Professional progression course

Dental Development Programme in Science and Dental Therapy (No Practice Rights)

Your career in the dental profession starts here

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course forms the basis for further training in the dental health profession. You will cover core topics in anatomy and physiology alongside preparation for study at university level.

If you wish to pursue a career in dentistry or a related area, this course offers that first step.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Go on a visit to a pathology museum as part of the Blood Bones and Body Systems unit
  • See our BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy in action in our purpose-built Dental Academy

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is designed to prepare you for progression to the full-time BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy. This programme does not lead to a recognised academic award of the University or the award of credits, it is designed to support professional entry students (qualified dental nurses) who do not have the required A Level requirements (or equivalent), for UCAS entry onto the BSc (Hons) in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy programme.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued following further training:

  • 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 at the University of Portsmouth because during an Open Day I loved the vibrant atmosphere and the excellent teaching facilities provided by the Dental Academy.

Amrita Kalyan, dental student 2013

Key Facts

23 weeks part time. Start: January.
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score ENTRY
Applicants must have a recognised qualification in Dental Nursing and Dental Nursing registration with the General Dental Council; Evidence of approximately 3 years post-qualifying chair-side experience; evidence of ongoing study and continual professional development. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


As a result of the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, there will be changes to funding mechanisms for this course, which we expect to be confirmed by the end of February 2017. 

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
Dental Academy
Programme specification


Health Sciences and Social Work

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

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

The subjects covered will ensure you have the complete core knowledge to move on to further study in areas of professional practice such as essential dental procedures.

Core units in this year include:

  • Blood, Bones and Body Systems
  • Evaluating Professional Literature
  • Introduction to Oral Physiology
  • Introduction to Personal and Professional Learning

Teaching and Assessment

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

How are you assessed?

We assess you in a variety of ways; however, all assessment requires a pass mark in order for you to be eligible to progress to degree level.

Here’s how we assess your work:

  • written assignments
  • examinations
  • presentations
  • reflective reports

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Monitor 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 of 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.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Successfully completing this course leads to a place on the BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy. 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.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • dental hygienist
  • dental nurse
  • practice manager
  • dental therapist
  • practice owner

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

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Visiting opportunities

Our next Open Day is
Wednesday 5 July 2017

Register your interest

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

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