a207 - Oral and Dental Health Sciences BSc

Oral and Dental Health Sciences (Dental Hygiene and Therapy) BSc Honours

UCAS Code: A207 (full time: 3 Years)

Course Overview

This practical degree equips you with the professional skills you'll need for a career as a dental hygienist and therapist.

Student and patient

At a Glance


UCAS Institution Name and Code

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Degree Awarded
BSc Honours

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Course Duration
3 Years

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Entry Requirements
A Level: ABB
IB: 34 points

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As a dental hygienist and therapist, you will help patients avoid and manage oral disease by promoting good oral health and providing treatments.

You will work independently on patients, in close liaison with a dental surgeon. For example:

  • evaluating the dental and medical history of patients and planning their care
  • extracting primary teeth and restoration of teeth
  • taking impressions and radiographs

This degree begins with a foundation in biomedical sciences, providing a basis for clinical work as the course progresses. Topics include:

  • physiology
  • craniofacial anatomy
  • pathology of oral disease

Your lecture-based learning continues throughout the degree, with advanced topics such as human disease, managing medical emergencies, and health promotion. 

Clinical work forms a large part of your study programme, helping you develop professional skills for your future career. In your first year, you will begin clinical training. From your second year, you'll be treating patients at Newcastle Dental Hospital and other clinics, under supervision of our expert dental team. 

You can also undertake elective study opportunities abroad.

Highlights of this degree

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Course Details

Modules for 2017 entry

Modules for 2019 entry

Please note

The programme information below is for 2019 entry. Programmes may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Programme information for 2020 entry will be published here as soon as it is available (end of May 2020).

Our degrees are divided into Stages. Each Stage lasts for an academic year.

Stage 1 - Foundations of Clinical Practice

You will study:

  • professionalism
  • dental, oral and craniofacial anatomy
  • physiology
  • oral diseases
  • dental materials science
  • interpersonal communication skills
  • behavioural sciences

You begin to learn clinical skills during term 3, in a simulated clinical environment using manikins.

At the end of this Stage, clinical and communication skills are assessed by:

  • in-course simulated competency assessments (INSCA’s)
  • an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE)

This ensures you have developed sufficient skill and understanding in order to be safe to progress to direct patient care in Stage 2.

Stage 2 – Development of Clinical Practice

Stage 2 begins with an intensive clinical introductory course, and continues with clinical attachments to a variety of clinics within the Newcastle Dental Hospital.

During the clinical attachments, you learn specific skills relating to patient assessment, such as clinical examination and history taking.

You also learn and develop cognitive skills, such as:

  • the evaluation of clinical information
  • the ability to appraise critically specific clinical findings
  • the ability to assess and evaluate new techniques and treatment strategies against current standards

Running alongside the clinical attachment is lecture-based teaching in:

  • human diseases and the management of medical emergencies
  • pharmacology
  • aspects of dental health education
  • health promotion and disease prevention education
  • diet and nutrition
  • clinical investigations
  • treatment plan delivery
  • professional standards and expectations

The Stage culminates with assessments including the presentation of case reports with focus on prevention of dental disease and the management of a case of early periodontal disease.

In addition, students are required to have demonstrated a number of core clinical skills through completion of in-course clinical competency assessments.

Students present group project work with a focus on behavioural management and promotion of good health with respect to human nutrition.

Additional knowledge-based learning outcomes are assessed, and students present a critical review of a scientific paper which forms part of the in-course assessment.

An optional elective period at the end of Stage 2 gives you the opportunity to organise a few weeks studying outside Newcastle. In recent years this has taken students all over the world.

Stage 3 - Enhancing Clinical Practice

You experience more varied clinical attachments and extend your experience.

You attend restorative and paediatric diagnostic clinics and develop enhanced skills, for example, in:

  • diagnostic skills
  • radiography
  • management of patient anxiety
  • extraction of the primary dentition
  • current opinion in dentistry

Your final examinations include:

  • assessment of extended knowledge
  • critical reasoning and analysis
  • case presentations based on case reports and unseen standardised case presentations

You also take an in-course open book essay with a focus on professionalism/team working/ethics.

Throughout the course your clinical progress will be monitored by review of your portfolio data, supported by reflective logs, self-review and personal development planning.

    Entry Requirements

    All candidates are considered on an individual basis.

    If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our additional entry requirements web pages to find out which other qualifications are considered. 

    The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

    Undergraduate Admissions Policy

    See our Admissions Policy (PDF: 71 KB).

    See further policies related to admission.



    Dental Hygiene and Therapy careers

    If you successfully complete this degree, you will be qualified to begin working as a dental hygienist therapist.

    Being a dental hygienist therapist is a rewarding career that helps people take care of their oral health and avoid disease.

    Duties include:

    • evaluating the dental and medical history of patients and planning their care
    • providing preventative oral care
    • non-surgical management of periodontal (gum) disease
    • managing plaque-related diseases
    • extracting deciduous teeth and restoration of teeth
    • taking impressions and radiographs
    • the application to teeth and gums of certain medicaments such as fluoride and fissure sealants
    • teaching of oral hygiene methods
    • providing advice on diet and smoking cessation
    • scaling and polishing

    Please note: to practise in the UK, dental hygienist therapists are required to enter their names in the Register for Dental Hygienist Therapists, which is kept by the Registrar of the General Dental Council. There is a registration fee and annual retention fee for this registration.

    What our graduates go on to do: employment and further study choices

    See what our recent graduates went on to do and view graduate destinations statistics. These statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation. Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates.

    The destination data is available in varying levels, beginning with the University and moving through Faculty and School down to individual course reports. This final level may give you some useful ideas about possible options after your course or a course you are considering.

    Careers and employability at Newcastle

    Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.

    96% of our 2017 UK-domiciled UG/PG graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    85.5% of our graduates are in graduate level employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through an initiative called ncl+. This enables you to develop personal, employability and enterprise skills and to give you the edge in the employment market after you graduate.

    Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers.

    Fees & Funding



    Applying to Newcastle University through UCAS

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    UCAS codes for Newcastle University

    • institution name - NEWC
    • institution code - N21

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