Dental Therapy and Hygiene (BSc)

Our Dental Therapy and Dental Hygiene course will enable you to qualify to practise as a hygienist or a therapist as it is recognised by the General Dental Council.

Dentistry students using equipment

The course is delivered in the only dental School in Wales which houses state of the art training facilities. It is located in the Dental Hospital at the University Hospital of Wales.

Our School has been ranked 1st in the Guardian University Guide 2016 and the Times Good University Guide 2016, making it one of the best places to study as a dental care professional in the UK.

Employment prospects are excellent, with typically 100% of graduates in employment within six months.

NB For information regarding funding, please check with the relevant funding body. Please note that the English and Welsh bursary support schemes for Dental Therapy and Hygiene and Dental Hygiene programmes remain under review for 2017 entry. We will publish an update on the revised arrangements as soon as they become available.

Key facts

UCAS CodeB752
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
AccreditationsGeneral Dental Council (GDC)
Typical places availablePlease contact the school for more information
Typical applications receivedPlease contact the school for more information
Typical A level offerThree A-levels at grade B or above. One of these must be a biological based subject (Biology, Human Biology or Human Physiology and Health) and excludes General Studies. All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs (or their equivalent). These qualifications must include: English or Welsh Language at grade B or above Four other GCSEs in any subjects at grade C or above.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWelsh Baccalaureate with a Grade A in the Core, plus two A levels at grade BB one of which should be in a Biological based subject (Biology, Human Biology, Human Physiology and Health) and excludes General Studies. All applicants must have a minimum of five GCSEs (or their equivalent). These qualifications must include: English or Welsh Language at grade B or above Four other GCSEs in any subjects at grade C or above.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark


Admissions tutor(s)

Mrs Victoria Ocock, Course Administrator

Dr Matthew Locke, Admissions Tutor

Dr Robert Mcandrew, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in June 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Renowned for excellence in teaching and research, our School of Dentistry offers outstanding facilities and a friendly atmosphere, and is based in the Dental Hospital, which is part of the University Hospital of Wales. This means the School has a close working relationship with the NHS.

Only eleven students are admitted to our BSc in Dental Therapy and Dental Hygiene each year, so competition for places is keen.

As the only School of Dentistry in Wales, there is a seamless link with the Dental Service Group of the Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust based in the University Dental Hospital, which provides the majority of the clinical experience you will gain during your studies, providing advice and treatment for patients from Wales and from neighbouring parts of England.

Visit the Cardiff School of Dentistry website for more information about modules and credits.

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Biomedical SciencesDE710220 credits
Oral Diseases and Their PreventionDE710420 credits
Introduction To Clinical Dentistry BScDE710630 credits
Dental Radiography (Year 1)DE710510 credits
Clinical Practice Year 1 BScDE710720 credits
Human DiseasesDE710320 credits

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Patient ManagementDE720420 credits
Dental Public HealthDE720910 credits
Dental Radiography and Radiology 2DE720110 credits
Periodontology Clinical PracticeDE721140 credits
Oral Medicine & Oral PathologyDE721020 credits
Adult Restorative Clinical PracticeDE721220 credits

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Preparation for PracticeDE730520 credits
Paediatric Clinical PracticeDE730430 credits
Research ProjectDE730130 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

The School of Dentistry provides a high-quality, evidence-based, research-led, innovative and student-centred educational experience. The School aims to deliver modern, efficient and effective programmes that produce high calibre graduates who can make a positive impact on society by enhancing patient care and advancing dental science.

The three-year BSc starts in September and you will be assessed through exams, assignments, project work and presentations, as well as your clinical performance and competency.

In 2015, 100% of the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation.

Employers included a variety of NHS Trusts and higher education institutions.


  • Specialist Dental Practice
  • Community Dental Practice
  • Medical Research


3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available


Applications received

Typical applications received

Contact the School for detailed information


QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark


Overview and aims of this course/programme

Dental Care Professionals (DCP) are defined as those persons who are involved in the practice of dentistry in its widest forms but who are not qualified with a degree in Dentistry, e.g. BDS. Using appropriately trained Dental Therapists has been shown to improve dental treatment standards, productivity and efficiency, reduce the clinical workload for the dentist, reduce costs in training the team and improve the distribution of the workforce. Dental Therapists/Hygienists are trained and competent members of the dental team providing complementary dental treatment for patients. On qualification, individuals are registered with the GDC and are able to work in the primary care General Dental Service, district general hospitals and teaching hospital environments as well as in the community – based dental services, including Dental Access Centres.

This degree programme is designed to produce graduates with a sound understanding of basic sciences, human diseases and patient care, and with the clinical competence to undertake a wide range of appropriate and agreed dental treatments to a high standard. The graduate Therapist is increasingly sought after by the dental profession to enhance the provision of dental care for the population and by academic institutions for research and teaching

What should I know about year five?

