BSc Oral Health Science

University of Essex
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available

Start dates
October 2023

October 2023

About this program

BSc Oral Health Science

Are you a registered Dental Hygienist who wants to register with the General Dental Council as a Dental Therapist? Do you want to develop your role within your dental team while maintaining the flexibility to continue to work in your current role as a Dental Hygienist?

There's never been a better time to train as you can now apply for a £5000 grant that you won't need to pay back! There is also an extra £3000 funding available depending on your personal circumstances. You can find more information about eligibility and how to apply on the HSC Scholarships and Funding page.

Our BSc (Hons) Oral Health Science is a full-time, one-year course designed to meet an identifiable need for Dental Therapists within your dental team. There is currently much interest in the future role of the Dental Therapist in the delivery of oral healthcare in the UK, and our course enables you to register with the General Dental Council (GDC). This course leads on well from the University of Essex FdSc Oral Health Science Program, or from a dental hygienist qualification obtained elsewhere.

Here at Essex, we have one of the largest portfolios of oral health science courses in the East of England, putting us in a strong position to provide you with excellent training and education. We offer courses that both commissioners and employers believe in, and our training integrates NHS values and principles, meaning that your abiding focus is on helping people.

People are at the heart of all we do, and students are involved in the appropriate treatment of patients from early on within the Program. This allows you to develop and enhance crucial skills that prepare you to care for patients and clients in the workplace.

The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.

Admission requirements

UK entry requirements

Please be aware that we are not able to accept applications for deferred entry for this course.

You should have:

  • current registration with the GDC as Dental Hygienist
  • evidence of your existing dental hygiene qualification
  • evidence of core training in or extended skills training in infiltration and ID block analgesia, dental radiography and dental impressions (if these competencies were not part of the applicant’s dental hygiene qualification)
  • current IR(ME)R CPD certification regarding dental radiography (as part of CPD cycle if appropriate)
  • for those students for whom English is not your native language, you would also need to successfully complete the IELTS testing with a score of 6.5 or above

Please note:

You must also have:

  • You must also have a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) - both of these are organised by the University. A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS Check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Year 1

  • Extending Oral Health Practice
  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Managing Oral Care of Children and Adolescents Part 1
  • Comprehensive Oral Healthcare Part 1

Final Year

  • Managing the Oral Care of Children and Adolescents Part 2
  • Comprehensive Oral Healthcare Part 2

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available, please visit the university website for more information.

Program delivery

  • Teaching methods including problem-based learning, tutorials, e-learning and seminar-based teaching
  • Teaching takes place with other health students to promote multidisciplinary learning and working
  • Communication and clinical skills are taught in our state-of-the-art laboratory
  • You undertake placements in six different clinical settings


  • Home/UK fee: £9,250
  • International fee: £25,000


Benefits to Dental Practices

Even for industry leaders, keeping pace can be a challenge. So when considering the latest investments, it can be easy to overlook your most valuable resource – your staff. Because above all, your patients need to know they’re in good hands.

Our course provides you with the opportunity to be closely involved in the professional development of a valued member of your team. Enrolling a student on our course will increase the clinical skill set available within your practice, putting you in an advantageous position in terms of skill mix in anticipation of changes in how dentistry is delivered in the future.

As the Program is taught through flexible study including university and work based teaching, the student will continue to work in practice whilst studying.

Professional accreditation

The General Dental Council quality assures and approves qualifications for registration, for the following registrant groups: Dentists; dental hygienists; dental therapists; dental nurses; clinical dental technicians; dental technicians; and orthodontic therapists.

Career paths

As a Dental Therapist, you will be a working as a Dental Care Professional in all sectors of dentistry. A Dental Therapist provides a range of restorative dental treatments to adults and children and the delivery of oral health care and advice. You will need a flexible team approach, high levels of manual dexterity, professionalism and a caring attitude. Good communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills will also be vitally important for you in this role.

97% of our School of Health and Social Care students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020).

On successful completion of this course you will be eligible to register with the General Dental Council (GDC), which is the statutory body for regulating dental professionals within the UK. The GDC monitors education, and our BSc’s curriculum has been designed to comply with the GDC documents Preparing for practice and Standards for Education.

About this institute

University of Essex

We are Essex: home to the ambitious and the inquisitive. We are proud to be top 39 in the Complete University Guide (2022), a past University of the Year (THE) and internationally recognised for Social Sciences. We're committed to two...

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Contact info

University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park
CO4 3SQ Colchester

Phone no: +44 (0) 1206 873333


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