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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£5,040 (2020/21)

International fee

£5,040 (2020/21)

Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

The UK's first online Perioperative Practice BSc (Hons) Top-Up degree to be endorsed by the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP), this course can help you to develop the skills and expertise needed to transform your practice as a health care professional working in a perioperative setting.

Operating departments require transferable skills sets, as the need to work across other areas such as emergency departments, intensive care units, obstetric units and in the ambulance service has increased.

This course is endorsed by the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP)

Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) logo

Who is the online Perioperative Practice BSc (Hons) Top-Up aimed at?

This course is ideal for anyone working in a perioperative practice setting including:

Why choose the Perioperative Practice BSc (Hons) Top-Up course?

As an ODP, RN or healthcare professional working within a perioperative setting, you know that your role can be challenging and dynamic, providing care to often acutely unwell patients undergoing surgery.

This top-up course focuses on specialising practice, leadership and education, and research and evidence-based practice which are all key curriculum areas not generally covered sufficiently by pre-registration preparatory programmes. By studying the programme, you will develop a deep understanding of the advanced perioperative theories and specialist skills required to work within a perioperative setting.

This focused attention on theory linked to specialised areas of practice will encourage the development of higher order thinking and the ability to transfer skills where required in the critical care areas. You will develop an analytical approach to practice enabling you to access career progression and more specialist roles. You will also be able to reflect on and consolidate your own practice since registration.

As a BSc (Hons) Perioperative Practice graduate, you will have the ability to inspire others and lead practice in your own area with leadership being a core learning aspect throughout the course.

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An innovative virtual reality simulation learning approach

Through inspiring case studies, pedagogic design and teaching staff who are experts in their field of study, the course aims to help you transform your practice through the use of online simulation where you will take advantage of virtual patients that can be treated safely and effectively, allowing you to learn in a secure environment.

The use of a three-dimensional virtual reality platform is used to increase your sense of perspective and presence in a challenging clinical scenario. You will exercise decision-making as you take a virtual patient through the perioperative journey from pre-assessment, to theatre and through to post-operative care.

Developing competence and capability with our virtual one day conference

You will be required to complete a 0 credit module – ‘Developing Competence and Capability’ which will provide you with rich learning opportunities to successfully meet the requirements of this programme.

Build on your Diploma to achieve a Bachelor’s degree

As a qualified ODP, Registered Nurse or registered health professional with a diploma (level 5) academic qualification, this top-up degree enables you to gain a bachelors qualification in 12 months. Becoming degree qualified will give you further confidence in your career and the employability attributes which can be applied to senior perioperative roles in the management and leadership of safe patient surgery.

A talk from the Academic Lead

Our Academic Lead for Perioperative Practice, Alan Williams, talks about our Perioperative Practice BSc (Hons) (Top-Up) course in this video.

online perioperative practice course

View the online perioperative practice course video transcript

What you will study

This course will prepare you as a practitioner within perioperative care to demonstrate critical competence in clinical practice, care management, clinical practice leadership and clinical practice development. You will also develop comprehensive subject specific and transferable skills and knowledge appropriate for critical evaluation, independent study, professional development and work-focused study. Within each module you will also identify and propose recommendations to enhance service delivery and provision of perioperative care.

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

To gain the award for BSc (Hons) Perioperative Practice you will need to complete a total of 120 credits (6 core, 20 credit modules) and complete Developing Competence and Capability (0 credit module).


Code: 6CL513

Integrating Practices

This important module is shared across subject disciplines related to health and social care.

The module attracts a wide range of professionals involved in the provision and delivery of a global, changing and expanding health and social care agenda. One of the ways things are changing is with increased integration. Attempts at integrating practices may bring together various kinds of approaches and services related to diagnosis, therapy, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion. Hence, it is possible that ‘integration can lead to improved services in relation to ones such as; access, quality, user satisfaction and efficiency’ (WHO, 2020). It is advisable to study this module within the first year of the programme as it sets the foundation for developing integrative practices within practice. This is important whether working within therapeutic practice (at micro levels), or integrating care pathways with other practitioner groups and organisations (at more macro levels).