.         Attendance is expected for all aspects of the programme, including lectures and seminars. Students will be required to complete either a self-certificate or provide a signed medical certificate in respect of any sickness during the programme. Any unauthorised absence may be viewed as failure to engage with the programme and could constitute grounds for exclusion from study.

·         Students must comply with all local policies and procedures when undertaking clinical placements within the University Dental Hospital, and similarly when attending placements in the community. Students should be dressed smartly when engaged in clinical activity, and should behave in a professional manner at all times.

·         In addition to timetabled sessions, students are expected to undertake a substantial amount of self directed study.

·         Students are expected to be aware of the Cardiff University policy on ‘Plagiarism and Unfair Practice'.

·         Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on ‘Dignity at Work and Study’.

Students are expected to aware of the Cardiff University policy on ‘Fitness to Practice.

How is this course/programme structured?

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required


What should I know about year three?

·      graduates will have acquired intellectual knowledge and practical skills combined with a desire for further learning that will enhance their dental career

·      developed an attitude of enquiry and interest centred on the acquisition of knowledge

·      the promotion of inter-professional education and development

·      a comprehensive academic background for those who intend to undertake further study and research

·      therapists/hygienists who question scientific knowledge and adopt a self-critical approach to the practice of dentistry

·      the intellectual skills required for future personal and professional development 

What should I know about the preliminary year?

The BSc (Hons) programme is a modular programme and delivered by the School Dentistry. Students will be exposed to, and participate in a wide range of teaching and learning activities including, lectures, seminars, group work, practical laboratory sessions, and clinical training. There is a substantial element of directed and self-directed learning as well as enquiry-based learning that allows students to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and professional values and behaviours for safe and successful completion of the programme. The distinctive features of the programme include:

·       Integrated theoretical and practical components of learning, teaching and assessment;

·       Early clinical exposure in Year 1;

·       Extensive clinical training in modern clinics and primary dental care education units;

·       Research project in Year 3;

·       Excellent learning environment with support from personal tutors and the Student Services;

What should I know about year one?

The assessment schedule is designed to demonstrate that students:

·         have attained the standards required by Cardiff University for the award of a Bachelors degree with Honours, and

·         have achieved the required level of competency to become an independent practising dental surgeon having achieved the standards expected by the General Dental Council (GDC) for registration.

This will be measured across four domains identified by the GDC namely: clinical, communication, professionalism, management and leadership (Preparing for Practise 2012). Knowledge, skills and professional attitudes are assessed both formatively and summatively throughout the programme to enhance and support the learning experience, using a range of assessment tools. These assessment tasks include unseen examinations, written assignments, case reports, practical skills tests, projects, portfolios, on-line assessments, oral presentations and clinical examinations.

Formative feedback is provided at all stages of the programme and students are encouraged to use their personalised feedback to inform their future learning. Assessments at each level are scheduled at appropriate stages throughout the programme to meet the assessment needs of the students, and are identifiable within an assessment blueprint.

Other information

At all times, students will receive the support of personal tutors based in the School; while on placements they will be supported by an experienced clinical education team.

     Much of the general communication will take place using Learning Central, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, to which all students will have access. Notes from lectures and other course material, as well as online assessments, will be available on Learning Central. Communication will also take place using our SMS Service, which allows important information to be sent to students directly to their mobile phones. Students will also have access to the Cardiff Portal which provides a single point of access to online information and resources.  This includes email, network filespace, library resources such as the library catalogue, e-journals and online databases, and also Learning Central. These resources are also available via the Cardiff University mobile apps. Students will also receive information skills training throughout their five years on the course including: information research skills and using a reference managing tool.

            The School of Dentistry operates an inclusive curriculum policy for all its programmes. For most academic assessments reasonable adjustments can be made in line with recommendations from the Student Support Unit. High levels of professional standards are expected of students at all times, and although reasonable adjustments will be met as far as possible, the School will need to consider the requirements of the General Dental Council in their deliberations. If a student has concerns regarding the adjustments they may require, the School would be very happy to discuss the nature, implications and potential solutions as part of the pre-application process.

Distinctive features

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  • to fulfil the relevant requirements and curriculum laid down by the General Dental Council
  • understand the main disciplines relevant to the role of dental therapists/hygienists within the healthcare field
  • promote team working skills with an appreciation of working in a multi-cultural environment
  • be able and confident in dealing with clinical situations and the management of patients
  • contribute immediately to the dental workforce
  • demonstrate critical independence, intellectual integrity and practical skills in the context of safe clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate competency at the range of procedures identified by the GDC

How will I be taught?


Admissions tutors

Mrs Victoria Ocock, Course Administrator

Dr Matthew Locke, Admissions Tutor

Dr Robert Mcandrew, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
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