(FdSc) Foundation Degree of Science
Oral Health Science
University of Essex
University of Essex
Health and Social Care (School of)
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.
UK entry requirements
GCSE: Mathematics and English C/4. Acceptable alternatives to our GCSE Maths and English requirements are listed further down this page.
GCSE Science C/4 is also required if you are applying with a National Dental Nurse Certificate or Diploma in Dental Nursing.
Plus one of the following:
- A-levels: CC to include a core science (Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science or Physics)
- BTEC: MPP in a science-related subject.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma in a science-related subject - 45 level 3 credits at Pass or above.
- T-levels: Pass with E in core in a science-related subject
- National Dental Nurse Certificate or Diploma in Dental Nursing, along with:
- a minimum of two years' experience from either pre- or post-qualification employment (please list employment details carefully on your UCAS application); and
- GCSE Science C/4 – can be single Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics
If you are taking or have achieved any qualifications that are not listed here, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
GCSE/level 2 requirements
All applicants must have, or be working towards, acceptable level 2 mathematics and English qualifications such as GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.
- We can accept a number of OFQUAL regulated level 2 maths qualifications in place of GCSE Maths C/4, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or numeracy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma.
- If you do not require a Student visa and are either a first language English speaker or have a lived in the UK for over three years, we can accept a number of OFQUAL regulated level 2 English qualifications, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or literacy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma, in place of GCSE English C/4.
- If you have not listed a suitable maths or English qualification in your application this may form part of any offer given to you.
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. Please contact our DBS team if you have any questions relating to this.
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.
If you are shortlisted for interview, you will be invited to attend a compulsory interview via Zoom.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each component.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Mrs Beverley Bishop
Head of Birmingham School of Dental Hygiene and Therapy BCHC NHS Foundation Trust
Ms Emily Banks
Lecturer in Dental Hygiene and Therapy Cardiff University
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
- Develop professionals who are able to meet the current dental health needs of individuals and society Foster the habit of life long learning to enable continuing professional development to meet the future needs of patients and society
- Widen access to professional education so that individuals who aspire to become dental hygienists can practice as registered practitioners safely and competently
- Create flexible, inter-professional learning pathways to bridge the skill gaps of the NHS dental workforce while meeting the learning needs and aspirations of individuals
- Develop and sustain personal effectiveness by developing self awareness, confidence, autonomy and the habit of life long learning and reflective practice
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: An understanding of the complex nature of health care delivery, including the socioeconomic, political, legal and ethical influences
A2: An understanding of the theories, principles and concepts underpinning current professional activity
A3: An understanding of the political, cultural and professional issues that hinder and facilitate team work
A4: An understanding of the concept of risk and safety culture and the system of clinical governance as a quality system
A5: Linking the concepts and principles of CPD, staff development, clinical supervision, reflective learning as methods and strategies for personal and people development and in the context of clinical governance
A6: Understanding of research methods and research evidence pertinent to area of clinical practice
A1-A6 Face to face teaching to introduce material in a structured manner with opportunity for class discussion.
On-line learning of new material and on-line exercises to test understanding.
Individual assignment and group work, utilising inquiry based approaches.
A5 is supported by directed personal reflection on personal experience and through tutorial support and supervision
A6- is achieved through group work, two short exercises and a literature review
A1- A8 are assessed by course work
A1 and A2 are further assessed by written tests and OSCE
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Analyse professional practice/education/health care issues, informed by current development
B2: Use a range of skills, techniques, approaches and materials relevant to dental practice, informed by current thinking and policy, the profession's evolving evidence base and developments
B3: Resolve ethical and professional issues, making informed judgements on matters that are explicitly addressed within existing codes, standards and protocols
B4: Develop creative responses to problems and issues
B5: Practice in ways that draw on reflection of practice and responsibilities
B1 to B5 are achieved through a combination of group and individual activities.
Face to face teaching and WebCT are used to introduce new material and explore within a group setting and online discussion.
WebCT provides structured learning at the students own pace and enables the student to deepen and strengthen this learning through enquiry based learning
B1 to B5 are assessed by course work, MCQ, written tests, OSCE and a literature review
C: Practical skills
C1: Perform their role safety and competently with minimum supervision
C2: Demonstrate co-ordinated performance, and be confident in the delivery of care
C3: Take a leadership role in care delivery and within a specific team context
C1 to C3 are achieved through on-line problem based learning, practical demonstration and role play
C1 to C2 are assessed by OSCE
C1 to C3 are also assessed by work-based assessment
D: Key skills
D1: Able to write clearly and effectively and effectively present information verbally
D2: a) Use the Internet; b) Access data via library, professional bodies etc; c) Use audiovisual presentation tools and techniques
D3: Calculate medication dosage, calculate fluid intake and output
D4: Identify problems emerging from theory and practice
D5: Motivate and work within a team context, demonstrate an awareness of personal limitations and scope of practice, and take responsibility for ones own work
D6: Able to respond appropriately and effectively to feedback from staff supervision and guidance, able to plan work so it is submitted complete and on time and able to improve own performance
Demonstrate an aptitude for continuing to advance knowledge, understanding and skills in line with identified learning need
D1-D4 and D6 are achieved through on-line problem based learning, D5 is developed through practice based learning
D1-D4 and D6 are assessed by on-line assessment
D5 is assessed by work-based assessment