BSc (Hons) Advanced Dental Nursing - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Advanced Dental Nursing

UCAS codeB753

full time3yrs

Develop your practical experience and advanced skills on your route to a dental nurse registration

Course Overview

Why take this course?

As an essential member of the dental team, dental nurses enjoy an enormously varied role. This innovative and flexible three-year programme provides you with a flexible route to dental nurse registration while you gain advanced dental nursing skills.

The course includes the CertHE Dental Nursing. This is fully accredited and leads to registration with the General Dental Council (GDC) as a dental nurse once you’ve completed the first year of the programme.

In the second year, you’ll develop your scope of practice with additional skills including radiography, oral health education and impression taking.

The third year develops your management, leadership, research, communication and academic skills.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We endeavour to recruit students to our health and social care courses who have the right values base and demonstrate appropriate behaviours. We embed the values of the NHS Constitution throughout our admissions processes and they are an essential part of the curricula. Find out more about the values we look for.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Study alongside dental hygiene, dental therapy and dentist undergraduate students, so you build effective team-working skills
  • Learn about and experience a range of dental procedures and techniques in our purpose-built Dental Academy where you will work as part of a team to provide dental care to patients in our primary care dental clinics
  • Put your learning into practice by working with qualified professionals to deliver dental care and oral health promotion in our purpose-built clinical facility and in outreach and diverse community locations
  • Develop independent learning, decision-making and behaviour management skills while you improve people’s health
  • Carry out a research project and work with other dental care professionals to lead and manage an innovative business project

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our courses are accredited by the General Dental Council.

Career routes are varied and you’ll be able to register and work in any sector of the dental industry. These include clinical, health promotion, management, sales and teaching settings such as:

  • General dental practice (NHS or private)
  • Corporate dental practice
  • Hospital dental services
  • Armed forces
  • Specialist dental practice
  • Health promotion environment
  • Education



Advanced Dental Nursing

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth including:

  • The practical team-based approach to dentistry that helps prepare you for life beyond university
  • The fantastic facilities and real-life learning that simulate work in a real dental practice
  • The enthusiastic lecturers who offer great support in a friendly environment
  • The great range of outreach opportunities that allow you to put your learning in to practice

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

The first year of the programme includes the CertHE Dental Nursing (accredited by the GDC). It also introduces you to a variety of clinical, academic, team working and patient management skills, which you’ll need in order to register with the GDC and practice as a Dental Nurse before progressing to year two.

You’ll complete core units alongside dental hygiene and dental therapy students. Clinical sessions begin with simulated practice and progress to assisting with the care and treatment of patients within our purpose-built clinical facility.

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Behavioural Science
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Foundations of Clinical Practice
  • Introduction to Human Science
  • Dental Nursing Practice

Year two

Year two introduces you as a registered dental nurse to the additional and extended duties needed to develop your scope of practice whilst building on your academic skills.

You’ll work within a wider dental team using additional and extended duties skills to contribute to the care and treatment of patients who come to the Dental Academy and local outreach locations.

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Behavioural Science
  • Professional Development and Teamwork
  • Dental Radiography & Dental Imaging
  • Advanced Dental Science
  • Advanced Dental Nursing Practice

Year three

Year three develops your clinical management, leadership, independent decision-making and research skills.

You’ll also do a dissertation on a subject of interest related to your advanced dental nursing practice.

Core units in this year include:

  • Researching Professional
  • Management and Leadership for DCP Practice
  • Advanced Dental Nursing Project
  • Mentorship for DCPs
  • Management and Leadership for DCP Practice

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


Academic staff teach you using a combination of lectures, seminars, practical work and guided reading. You will also study independently.

Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice, and we provide a student-centred approach to learning and teaching with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.


During this course, there’s a balance of formal examinations and coursework assessment. You’ll complete coursework throughout the year, whereas exams take place at the end of each academic year.

Assessment methods include:

  • Written examinations
  • Computer examinations
  • Presentations
  • Coursework

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Facilities & Features

The Dental Academy

We have built the optimal environment for you to study dental practice. Offering a balance of state-of-the-art teaching and clinical facilities, here’s a taste of what you’ll have access to:

  • two clinics (44 dental treatment bays)
  • two individual surgeries
  • a phantom head room
  • decontamination suite
  • radiography suite
  • four radiography booths

Working as a team

Our Dental Academy is also a training ground for undergraduate King’s College London Dental Institute students. With dental care professionals and undergraduate dentists under the same roof, you’ll really get a feel for what it’s like to be part of a dental team working within a primary dental care setting.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

We provide you with three sets of scrubs (clinical clothing) and a name badge at the start of the course. Extra or replacement scrubs can be ordered at £8 per set or £4 for individual items. Replacement name badges can be ordered at £7. You will need to purchase your own visor frame (available from the Dental Academy for £8) and a pair of black shoes which enclose the foot (not clogs). You will also need to pay £30 for the use of a model skull (with extra fees if not returned). Locker keys require a deposit of £10.  There are a variety of outreach locations that you will need to attend to support your study which will incur travel costs.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

Our courses prepare you for employment within a dental team in a variety of dental environments. Year one of this programme is accredited by the General Dental Council and allows you to register and work in any sector of the dental industry. These might include:

  • General dental practice (NHS or private)
  • Hospital dental services
  • The armed forces
  • Specialist practice
  • Health promotion environment

Following registration, you can progress to complete year two and three of the programme.

Graduates of the course can work in all sectors of dentistry in areas such as:

  • Clinical
  • Oral health promotion
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Teaching

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

To broaden your experience, some learning may take place outside of the University. Outreach placements in diverse locations will help to widen your skill base and prepare you for employment.

These can include:

  • Contributing to the care and treatment of patients alongside other members of the dental team in community surgeries and maxillofacial departments within local hospitals, general dental practice and specialist dental practice
  • Contributing to the oral health needs of the local community in a range of diverse environments alongside other members of the dental team to provide oral health promotion, fluoride application, supervised tooth brushing in infant schools

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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