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Dental Hygiene and Therapy BSc

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21 are:
£9,250 (UK)

More details on fees and funding

The University of Birmingham Dental Hygiene and Therapy course is links underpinning theory with practical clinical experience at all levels, making it a fully integrated course.


Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

Applicants for entry in 2021

We understand that you will be concerned about the impact COVID-19 may have on your future application to study with us. We are currently in the process of reviewing our selection processes and will look to make adjustments to remove any disadvantage to applicants. Further information can be found on our 'Guidance on Applying for a Healthcare Programme in 2021' webpage.

Guidance on applying for a healthcare programme in 2021 webpage

Based in Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry, which opened in 2016, you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and innovative teaching and learning methods. You will train and work alongside practicing clinicians and other members of the dental team on a daily basis. An important component in fostering the team approach to dentistry.

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

From the outset you will be encouraged and supported to become an independent and self-motivated learner. The BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy course curriculum empowers you to develop lifelong skills in self-development and patient management. It also encourages precision, hand/eye coordination, communication skills and an empathic approach to patient care. These are all essential qualities when fulfilling the role of a Dental Hygienist or Therapist.

This integrated course, approved by the General Dental Council, leads to a qualification in both Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy. It is a collaborative course, delivered by the Birmingham School of Dental Hygiene and Therapy which is part of the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and is validated by the University of Birmingham, via the collaborative agreement.

First year

In dental hygiene, clinical practice is a major component early on in the course. This experience will help to prepare you for seeing your first patient during the second term of your first year. Professionalism is introduced in year one and is embedded in all teaching throughout the course.

Whilst studying Dental Hygiene and Therapy, you will also undertake modules in Biomedical Sciences and Oral Health Promotion. These modules will prepare you to study disease, patient management, and health education later on in the course. You will also begin to learn about laws and ethics in dentistry and how to manage dental decay by restoring teeth on phantom heads in the laboratory. Clinical work on live patients begins as early as the second term. 

Second year

Building on experience gained in the first year, you will continue to manage your own list of patients, gaining confidence and competence in clinical skills. You will learn applied pharmacology, general pathology and dental radiography. Alongside these subjects you will also study the specialities of paediatric dentistry and the management of periodontal diseases.

In addition to this, you'll begin to restore teeth for patients on clinic. Clinical placements in the second and third year take place within the West Midlands and broaden your experience in treating patients.

Third year

In your final year, clinical placements (including outreach) prepare you for life after graduation. During your third year of study, integrated clinical practice is combined with your learned dental hygiene and therapy skills to provide a holistic approach to patient care. You will also undertake research and critical appraisal of published literature, relevant to your studies.

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Modules in the first year

In dental hygiene, clinical practice is a major component of the early part of the course, 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.

  • 10 credits - Professionalism
  • 30 credits - Biomedical Sciences
  • 10 credits - Dentistry in Society
  • 10 credits - Oral Health Promotion and Education
  • 40 credits - Dental Hygiene Clinical Practice
  • 20 credits - Introduction to Adult Restorative Dentistry

Modules in the 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.

  • 40 credits - Adult Restorative Dentistry Theory and Clinical Practice
  • 40 credits - Periodontal Diseases Theory and Clinical Practice
  • 10 credits - Applied Pharmacology and Pain and Anxiety Control
  • 10 credits - Dental Radiography
  • 20 credits - Paediatric Dentistry
  • Non-credit bearing - Professionalism Portfolio (Required Element)

Modules in the 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.

  • 90 credits - Integrated Clinical Practice
  • 30 credits - Research Project
  • Non-credit bearing - Professionalism Portfolio (Required Element)

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Tuition fees

We charge annual tuition fees. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
UK Students: £9,250 

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University or from external sources.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at  
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A Level Biology at grade B or above; A GDC recognised Dental Nursing qualification may be submitted in lieu of one A Level subject. Minimum of six GCSEs at grade C/4 to include English, Mathematics and a Biological subject/dual award science.
General Studies:
not accepted.

BTEC Extended Diplomas, Diplomas and Subsidiary Diplomas are not accepted. 

Other qualifications may be considered – learn more about entry requirements

Additional Information

  • For admission on to the course, selected prospective students will undergo an interview process. 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
  • Alongside the interview, satisfactory references, a health screening and criminal records searches are also 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
  • 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 and Immunisation Forms.
  • Students will also be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the course. 
  • 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 within 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 course.

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 overall.

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.

As a student at Birmingham School of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, you will have the opportunity to learn from world-leading experts, via our collaborative agreement with the University of Birmingham.

We advocate an enquiry based learning (EBL) approach and from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. These are essential qualities, 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.

From the beginning of the course, the teaching is fully integrated, combining basic clinical science topics with clinical and patient management skills. The course is delivered in 13 modules. Competence in each must be demonstrated in order to progress. 

You will be taught in Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry, which opened in April 2016, 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 £50 million hospital provides world-class research facilities and a modern learning environment for more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and trainees.

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. If there are particular areas where you need support you will be able to address this with your tutors. 

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.

Teaching Staff

Students studying Dental Hygiene and Therapy are taught by a mixture of clinicians, consultants, lecturers and professors. You will benefit from the collaborative agreement with the University of Birmingham, and sharing some lectures with students in the School of Dentistry.

For more information about staff in the school, their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest, visit the School of Dentistry staff profile page.

Contact Hours

During the first year of your BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy degree you can expect approximately 17 hours of scheduled teaching per week. This will consist of lectures, small group teaching sessions, self-directed learning and practical skills training and 17 hours per week of independent study. There are approximately 6 hours of clinical placement per week during the second half of the academic year. Approximately 38 weeks of scheduled teaching and examinations take place during this year.

Throughout the second year of your BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy degree you can expect approximately 13 hours of scheduled teaching, 14 hours of independent study and 10 hours of clinical placement per week. There are approximately 42 weeks of scheduled teaching and examinations in this year.

Throughout the third year of your BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy degree you can expect approximately 10 hours of scheduled teaching, 14 hours of independent study and 13 hours of placement per week. There are approximately 38 weeks of scheduled teaching and examinations in this year.

Assessment Methods

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways; these methods may differ 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 through formal examinations. 

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular area. 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.

Throughout the course there will be opportunities to meet with your personal tutor to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. Your personal tutor will be based in the School of Dentistry and can help with any academic issues you encounter. 

On qualification you will be eligible to apply for entry to the General Dental Council's register for Dental Care Professionals. 

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. A post-qualification vocational training scheme is also available in the West Midlands for selected applicants.

Visit our Dental Hygiene and Therapy alumni page. 

Our unique careers guidance service, Careers Network, 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 to 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 immediately apply to register with the General Dental Council upon successful completion of the course.

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