Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Degree Apprenticeship Undergraduate: BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practitioner Operating Department Practitioner


Develop your clinical skills and knowledge to facilitate change and innovation in your approach to patient care with our Operating Department Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship. Study for an honour's degree in operating department practice while you work, with no tuition fees.

Course highlights

  • Upon successful completion you can apply to be a Registered Operating Department Practitioner
  • Work-based approach allows you to deliver impact in the workplace as you learn
  • Study while you work, with no tuition fees

This course aims to develop a range of essential skills and knowledge to achieve a high standard of holistic care and facilitate change in the perioperative environment. Ideal if you're passionate about patient care and want to open the door to a wide range of career opportunities as a Registered Operating Department Practitioner.

Key facts

An apprenticeship is a job with training, combining practical experience with academic learning.

At least 20% of your contracted working hours will be classed as 'off-the-job'. This time will be dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills needed to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship, and therefore are not part of your usual work duties.

The off-the-job learning will be set out in a block plan that details when you will attend full days of university teaching, the dates you will be assessed or need to submit an assignment, and the weeks you will be putting your new learning into practice in your usual work setting, across the three areas of anaesthesia, surgery and recovery, to meet Health and Care Professions Council.

The off-the-job learning for our Operating Department Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship is delivered from our Cambridge or Chelmsford campuses, subject to viability.


You will be assessed at the end of each module you undertake (on-programme assessments) which will contribute towards the final award of your qualification.

You will also undertake an End Point Assessment (EPA) to complete your apprenticeship.

The EPA for this apprenticeship is integrated into the final on-programme assessments. Therefore, on successful completion of your degree, you will also complete the apprenticeship and be ready to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.


Theatre skills labs

Our Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses offer state of the art purpose-built theatre skills laboratories where you’ll simulate many aspects of the perioperative environment.

You’ll practice skills such as airway management, surgical scrubbing, gloving and gowning, preparing a patient for surgery, applying and interpreting basic and invasive monitoring, setting up equipment and preparation for many emergency situations which may occur in the practice environment.


Approved by HCPC

This course has been approved against the Health and Care Professions Council’s education and training standards. This means that when you successfully complete the course, you meet their professional standards and can apply to register. Registration has many benefits including being identified as a health and care professional with the skills and knowledge to practise safely and effectively.


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects and current innovations in practice.

On successful completion you will be able to apply to be a Registered Operating Department Practitioner (RODP) with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Career opportunities are wide-ranging in the UK and overseas, and include:

  • anaesthesia
  • recovery
  • management
  • education
  • sterile supplies
  • transplant teams
  • intensive care units
  • A&E
  • helicopter emergency services
  • patient transfers

Entry requirements

In addition to the person specifications that have been set out by your employer, these are the entry requirements for the course.

  • Employment in a suitable role on a permanent contract exceeding 30 hours per week. If your contract is less than 37.5 hours per week you may need to extend the length of your apprenticeship in order to meet the professional standards set by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Employer support to undertake this course
  • Confirmed eligibility to be funded as an apprentice as set out within the ESFA’s Funding Rules
  • A completed Skills Scan and Initial Assessment discussion, post interview
  • Evidence of Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English e.g. GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above, Functional Skills, or ESFA-approved equivalents *
  • Evidence of Level 3 study in a related subject e.g. A Levels, BTEC, NVQ, Access to Healthcare **
  • Attend an interview to demonstrate insight into the ODP profession

Apply now

How to apply

To apply for an apprenticeship, you need to have the support of your employer. If you already have the support of your employer or have any questions before talking to them, please do not hesitate to contact one of our apprenticeship experts who will be happy to help.

For employers

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of degree apprenticeships, then our dedicated Degrees at Work team are here to help. Get in touch today on the details above or take a look at our information for employers.

Find out more about apprenticeships at an Open Day

08 Jun 24

Book now