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse person centred integrative care and practice
  2. Critically evaluate contemporary approaches towards, and barriers to, integrative working within own sphere of practice
  3. Reflect on the self-development needed to support integrative working practices.

Module content

During this module you will have the opportunity to work with other learners in order to both learn and collaborate on an assignment. There is a focus on concepts and theory in areas such as: person centred integrative care and practice; ethical (principles and dilemmas); legal duties and responsibilities; professional and organisational contexts; power, communication, subjects, disciplines and the organisation of labour. A wide range of factors will be analysed that support and hinder integrated working such as: philosophical, power based, social, cultural, financial, procedural, legal, relationship and interpersonal factors. You will assess your own working or workplace and will consider and present ideas towards change. There is a focus on self, origins, attitudes and values, prejudices and biases that influence working with different people and groups. Different aspects of ethical principles and codes will be considered as well as personal development, reflection and self-awareness. Also considered will be what needs to be done to ensure the following can be created: healthy boundaries (with others); self-care strategies; to include adequate forms of mentoring, clinical supervision, personal therapy and continuous professional development dependent upon practice area.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC508

Preparing for Research and Evidence Based Practice

Health and social care practice require good knowledge of high-quality evidence in order to provide evidence-based care and services. Conversely, improving health and social care services is of great importance.

Innovation and creativity in practice can help to improve the quality of care but such change and improvement cannot be made without thorough understanding of evidence and research. This module will enable you to understand and critically discuss the importance of evidence and research in your practice environment. It will enable you to consider the evidence used in your practice and how you decide upon this. It will also allow you to consider the process of research in generation of evidence. Frameworks that underpin the processes of research and evidence-based practice will be presented and you will begin to apply them to a topic of your choice. This module will develop skills in critical appraisal of research and evidence directly related to your chosen area of practice. This ethos forms the basis of the level 6 module: Research and Evidence-Based Practice. The content of the module ‘Research and Evidence-Based Practice’ combined with this module will provide you with the knowledge and structure of research and service improvement that you may employ to improve quality of care and services.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate a body of evidence or research in relation to your chosen environment

Module content

This module will build on your knowledge of evidence and research-based practice. In doing this it will enable you to conduct a short desk-based project that requires you to critically appraise research literature.

By the end of this module you will have covered:

  • The role and importance of research and evidence-based practice
  • The types of evidence and approaches research
  • How evidence-based practice and research are inter-related
  • Debates surrounding the implementation of evidence and research e.g. legal, ethical, and professional issues
  • Methods to critically appraise research and/or evidence-based practice
  • The research processes
  • How to conduct a review of evidence/research literature
  • Appraise the quality of evidence/research literature
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC511

Research and Evidence in Practice

You will build on your prior learning and progress through the evidence-based practice cycle or research process.

This module will guide you through the process of writing a research proposal and practical implications. You will not conduct primary research but studying this module will enable you to synthesise theoretical concepts, research and evidence-based practice processes on a topic that is directly relevant to your chosen practice. This will form the basis of the skills and experience required to conduct primary research to improve health and social care practice. The content of the module ‘Preparing for Research and Evidence-Based Practice’ combined with this module will provide you with the knowledge and structure of research and service improvement that you may employ to improve quality of care and services.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Synthesise knowledge of the processes of evidence or research into your chosen practice area
  2. Critically reflect on the process of research or evidence generation, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for your own development

Module content

This module will include the following:

  • Structure and content of a research proposal
  • What makes a good research proposal?
  • What to think about when planning research?
  • Research ethics
  • Application of evidence-based research to practice
  • Self-reflection
  • Identifying and developing research knowledge and skills
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC514

Educating in health and social care

This module prepares you the practitioner with a remit for education to develop the skills and knowledge to facilitate effective learning and holistically assess the total performance of a range of learners in their health or social care workplace. Development of an interprofessional learning culture underpinned by evidence based practice and reflection on the role of a practitioner educator will be integral to this module.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse a range of teaching and learning theory and apply to your own practice
  2. Identify barriers to assessment in your workplace and critically review assessment theory related to practice based assessment
  3. Develop a learning culture in your workplace supporting colleagues and learners to achieve their goals.

