Skip to main content

Admissions criteria - Operating Department Practice

This information applies to the BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice, three years full-time.

UCAS Personal Statement

The personal statement is an important part of the selection process and assessment of this may have implications on the conditions set for entry.

Standard entry requirements

Evidence of recent study and a broad general education is required. Applicants are expected to have obtained, in one sitting, five GCSEs at grade C or above, to include English/Welsh Language, Science and Mathematics. Scottish, Irish and International applicants must offer equivalent GCSE qualifications.

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate

A-level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate requirements can be found in Course Finder.

General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship are not acceptable at GCE AS or A level.

Other Qualifications

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome, as are those who may have combinations of qualifications or other relevant work/life experience.  If you would like to know the entry requirements for a specific qualification not listed here, please contact our admissions team on either or +44(0)29 2087 9999.

Further information

Following application, but prior to interview, it is expected that applicants to this programme should have looked into the various aspects of the profession and gained a broad knowledge of the breadth and diversity of the role of the Operating Department Practitioner.

It is also recommended that applicants visit one of the operating departments participating in the programme.

Contact details may be obtained from Mr Paul Hennessy at

Further information may also be obtained from the College of Operating Department Practitioners' website or the Association for Perioperative Practice's website.

Additional requirements for admission

Health checks

All offers given by the School of Healthcare Sciences will be conditional upon a satisfactory health check. A Health Declaration form will be sent to applicants when offers are made. Applicants who have decided to accept offers given by Cardiff University will be sent an 'Occupational Health Questionnaire' which they are required to complete and return to the University's Department of Occupational Health by 31 July in the year of entry.

Criminal Record Check

Admission is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4(2) (Exemption) Order 1975 and DHSS Circular HC (88)9 guidelines regarding child protection and criminal record checks. It is also considered important to ensure that an applicant’s attitudes and values are such that they can reasonably be admitted to the profession. All offers given to applicants will therefore, include a condition relating to a satisfactory criminal record check. This condition must be satisfied by 31 July in the year of entry. Applicants will be required to complete the University’s own Criminal Record Disclaimer form and also to complete the Disclosure and BArring Service process (at the "Enhanced" level). DBS application forms will be sent to all applicants who decide to accept Cardiff University's offer, in their year of entry.

Enrolment on to the course cannot take place until a satisfactory disclosure has been received from the Disclosure and barring Service. Delay in returning the DBS form may also compromise an applicant's university accommodation options. Those who are known to be travelling overseas at the relevant time should endeavour to authorise another individual to deal with this correspondence on their behalf.

Detailed information will be given to successful applicants with letters offering places. Information on the Disclosure process can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

All information will be treated in absolute confidence and applicants with convictions to declare will be assessed as to their suitability for the programme to be studied.

BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice

Initial assessment: Initial shortlisting is on the basis of information provided in your UCAS application and this is undertaken by department staff. The UCAS Personal Statement is scored for evidence of the following: Knowledge of the role, programme and wider profession; Motivation; Caring (formal or informal) and wider personal activities/attributes appropriate to Operating Department Practice.

Interview: Information contained in the UCAS application contributes to the selection of applicants for interview. The interview process is competitive and interviews are conducted by a member of Perioperative Practice staff and representatives from participating hospitals. No applicant will be offered a place without an interview.

BSc (Hons) in Intra- and Perioperative Practice (Post-Registration)

Application for this programme must be made directly to the University. Please contact the University for more information.

Entry to the programme is open to the following applicants:

  • Registered Operating Department Practitioners, currently working within a theatre-based environment and holding one of the following qualifications:
  • City & Guilds 752 Hospital Operating Department Assistant, with evidence of appropriate CPD.
  • National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Certificate in Operating Department Practice level 3;
  • Diploma of Higher Education in Operating Department Practice, with evidence of appropriate CPD.
  • Registered Nurses, currently working within a theatre based environment, with a minimum of 12 months appropriate theatre experience and evidence of appropriate CPD.

It is considered that all students satisfying the above requirements are currently working at an academic level above Level 5 (at least Higher Education undergraduate diploma level).

All applicants to the School will be invited to an ODP Information morning to discuss their application with staff and to see the School and its facilities.

The interviews at the School of Healthcare Sciences involve the use of a Multi Mini Interview (MMI) procedure which is based on the Objective Structured Clinical Examination format, commonly used by Health Sciences programmes to evaluate clinical competence. The MMI process is an opportunity to address interviewees in person and to assess information that is not always readily forthcoming in traditional application processes.

The MMIs are made up of a series of short, carefully timed interview stations which provide information about an applicants' ability to think on their feet, to critically appraise information, to communicate ideas and demonstrate that they have thought about some of the issues that are important to the nursing profession.

There are six stations in total. Each mini interview lasts a maximum of five minutes.

Two important points to remember:

  • the MMI is not intended to test the amount of prior knowledge in these domains
  • interview stations change throughout the week

Operating Department Practice Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) dates:

  • 23, 24 January 2020
  • 26, 17 February 2020

The School of Healthcare Sciences will consider resit applicants on an individual basis.

The School of Healthcare Sciences has no objection to the possibility of deferred entry providing the intervening year is spent in a positive and worthwhile way. Application is made through UCAS in the usual way, although the UCAS application must be amended appropriately.

Transfers with credit from another Higher Education institution

The School of Healthcare Sciences will consider applications from students wishing to transfer to Cardiff from other Healthcare Schools only where there are compelling personal circumstances supporting a transfer, and where the applicant, (a) meets the entry requirements for the relevant degree scheme, and (b) has achieved a satisfactory level of performance in each module taken at his/her current institution.

Transfer with credit from another programme at Cardiff University

Applications for transfers from students wishing to transfer to Year One from other Schools within Cardiff University are considered where the applicant meets the entry requirements for the relevant degree scheme and is able to demonstrate motivation to study healthcare.