dental hygiene student cleaning false teeth
UCAS Code
B752
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2021, September 2022

See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.

Overview

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.

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.

Professional recognitions

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.

Our Nursing and Midwifery courses are ranked number 11 in the UK (The Guardian University Guide, 2021).

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – AAB–ABB
  • 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
  • International Baccalaureate – 30–31
Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course. This includes screening to exclude infectivity with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

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
Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course. This includes screening to exclude infectivity with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

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

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
Dental Academy - 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.

Careers and opportunities

What can you do with a Dental Hygiene degree?

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.

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. You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

Dental Academy students - University of Portsmouth

Dental Academy students 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. 

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

Core modules in this year include:

  • Core Skills Training Framework
  • Foundation of Evidence Based Practice
  • Foundations of Dental Hygiene Practice
  • Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene Practice
  • Science Informing Practice

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied Dental Hygiene Professional Practice
  • Communication for the Dental Team
  • Core Skills Training Framework Repeat
  • Dental Radiography and Dental Imaging
  • Engaging with Service Improvement
  • Evidence Based Decision Making

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Behaviour Management
  • Core Skills Training Framework Repeat
  • Enhancing Dental Hygiene Professional Practice
  • Leading Safe and Effective Care
  • Project

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.

Academic skills support

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
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Support with English

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.

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.

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

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • Teaching block 1 – October to January
  • Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
  • Teaching block 2 – February to May
  • Assessment period 2 – May to June

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.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2021 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 – £17,600 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 £30.00 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

If you're interested in starting this course in 2021, call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)23 9284 8074 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

You can also find out how Clearing works, sign up for Clearing updates and book a call back on results day.

To start this course in 2022, 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.

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