Module Content

This module will focus on the following areas:

  • The role of the practitioner educator in learning and assessment in the workplace
  • Reviewing the range of learning theory and application to adult learning in health and social care
  • Analyse findings from literature and research on current issues in practice based assessment
  • Development of a quality learning environment where learners thrive
  • Reflection on current policy issues and opportunities for practitioner educators within an interprofessional health and social care team
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU547

Care of the Surgical Patient

Care of surgical patients begins in the pre-operative phase, and is continued into the perioperative and intraoperative phases through to recovery and post-operative care. This continuing journey is complex and involves many people and departments underpinned by interprofessional working and collaboration.

This module adopts a wide approach to this surgical journey and is suitable for anyone working with surgical patients or who may have an interest in surgery as a health and social care practitioner. You will be encouraged to not only see your involvement in surgery and perioperative practice as application of a range of technical skills but also to place the person undergoing surgery at the centre of your focus, challenging existing techniques and practices.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise your own role in relation to care of the surgical patient
  2. Critically examine contemporary issues and challenges in surgical care
  3. Synthesise theory and practice in relation to surgical care

Module content

Module content will include:

  • Pre-operative assessment
  • Patient information
  • Documentation
  • Patient preparation
  • Preparing the environment
  • Consent
  • Assessment tools including mortality and morbidity calculation
  • Elective versus emergency surgery
  • Regional, local and general anaesthesia
  • Managing adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Scientific principles of anaesthesia
  • Surgical access and positioning
  • Immediate postoperative care
  • Day surgery
  • Recovery
  • Perioperative stress
  • Wound healing and infection
  • Nutrition and surgery
  • Body image and surgery
  • Concepts of pain
  • Managing nausea and vomiting
  • Discharge following surgery
  • Issues in specific types of surgery
  • Technology in surgery
  • Roles and interprofessional working
  • Patient safety and communication
  • Pharmacological interventions
  • Fluid therapy and fluid replacement
  • Monitoring and observations
  • Emergency planning
  • Resource management
  • Role of critical care

Graduate skills

  • Reflection
  • Portfolio-building
  • Self-awareness
  • Theory: practice synthesis

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Study effectively in technological environments
  • Use digital devices, applications and services
  • Participate in digital networks for learning and research
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU550

Managing the Acutely Ill Patient

Due to advances in medicine, patients are presenting to care environments with increased levels of illness, many of which are acutely unwell and require immediate interventions to preserve life. This module is aimed at all health and social care professionals, including nurses, physiotherapists and others who work with acutely unwell patients either in or out of hospital. There is a recognition that all patients have the potential to become acutely unwell at any time. This module aims to develop learners with a holistic approach to acute illness surveillance, monitoring, treatment and subsequent recovery. It includes both a ‘back to basics’ approach to assessment and treatment, in addition to developing specialist and expert practice required for the enhanced future capability of students, underpinned by a desire to start learners on a ‘novice to expert’ journey becoming lifelong learners with an interest in acute illness.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise assessment, planning, monitoring and subsequent treatment of patients presenting with acute illness
  2. Critically evaluate their own professional practice in relation to the management of acutely ill patients
  3. Critically reflect upon, and demonstrate competence in, the theory and practice related to acute illness

Module content

This module will involve the broad-based study of acute illness, its management and strategic interventions which can be undertaken by you in practice.

Module content will include:

  • Identification and management of deteriorating patients
  • Common interventions and equipment used in acute illness
  • Prioritisation of care
  • Systems-based assessment, care and treatment
  • Resuscitation
  • Airway management – ventilation, intubation, tracheostomies
  • Fluid assessment and treatment
  • Substance use and misuse, and altered consciousness
  • Major issues in critical career: sepsis, major trauma, burns
  • Local, national and international policy and governmental directives
  • Care organisation for acute illness and teamworking
  • Inter-agency and interprofessional working
  • Psychosocial care and working with families
  • Autonomy and decision making, developing specialist and expert practice
  • Bereavement and dignity in acute illness
  • Ethics and consent as related to acute illness

Graduate skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Reflection
  • Peer-support and networking

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology, eg discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Find and use evidence
  • Create, save and share videos
  • Use digital simulation
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU551

Developing Competence and Capability

The nature of health and social care practice is such that all patients/service users/clients are dependent upon the interprofessional team to work competently and effectively to deliver the very best care. This places a large responsibility upon each team member to have an appropriate and optimised level of skill and knowledge whenever they interact.

