We offer this course at either our Southend or Colchester campus. This course is closed for January 2023 entry.
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 programme, 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 programme. This allows you to develop and enhance crucial skills that prepare you to care for patients and clients in the workplace.
The School of Health and Social Care is proud to work closely with our Service User Reference Group (SURG). SURG is made up of service users, carers, and volunteers who generously share their first-hand experiences of health and social care. We work collaboratively with SURG to design our courses to ensure that we truly are putting the needs of patients and clients at the heart of what we do. SURG are involved as part of our course application processes and often form part of our interview panels. This helps us to be confident that we are selecting the right applicants for the course and their future careers. SURG members also support the delivery of our teaching sessions and research activity, which means you’ll benefit from an insight into their lived experiences of living with a diagnosis, health condition, or circumstance. You’ll find that not only does your clinical knowledge expand, but your empathy, compassion and ability to advocate develops also. You can find out more about SURG by reading their blog here.
The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.
Dental Therapists fit for the future
Your development from Dental Hygienist to Dental Therapist will occur through flexible study, including attendance both at our Southend Campus or Colchester Campus (depending on your chosen Campus) and within a primary care-based placement. This will ordinarily be the existing workplace environment where you currently work as a Dental Hygienist (minimum 14 clinical hours per week).
You increase your clinical skills in a dedicated, state-of-the-art dental skills laboratory at the University, experiencing the academic rigour of a Bachelor’s Degree through structured learning that builds upon your existing knowledge.
Your academic study is integrated with other healthcare professionals to promote excellence and understanding of your role in general health. You benefit from small group teaching and personalised feedback and further develop the skills and competencies required of a Dental Therapist in the primary care environment.
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 programme is taught through flexible study including university and work based teaching, the student will continue to work in practice whilst studying.
Whilst this course is offered at both our Southend and Colchester campuses, we recommend that you consider which location would suit you best and apply for that campus. If you apply to multiple campuses, you will only have one interview. If you pass the interview and we are able to offer you a place, you will be offered your first campus choice if available. If that campus is full, you will be offered the other campus. This is the same for applicants who only apply to one campus.
Once your place is confirmed, requests to change campuses are not possible due to the restrictions on numbers.
The primary care based placement where you develop your skills, will ordinarily be an existing workplace environment where you currently work as a Dental Hygienist (minimum 14 clinical hours per week).
You will need to identify two clinical supervisors (clinical educators) who will support your learning within the placement.
DBS and Occupational Health Checks
This course requires 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. Please contact our DBS team or Occupational Health team if you have any questions in relation to these checks.
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. Further information about how to obtain an Overseas Criminal Record check can be found on the Gov.uk website.
As you may be aware, the UK government has now revoked legislation that requires all health and social care staff working in sites regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Whilst vaccination is not essential, we encourage our applicants and students to be fully vaccinated. Find out more about what this means for applicants to this course.