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Entry Requirements - Operating Department Practice

Minimum Entry Requirements

Programme-specific entry requirements are summarised below.

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.

In addition to the GCSE requirements, applicants are expected to have achieved:


Typical offer: CCC at GCE A-level.

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

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma with a pass in the Core and grade CC in GCE A-level achieved in one sitting.

BTEC Extended National Diploma/Certificate in Science or Health Studies

BTEC Extended National Diploma in Science or Health Studies – MMM

Scottish Certificate of Education Advanced Highers

Two/Three Advanced Higher level subjects obtained in one sitting at grades AB/CCD or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Five Higher level subjects obtained in one sitting with grades BBBCC.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Access to HE Diplomas must have a strong academic base rather than a practical skills base. Students who are pursuing a QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) approved science based Access to HE Diploma e.g. Access to Health Science or Nursing/Healthcare will be considered on an individual basis. The certificate must be issued by the AVA (Authorised Validating Agency) containing the relevant information and recognised logo.

You will be required to attain a pass of 60 credits, to comprise a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 with 18 level 3 credits at Distinction and 27 level 3 credits at Merit grade in relevant areas. This requirement is under continual review and would be at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor.

Overseas Applicants

While the majority of applicants offer A-level subjects, some other international qualifications are acceptable.

Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with an overall score of 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in listening and reading and not less than 7.0 in writing and speaking. (Please note: this applies to overseas students who have pre-arranged application arrangements.)

The school will consider applications from international fee-status students subject to the availability of suitable clinical placements. Such students will need to make their own arrangements to meet tuition, placement and living costs.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

The School will consider applicants offering the Diploma and our requirement will be an overall total of 24 points. At least one subject must be offered at Higher Level Grade 5. In addition, English, Science and Maths must be offered at Subsidiary or GCSE Level.

European Baccalaureate Diploma

The School will consider applicants offering the Diploma with a final overall mark of at least 64%.

Applicants not meeting Standard Entry Requirements

All applicants are considered individually and on merit. If not meeting any of the standard entry requirements applicants must provide evidence of an ability to study at the level of higher education. Applicants must be able to provide evidence of suitable learning when applying for the programme, e.g. successful completion of educational qualifications not listed above or through submission of a personal portfolio of achievement. Consideration will be given to the level and recency of the qualification(s).

Open Days

Prospective students are encouraged to attend the annual Cardiff University Open Day. Details can be found via our website.

It is recommended that all applicants attend the Open Day in January of the year of entry of application. Details will be forwarded by the School to applicants.

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 31st 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 31st 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.

Resit Candidates

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

Back to Operating Department Practice Admissions Criteria


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