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Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy BSc (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    We offer the BSc (Hons) in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy for students wishing to train as a dental hygienist and dental therapist. Upon successful completion of the course and registration with the General Dental Council (GDC), you will be qualified to practise as both a dental hygienist and dental therapist.

    Since July 2002, dental hygienists and dental therapists have been able to work in all sectors of dentistry including community dental services, hospital services, defence medical services, Personal Dental Services (PDS) and general dental practice.

    This course aims to train Dental Care Professionals (DCP) who can work within a team to provide safe, effective oral care and treatment within the remit of a dental hygienist and dental therapist, doing so in a professional and caring manner. The course also recognises the importance and necessity of lifelong learning and professional development.

    Graduates will be able to demonstrate the core skills, knowledge and learning outcomes required by the General Dental Council (GDC) and be capable of fulfilling the role of a dental hygienist and dental therapist in many different clinical settings.

    In addition to being a competent clinician you will also be well prepared to embark on a career in research, regulation or as an educator.

    Additional course highlights

    Dental hygienists and dental therapists perform important roles within the dental team in preventing and treating disease in addition to promoting health. They require many similar clinical skills to a dentist and perform many of the same clinical treatments. They will carry out courses of treatment for patients, usually following examination by a dentist.

    The School of Dentistry, in partnership with Leeds Dental Institute, is one of a few dental schools in the UK where the whole dental team (dentists, dental therapists, hygienists, technicians and dental nurses) train together. We emphasise teamwork to develop your communication, leadership and professional skills and, where possible, you’ll train with students from other dental courses. The School is also at the forefront of research advances, which directly benefit our patients.

    We’re proud of the School’s friendly atmosphere and good student-staff relations. The National Student Survey annually rates the School highly for overall satisfaction, our learning resources and the level of academic support.

    As a dental student, you will have the opportunity to be a member of the Leeds University Dental Society (DentSoc), which organises social and sports events, visits and talks throughout the year.

    The Course Leaders are Ms Leean Morrow and Mr Stuart Boomer, supported by a dedicated team of academics and support staff.

    General Dental Council registration

    Successful completion of this course (and meeting Fitness to Practise criteria) allows you to register with the General Dental Council (GDC), the regulatory body for dental professionals in the UK.

    Professional standards

    Dental professionals have to adhere to a professional code of ethics to maintain their registration with the General Dental Council (GDC). As a dental student, you’ll be expected to demonstrate that you have the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a dental professional. You must apply the principles of professionalism to your studies, training, and your personal and social life. Read guidance on professionalism on the General Dental Council website.

    Dentistry students using apparatus


    Subject to approval by the GDC.

  • Course content

    Year 1

    Laying the foundations
    First year modules introduce the basics of dentistry with five of the six modules being taught with the dental surgery students fostering the importance of dental team working. You will be involved in the clinical environment from the start of the course. Later in the year after completing operative skills teaching for local anaesthetic, gum disease and preventive care, you will progress to the provision of treatment of your own patients.

    Throughout the course you will spend an increasing proportion of their time in clinic. Initially you will be treating mostly adult patients and then progressing to treating both adults and children by the end of year two.

    Year 2

    Building experience and knowledge
    You will build on scientific knowledge gained in year 1 and further develop your operative clinical skills in relation to restorative dentistry for both adults and children. Clinical experience will initially be focused on treatment associated with practice as a dental hygienist, with the introduction of patients requiring dental therapy later in the year.

    Year 3

    Amassing experience and the culmination
    The completion of a final year project will provide evidence of your understanding of research and helps develop your skills in scientific research and in applying principles of research to your project. Clinical experience will include assessment and treatment of more complex dental disease including restorative treatment of children and adults. Personal and professional development will continue in this year focusing on preparation for the world of work developing the skills necessary to practice as a dental hygienist and dental therapist as a leading member of the dental team.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Health and Health Promotion 20 credits
    • Introduction to the Oral Environment 20 credits
    • Anxiety and Pain Management 20 credits
    • Developing Clinical Practice 1 20 credits
    • Oral Diseases, Defence and Repair 20 credits
    • Personal and Professional Development 1 20 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Applied Dental Hygiene 20 credits
    • Clinical Skills 20 credits
    • Personal and Professional Development 2 20 credits
    • Developing Clinical Practice 2 60 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Applied Dental Therapy 20 credits
    • The World of Work and the Dental Team 10 credits
    • Final Year Research Project 30 credits
    • Developing Clinical Practice 3 60 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy BSc in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    You will build your knowledge and skill through a range of learning and teaching methods.

