Peninsula Dental School

BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene with Integrated Foundation Year

The BSc Dental Therapy and Hygiene with Integrated Foundation Year is designed for applicants who wish to study Dental Therapy and Hygiene but who are not currently appropriately qualified for entry to year one of the undergraduate course. The course equips you with the scientific knowledge and skills needed to become a confident, critically self-aware, independent learner ready for the challenges of higher education. The course may be particularly of interest for qualified Dental Nurses.

First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.

Plymouth ranked #1 best UK university for dentistry

Our dentistry courses scored 100 out of 100, making them number 1 in the UK in the Guardian's league table of the best universities in 2024.

Award-winning contribution to dental training and community care

We recently received recognition at Times Higher Education Awards 2023 for our continued work to provide dental care and training.
The pioneering work of the Peninsula Dental School and the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise won the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category at the awards ceremony. It is recognition of the efforts of more than 100 staff and 400 students working and studying with the University, and in communities across Devon and Cornwall.
Dental dentistry students practicing 

Key features

  • The integrated foundation year provides an opportunity to study the biomedical and life sciences which underpin the contemporary clinical BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene programme in dedicated facilities with expert staff, before embarking on year one of the BSc course. 
  • Prepare for patient-centered shared care by learning in an inter-disciplinary team alongside students from biomedical sciences, medicine and dental therapy and hygiene.
  • Your learning will be supported by dedicated study skills sessions and academic tutors, helping you get the most from your studies.
  • Specialist modules will give you the opportunity to choose your own areas of interest to study further.
  • By meeting the relevant entry requirements at the end of your foundation year, you will have the opportunity to progress onto a pioneering, clinical course with state of the art facilities provided by the established Peninsula Dental School Enterprise (PDSE), a Community Interest Company (CIC).
  • Applications are particularly welcomed from qualified Dental Nurses looking to advance their careers by training as a dual qualified Dental Therapist and Hygienist.
  • The integrated foundation year is specifically designed to make the transition to a BSc as smooth as possible, with dedicated learning outcomes tailored to your profession. You will also have the opportunity to experience the assessment methods you will encounter in years one, two and three. 

Course details

  • Foundation year

  • Core modules

    • Learning Skills for Dentistry (BDT003)

      This module is designed to underpin learning in other modules, equipping students with the skills required to succeed at University level study. It will provide opportunity to acquire generalizable skills and help students to become effective independent learners.

    • Infection, Immunity and Therapeutics (BHCS001)

      This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and the human immune system. Students will learn the fundamental biology relating to bacteria, helminths, viruses and fungi. And also develop an understanding of how our immune system has evolved to combat infection. The module will also explore methods to control microbial contamination and therapeutic strategies to prevent disease.

    • Current Developments in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BHCS002)

      This module examines the role of science in addressing key contemporary issues in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences. The module aims to take an integrative approach, aiming to develop in students both a critical appreciation of the ways in which issues in Human Biology can be approached and resolved, and to develop an understanding of the skills and attributes needed for effective study of such issues at undergraduate level.

    • Molecules to Cells (FMD001)

      This module introduces key concepts involved in cell regulation including genetic inheritance, metabolism and protein expression. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling. Cellular organisation within different tissues will also be outlined, enabling students to recognise links between structure and function. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Introduction to Human Physiology (FMD002)

      This module will provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Using example systems, it will emphasise relationships between structure and function and examine homeostatic regulation in these systems. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Interdisciplinary Learning and Team Based Learning (Enquiry learning) (FMD004)

      This module is designed to enable learners to develop key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams. Students will be encouraged to work with their colleagues to manage tasks and tailor learning according to their own particular discipline

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Dental Therapy Hygiene Foundation Year Programme Spec 23 24 4660