This zero credit module consists of a residential at which you have the opportunity to engage with guest speakers, practitioner-led workshops and lectures, small group work, guided study, seminars, tutorials and independent projects. Experiential learning will include reflection and simulation in which you are able to experience and work through realistic situations within a safe environment. The residential will provide you with rich learning opportunities to successfully meet the requirements of your programme.

Where identified as part of a programme this module must be taken to complete the award. This residential will be simultaneously co-taught face to face and online.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Synthesise theory and practice to develop new, appropriate and safe levels of competence and capability.

Module content

Residential content will be dependent on the programme core curriculum, in addition to covering areas of contemporary practice. We will provide you with scenarios, experiences and reflective opportunities in your field of practice which will be delivered through:

  • Guest speakers
  • Practitioner-led workshops
  • Lectures
  • Small group work
  • Guided study
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Independent projects
  • Experiential learning
  • Simulation
  • Reflective opportunities
More information
0 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Who will teach you

Alan Williams standing with hands clasped, wearing a red and white striped shirt

Dr Alan Williams
Programme leader

Academic Lead for Nursing, Dr Alan Williams, commenced as Academic Lead for the Nursing and Perioperative Practice programmes in April 2019. Alan is a Registered Nurse (Adult and Mental Health) with over twenty years' experience in the NHS before becoming an academic.

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Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Nursing and Perioperative Practice Online Webinar

Friday, 8 January 2021 11.00 - 12.00

Join this webinar to discover more about studying Nursing and Perioperative Practice online at Derby. The webinar includes a 30 minute presentation from Dr Alan Williams, Academic Lead for our Nursing and Perioperative Practice portfolio.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

The course is suitable for all Operating Department Practitioners and Registered Nurses who work in a perioperative setting.

If you are an Operating Department Practitioner (or equivalent) you are required to:

If you are a Registered Nurse you are required to:

Non-standard entrants:

If your qualifications do not match the criteria above, you are a ‘non-standard’ entrant and you may be required to submit evidence of experience or have an interview with the academic lead for the course, before being offered a place as a direct entrant to ensure that you have the necessary capacity for critical awareness and reflection.

For applicants for whom English is not a first language, the minimum English language qualifications acceptable is IELTS level 7.0 - also accepting IELTS Indicator (where available)

If you have not studied at this level before or it has been a considerable time since your last University-level study we may ask you to complete the Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care Studies prior to commencing this course. The Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care encourages professional development, self-awareness, critical reflection, and will enable you to succeed at this level of study. We also have a suite of foundation-level qualifications in English and Maths if you require additional support in these areas prior to entering the programme.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Due to the coherent and integrated nature of this programme, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can only be offered for the Educating in Health and Social Care module. No other modules are eligible.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 6 £5,040

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 6 £5,040

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

Undergraduate funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.

If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


During your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities, projects and assessments. Each of these are designed to contribute towards an enhancement of your employability, and you are able to use these to build a portfolio of work which could be demonstrated to any future employer. 

Through studying this course you will gain valuable industry knowledge that you can apply directly into your role in health and social care. Completion of this course will also give you the level 6 qualification needed to operate within a perioperative setting. 

This course is ideal if you are looking for career progression, to enhance management and leadership skills and to enable yourself to demonstrate a critical, evidence-based approach to perioperative practice.

Whilst undertaking this programme you will already be employed in a variety of perioperative settings locally, nationally or internationally. However the knowledge and skills gained from studying this programme will enhance your ability to develop your career and enrich professional practice. Furthermore the programme can enhance your academic ambitions such as progressing on to Masters or Doctoral level studies.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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