Dental students working on a phantom head
UCAS Code
B752
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2022, September 2023

Apply through Clearing

To start this course in 2022 complete this short application form, call us on +44 (0)23 9284 8074 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

Our Clearing hotline is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.00am to 4.00pm on Fridays.

Overview

Dental hygienists treat and prevent oral diseases. They support people in maintaining their oral health by providing treatments and advice designed to improve the health of the mouth, teeth and gums. 

If you want a career as a dental hygienist, this BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene degree course is for you.

Studying in our Dental Academy, you’ll get the skills and knowledge for registration with the General Dental Council (GDC), which is essential for practicing as a dental hygienist.

Course highlights

  • Be taught in our Dental Academy, complete with the latest technology used in dental practices including 2 clinics with 44 dental treatment bays, 2 individual surgeries, a phantom head room, a decontamination suite, and radiography booths
  • Build your experience working as part of a dental team, studying alongside dental therapy, dental nursing and dental students as well as qualified professionals
  • Get out of the classroom to work with real patients, performing dental procedures and taking part in local community outreach projects

NHS Learning Support Fund

At least £5,000 a year

Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund bursary of at least £5,000 a year.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Accredited by

This course is accredited by the General Dental Council (GDC). This allows you to register with the GDC when you complete the course.

The GDC continually assess the course to make sure it meets the standard required for accreditation, so you'll know you're getting the most relevant and up-to-date teaching available

Hear from our Dental Academy students, Cynthia and Said

Dental Academy students Cynthia and Said talk about their experiences studying dentistry at the University of Portsmouth.

Cynthia: Reading about the University of Portsmouth in the Dental Academy, I realise it's a good place for me to harness my potential of becoming the dental nurse I've always wanted to become. 

Said: Looking after the patient, caring for the patient has been the best part of my degree. 

Cynthia: Right after your first year, you become a qualified dental nurse so while you are studying, you can still practice. 

Said: The most useful skills were the clinical skills that I acquired during my phantom head sessions where I did extensive work on periodontal treatments. Working now in clinics with patients I feel more confident and having the support of the staff and other colleagues has helped me quite a lot. 

Cynthia: We have a very friendly staff, nurses who are willing and always available to help students. When you find yourself in like any kind of confusion, they are there at your beck and call.

Said: You have to be really good with communication as well because you will continuously be communicating with patients. Also, staff and students and collaborative and professional work needs good communication skills. 

Cynthia: For those willing to study at the University of Portsmouth, I would encourage you, once you get here, to make good use of all the facilities available. 

Said: Caring for the patient is not just looking at their mouth and treating what we see but also is strongly correlated with the general health of the patient. 

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • UCAS points – 128–136 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, including 40 points from a pure Science subject For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDD–DDM
Selection process

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers
  • UCAS points – 128–136 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, including 40 points from a pure Science subject For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDD–DDM
  • T levels – Merit–Distinction
Selection process
 You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for

Facilities and specialist equipment

The dental treatment bays at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

Dental Academy

Hone your practical dental skills in our Dental Academy, which includes 2 patient clinics with 44 dental treatment bays.

Find out more about the Dental Academy

The Phantom Head Lab at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy

Phantom Head lab

Build your skills and your confidence using our realistic industry-standard phantom heads, designed to simulate working with real patients.

Explore the Phantom Head lab

Dental students practising dental radiography

Dental radiography

Learn how to take dental X-rays and explore dental imaging techniques in our dental radiography booths.

The Dental Academy at the University of Portsmouth

Take a tour of our Dental Academy at the University of Portsmouth, where we teach Dental Hygiene, Dental Therapy and Dental Nursing courses.

The excellent facilities - highly advanced decontamination suite, recently renovated clinic, sophisticated dental equipment - I think the University of Portsmouth stands out in this aspect.

Said Mansoor Sadaat, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene

Careers and opportunities

As the title suggests, dental hygienists help patients keep their teeth clean, but there's much more to the role than this alone.

Dental hygienists provide treatments, carry out procedures and give dietary and oral hygiene advice to maintain a healthy mouth, teeth and gums. Patients are often referred to dental hygienists by dentists, although many opt to see a hygienist regularly themselves.

Dental hygienists are needed in both the NHS and within private healthcare. Once you graduate you'll be ready to take your skills into areas such as general dental practice, hospital dental services or the Armed Forces, so you'll have great employment prospects as you embark on your dental career.

Looking to study dental hygiene and learn how to carry out additional procedures such as fillings and extractions? Take a look at our BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy degree. 

What areas can you work in with a dental hygiene degree?

When you graduate, you'll be qualified to work in areas such as:

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

What jobs can you do with a dental hygiene degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

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

You could also continue your studies or do research at postgraduate level.

State of the art facilities, supportive teaching staff and a fun learning environment. The Dental Academy is the ideal starting place for any aspiring dental care professional.

