Dental Hygiene and Therapy BSc

Undergraduate degree course/programme Dental Hygiene and Therapy BSc B750

Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists work closely with other members of the Dental team.  They are able to carry out preventive and periodontal treatments for adults and children. They carry out a variety of treatments on a wide range of patients including fillings, radiographs and impressions. They may also extract deciduous teeth, undertake pulpotomies and place preformed crowns on children’s teeth.

This is an integrated programme, approved by the General Dental Council, leading to a qualification in dental hygiene and dental therapy. It is a collaborative programme funded via the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust and validated by the University.

You will be taught in our brand new Dental Hospital and School, currently under development just a mile from the University's main campus in Edgbaston. As the first integrated, stand-alone dental hospital and dental school to be built in the UK for almost 40 years, the new £50 million hospital will provide world-class research facilities and a modern learning environment for more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and trainees.

First year

In dental hygiene, clinical practice is a major component of the early part of the programme, preparing you for seeing your first patient in the second term in your first year. Professionalism is introduced in year one and is embedded in all teaching throughout the course.

The Biomedical Sciences and Oral Health Promotion modules prepare you to study disease, patient management, and health education later on in the programme. You will begin to learn about law and ethics in dentistry and how to manage dental decay by restoring teeth on phantom heads in the laboratory.

Second year

Building on experience gained in the first year, you will be continuing to manage your own list of patients and gaining confidence and competence in clinical skills. You will learn applied pharmacology, general pathology and dental radiography, along with the specialities of paediatric dentistry and the management of periodontal diseases.  In addition you will begin to restore teeth for patients on clinic.

Third year

In your final year, clinical placements (including outreach) prepare you for life after graduation. Integrated clinical practice combines the dental hygiene and therapy skills into holistic patient care. You will also undertake research and critical appraisal of published literature, relevant to your studies.

Why study this course

Birmingham offers a fully integrated course which links underpinning theory to clinical practice at all levels. It is delivered in a large teaching hospital with opportunities to participate in primary, secondary and tertiary care of patients, and to train alongside other members of the dental team. The opportunity to undertake outreach clinical training in the second and third years of study facilitates the smooth transition from student to qualified professional working within the community.


Year 1

  • Professionalism
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Dentistry in Society
  • Oral Health Promotion and Education
  • Dental Hygiene Clinical Practice
  • Introduction to Adult Restorative Dentistry

Year 2

  • Adult Restorative Dentistry Theory and Clinical Practice
  • Periodontal Diseases Theory and Clinical Practice
  • Applied Pharmacology Pain and Anxiety Control
  • Dental Radiography
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Professionalism Portfolio (Required Element)

Year 3

  • Integrated Clinical Practice
  • Research Project
  • Professionalism Portfolio (Required Element)

This is the module list for 2015. The modules listed on our website may occasionally be subject to change. For example, as you will appreciate, key members of staff may leave the University and this might necessitate a review of the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

There are no academic fees payable by the student.

Learn more about fees and funding

Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
Biology at A level (grade B or above); A GDC recognised Dental Nursing qualification may be submitted in lieu of one A Level subject. GCSEs should include English, Mathematics and a Biological Science or higher tier dual award Science, and a further three subjects at Grade C or above
General Studies:
not accepted

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements

Additional information:

  • Interviewees would be expected to be familiar with the role of the Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapist within the dental team in the United Kingdom
  • Satisfactory references, interview, health screening and criminal records searches are all part of the selection process. If the application is successful you will be asked to provide satisfactory evidence of non infectivity and immunisation against Hepatitis B. 
  • The School of Dental Hygiene & Therapy is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities for all, and welcomes applicants from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds Individuals are selected on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. 
  • Birmingham School of Dental Hygiene & Therapy currently has no facility to offer places to overseas students from non-EU countries or students with overseas qualifications seeking shortened courses
  • Selected applicants will be invited for interview.
  • All successful applicants must produce satisfactory evidence of immunisation against Hepatitis B and evidence of non-infectivity for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus prior to confirmation of a place and becoming registered as a dental student. (The UK Government Department of Health now requires all potential undergraduate dental students to undergo additional health clearance before acceptance onto the course; additional health clearance stipulates that individuals must be non-infectious for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. For further information about these requirements, please see: Medical and Dental Students: Health clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis).
  • Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the programme. 
  • All students will be required to sign the subject-specific Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct on entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter. 
  • Candidates are expected to show a range of skills including dexterity, communication and teamwork. Some work experience in dentistry, particularly shadowing a dental hygienist or dental therapist, is required before completing the UCAS form.

Selection of students

Candidates should demonstrate work observation/experience in Dental Hygiene and Therapy in the UK and evidence of good dexterity (for example, through playing a musical instrument, model-making, DIY work or art). All applicants who have been offered a place at Birmingham will be offered the opportunity to attend the department for a day of familiarisation with the programme.

International students:

Please note: This course is open to home/EU students only. 

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in English by passing IELTS with a score of 7.0 or higher.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,5,5 at Higher Level (to include biology and preferably chemistry) with a minimum of 32 points overalll.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at  
Learn more about applying

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. At Birmingham we advocate an enquiry based learning approach, from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning.

You will be taught in our brand new Dental Hospital and School, currently under development just a mile from the University's main campus in Edgbaston. As the first integrated, stand-alone dental hospital and dental school to be built in the UK for almost 40 years, the new £50 million hospital will provide world-class research facilities and a modern learning environment for more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and trainees.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we’ll enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

From the beginning of the course teaching is fully integrated, combining basic clinical science topics with clinical and patient management skills. The course is delivered in 16 modules. Competence in each must be demonstrated for progression.

Find out more about the staff in the School of Dentistry.

Our facilities

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences houses state-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity. 

Our facilities ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience by working in a modern environment. Among our most recent developments include a refurbishment of the Medical School foyer, Barnes library and Wolfson Centre for Medical Education.

Explore our facilities and take a tour by moving around our 360-degree panoramas:


Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations, laboratory-based work (depending on your chosen degree) and formal exams.

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our Dental and Hygiene Therapy graduates work in general dental practice, salaried dental practice and in hospitals, where they work closely with other members of the Dental team. There are good opportunities for full-time, part-time and flexible working hours.

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Find out more about  Careers Network.

Professional accreditation

Qualified students are able to apply to register immediately with the General Dental Council.

Birmingham has transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Clubs and societies

The Guild has over 200 Societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join; they cover every topic and activity that you can think of - there really is something for everyone.

Birmingham University Dental Student Society (BUDSS) is a student-led society for students studying Dentistry, Dental Hygiene and Therapy and Biomedical Materials Science. BUDSS offers a wide range of activities to get involved in from sports, amateur dramatics and music to charities, volunteering and academic support.

The City of Birmingham

You will be based on a leafy campus in the suburbs of a vibrant, modern city. With over a million residents, Birmingham is home ot the UK's largest financial and creative centres outside London and it has a thriving business community. After London, birmingham is the highest ranking city for quality of life in the UK (Mercer's Quality of Living Survey 2012). There is something for everyone in Birmingham and you are sure to receive a warm welcome in one of the most culturally diverse cities in Britain.


Whether you are looking for university accommodation or a rented property in the private sector, our accommodation services team, 'Living', can help you find the right place.

University accommodation for undergraduates is located across the University's three student villages, all of which are within walking distance of the main campus. We have a range of accommodation types, including flats with study bedrooms, sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities; flats with ensuite study bedrooms; and studio apartments where you have exclusive use of both kitchen and bathroom facilities.