Course details

A Levels See below Other entry requirements
UCAS code DENU03
Duration 3 years
Fee Look up tuition fee and additional costs
Related subjects Dentistry Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

Any questions?

Admissions Secretary
School of Clinical Dentistry
Telephone +44 (0)114 215 9307

Course description

The Higher Education Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy is a 27-month course that is full time.

Our graduates receive professional accreditation by the General Dental Council as dental hygienists and dental therapists.

Our teaching is driven by world-class research. You'll learn about the new techniques and advances that are rapidly taking place in the field of dentistry. Throughout the course we'll teach you the theory alongside the clinical practice, so you'll develop an understanding of the science behind the clinical application. We believe in training the dental team as a whole, so you'll learn together with dental students in a way that prepares you better for practice.

Our students find the course provides them with opportunities to explore ideas, apply what they have learnt and to achieve their best. This is reflected in the National Student Survey where we consistently achieve 100 per cent overall student satisfaction.

Our combination of world-class research, integrated teaching, first-class facilities and significant clinical experience produces well-rounded dental professionals.

We send all our second-year students on a series of placements in primary care settings in Yorkshire and the East Midlands. It's one of the most rigorous placement programmes in the UK. You'll work in a variety of dental practices and contribute to primary care dentistry within a community. It will sharpen your skills, expose you to a wide range of patient types and procedures, and give you a head start to your career.

The course begins with a range of lectures, seminars, interactive tutorials and shadowing on clinics. Topics covered include the human body in health and disease, and law, ethics and professionalism. We'll also introduce you to a variety of study skills to help you thrive at University. You'll begin clinical skills training straight away to develop the skills to treat and manage patients. You'll learn about oral disease, and health promotion and education. You'll also benefit from our 3D simulation suite where you can practise dentistry in a virtual reality environment.

The second year is mainly clinical. You'll treat your own patients and work in specialist departments within the dental hospital, including paediatric dentistry, implantology, oral surgery and radiography. We'll also give you the skills to treat patients directly without a dentist's prescription.

All our students plan and deliver their own scheme to promote oral health for a targeted group of people. Previous schemes were developed in primary schools and residential care homes. Towards the end of your course we will focus on important workplace issues, to give you the best possible start to your career.

When you undertake clinical training in NHS hospitals you must adhere to local NHS policies including guidelines on behaviour and dress and the need to be 'bare below the elbow'.

How to apply
Entry is in April. You need to apply directly to the School of Clinical Dentistry, not through UCAS. The closing date for applications is the end of September.

Future course provision
Our next expected intake is scheduled for April 2021. Please see the School of Clinical Dentistry website for up-to-date information.

Modules: what you study and when

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
Five GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C or above to include Mathematics, English Language and a science subject. Plus one of the below:
A Levels Two A Levels to include one in a relevant science subject (preferably Biology) at grades CC
BTEC Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma in a relevant science subject (preferably Biology) grade MM or MMM. To include at least 90 credits or 540 GLH in relevant science subjects at grade M
Other qualifications Level 3 Dental Nurse Qualification plus two nationally recognised post-qualification certificates
Level 3 Dental Nurse Qualification plus one A Level in a relevant science subject (preferably Biology) at grade C
Level 5 Foundation Degree in Dental Nursing
Access to Higher Education Diploma: 60 credits overall with 45 at Level 3 at grade Merit including 36 Level 3 credits in relevant science subjects (preferably Biology) with grade Merit
Degree in a relevant science subject
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • Any changes to course provision may affect our entry requirements
  • If your first language isn't English you may need to take a language test - for example IELTS 7.0 with 6.5 in each component
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

School of Clinical Dentistry website

First year

Core modules:

Basic Oral Health Sciences and Clinical Practice

Second year

Core modules:

DENU03 Level 2 Study

Third year

Core modules:

Advanced Oral Health Sciences and Clinical Practice

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Learning and assessment

These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 16%
Independent study 30%
Placement 55%

Exams/tests 45%
Coursework 32%
Practical 24%

School of Clinical Dentistry

Our teaching is driven by world-class research. You'll learn about the new techniques and advances that are rapidly taking place in the field of dentistry.

