ODP students in operating theatre

Operating Department Practitioner Apprenticeship

Operating Department Practitioner Apprenticeship

DegreeBSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
Duration36 months
Entry point(s)Spring/Autumn
CampusHigh Wycombe


Operating Department Practitioners (ODP) are registered Allied Health Professionals (AHP) that are specifically trained and work within the Operating Department and associated areas. This incorporates working within a multi-disciplinary team providing high quality, individualised care for patients throughout their perioperative journey and beyond. Working alongside other professionals, such as nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and health care support workers, care will be delivered to patients during all three phases of this acute care environment. This is achieved through direct patient contact and care delivery in addition to demonstrating a high level of knowledge/skill within the management of specialist equipment and materials related to this highly technical area. Patient safety is a priority within this field of care and ODP’s are required to demonstrate high standards in relation to professionalism, advocacy and decision making.

This programme will provide the key knowledge and skills to achieve what is both required and expected within the contemporary healthcare setting through both classroom based teaching and clinical placement throughout the duration of study. Various approaches to teaching and learning will be used, including simulation, lectures, seminars, group activities and student centred approaches. These will ensure students are prepared for professional registration and autonomous clinical practice. To further ensure each individual is deemed clinically competent, clinical placements will be undertaken throughout the length of the programme. All placements will take place within the base hospital theatre setting where the apprentice is employed. During this time they will receive a variety of perioperative experiences.


Programme aims

  • Develop Operating Department Practitioners who can demonstrate the application of evidence based knowledge and skills to their practice within an inter-professional care setting.
  • Promote apprentice centred learning through engagement with lifelong learning.
  • Foster independence and ensure the delivery of high quality evidence-based perioperative care at all stages of the patient pathway.
  • Provide a high quality educational experience which integrates theory and practice to enable apprentices to achieve both theoretical outcomes and professional competence to become fit for purpose, practice and award.
  • Provide opportunities for apprentices to explore the concepts of health and ill health in terms of the impact surgery may/could have on that health of an individual prior to, during and following surgical intervention.
  • Provide a range of clinical placement experiences to provide opportunities for apprentices to acquire a range of skills enabling them to become flexible and adaptable perioperative practitioners.
  • Develop the apprentices’ research skills to enable effective evaluation of contemporary evidence, on which to make sound judgements around care delivery within the perioperative environment.
  • Enable apprentices to develop critical reflection skills to become reflective and reflexive practitioners; learning from practice for practice
  • Develop and demonstrate professional and ethical qualities that enable apprentices to exercise professional responsibility and accountability in line with the HCPCs Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.
  • Develop leadership and management knowledge relevant to the clinical environment and personal/professional growth.

Why choose BNU?

At Buckinghamshire New University, we are dedicated to equipping our graduates with the skills employers demand. We will work with you using our practice-based learning expertise to support your training needs.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are a partnership between industry and higher education institutions set up to help meet the needs of employers. They also provide a flexible way for employees to take advantage of the life-changing opportunities that higher education can offer them.

At BNU, we change lives through employment-focused teaching which enables our students to achieve their ambitions. As a small and personal university, we offer an agile approach to all apprenticeship training needs. You would also gain access to all our support services including Student Hub, Multi Faith Chaplaincy, Disability and Inclusion, Counselling, Library and Alumni Benefits. Our Apprenticeship Hub at BNU strives to deliver a supportive environment for the employer and the apprentice. Tripartite reviews are conduced quarterly to aid apprentice through their apprenticeship journey successfully.

Operating Department Practitioner

Programme details

The programme matches the University’s philosophy and strategy including outward facing, externality and industrial involvement thus providing students with the necessary qualifications to underpin their knowledge and progress in their chosen careers.

Degree apprenticeships combine study and work-based learning to enable apprentices to gain a full degree. They have been co-designed by employers thus ensuring that apprentices are equipped with the skills employers need and look for in their employees.

An apprentice is a paid employee and does not pay any training costs or student fees.


Programme delivery

Buckinghamshire New University’s blended learning model is designed to be flexible around the needs of apprentices and work load. This includes online, face-to-face and self directed learning which learners have fed back providers greatest flexibility around work, caregiving and other life commitments. This also helps reduce the impact of carbon created through commuting.

Operating Department Practitioners are expected to attend placement and study blocks throughout each year of the programme. The study blocks consist of lectures and practical sessions which are delivered face to face at BNU’s High Wycombe campus 3 days per week. The remaining 2 days per week are used for self-directed learning time. The placement blocks can range from a couple of weeks to 8 weeks at a time and are organised by the employer with support from BNU.


Entry requirements

Apprenticeship Eligibility

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, the apprentice must satisfy the following requirements and ESFA funding rules:

  • An apprentice can be a new or existing member of staff and must not already hold a degree in that area or be receiving funding for other training.
  • The employer must employ the apprentice in a genuine role with a genuine salary.
  • The apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • BNU will check to make sure you're eligible before you start your degree apprenticeship, and may ask for proof of your right to work in the UK.
  • An apprentice must be employed in a full time job (minimum of 30 hours per week) or have a signed contract to start a full time job role, which is relevant to the apprenticeship.
  • The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will not fund apprentices who are repeating the same qualification.
  • An apprentice can be a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or have the right to abode in the UK and have been resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years on the first day of your apprenticeship.
  • An apprentice can be a non-EEA citizen with permission from the UK government to live in the UK, (not for educational purposes) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of learning.


Programme Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the Operating Department Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship apprentices must meet the following requirements:

  • Government approved Level 2 Maths and English Qualification (e.g. GCSE or Functional Skills).
  • Candidates without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.
  • All candidates must be employed in a role related to the subject matter of the Degree Apprenticeship and be sponsored by their employer.
  • Applications can only be made through the sponsoring employer. The University will consider all such applications and will have the final decision whether to accept the candidate for entry to the programme


How to apply

Register your interest

  1. Contact BNU’s Apprenticeship via email: apprenticeships@bnu.ac.uk or call: 01296 744202
  2. Interested employers will be invited to an information session lead by a representative of BNU’s Apprenticeship Hub and the programme lead. Once completed the Apprenticeship Hub will provide a capture form to begin your application process.


Application Process

  1. Email your nominated Apprenticeship team representative with a document detailing names and contact details of your selected candidates.
  2. Candidates will be sent a link to an online application which takes approximately 45 minutes to complete.
  3. Candidates will be required to upload supporting documents such as prior certification (including Level 2 English and maths) and evidence of Right to Work in the United Kingdom.
  4. After submitting the application, the Admissions team will complete all necessary eligibility checks.
  5. Successful candidates will be invited to an interview with a member of the academic team and will be asked to fill in an Individual Needs Assessment (INA) document identifying their existing experiences, skills and knowledge which will be discussed in the interview.



In many instances apprenticeships are fully funded through the government’s Apprenticeship Levy Fund and for those ineligible up to 95% is funded through the government’s Co-Investment Fund.

Operating Department Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship: £26,000

  • The apprenticeship levy will be paid by employers in any sector with a pay bill of more than £3 million per year. Those employers will be able to use their apprenticeship levy funds to fund this programme.
  • Non-levy paying employers will receive up to 95% funding towards the costs of this apprenticeship through the government’s Co-Investment Fund.
  • For more information on funding and the Apprenticeship Levy visit our Apprenticeship Funding page in the find out more section below.

An apprentice can be a new or existing member of staff and must not already hold a degree in that area or be receiving funding for other training.

The employer must employ the apprentice in a genuine role with a genuine salary.

The apprentice must have the right to live and work in the UK.