    Lectures, seminars, tutorials and e-learning are a core part of your formal learning. Self-directed study also plays a vital part and you’ll keep a reflective portfolio and your own personal development plan.

    Clinical dentistry is our focus throughout the course and you’ll be developing your professional and personal attributes from the outset.

    The School of Dentistry benefited from a major refurbishment in 2017 and is undertaking ongoing improvements to our resources. Facilities include clinical skills classrooms, where you develop and hone your skills before using them in practice, and three-dimensional virtual reality trainers which give tactile feedback. The School is a world leader in the development of this facility.

    The dental hospital provides outstanding facilities for education and patient care. Local demand for dental treatment at the hospital and our outreach clinics ensures that you gain broad and extensive clinical experience.

    We have an excellent Health Sciences Library with a team of librarians to support you.


    We have an international reputation for the quality of our comprehensive assessment processes. They incorporate: essays, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, extended critical research reports, clinical and practical tests. Verbal examinations are part of some assessments, as it’s essential you can communicate effectively too.

    By the end of the course, you will need to demonstrate competence to practise independently.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: ABB B in Biology. No General Studies or Critical Thinking

    3 A-Levels at Grade ABB which must include Biology, we consider all A-level subjects for the remaining grades, except General Studies or Critical Thinking. You will usually be expected to show evidence of study in the last 5 years.

    GCSE: A minimum of 5 GCSEs all at grade C and above to include Chemistry, Biology (or dual science), English and Maths.

    • Access to HE Diploma

      45 credits achieved at level 3, at least 30 credits must be at distinction level. Within those 30 credits there must be a minimum of 12 credits from Biology or health-related subjects + GCSEs, as above. We strongly advise you to contact the School to discuss the suitability of your chosen Access course.

    • International Baccalaureate

      34 points overall with three higher level subjects at grade 5, including Biology. English must be offered at higher or subsidiary level (grade 5 minimum if not offered at GCSE). Maths Studies is acceptable.

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      Students require a minimum of AABBBB, including Biology, English and Maths.

    • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

      ABB, including Biology. We consider all subjects for the remaining grades.

    • Other Qualifications

      Graduates: Applications are welcomed from graduates (with a minimum 2:2 or equivalent) in a science or healthcare related subject.

      Alternative Qualifications: Fully qualified dental nurses who have completed the University of Leeds Preparation for Higher Education course awarded with Distinction.

      For enquiries regarding any alternative acceptable qualifications please contact the admissions office at the School of Dentistry directly.

      Non-UK A-levels (other than Irish) are not accepted.

      Proof of English language proficiency will also be required if appropriate.

    Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

    Health and disclosure and barring screening

    All successful applicants will also need to pass health and disclosure and barringscreening.

    The University has a policy statement on students with criminal records. For the vast majority of students who are resident in the UK the record will be checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

    To ensure a safe and professional environment for patients, you’ll also need to meet other requirements, including screening for communicable diseases.

    It is a Department of Health requirement that all healthcare workers who come into contact with patients should not be infectious carriers of Hepatitis B, C or HIV viruses and should accept vaccination against Hepatitis B.

    We advise all candidates to seek vaccination with their medical practitioner against Hepatitis B viruses before starting the course because they will have early contact with patients.

    The School will organise an immunisation schedule for students who have not already completed a successful course of vaccination before enrolment.

    Applicants who have been immunised by their medical practitioner will be required to provide documentary proof of immunisation on registration. Simple blood tests will be required to confirm that students are not a carrier of the Hepatitis B or C viruses.

    Dress and personal appearance

    The School of Dentistry has a dress policy to promote a clinical, professional appearance within our premises and outreach facilities.

    Your clothes and personal appearance must match public expectations of a professional person.

    Professional code of conduct

    Dental professionals have to adhere to a professional code of ethics to maintain their registration with the GDC.

    As a student, you will be expected to demonstrate that you have the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a dental professional – this includes applying the principles of professionalism to your studies and training at Leeds Dental Institute as well as your personal and social life. The GDC has published guidance on professionalism (“Student Fitness to Practise” and “Standards for Dental Professionals”) which you can find on the GDC website.

