BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

UCAS codeB750

full time3yrs

Learn in a team-based environment with other student dentists

Course Overview

Why take this course?

Not many people like going to see their dentist. However, if you want to keep your teeth healthy then it’s crucial to regularly see a dental care professional as they form an essential part of our oral health regime.

This course incorporates the knowledge; skills and professionalism you will need to provide dental care to patients and become a vital member of the dental team.

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 nursing and dental students, enabling you to build effective team-working skills
  • Train in a range of dental procedures and patient management techniques in our purpose-built Dental Academy
  • Put your learning into action during outreach activity, which can be taken in a number of community settings

What opportunities might it lead to?

Our courses are accredited by the General Dental Council. Once you complete this course, you’ll be able to register and work in the dental care sector. It also offers dual accreditation for the combined role of dental hygienist/dental therapist.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • general dental practice
  • hospital dental services
  • the Armed Forces
  • the NHS
  • health promotion


Amrita Kalyan, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy student 2013

I chose to study this course because during the Open Day I loved the vibrant atmosphere and the excellent teaching facilities provided by the Dental Academy.

Amrita Kalyan, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy student 2013


Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

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

Core units in this year include:

  • Foundations of Clinical Practice
  • Introduction to Behavioural Science
  • Introduction to Human Sciences
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Pre-Clinical Practice

Year two

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Behavioural Science
  • Advanced Human Science
  • Clinical Practice
  • Dental Radiology and Dental Imaging
  • Professional Development and Team Work

Year three

Core units in this year include:

  • Clinical Practice in the Wider Community
  • Comprehensive Clinical Practice
  • Management and Leadership for DCP Practice
  • Oral Surgery and Oral Medcine
  • Researching Professional

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.


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical laboratory work and guided reading. Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice and research, and we provide a student-centred approach to teaching, with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 33% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 67% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 43% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 57% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 5% on work placement


On this course there is a balance of formal examinations and coursework assessment. You will be expected to complete coursework throughout the year, whereas exams take place at the end of the academic year.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 67% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 16% by coursework
  • Year two students: 58% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 35% by coursework
  • Year three students: 13% by written exams, 43% by practical exams and 44% by 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 a training ground for undergraduate King’s College London Dental Institute students as well as you and others on your course. So 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 a wealth of information including 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) a pair of black shoes which enclose the foot (not clogs). You will also need to pay a £30 for the use of a model skull (with extra fees if not returned). Locker keys require a deposit of £10.

In the final year, you are required to print case presentations, which will come out of your printing account.

There are a variety of outreach locations that you will need to attend to support your study. For NHS bursary students, you will be reimbursed for any travelling costs incurred which are unlikely to surpass £50.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

On completing this course, you’ll be qualified to become a valuable member of the dental team. The dental hygienist/therapist operates as a healthcare professional who, from a treatment plan provided by a registered dentist, delivers a range of treatments from extraction of children’s teeth, to provision of fillings and performing scale and polishing procedures. You’ll find employment opportunities within a variety of settings such as dental practices, hospitals or other places promoting oral health.

Many of our graduates also choose to go on to postgraduate study to extend their scope of practice or continue to study to complete Master’s or Professional Doctorates and PhDs.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • dental hygienist and therapist
  • oral health educator
  • practice manager
  • practice owner

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

To broaden your range of hands-on experience, some learning can occur outside the University. Outreach increases the diversity of practice, widening your skills base. You’ll therefore have the opportunity to work in the community setting; locations may include:

  • outreach activity in community surgeries and maxillofacial departments in local hospitals
  • oral health promotion
  • supervised tooth brushing in infant schools
  • helping staff to develop oral care plans in residential homes
  • working alongside others in the dental team to provide dental screening to offenders in the probation service

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.

University of Portsmouth
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Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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