Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy BSc (Hons)

A dentistry seminar at the Dental Academy
UCAS Code
B750
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2021, September 2022
Accredited
Yes

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

Overview

If you want to be a dental hygienist and therapist, this BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy course gives you the theory and practical skills to become a vital member of the dental team.

In our Dental Academy, you’ll develop skills that allow you to complete treatments on patients, such as fillings, radiographs and impressions. You’ll study and develop your dental hygiene and therapy skills alongside other members of the dental team.

After you complete the course, you’ll be able to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) as a Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapist and embark on a career treating patients in locations such as dental practices and in community dental services.

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.

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.

90% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

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 course, you'll:

  • Develop the knowledge, skills and professionalism you need to provide dental care to patients and become a trusted member of the dental team
  • Study on a course that's professionally accredited by the General Dental Council (GDC), providing industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification
  • Practise the skills you’ll use in your career as a hygienist or therapist in our Dental Academy model clinical practice, with dental treatment bays and simulation technology including our Phantom Head skill lab and radiography equipment
  • Work in a dental team alongside dentists, dental nurses and other students, giving you a taste of your future work environment
  • Have the chance to take part in community healthcare projects, providing additional patient-focused work experience
Explore the Dental Academy

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

Choosing to study Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy at the University of Portsmouth was a no brainer as the course is accredited by the GDC. Portsmouth is also a brilliant student city and absolutely beautiful in the summer!

Zahraa Khameery, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

Careers and opportunities

When you complete the course you can register with the General Dental Council (GDC). You'll be qualified to work in areas such as:

  • general dental practice
  • hospital dental services
  • the Armed Forces
  • the NHS
  • health promotion
  • owning and managing a dental business of your own

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

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

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

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
Liz's experience studying BSc Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

Liz Wathen, a BSc Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy student at the University of Portsmouth, talks about her experiences at the Dental Academy.

Why did you choose to study Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy at the University of Portsmouth?

Liz: The facilities are really good at the Dental Academy. They have clinics on the campus. Above the clinics, you've got the phantom head labs which are just really up to date.

What is your favourite thing about the Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy course?

Liz: So my favourite thing about the course, I would say, is the practical sessions in the clinics. I enjoy learning about what we're actually going to do in practice and then putting that into practice on the phantom heads. 

What's the most exciting project you've worked on as part of the course?

Liz: Going in, doing the practical sessions and particularly working with the ultrasonic scalers. I was a dental nurse before I started this course, so I have seen dentists use the ultrasonic scaler. So to be able to come in and actually be able to use it myself was very exciting. 

After you graduate, what are your plans for the future?

Liz: I'm hoping to work a couple of days in a private practice, a couple of days in the NHS and I also worked as a dental nurse in the prison. I really would like to return to it as a therapist. 

What would you say to convince someone to study Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy at the University of Portsmouth?

Liz: The tutors, they don't just teach you to pass your course. They really care about you having a good information and knowledge base to be able to deal with your patients as a whole. It's just amazing.

The tutors, they don't just teach you to pass your course. They really care about you having a good information and knowledge base to be able to deal with your patients as a whole. It's just amazing.

Liz Wathen, BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

What you'll study

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, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

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

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied Dental Hygiene & Therapy 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 & Therapy 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
  • supervised clinical sessions

In the second and third year, there are student clinics within the school to develop skills and apply knowledge for up to 2 days a week.

Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice and research, and you'll be fully supported face to face and online with the appropriate study materials.

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 exams
  • practical exams
  • 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.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 67% by written exams, 17% by practical exams and 16% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 58% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 35% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 13% by written exams, 43% by practical exams and 44% by coursework

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2021 start)

  • UK 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 – £25,400 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 and sign up for Clearing updates.

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B750
  • 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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