Dental Hygiene BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Dental Hygiene
If you want a career as a dental hygienist, working as a crucial part of the dental team to treat and prevent oral disease, 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. After the course, you can take your skills into areas such as general dental practice, hospital dental services or the armed forces.
This programme has been provisionally accepted to commence delivery by the General Dental Council (GDC) following a paper-based submission. The GDC Quality Assurance Team will carry out an on-site inspection of the programme and examinations prior to the first cohort of students qualifying, wherein approval for the purposes of registration with the GDC will be assessed by an expert panel of inspectors. This is the process for all new dental care professional (DCP) programmes.
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.
What you'll experience
On this degree course, you'll:
- Learn how to treat oral disease and promote oral health
- Be taught in our Dental Academy, which has 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
- Get out of the classroom to perform dental procedures and patient management in the Dental Academy alongside other members of the dental team
- Take part in community outreach projects in the local area
- Build your experience in working as part of a dental team, studying alongside dental therapy, dental nursing and dental students as well as qualified professionals
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.
Careers and opportunities
You'll be qualified to work in areas such as:
- general dental practice
- hospital dental services
- the Armed Forces
- the NHS
- health promotion
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.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.
Themes you'll study in years 1, 2 and 3 include:
- Management and Leadership
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.
Work experience and career planning
This course focuses on applying your knowledge and building the practical skills you need to succeed in a clinical environment after your career.
You can also get experience with patients in community settings as part of the course. For example:
- 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 for diverse groups, such as offenders in the probation service
Our Careers and Employability service can help you find further relevant work experience during the course. We can help you identify placements and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your CV.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- 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
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2
Most 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.
There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- written examinations
- computer examinations
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.
- 120 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.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
- All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview.
- All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance. This includes screening to exclude infectivity with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)
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.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
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).
You’ll need to pay a £30 deposit to use a model skull (you’ll be charged additional fees if you don't return the skull).
You’ll need a £10 deposit for locker keys.
You’ll attend outreach locations to support your study, and you’ll need to cover travel costs, which are unlikely to surpass £50. These costs are reimbursed for NHS bursary students.
To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – B752
- our institution code – P80
You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.
Not quite ready to apply?
Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can 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.