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Oral Health Science

Course overview

(FdSc) Foundation Degree of Science
Oral Health Science
University of Essex
University of Essex
Health and Social Care (School of)
Southend Campus
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.
Foundation Degree
Health Studies
Health Studies
Health Studies

One of the following:

A-levels: CC, including one core science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science or Physics)

BTEC Extended Diploma: MPP (in a science related subject)

Access to HE Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3 at pass or above (in a science related subject)

National Dental Nurse Certificate or Diploma in Dental Nursing (with a minimum of two years' experience). Two years’ experience as a dental nurse can be taken from both pre and post qualification employment – please list employment details carefully on your UCAS application.

In addition, all applicants require:

GCSE: Mathematics, English and Science at C/4 (GCSE Science can be single Science or one of the following: Biology, Chemistry or Physics)

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.

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall.

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

External Examiners

Mrs Diane Elizabeth Hunter
Dental Hygiene and Therapy Tutor
Miss Joanne Healy
University of Edinburgh
Lecturer in Oral Health Sciences

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The overriding aims of the curriculum are to:

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

The objectives are to:

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
Learning Methods: 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
Assessment Methods: 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
Learning Methods: 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
Assessment Methods: 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
Learning Methods: C1 to C3 are achieved through on-line problem based learning, practical demonstration and role play
Assessment Methods: 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 technique
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
Learning Methods: D1-D4 and D6 are achieved through on-line problem based learning, D5 is developed through practice based learning
Assessment Methods: D1-D4 and D6 are assessed by on-line assessment

D5 is assessed by work-based assessment


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: