Peninsula Dental School

BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene

This exciting programme is innovative and patient-centred and takes place in a supportive and research rich environment. You’ll mix with both dental and dental nursing students and learn within a variety of dental teaching clinics. You'll work within our state-of-the-art facilities, receiving the highest level of core skills and knowledge. You'll become skilled at communicating with patients and colleagues, preparing you for your future role as a healthcare professional.

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

  • Your learning will be integrated with dental students throughout the programme; this inter-professional approach to education will prepare you for working in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Benefit from a programme mapped against the General Dental Council's 'Preparing for Practice'.
  • Prepare for your future role as a healthcare professional.
  • Become skilled at communicating with patients and colleagues.
  • You'll be well prepared to approach clinical problems holistically, appreciating personal social dimensions as well as the biomedical basis of oral diseases.
  • Your clinical supervision is underpinned by a team of consultants in clinical dentistry in each of our Dental Education Facilities.
  • Extensive e-learning, library and other facilities which include videos, CDs, DVDs, books, publications, access to electronic journals and facilities for telematic conferencing.
  • Engage directly with participants and service users in a unique and meaningful way with the Dental Outreach Team
  • Benefit from the state of the art facilities provided by established Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE), a Community Interest Company (CIC).
  • Strong partnerships within the University and NHS.
  •  Read more about how we will support your learning

Course details

  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you'll explore the scientific basis of normal structure, function and behaviour, focusing on dental health, prevention of dental disease and the underlying principles of personal and professional development. You'll be introduced to the clinic and the Simulated Dental Learning Environment (SDLE) at an early stage, and gain insight into the importance of team working in dentistry as you integrate with other members of the team and work in small study groups. 

    Core modules

    • Integrated Dental Science 1 (BDT) (BDT411)

      This module introduces basic and clinical sciences and the principles of human disease prevention which underpin dental skills, the safe use of ionising radiation together with the properties and usage of biomaterials in dentistry.

    • Clinical Dental Practice 1 (BDT) (BDT412)

      This module provides DTH students with an introduction to clinical dentistry and the management of medical emergencies. It provides a gateway check point to ensure students are ready to commence providing safe dental care for patients.

    • Inter-Professional Engagement 1 (BDT) (BDT414)

      The module introduces students to community health & social care. Students will undertake a community engagement visit and work closely with a target organisation to understand the impacts of demographic variation and lifestyle issues on local people. The project will enable students to develop an understanding of the wider determinants of health, introduce core academic skills and develop societal and community awareness.

    • Interprofessional Learning 1 (HIPL400)

    • Professional Development and Lifelong Learning 1 (BDT) (BDT415)

      This module introduces students to reflective adult learning and assists with the development of professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to training in dental therapy. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BSc DTH programmes by presentation of written critical reflections and discussion.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year, you'll build on the foundations you've put in place so far - you'll consider common dental problems, as well as disease mechanisms, in much greater depth. You'll develop your clinical skills further and apply` what you have learnt to the realities of dental practice. 

    Core modules

    • Applied Dental Therapy Knowledge 1 (BDT521)

      This module enables students to achieve the level of knowledge of clinical and communication skills, professionalism and management and leadership skills required of a graduate entering primary care as a new Dental Therapy graduate. Topic areas include basic sciences as applied to dentistry, and knowledge of the comprehensive delivery of clinical dentistry including: restorative dentistry for children and adults; dental radiology; oral surgery; pharmacology and therapeutics; oral medicine; oral pathology; medicine and surgery applied to dentistry; preventive dentistry; dental public health; evidence-based dentistry; health & safety; communication skills; professionalism; law & ethics; and management & leadership.

    • Dental Therapy Inter-Professional Engagement 2 (BDT525)

      In year two of the programme, students are able to build on their learning from the year one inter-professional engagement project by focusing on a single community-based organisation within Devon and Cornwall. Students in small groups visit organisations to develop an understanding of how these organisations support particular community groups and/or individuals to adopt positive healthy lifestyles and how they help their clients/service users to overcome the social and organisational barriers that prevent them from achieving this.

    • Interprofessional Learning 2 (HIPL500)

    • Developing Clinical Practice (BDT526)

      This module is developing the students' essential range of basic dental skills needed for the safe practice of primary dental care by Dental Therapists and Hygienists. It provides training and assessment of dental skills competency in the simulated environment, accompanied by development of clinical skills to support of the students' first experiences of caring for patients.

    • Dental Therapy Professional Development and Lifelong Learning 2 (BDT527)

      This module supports students to further develop reflective adult learning skills and self-awareness and assists with the development of professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BSc DTH programme.

  • Final year

  • Your final year is devoted to furthering your clinical experience and is the final preparation for dental practice. You'll become much more confident with clinical situations, healthcare teams and the principles of practice. You’ll plan multidisciplinary case presentations, designed to demonstrate that you’re capable and confident in the planning and delivery of all procedures necessary to provide optimal oral healthcare for patients. 

