Dental hygienists work closely with other members of the dental team. A dental hygienist can carry out treatments such as scaling and polishing, oral health promotion and preventative fissure sealants for both adults and children. Our aim is to educate professional Dental Hygienists eligible for unsupervised clinical practice (under the prescription of a Dentist) integrated within dental teams.
Studying at the only dental hospital in Wales you will have the opportunity to serve and manage a diverse group of patients with a wide range of dental disease.
Clinical skills are developed in the School’s state of the art clinical skills laboratory, a facility that closely simulates the real clinical experience, allowing you to prepare and practice for patient care. You will have the opportunity to train alongside undergraduate dental therapists, and dentists learning the same skills. This will support your understanding of how your role fits the dental team environment in preparation for when you qualify. You will be taught by a dedicated team of academic clinical staff and consultants within the dental hospital as well as clinical staff working in the primary care environment.
The School of Dentistry is located in the University Dental Hospital on Cardiff University’s Heath Park campus, a 53-acre site shared with the University Hospital of Wales. With around 100 undergraduate students per year, we are still a relatively small dental school. We facilitate a friendly and supportive sense of community that helps ensure that our students succeed. As evidence of such the NSS 2017 found that 94% of our students agreed that staff were good at explaining things.
Our students have one the best employability records amongst the UK dental schools. In 2017, 100% of our undergraduates were in employment 6-months post qualification*. Key destinations include primary dental practice, hospital dental practice, academic or research posts. You will be equipped with all the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to prepare you for the working environment of dental hygiene. On graduation, you will be registered with the General Dental Council.
*Unistats Source: Destinations of leavers from HE record
This course does not currently accept students from outside the UK/EU.
You will benefit from early clinical exposure in year one
In year two you will have the opportunity to attend clinical placements at local outreach dental clinics, providing treatment in situations closely allied to the general practice arena
Integrated learning alongside other dental students
Integrated theoretical and practical components of learning, teaching and assessment
We are the only dental school in Wales.
|Next intake||September 2020|
|Typical places available||Please contact the school for more information.|
|Typical applications received||Please contact the school for more information.|
CC including Biology or Human Biology with (where applicable) a pass in the practical element of the A level. Please note, General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted.
The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
DMM in BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Medical), to include Biology and Human Biology.
30 points to include 17 at Higher Level with 5 in Biology or Human Biology. You will require 4 in Standard Level English if you do not hold GCSE English at grade B or grade 6.
A score of at least 7.0 overall with no less than 6.0 in all other sub-scores.
Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE/IGCSE English Language or Welsh (First) Language.
Other accepted qualifications
Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.
You will require a minimum of five GCSEs/IGCSEs with 4 at grade C or 5/4. The GCSEs must include GCSE/IGCSE English Language or Welsh (First) Language at a minimum of grade B or 6.
UK and EU students (2020/21)
A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available for this programme. Further details are available on our NHS funding pages.
Students from outside the EU (2020/21)
An NHS placement is a required part of this course. The NHS only makes placements available to students who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.
Course specific equipment
You do not need any specific equipment.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We offer two closely allied programmes: a Diploma in Dental Hygiene (two year programme) and a BSc in Dental Hygiene and Therapy (three year programme), both of which are modular, running in parallel for their first two years.
Throughout the programmes the teaching and implementation of professionalism is critical. You will be taught aspects of law and ethics in dentistry as well as the practicalities of dental treatments, and to recognise the importance and necessity of your lifelong and professional development.
Your opportunity to engage and motivate patients and provide contemporary clinical treatments make dental hygiene a stimulating career.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.
During your first year you will study biomedical sciences, human disease subjects and oral disease and its prevention. An introductory module to clinical practice takes place in term two with the aim of preparing you for your first patient contact in term three.
During year two your course subjects will include dental radiology, oral medicine, and dental public health. The focus will then turn to periodontology (gum disease) and its clinical treatment. During this year you will also be managing your own patients under supervision.
In year two you will also have the opportunity to attend clinical placements at local ‘outreach’ dental clinics, providing treatment to the dental public in situations closely allied to the general practice arena. In some of these areas you will work alongside dental students in a teamwork approach to patient care.