We believe in training the whole team together. Our dentistry and dental hygiene and therapy students learn alongside each other in a way that helps to prepare them for practice. Our combination of integrated teaching and practical experience produces caring, confident professionals.

Most of our teaching takes place in the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, which is attached to the School of Clinical Dentistry. We also have links with the Medical School and the local community.

Our students find that our courses provide them with opportunities to explore ideas, apply what they have learnt and achieve their best. This is reflected in the National Student Survey where we consistently achieve 100 per cent overall student satisfaction.

We're committed to delivering an exceptional student experience. Our staff are involved in the quality assurance of teaching in Sheffield and other universities, and some have gained national recognition. Prestigious awards include: Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) Mature Educator, and National Teaching Fellow.

A200 Bachelor of Dental Surgery, DENU03 Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy
Our placement programme for students is outstanding. You'll learn the value of evidence-based dentistry and how to apply it to clinical practice. Many of our staff are internationally respected for their research. Some are general dental practitioners with years of clinical experience.

B750 Bio-dental Science and Technology
We have expertise in diverse fields including anatomy, oral microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, tissue engineering, neuroscience, medical sociology and dental materials.

We carry out world-class basic and translational research in all of these areas. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 92 per cent of our work was rated internationally excellent or world-leading. Our strengths in these disciplines means that this research-led course covers topics that are at the forefront of healthcare research.

School of Clinical Dentistry website

What our graduates do

A200 Bachelor of Dental Surgery
Most graduates apply for a one-year Dental Foundation (DF) training programme. This provides you with a supportive environment where you can continue to develop your skills and experience to the point where you become an independent practitioner. Successful completion of the DF year enables you to work in an NHS practice. All of our students who graduated in July 2018 were successful in gaining a DF training place.

After their DF year, most graduates find work in general dental practices, in the community dental service or sometimes in the armed forces. Some choose to undertake further specialist training to enable them to become speciality dentists, hospital or academic consultants or to become researchers. A number of our graduates choose to return to the school later in their careers to teach.

DENU03 Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy
Our graduates can register with the General Dental Council and work in dentistry as dental hygienists and dental therapists. Career opportunities exist in local NHS and private dental practices, hospital services, community dental services and the Ministry of Defence. Others go on to research and teaching roles within universities or hospital trusts. There are also opportunities within multinational organisations which specialise in healthcare and pharmaceutical products. You may even consider 'topping up' your qualification to a degree, studying for a postgraduate qualification, or studying to become a dentist.

B750 Bio-dental Science and Technology
Our graduates develop the knowledge and skills to work in translational research both in industry and the NHS. As this degree combines a biological science with a healthcare discipline, you'll be well placed for a research career in emerging areas of basic and applied health research, the sociology of healthcare, bioactive materials, advanced manufacturing and virtual reality simulation. If you decide to carry out clinical dental training, this degree provides an excellent foundation to support an academic career.

Student profile

Bradley Wilson - Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

"Sheffield's approach to learning encourages me to reach my full potential. The well balanced curriculum enables me to apply theoretical knowledge to my clinical practice. With exceptional support networks, I have been able to develop both personally and professionally. Studying at Sheffield has been the best decision for me."

Bradley Wilson ,
Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

Disclosure and Barring Service
All applicants are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure check. For further information, see page 203.

Health clearance
To comply with Department of Health requirements, you must be health screened and immunised, as appropriate, before you can treat patients. This includes checking that you’re not an infectious carrier of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV and that you do not have tuberculosis. A positive test doesn’t necessarily exclude you from dental hygiene and dental therapy training. For more information, see: undergraduate/clinical_req

You’ll also need to demonstrate immunity to hepatitis B to complete your training in Sheffield so it is important that you know as early as possible, ideally before the September application deadline, whether you do have this immunity. We suggest you consult your GP now as they may be able to offer you this vaccination. Your GP may charge you for this. You should also let us know about any serious health issues or support requirements you have. We can then assess your suitability for the course and for your future profession, providing appropriate support where necessary.

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Admissions Secretary
School of Clinical Dentistry
Telephone +44 (0)114 215 9307

Department website >

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