    The General Dental Council (GDC)

    The GDC is the regulatory body for dental professionals in the UK. All dentists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians, dental hygienists, dental therapists and orthodontic therapists must be registered with the GDC to work in the UK.

    The GDC is also responsible for checking the quality of all dental and Dental Care Professional (DCP) education and training courses which lead to registration.

    Alternative entry

    We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

    Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

    Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.


    This course is not presently open to International Students due to restrictions in clinical training placements.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 7.5 in listening and speaking, plus not less than 6.0 in writing and reading..

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    The application closing date for Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy is the 15th January in order that all high quality applicants have time to apply in the year preceding entry (e.g. for entry to the course in September 2018, the UCAS deadline is 15th January 2018). It is unlikely that the course will be available in UCAS Extra.

    Interviews for this course will take place on the 15th and 16th February 2018 only.

    Personal statement

    Our personal statement advice can be downloaded here. This tells you what we look for in this part of your application.

    Deferred entry

    You’re welcome to postpone your start date by 12 months, if you want to. This won’t affect how we judge your application, but you do need to tell us in advance, in your UCAS application. If you don’t do this, but ask for a deferral later, we may not agree to it.

    Equal opportunities

    The School of Dentistry operates an equal opportunities policy and supports widening participation. Whilst some health conditions and disabilities may prevent admission, the University takes a positive view and tries to meet the needs of all students. You can find University equality policies on the Equality Service website.

    Selection process

    The main stages in our selection process are:

    1. Evaluation of academic entrance requirements
    2. Assessment of application, taking into account academic and non-academic criteria
    3. Interview, made up of multiple mini interviews (MMI)
    4. Offer


    The School will be holding multiple mini interviews for our undergraduate courses on the 8th - 16th February 2018. Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy applicants will be interviewed on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February 2018.

    We cannot offer other dates outside this period. If you’re unable to attend your allocated multiple mini interview, we may be able to change your appointment to another day or time during the interview period, but this is not guaranteed.

    We interview through multiple mini interviews (MMI), instead of traditional panel interviews. In multiple mini interviews you move around a series of interview stations. At each station, you undertake a task or answer a few short questions, for which you are scored. The scores at each station are independent of the other scores. Afterwards your scores are computed to give us your overall score and ranking.

    The multiple mini interviews help us to assess your attitudes, communication skills, empathy, analytic skills and ethical reasoning, attributes that are in accordance with the NHS Constitution values-based recruitment. Some stations are held in clinics, so you also see our working environment. Most applicants tell us they find the multiple mini interviews a positive experience.

    Admissions policy

    School of Dentistry Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    Additional cost information

    Sensible shoes
    These should be plain, flat leather or synthetic shoes that fully enclose the foot. Peep toes and sling backs are not permitted. Approximately £40.

    DentSoc (School of Dentistry's social society)
    £30 for Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy.

    Travel expenses
    No set costs but students are expected to pay their own travel costs within Leeds and between Leeds and Bradford. Transport to Hull is provided. [Student bus passes are available to purchase]

    Exam resits
    There will be a charge if you are taking a resit. As the charges change, please see the additional costs webpage on the University website for more details.

    School Funding Information

    The School will fund the following:
    - Uniforms
    - Full Library access
    - Lockers / Padlocks
    - Occupational health
    - Disclosure & Barring Checks
    - Travel expenses to Hull Placement

    *Although the School does provide these services free of charge to the student, should you miss an appointment or lose an item such as a padlock or part of your uniform, you will be charged for this. Full details of any charges will be made available to you in the Student Handbook, which is issued to you at the start of term.

    Costs are subject to change throughout the course. However, you will be informed if this is the case.

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    Workforce planning reports have predicted that demand for dental hygienists and therapists is expected to rise and significantly exceed supply. The GDC in 2013 removed the barrier preventing patients from having direct access to selected groups of DCP including dental hygienists and dental therapists.

    Dental hygienists and dental therapists are now permitted to provide dental treatment within their scope of practice without a prescription from a dentist. These changes have helped to ensure employability for dental hygienists and dental therapist in the future, extending scope of practice and providing long term job satisfaction.

    Most starting dental therapy posts in hospital or community dental services are advertised at Band 6 salary level on the NHS pay scale. New graduates who take up positions within a general dental practice can usually expect to earn salaries equal to Band 6 or up to 30-50% higher.

    Careers support

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Study abroad and work placements

    You'll work with patients in a range of settings – at the dental hospital, in the community, at outreach clinics and through hospital placements.