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


Please note the following information concerning entry requirements for this course: 
  • None of the typical offers listed below are necessarily the threshold for interview selection. Other factors including the number of applications received may influence the threshold for interview selection.
  • Applicants for this course must not meet the Level 3 and GCSE grade requirements for the three-year Dental Therapy and Hygiene course (B750). However, if you only meet some elements of the three year programme, for example the GCSE but not the Level 3 requirement, you would be considered for the foundation course.
  • We will only consider an application from each candidate for either Dental Therapy and Hygiene with Foundation Year or Dental Therapy and Hygiene. Offers will not be made for both programmes.
Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects: 
  • English Language
  • Mathematics 
  • One Science subject – awarded in either Chemistry, Biology, or Physics or Combined Science
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications or experience as outlined below:
Experience in lieu of Level 3 entry requirements
At least 2 years in practice experience as a qualified and registered Dental Nurse (proof may be required at the time of application). Applicants must have 2 years’ experience at the point of application, in addition to an A Level in Biology at grade C or above.
A Level
CC at GCE A Level, which must include A-Level Biology.
We are only able to consider Level 3 qualifications completed within five years of the start of the application cycle. For example, qualifications completed since 2019 would still be valid when applying in September 2024.
BTEC National Extended Diploma
Grades Distinction, Merit, Merit in a predominantly science subject area. However, we strongly advise applicants to complete a National Diploma in addition to an A-Level in Biology as below, rather than a National Extended Diploma award. 
BTEC National Diploma
Grades Distinction, Merit from a Science related subject, in addition to an A-Level in Biology at grade C. 
City & Guilds Extended Diploma in Dental Nursing 
Grade Distinction in addition to an A Level in Biology at grade C. 
Access to Higher Education Diploma
Pass a 60 credit Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject, such as Science, Combined Studies, Natural Sciences, or Nursing.
To include 45 Level 3 credits, with 15 graded Merit and 30 grade Pass.
Applicants applying with an Access to Higher Education Diploma must also have completed an A Level in Biology at grade C.
International Baccalaureate
24 overall with grade 4 or above in a Higher Level science. Other subjects to include English, Mathematics and one Science subject.
Passes in Science subjects.
International Applicants
If you intend to practice in your home country post-graduation please ensure you check with the nations’ dental council before committing to study with us. Individual requirements are often not very transparent and you should confirm whether our degree is transferable overseas before submitting an application.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To confirm whether your qualification will be considered, please contact
All teaching at our school is in English, so if you are an international applicant you must have a suitable English Language qualification. If you are unsure whether your English Language qualification is suitable, please contact
The University will no longer accept the IELTS indicator (online test). All applicants will have to take the IELTS test at an approved centre.
Selection and admissions process
Applications should be made through UCASby the published deadline. This is typically the 15th January. 
All decisions on applications are made by the Admissions Advisory Panel, which consists of academics, clinicians and senior members of the administrative team.
The University of Plymouth Medicine and Dentistry Admissions Team process applications as follows: 
1. Shortlisting for interview– Applicants are considered for interview based on relevant academic qualifications alone. We do not currently consider personal statements or work experience when selecting for interview
The Admissions Advisory Panel consider many factors when choosing who will be invited to attend an interview, including the number of places available on the course and the number of applications received, alongside the academic profiles of all of our applicants
2. Interview – Successful applicants are invited to attend an interview process. We use Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) as the format for our interviews, and full details can be found on the Medicine and Dentistry selection and admissions process page.
Following interviews, candidates are ranked based on the score achieved and the top performing applicants are offered a place on the course
3. Offer – Offers are made via UCAS. Within all offers, candidates are required to complete a series of health and police checks, full details of which are communicated to firm offer holders by the Admissions Team.
Practising as a doctor requires the highest standards and we take seriously our commitment to only enrol and teach students with the integrity required of the profession. Full details can be found on our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.
Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £18,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page:  Faculty of Health additional costs.

How to apply

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications for this programme must reach UCAS between 07 September 2023 and 31 January 2024 – 18:00 (UK time).
The UCAS code for the Faculty of Health is P60 PLYM.
For more information contact the Admissions Team:
Admissions Team
Faculty of Health
The John Bull Building
Tamar Science Park
Derriford Dental Education Facility

Explore our facilities

You will be taught across a number of locations in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro in our  Dental Education Facilities. From progressive clinical spaces to Simulated Dental Learning Environments, you will benefit from exceptional facilities throughout your course. 
Virtual tour
Take a virtual tour of our fantastic facilities, including our lecture theatres, cafe, learning resource centres and much more.

Student and graduate experiences

Joseph Burchell, Dental Therapy and Hygiene Graduate
Joe's positive experience of studying BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene at Plymouth has left him keen to encourage more males to apply.
"Plymouth offers a modern and unique way of learning, with a large emphasis on integration. You learn alongside Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) students throughout, working together as a team to offer a holistic approach to patient care. I was aware dental hygiene and therapy was a female-dominated career but finding out I was the only male dental hygiene and therapy student of my cohort was quite surprising. However, I integrated well and we all supported each other. Working so closely with BDS gave us the opportunity to make friendships across the courses and this is what made Plymouth stand out to me."
Ruby, a first year Dental Therapy and Hygiene student, talks about what inspired her to join the course and what it's like studying at Plymouth.
"Studying at Plymouth is great because the Dental Therapy and Hygiene course and Dentistry course are closely integrated. This team working approach to learning is really useful as working as part of a team is an essential part of the dental profession."

Community engagement and research

Find out more about Peninsula Dental School's community engagement programmes and staff research.

Dental Outreach Team - two student dentists smiling with a teddy bear in a dental mask

Dental Outreach Team
Engaging directly with participants and service users in a unique and meaningful way.

Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC - students giving a talk

Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC
​PDSE is guided by the need to fulfil its ‘community interest statement’ which sets out its mission and reason for existence as a company.

Dental research, man in lab coat.

Our research
Our oral health and disease research brings together laboratory scientists, health service researchers and practitioners.