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Operating Department Practice

If you’re fascinated by the surgical environment, our Operating Department Practice course is for you. We know that our students want to learn from the best, so many of your teaching sessions will be delivered by people who already work in the field. We’ll also look at how you can use research and reflection in your day-to-day work.

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Operating Department Practice

Undergraduate - BSc (Hons)

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Available as:
3 years full-time
Course features
  • Immerse yourself in practical theatres
  • Get hands-on learning on placements
  • Dive into a career as a registered ODP

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

If you thrive on the unexpected and want to make a difference in people’s lives, a career as an operating department practitioner (ODP) could be for you.

As a student at ARU, you'll be hands-on, taking part in skills sessions throughout the course and benefitting from working in small groups. Alongside your fellow students, you'll practice skills such as airway management, surgical scrubbing, gloving and gowning, preparing a patient for surgery, communicating with patients, applying and interpreting basic and invasive monitoring, and setting up equipment. You'll also learn to prepare for emergency situations.

From the word go, you’ll be spending time in a real theatre, out on placement and in true-to-life skill labs, building up all the knowledge and skills you need for a successful career as an operating department practitioner.

Nick's story

Why I chose to study ODP

Find out what it's like to be an Operating Department Practice student at ARU, and to go out on placement.

Hands-on learning

Study Operating Department Practice at ARU and benefit from:

  • a purpose-built mock theatre offering the very best in experiential learning
  • registered, practising tutors and lecturers who’ll make sure you’re being taught the latest techniques and give you the support you need to succeed
  • training grants for ODP students worth least £5,000 a year.
Explore our ODP facilities


"You are not expected to know everything in the first three weeks; if things feel a bit overwhelming at the start, trust me, it will start to make sense."


BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice

Carly's top tips as an ODP
See all Operating Department Practitioner courses