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Laura King, 2011 graduate

Oral Health Sciences

BSc

The BSc in Oral Health Sciences is a three year programme which will enable you to work primarily as a dental therapist, but also as a dental hygienist.

This is the first university dental hygiene and dental therapy qualification to be offered in Scotland, and the course has full approval from the General Dental Council.

Why study Oral Health Sciences at Dundee?

The Dundee Dental Hospital and School has modern clinical, lecture, tutorial and laboratory facilities, including a dedicated computer-aided learning suite. As well as the annual intake of 10 BSc Oral Health Sciences students, there is an annual intake of approximately 60 BDS (dental) students and many of the teaching and learning experiences are shared. The Dental School has a thriving Students' Society, a student-run coffee bar and an excellent programme of student-led social activities.

The Dental School performs consistently well in league tables for both research and teaching.  The University of Dundee Dental School is a top UK dental school as noted in the Guardian University Guide 2011 and The Complete University Guide

Professional Accreditation

This programme has full approval from the professional governing body for dentistry in the UK, the General Dental Council (GDC).

"In final year you start outreach clinics where you go to different dental access centres to treat patients. You get a real feel of what working life is going to be like, along with the start of treating kids, which I never thought I would enjoy; turned out to be very rewarding."
Laura King, BSc Oral Health Sciences, 2011

What exactly are oral health sciences?

Dental hygiene and dental therapy are concerned with maintaining and managing aspects of oral and dental health and preventing oral and dental diseases. This requires an understanding of the whole body, knowledge of the mouth and an appreciation of social influences as well as precise manual skills.

Dental hygienists and therapists are part of the dental team, with dentists, dental nurses and dental technicians. The group comprising dental nurses, hygienists, therapists and technicians are known as dental care professionals (DCPs). Dental hygienists and therapists work to a treatment plan provided by a dentist. They help patients develop and maintain good oral health. They do this by restoring teeth (doing fillings) and, for child patients, they can also carry out extractions, pulp therapy and stainless steel crowns. The treatment of periodontal (gum) disease is also a major component of the work. Their preventive role includes giving advice on diet, oral hygiene and smoking cessation. Other care they can provide is the taking and developing of radiographs and the taking of impressions.

Learn more from the British Association of Dental Therapists or the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy.

Degree Combinations

  • BSc Oral Health Sciences

Related Courses at Dundee

Teaching & Assessment

This course is based in the School of Dentistry.

You will be one of ten students that we take each year. You will get a mix of teaching: in your group of ten and with the BDS (dental) students in groups of up to 70.

How you will be taught

Teaching will take place in the Dental School and Hospital which is on campus, at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and in local and regional dental clinics. A variety of teaching methods will be used: lectures, tutorials, practical classes and clinics. Examinations are held throughout the course. A continuous grading scheme is in operation during practical and clinical teaching.

The curriculum for the BSc course follows the curricula frameworks for dental hygienists and dental therapists published by the General Dental Council (GDC) under the title 'Developing the Dental Team'. This document is available on the GDC's website.

The programme consists of a three-year curriculum of 32 weeks at Level 1, 35 weeks at Level 2 and 35 weeks at Level 3. This is longer than normal University semesters owing to the current requirement of the General Dental Council for the course to comprise 102 weeks in total.

What you will study

Typical degree programme

Level 1

At Level 1 you will study the biomedical sciences (anatomy, physiology, embryology, genetics, pathology, histology and biochemistry) and learn about the oral cavity in oral biology. Manual skills are also developed and you will start to treat patients in the second semester. The types of treatments carried out at this stage will include giving oral health advice, measuring the oral condition and carrying out periodontal (gum) treatment. Modules include:

  • Foundation
  • Biomedical Sciences and Oral Biology
  • Restorative 1
  • Plaque-related Diseases
  • Clinical Practice 1
Level 2

Level 2 sees the introduction of additional clinical skills and you start treating patients for restorative procedures such as dental fillings. Modules include:

  • Human Disease
  • Restorative 2
  • Imaging
  • Behavioural Sciences
  • Clinical Practice 2
Level 3

At Level 3, you continue with clinical work both within the Dental Hospital and in community outreach clinics. The outreach clinics give you exposure to different population groups. Treatment will include the provision of dental care for children and special needs groups. Modules include:

  • Clinical practice 3
  • The Developing Dentition
  • The Therapist and the Community

How you will be assessed

Examinations are held throughout the course. A continuous grading scheme is in operation during practical and clinical teaching.

Careers

There is a current shortage of dental professionals in the UK. Once qualified you may choose to work in general dental practice (NHS and private), the community dental service, hospital practice, the armed services or in industry. Current employment levels are very high (100%) and remuneration is good.

