Operating Department Practice

If your application to study BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice is successful, we'll invite you to an interview day on campus in Cambridge or Chelmsford.

Come prepared

You'll need to be prepared with knowledge and understanding of the role of an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP):

  • when you graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Therefore, you must be aware of and uphold the HCPC's professional values and behaviours
  • additionally, as you’ll be working with service users at a very vulnerable time in their lives from early on in your degree, and throughout your career, you're expected to be familiar with and uphold the NHS Constitution and values.

Format of the day

Your interview will be a whole day from 9.30am - 4pm, comprising several different elements as detailed below.

Talk on studying Operating Department Practice

We'll give you a short presentation on studying BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice at ARU.

Communications - Written exercise

You'll be asked to read an article and demonstrate an understanding of the topic. You'll have 20 minutes to write an essay-style answer, which is expected to be well constructed, legible and use correct grammar and punctuation.

Communications – Verbal exercise

In pairs or groups of three you’ll be given different scenarios which will be linked to one or more of the NHS Values. We’ll be looking to test your verbal and non-verbal communication skills, confidentiality, care, compassion, judgement, competence, courage and ethics, among other desirable attributes for an aspiring ODP. We'll ask you to respond to scenarios such as: You are an ODP entering a theatre staff changing room, ten minutes prior to being in theatre to prepare for your case with Dr 'A'. As you enter, you see Dr ‘A’ take a swig of a clear drink (which you suspect is alcohol) from a bottle and quickly close their locker. You start a conversation with Dr ‘A’ and over the course of this, the doctor begins to forget things and slur their words. How would you deal with this scenario?

Individual interview

The individual interview is your chance to impress our panel with your understanding of the role of an ODP, and why you would make a good candidate. You'll be asked a few questions by our academic staff and clinicians from the NHS. The panel may also include service users.

Campus tour

One of our student ambassadors will take your group on a campus tour.


Above all, you need to be certain that this is the profession you want to join. Consider visiting us at an Open Day if you haven't already, then commit yourself to learning as much as you can before your interview day.

What happens next?

You’ll be notified via UCAS the results of your interview within three working days.

What next if I am offered a place?

  • Accept your offer via UCAS Track
  • Sort accommodation
  • Complete your DBS and Occupational Health information
  • Notify admissions of any changes to your circumstances

What next if am unsuccessful at interview?

Please consider the areas which need improvement and ask for written feedback to prepare for future interviews.

  • We are happy to accept applications for next academic year
  • You may be offered another course