Learning and assessment
How will I be taught?
Teaching on the programme is integrated, so you will learn the scientiﬁc and pathological processes underlying oral and dental disease at the same time as you acquire the clinical skills to manage patients appropriately. We use a variety of methods to enrich your learning experience. These include lectures, small-group seminars and tutorials, direct clinical teaching and e-learning packages. You will be encouraged to research topics and on occasions to present work to your peers.
Knowledge, skills and professional attitudes are assessed both formatively and summatively throughout the course, using a range of assessment tools. Assessment tasks include written examinations and assignments, clinical case reports, practical skills tests, projects, portfolios, competency assessments, online assessments, oral presentations and clinical examinations.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
How will I be supported?
You will receive the support of personal tutors based at the School of Dentistry. When on placements, you will be supported by an experienced clinical lead.
General communication will be delivered via Learning Central, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, to which all students have access. Notes from lectures and other course material, as well as online assessments, will be available on Learning Central. Our SMS Service also allows important information to be sent directly to mobile phones.
The School of Dentistry operates an inclusive curriculum policy. This means that, for most academic assessments, reasonable adjustments can be made in line with recommendations from Student Support. High professional standards are expected, and although reasonable adjustments will be met as far as possible, the School will need to consider the requirements of the General Dental Council. If you have concerns regarding adjustments you may need, we are happy to discuss the nature, implications and potential solutions as part of the pre-application process.
Formative feedback is provided following assessment tasks and during clinical encounters both verbally and as digitally recorded written feedback. Students are encouraged to use personalised feedback to inform their future learning. Assessments at each level are scheduled at appropriate stages, and are identifiable within an assessment blueprint.
How will I be assessed?
The assessment schedule is designed to demonstrate that you have:
attained the standards required by Cardiff University for the award of a Diploma of Higher Education in Dental Hygiene;
- achieved the required level of competency to become an independent practising dental hygienist/therapist having met the registration standards expected by the General Dental Council (GDC).
This will be measured across four domains identified by the GDC: clinical, communication, professionalism, management and leadership (Preparing for Practise 2015).
For further information please visit the GDC website: www.gdc-uk.org
Assessment methods (2017/18 data)
What skills will I practise and develop?
- Clinical Skills. You will develop the clinical skills required to graduate as an independent practising dental hygienist.
- Team-working. You will undertake a variety of group-based activities, working in pairs and alternating between operating and assisting. This develops your ability to work collaboratively. We ensure that you work closely with the wider dental team, including: NHS consultants, dental care professionals, dental nurses, dental technicians and administrative staff.
- Communication skills. You will develop the ability to communicate effectively throughout the course, from formal lectures to interaction with individuals from different backgrounds. You are expected to demonstrate this ability through a commitment to a reflective practice ePortfolio.
- Self-directed learning. You are expected to commit a substantial amount of time to self- directed learning, using the vast information resource provided. Your ability to drive your learning and development will be vital in continued personal and professional development.
- Information technology. Skills will be developed through Computer Aided Learning, Word Processing, Statistical Packages, Presentation software, information skills and the computer-based patient booking and electronic record system SALUD.
Upon graduation, as a result of engaging fully with the course, you will be able to:
- fulfil the requirements and curriculum presented by the General Dental Council;
- understand the main disciplines relevant to the role of dental hygienists;
- promote team working skills with an appreciation of working in a multi-cultural environment;
- deal with clinical situations and the management of patients;
- contribute 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.
Careers and placements
Our students have one the best employability records amongst the UK dental schools, in 2017 100% of our undergraduate students were in employment 6-months post qualification. Key destinations include Primary Dental Practice, Hospital Dental Practice, Academic or Research posts.
On qualification, clinicians register with the General Dental Council and are able to work in various areas of the dental sector: general dental practice; community dental clinics; teaching hospitals and dental schools as well as opportunities in the armed forces.
- Specialist dental practice
- Community dental practice
- Medical research posts
In years two you will have the opportunity to attend clinical placements at local outreach dental clinics, providing treatment to the dental public in situations closely allied to the general practice arena. In some of these areas you will work alongside dental students in a teamwork approach to patient care.
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