Entry requirements

This course is only available to Home (UK) and EU applicants.

The physical and mental demands of the BSc course

The BSc course is demanding, both physically and mentally. You will, for example, require sufficient bi-manual dexterity to handle, simultaneously, the necessary equipment to treat patients and a dental mirror to allow you to see what you are doing.

Dentistry can involve very detailed work under conditions that are often difficult, so you need a steady hand and good vision (with spectacles if need be). You will also be required to interpret hand written patients' notes, examine computer records and images such as radiographs, and distinguish and understand dental and medical terminology.

If you have a disability that you feel might impact on your ability to meet these demands, you are urged to consult the Dental School as soon as possible in the application process so that we can discuss the implications with you, including any adjustments that can be made to meet your needs. Please contact the School's Disability Support Officer (DSO) - Miss Lorraine Robertson (l.i.y.robertson@dundee.ac.uk) as a preliminary step. Further information on the University's provision for disabled students is available on the Disability Services website.

Special Requirements

  • All potential dental/oral health science students are required to undergo screening for blood borne viruses (Hepatitis B and C, and HIV) prior to their place at the Dental School being confirmed. Details regarding testing will be sent to you when you apply.
  • With your permission you will be required to undertake a Criminal Record Search.
  • You will not be admitted without having undergone a full medical. You will not be admitted without completing a full course of immunisation against Hepatitis B.

Patient safety is paramount and it is particularly important to consider any difficulties that would compromise this so that we can ascertain what arrangements can be put in place to assist you while guaranteeing that safety.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2014

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Level 1 entry

Qualification Grade
SQA Higher ABBB
GCE A-Level BBB
ILC Higher ABBB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level) and Chemistry (Standard Grade, Intermediate 2, GCSE, ILC Ordinary Level or IB Subsidiary Level).

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
Qualified Dental Nurses Applications from Qualified Dental Nurses will be considered provided they have other qualifications, i.e. three SQA Highers at B grades, to include Biology (or Human Biology) or two GCE A Levels (A2) at B grades, to include Biology (or Human Biology).
EU Applicants with alternative European qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our EU website.
Overseas Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.
Others These are considered on an individual basis.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 entry

Qualification Grade
SQA Higher ABBB
GCE A-Level BBB
ILC Higher ABBB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher Level) and Chemistry (Standard Grade, National 5, Intermediate 2, GCSE, ILC Ordinary Level or IB Subsidiary Level).

Other Qualifications

Qualification Grade
Qualified Dental Nurses Applications from Qualified Dental Nurses will be considered provided they have other qualifications, i.e. three SQA Highers at B grades, to include Biology (or Human Biology) or two GCE A Levels (A2) at B grades, to include Biology (or Human Biology).
EU Applicants with alternative European qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our EU website.
Overseas Applicants with alternative overseas qualifications should visit the relevant country page on our International website.
Others These are considered on an individual basis.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer. The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

Fees and Funding

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee category Fees for students starting September 2014
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Students from the rest of the UK £9,000 per year for each year of the degree.
You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
EU students £1,820 per year of study.
You can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.
Overseas students (non-EU) £18,600 per year of study.

Scholarships & Bursaries

Fee category Scholarships & Bursaries applicable
Scottish students
Students from the rest of the UK
EU students
Overseas students (non-EU)

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

All applications must be made through UCAS

UCAS Codes

Institution Code: D65

Degree UCAS Codes KIS data
BSc Oral Health Sciences
(3 years without Honours)
B750 View KIS data for this course

UCAS Application Process


International Applicants

We have information specifically for international applicants on our International website:

Tips for your application

Do I need any work-related experience?

We expect evidence of your commitment to oral health. You should have visited dental practices or clinics and found out about the provision of oral healthcare. Or you may have worked within dentistry (e.g. as a dental nurse or dental technician).

Do I need to have studied science subjects before?

Yes. The primary component of the entry requirements for the BSc is that you have studied science-related subjects. You should have Higher or A-Level Biology (or equivalent).

Will I have an interview?

All suitable candidates will be interviewed. Interviews are normally held between January and March at the Dental School. The interview will give you the opportunity to tell us about yourself and why you would make a good dental hygienist/therapist and will also give us the opportunity to meet you. You will meet existing students and get a chance to see the facilities in the Dental Hospital and School.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions about the application process, please contact:

Home / EU applicants

Undergraduate Admissions
Admissions & Student Recruitment
University of Dundee
Nethergate
Dundee
DD1 4HN
Scotland

Telephone: 01382 388547/ 384697/ 384029 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 388547/ 384697/ 384029 (from outside the UK)

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