register. You’ll be placed in the operating theatre setting within one of our trusts where you will be mentored in the art of patient care.

Help change lives in the operating theatre and beyond

As an Operating Department Practitioner, you’ll have many responsibilities. Whereas nursing focuses on many areas around healthcare, Operating Department Practice studies has a direct focus on care within operating theatres and other associated areas. You’ll experience working in a complex care environment, helping patients through vulnerable times in their lives.

Working in such a responsible position will help you develop your ability to think quickly and independently. As a highly respected role, your experience will enhance your CV to develop both you and your career.

We attract students who are dedicated to helping and caring for other people. As a result, everyone on the course is always enthusiastic and friendly. The people you study with and work along side will inspire you. You’ll witness incredible moments such as life-saving operations and watch patients recover, helping them back on their feet.

Course Details


There is no better place to start your career in an operating department than at Bucks. Since starting this course in 2011, we’ve had a 100 per cent employment rate – with students receiving job offers before they graduate.

We've invested in some of the best equipment for our students to practice their skills. We have an ultra-modern simulated operating theatre with the latest high fidelity simulation manikins where students can learn in a safe environment prior to entering their clinical placement.

Get real life experience with NHS Trusts

As clinical practice is a large part of the course, we have many trusts that provide clinical placements for our students. You’ll have the chance to gain experience in fully functional clinical settings. When you go out onto your practice placement, a clinical member of staff will provide mentorship, supervise your experience and assess that you are meeting the requirements of the course.

The main NHS Trusts we are currently working with include:

Just as in a real operating theatre, we encourage inter-professional working. Our students work in a wide variety of different environments with different professionals. You’ll be taught by staff who still practice in theatre, keeping their own skills as sharp as a scalpel.

What are the course entry requirements?

Diploma applicants must possess one of the following:

  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above
  • BTEC First Diploma and one GCSE at grade C/4 or above
  • two full A-levels or equivalent
  • a recognised Access to Higher Education course
  • a higher education qualification (HND or Degree)
  • additional qualifications may be considered.

Applicants will be required to hold GCSEs (or equivalent) in Maths and English at grade C/4 or above.

Mature students without formal qualifications are welcome to apply. We advise you to contact us to discuss your application.

Previous experience of working in a healthcare environment isn't essential, as long as you have an interest in Health Care. We ask all our students to take an Occupational Health Screening and to be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a selection day at our High Wycombe Campus. Selection days are an important part of our application process. They are a great opportunity for you to show us your interests in health and prove that you are the perfect person for the course.

Course Modules

Year 1 Modules

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Developing Perioperative Practice
  • Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice
  • Principles and Practices of Anaesthetics and Surgery

Year 2 Modules

  • Advancing Perioperative Practice
  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Developing Leadership Qualities in the Perioperative Care Environment
  • Specialising in Perioperative Practice


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, Academic Year 2021-2022: £13,750 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Additional course costs

There are costs associated with all studies, additional to the tuition fee, which require consideration when planning and budgeting for expenditure. Costs are indicative and for the total length of the course shown unless otherwise stated and will increase with inflation; depending on the programme they may include equipment, printing, project materials, study trips, placement activities, DBS and/or other security checks.

  • Book costs of £100-200
  • Printing costs of £50-100
  • Optional costs for annual museum visit £20
  • Optional membership of College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) / Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP); cost varies see CODP / AfPP website.

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

Demand is high. There are very few other institutes in the UK that offer this course and Operating Department Practitioners are sorely needed in hospitals all around the country.

Although you will be employed within operating theatres, you’ll still be able to work in other areas. The theory and integrated practice that you learn throughout the course will help you work in a variety of clinical areas. These may include:

  • Trauma teams
  • Accident and Emergency departments
  • Resuscitation teams
  • Transplant teams
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Patient transfers
  • Research, education and training
  • Special Care Baby Units

How will you help me prepare for my future career?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders.

You will be trained in the setting where you will be working and, as a result, achieve competence specifically focused on achieving a high level of patient care. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.