    Core modules

    • Applied Dental Therapy Knowledge 2 (BDT631)

      This module enables students to achieve the level of knowledge of clinical and communication skills, professionalism and management and leadership skills required of a graduate entering primary care as a new Dental Therapy graduate. Topic areas include basic sciences as applied to dentistry, and knowledge of the comprehensive delivery of clinical dentistry including: restorative dentistry for children and adults; dental radiology; oral surgery; pharmacology and therapeutics; oral medicine; oral pathology; medicine and surgery applied to dentistry; preventive dentistry; dental public health; evidence-based dentistry; health & safety; communication skills; professionalism; law & ethics; and management & leadership.

    • Proficient Clinical Practice (BDT632)

      This module provides students with continuing clinical experience treating patients with more complex needs, working closely with dental students and dental nurses in the dental team.

    • Inter-Professional Engagement: Quality Improvement (BDT634)

      This module develops core academic skills, introduced earlier in the programme such as engaging critically with evidence, writing scientifically, and using appropriate sources of information. These skills are applied through a quality improvement project, in which students review the quality of clinical practice through the use of a clinical audit.

    • Interprofessional Learning 3 (HIPL600)

    • Dental Therapy Professional Development and Lifelong Learning 3 (BDT635)

      This module supports students to further develop reflective adult learning skills, self-awareness, evidence based practice skills and assists with the development of professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BSc DTH programme.

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 Programme Specification 2023 24 7242

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

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.
GCSE
Applicants need to achieve 6 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects: 
  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Two Science subjects - either GCSE Double Award Science or two from single award Chemistry, Biology, or Physics
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications as outlined below:
A Level
The typical offer is ABB at GCE A Level, which must include Biology. 
General studies at GCE A or AS level is not included in any offer.
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.
Dental Nursing Qualifications
  • A suitable National Certificate or Diploma in Dental Nursing. If you are unsure whether your qualification is suitable, please contact meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
  • A minimum of 2 A levels at grades BB, which must include Biology.
City & Guilds Extended Diploma in Dental Nursing
Grade Distinction + 2 A levels at grade AB (to include Biology and a second science out of Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Psychology). 
BTEC National Extended Diploma
Grades Distinction, Distinction, Distinction 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, Distinction, in addition to an A-Level in Biology at grade B.
Access to Higher Education Diploma
Pass an Access to Higher Education Diploma in a predominantly science subject area, meeting the following criteria: 
  • 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits, of which 15 level 3 credits must be in Biology or Human Biology
  • You must achieve Merit or Distinction in 33 level 3 credits, including the 15 credits in Biology or Human Biology
Other accepted qualifications
For information regarding all other accepted qualifications, including the International Baccalaureate, Scottish Advanced Highers and Irish Leaving Certificate, please contact the Admissions Team at meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
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 meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk
All teaching at our school is in English, so if you are an international applicant you must have one of the following English Language qualifications. If you are unsure whether your English Language qualification is suitable, please contact meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk:
If English is your first language, we will accept your home country’s equivalent providing it is at Level C1 or above according to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
Students whose first language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in the English language by achieving one of the following qualifications:
  • IELTS band 7.5 or above with at least 7.0 in each of the Speaking and Listening sections (taken within 12 months of entry). The University will no longer accept the IELTS indicator (online test). All applicants will have to take the IELTS test at an approved centre.
  • lGCSE or GCSE English Language (as a first language) grade A / 7. A supplementary statement confirming inclusion of the Speaking and Listening components will be required for IGCSE 0500 / 0990.
  • IB score of 6 at the ordinary level in English Language (as a first language). 
We know that university life is a challenge for any student but especially when you are a long way from home. You will find us friendly and supportive. We pride ourselves on being friendly and supportive, and have a nominated academic tutor to coordinate the induction and academic support provided to international students. International student advice also provide support and can assist you with any non-academic issues affecting international students. There are also student welfare support and counselling services, wardens and student health centres on hand if you need them.
Students who have an offer of a place should apply under for a Student (formerly Tier 4 General Student) visa. Further information is available on the UK Border Agency's website.
Selection and admissions process
Applications should be made through UCAS by the published deadline. This is typically 15 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.
Full details of our selection and admissions process can be found on our Medicine and Dentistry selection and admissions process page.
Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise
Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.
Re-sit applicants
Re-sit applicants are considered for this course, with the following requirements:
  • If you are applying with predicted grades, a minimum of BBC must be achieved on first sitting of A Level
  • Where BBC is not achieved on first sitting, applicants must re-sit the required qualifications and apply once suitable grades have been achieved
  • A Level or accepted equivalent qualifications must be completed in no more than 3 years of study, unless otherwise advised
  • A suitable qualification profile must be achieved on first re-sit attempt
We do not have an AS Level resit policy, however, full A Levels must be completed within the above timeframe.
For re-sit criteria of other qualifications, please contact the Admissions Team at meddent-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £25,000 £25,000
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
Plymouth
PL6 8BU
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.

People

This course is approved by the General Dental Council.