BSc Dental Therapy and Hygiene - Curriculum overview
This course is carefully structured to ensure that as a dental therapy graduate, you will possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for safe practice preparing you for direct access and entry into your first clinical role. 
Core knowledge and understanding is acquired via small group study of enquiry‑based learning sessions, plenaries, clinical sessions and workshops. More advanced knowledge and understanding is obtained by independent study, computer aided learning and group/team work. You are expected to undertake independent study and demonstrate increasing independence in your learning as the programme progresses.
Effective teamwork is essential to the efficient delivery of dental care. Most of your learning will take place in small groups, which will prepare you for working in a multi-professional team. Time for independent study is built into the timetable enabling you to take advantage of the wide array of resources available to support your learning.
Four main teaching themes are vertically and horizontally integrated across the course. These are:
  • applied dental therapy and scientific knowledge
  • team working
  • clinical practice
  • professional development
Your learning is supported by the use of study guides through enquiry based learning sessions. These guides develop your knowledge of oral health and oral disease and its causes by working through patient scenarios. These sessions take place in a highly supported, blended learning environment incorporating e-learning, plenaries, workshops, tutorials and self-directed learning. 
Whether you are at the main teaching centre at the University of Plymouth or engaged in clinical practice at one of the Dental Education Facilities across the south west of the peninsula, there are extensive e-learning, library and other facilities which include videos, CDs, DVDs, books, publications, access to electronic journals and facilities for telematic conferencing.
BSc Dental Therapy and Hygiene  -  Year Two

Years 1-3

Year 1
Year 1 covers aspects of normal structure, function and behaviour and the scientific basis of these. It also focuses on dental health, prevention of dental disease and the underlying principles of personal and professional development. You will be working in the Simulated Dental Learning Environment (SDLE) in week one and on clinic treating patients by term three.
You will 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. By the end of Year One you will be familiar and comfortable with the clinical and simulated dental environments.
Year 2
In Year 2 you build on your foundations with common dental problems, as well as disease mechanisms being considered in much greater depth. Year 2 will see you develop your clinical skills up to your full scope of practice, then applying what you have learnt to the realities of primary care dental practice. This includes furthering your knowledge in paediatric dentistry and attending clinical sessions dedicated to the treatment of children.
You’ll also be expected to undertake additional clinic skills training in basic life support in the Clinical Skills Resource Centre.
They’ll also be a strong emphasis on developing your professionalism and communication skills, through continuous critical and reflective practice, as well as taking part in a community based inter-professional engagement project.
In a typical week, as part of a blended learning approach you may be expected to attend:
  • plenaries and lectures; whole group sessions delivered by experts to signpost, support and build on your self-directed study
  • small group enquiry case-based learning
  • two days clinical work treating primary care patients
  • workshops and simulated dental learning experience on phantom heads
  • interactive life sciences practical sessions studying biomedical sciences.
As you progress through the course your clinical activity will increase and you’ll gain extensive exposure to patients who will display a variety of oral diseases, as well as systemic conditions. This will underpin the development of your clinical skills and allow you to think and perform safely in the clinical environment. 
Year 3
Year 3 of the course 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 in the NHS. The culmination of learning will allow you to present multi‑disciplinary case presentations, which are patient presentations designed to demonstrate that you are capable and confident in the planning and delivery of all procedures necessary to provide optimal oral health care for patients.
Clinical activity will extend to four days a week in your final year and much of this will be integrated with final year dental students, working alongside other team members as you would in general practice.