Skip to content

Dental Nursing (CertHE) Part time

At Cardiff you can study for an HE certificate in Dental Nursing at the only School of Dentistry in Wales.

Book an Open Day

Course overview

This course aims to provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable you to work competently as a registered dental nurse in a wide range of clinical areas. The course encourages the holistic care of patients and supports you to understand and work within the boundaries of your role.

A fundamental element of the course is to promote professionalism and team working as a dental care professional ensuring you work within the General Dental Council Standards for the Dental Team.  

Distinctive features

The integrated course aims to provide the underpinning knowledge which will enable you, as a student dental nurse, to develop work-based clinical skills. These skills will complement the academic knowledge acquired.

On acceptance to the course, you will be allocated a clinical placement.  In a typical week you will normally spend 2 days in a clinical practice.


Applying for 2019 or 2020

UCAS codeDirect entry
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration2 years
ModePart time
Typical places availableThere are typically 20 places available.
Typical applications receivedTypically, the School receives 40 applications.

Entry requirements

64 points from 2 A levels or a minimum of 56 points from one A-level at Grade C and two A/S levels at Grade C.

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.

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.

64 UCAS tariff points from 2 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Dentistry admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.


At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

All applicants must have a minimum of four GCSEs (or their equivalent). These qualifications must include English or Welsh Language at a minimum of grade B or grade 6 and three other GCSEs in any subject at a minimum of grade C or grade 4. Candidates currently working in a dentistry related environment with proof of substantial work experience (2 years +) may be invited for a pre-course interview to discuss entry on to the course, if they do not meet all of the academic qualification criteria stipulated. BTEC: equivalence to 64 Tariff points

  • BTEC National Certificate (12 units):DM (Old Quals)
  • BTEC National Diploma(18 units):MM (Old Quals)
  • BTEC Pearson National Diploma Level 3:MM (64 Tariff Points)
  • BTEC Pearson National Extended Diploma Level 3MPP (64 Tariff Points)
  • BTEC Pearson National Foundation Diploma Level 3D (72 Tariff Points)
  • BTEC Pearson 90-Credit Diploma (QCF)DD (72 Tariff Points)
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma in Healthcare or Science:60 Credits
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma at Grade C in Core plus one A level at Grade C

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

This course does not currently accept students from outside the UK/EU.

Additional costs

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.

Course structure

This is a part-time two-year course; integrated study days with practical clinical placements.

  • approximately 40 study days
  • directed self-learning
  • for a minimum of two days per week
  • tutorials in clinical placements and at study days.

The course consists of nine modules (to the value of 120 credits) which will include a Work based Learning  Portfolio of Experience carrying 20 credits, all at Level Four of the Credit Qualifications Framework Wales. All modules are compulsory.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

You will complete five modules in the first year; all modules must be passed in order to progress to the second year.


Year two

You will continue to undertake one day academic study in clinical placement.

There is also an opportunity in the second year for you to spend some clinical time in the University Dental Hospital. All modules must be passed in order to graduate.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

You will attend study days including lectures, tutorials, group-work and self-directed learning at University Dental Hospital, at Cardiff University’s Heath Park Campus. You will gain hands-on clinical experience in the clinical skills room, using phantom heads.

Two days per week are spent in clinical placement, either a general dental practice or the University Dental Hospital in the Heath Park in Cardiff.

All students will be rotated to ensure they experience the full scope of clinical practice.

How will I be supported?

All students are allocated a personal tutor and dedicated clinical supervisor who will support you throughout the course, monitoring general progress, discussing relevant issues and providing advice and guidance.

Peer-led group meetings are an integral part of each module.  Students will meet as tutor groups to discuss a range of educational issues and engage in a variety of group activities throughout the course.


Feedback is provided on all assessments taken during the academic year.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways:

  • Class tests
  • Clinical supervisor assessments
  • Completed risk assessment
  • Practical observation
  • Tutor assessments
  • Written assignments
  • Observed structured clinical examinations
  • Student reflective accounts
  • Practical element
  • CPR/Medical Emergencies Simulation

You will undertake both formative and summative assessments.  Formative assessment is designed to facilitate effective learning through the receipt of feedback on performance, indicating how improvements can be made.  It does not count towards your overall mark.  Summative assessment is used to indicate achievement of the course’s intended learning outcomes and counts towards your overall mark.  Feedback is provided on all assessments taken.

All students complete a mandatory Preparing for Clinical Practice Induction Programme covering the knowledge framework of the core curriculum topics.  You will be assessed before your clinical placement to ensure you are safe to enter the clinical environment.


What skills will I practise and develop?

By fully engaging in this course, you will develop the knowledge and clinical skills required for dental nursing.


Career prospects

Registered Dental Nurses can work in the primary and secondary care setting.  You can work to gain extended clinical duties such as dental radiography and impression taking.  There are potential opportunities to pursue careers in dental fields such as hygiene, therapy, dental technology or even dentistry.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.

Data from Unistats is not yet available for this course.


Next Undergraduate Open Day

Saturday 26 October




Get in touch

Applying for 2018 or 2019