Aaron Kinsey, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene student

Potential salary

As an NHS dental hygienist in 2021, you could expect a Band 5 starting salary of £25,655, moving up to £31,534.

With more experience, you could earn from £32,306 to £39,027 (Band 6) and with a role training, you could make up to £45,839 (Band 7).

In the private sector, dental hygienists make from £16.56 to £31.18 an hour.

Ongoing careers support

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.

Work experience with patients in the community

To help you gain professional experience, you'll help to provide free dental health services to the public at the Dental Academy and work with patients in local community settings.

You'll have the chance to offer preventative and educational dental support within institutions such as school clinics and hostels for homeless people, enabling you to gain a better understanding of the social impact of good dental care.

Our community work experience projects 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
  • providing dental screening to offenders in the probation service
  • providing dental check ups to elite athletes, including first team players from Portsmouth Football Club
Portsmouth FC players get a check up at the Dental Academy

Thanks to a collaborative partnership with Portsmouth Football Club, our undergraduate dental students gave first team players Clark Robertson and Liam Vincent a full oral health assessment at our Dental Academy.

Check ups like these are an opportunity to catch any potential issues early, such as dental trauma from the sport, tooth decay from a diet that’s often high in carbohydrates and sugars, or dental erosion caused by acidic sports drinks.

Professor Chris Louca: Today we are resurrecting a collaboration between the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth Football Club. So in this case, we've got final year Dental Hygiene students who are looking at the Portsmouth Football Club players and they're carrying out a full oral health assessment.

This is a really big area of interest, looking at the link between oral health and the performance of elite athletes. There's a growing body of evidence to show that there is a link between these two areas.

Francesca Lee: So an athlete's diet consists of high sugar, so the advice I'd give to athletes is to minimise eating sugary foods and drinks and if they're going to have it, eat it in one sitting rather than snacking throughout the day.

Liam Vincent: I've just had a check up and they've removed some decay off my teeth. My teeth are a lot better now!

I never really considered the health of my teeth before, as much as I will do now.

Clark Robertson: I didn't really think about it too much in relation to actually playing football, but it's something I'll be more aware of moving forward.

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Core Skills Training Framework – 0 credits
  • Tutorials – 0 credits
  • Foundation of Evidence Based Practice (dental) – 20 credits
  • Foundations of Dental Hygiene Practice – 40 credits
  • Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene Practice – 20 credits
  • Integrated Clinical Practice – 0 credits
  • Science Informing Practice – 40 credits
  • UPDA Events – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied Dental Hygiene Professional Practice – 40 credits
  • Communication for the Dental Team – 20 credits
  • Core Skills Training Framework Repeat Level 5 – 0 credits
  • Dental Radiography – 20 credits
  • Tutorials – 0 credits
  • Engaging With Service Improvement – 20 credits
  • Evidence Based Decision Making – 20 credits
  • Integrated Clinical Practice – 0 credits
  • UPDA Events – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Behaviour Management – 20 credits
  • Core Skills Training Framework Repeat Level 6 – 0 credits
  • Tutorials – 0 credits
  • Enhancing Dental Hygiene Professional Practice – 40 credits
  • Leading Safe and Effective Care (dental) – 20 credits
  • Project – 40 credits
  • UPDA Events – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written examinations
  • computer examinations
  • presentations
  • coursework

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical laboratory work
  • guided reading

Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice and research, and you'll be fully supported by online lecture and study materials.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Dental Hygiene degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as tutorials, lectures, practical classes and workshops and guided independent study sessions for about 13.5 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK) for one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £18,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional funding – at least £5,000 a year

Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund of at least £5,000 a year. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

You’ll get 3 sets of scrubs (clinical clothing) and a name badge at the start of the course. You can order extra or replacement scrubs at £8 per set or £4 an item. You can also order replacement name badges for £7.

You’ll need to buy your own visor frame (available from the Dental Academy for £8) and a pair of black shoes which enclose the foot (not canvas or clogs).

Plastic skulls are available for a £30 deposit to assist your learning of oral anatomy during your first year.

You’ll need to bring your own 40mm padlock if you use our locker facilities.

You’ll attend outreach locations to support your studies, and you’ll need to cover travel costs. The NHS may meet some of these costs through its Learning Support Fund.

Optional conference trips will cost in the region of £100–£200. You may have the opportunity to engage in the Erasmus programme, which will incur additional costs.

Apply

How to apply

You can still apply for this course to study with us in September 2022 by using Clearing.

Once you have your exam results:

If you're not ready to apply yet, why not learn more about how Clearing works, book a call-back for results day. or sign-up for our Clearing updates and visit days.

Our Clearing hotline will be open as follows:

  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday
  • 9am - 4pm Fridays
  • Thursday 18 August (A and T level results day) 8am - 8pm
  • Friday 19 August 8am - 7pm
  • Saturday 20 August 10am - 3pm

To start this course in 2023, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B752
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.