Dental student shows teeth mould to patient

Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy Higher Education Diploma

School of Clinical Dentistry

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You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry. 2021-22 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

Male dental student treats patient

A 27-month full-time course (with an April start date) enabling students to gain professional accreditation as dental hygienists and dental therapists.

We recognise the importance of training the dental team together so you’ll learn alongside dental students in a way that prepares you for practice.

You’ll also benefit from our outreach training programme. It’s one of the most rigorous placement programmes in the UK. Treating patients of all ages and backgrounds in real work environments sharpens your skills and gives you a head start in your career.

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

Our teaching is driven by world-class research so you’ll learn about the new techniques and advances that are rapidly taking place in the field of dentistry. Our research is multidisciplinary with a mix of biomedical, engineering and social scientists working together for the advancement of clinical excellence.

Modules

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 directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy Higher Education Diploma
UCAS code: DENU103
Years: 2021

At the beginning of the first year you’ll develop your understanding of the anatomy and physiology relevant to dentistry. You’ll also be introduced to a range of study skills to help you thrive at University.

After the first month you’ll begin clinical skills training so you can treat patients. You’ll be introduced to the concept of putting patients’ needs first, as well as careful and thorough instrumentation. Alongside this you’ll visit and assist on clinics to help build your confidence and communication skills in a clinical environment – we place great emphasis on helping you become a caring, competent and confident member of the dental team.

Throughout the first year you’ll also develop your knowledge and understanding in other subject areas including law, ethics and professionalism, health promotion and education and oral disease. Our course is very dynamic and within no time you’ll be treating patients under close supervision in the Dental Hospital.

Highlights

Virtual reality operative dentistry

During your first year you'll benefit from our simulation suite, where you can practise dentistry in a virtual reality environment. This state of the art, innovative technology provides real-life visual, auditory and tactile sensory feedback and will enable you to learn, develop and improve your operative dentistry skills. This fun learning and teaching opportunity is a unique feature of our programme and complements the ‘traditional’ training you will undertake in the clinical skills learning environment on ‘phantom heads’.

Integrated learning and teaching

At Sheffield we recognise the importance of training the dental team together. During your first year you’ll complete some of your clinical skills training alongside our dentistry students. You’ll also attend a series of integrated lectures. This integrated teaching approach will help prepare you better for practice.

Themes

Currently our first year learning and teaching is divided up into the following themes:

  • Study Skills and Personal Development
  • Dental Foundation
  • The Human Body in Health and Disease
  • Law, Ethics and Professionalism
  • Pre-Clinical Skills I
  • Health Promotion and Education I
  • Clinical Practice
  • Oral Disease I
  • Pre-Clinical Skills II
  • Pre-Clinical Skills III
  • Health Promotion and Education II
  • Dental Radiography

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

You'll learn through lectures, clinical skills learning environment work, clinical sessions and tutorials. A strong emphasis is also placed on directed self-learning.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Many of our staff are internationally respected for their research. Some are general dental practitioners with years of clinical experience.

Assessment

Throughout the course, you will be assessed by a variety of methods including written and practical examinations, assignments and an extensive project. As part of your final examination you will present a patient for whom you have provided an extensive range of treatments.

You'll also have to demonstrate you clinical competence in a range of key clinical skills expected of a qualified dental hygienist and dental therapist. Through our broad range of assessment methods you will develop a wide collection of transferable skills.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

These are the minimum requirements for our April 2022 intake that must be met by the deadline for receipt of applications. Pending qualifications, due after the deadline for receipt of applications, will not be taken into consideration.

  • 5 GCSE at grade C / grade 4 to include Mathematics, English Language and Science.

Plus one of the following options:

  • Level 3/4 Dental Nurse Qualification plus 1 A Level in a relevant Science subject (preferably Biology) at grade C.

Post-qualification certificates in Dental Nursing can strengthen an application but cannot be used to meet the minimum requirements.

  • Level 5/6 Dental Nurse Qualification.

  • 2 A Levels to include one in a relevant Science subject (preferably Biology) at grade CC.

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (60 credits with 45 at Level 3 at grade Merit) including 36 Level 3 credits in relevant Science units (preferably Biology) at grade Merit. 

An Access to Higher Education Diploma can also be used in lieu of two GCSEs, however you must still have GCSE grade C / level 4 in Mathematics, English Language and Science.

  • BTEC National Diploma at grade MM including 90 credits or 540 GLH of relevant Science subjects (preferably Biology) at grade Merit.

  • 2:2 degree in a relevant scientific subject.

We will consider other national and international qualifications on an individual basis. If your qualifications aren’t listed here, please contact us to discuss your application.

Applicants with international qualifications are also encouraged to submit a certificate of comparability from UK NARIC with their application form.

Proof of all qualifications will be required.

Clinical requirements

Our School also has a series of clinical requirements for clinical students. Before accepting an offer of a place, you must confirm you will comply these requirements.

Personal qualities and experience

You must possess a high level of manual dexterity and demonstrate attention to detail. You must also demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, and have the ability to work as a team, think logically and respond positively to feedback. You must have a genuine interest in the care and treatment of patients, be empathetic and act without discrimination.

You are strongly advised to spend some time observing dental care professionals to ensure you have a good understanding of the profession.

The School offers a free online course via Future Learn which explores the impact dentistry has on our lives. You may find it useful to complete our discover dentistry course before you apply.

We also seek to select dental students with values and behaviours which align with the values of the NHS Constitution.

These are:

  • Working together for patients
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Improving lives
  • Respect and dignity
  • Compassion
  • Everyone counts

 The NHS core values form part of the NHS constitution. You are advised to take a look at the NHS constitution before you apply.

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
See main listing

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language 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 (the test should have been completed no more than two years before the start date of our course).

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

School of Clinical Dentistry

School of Clinical Dentistry building

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 high scores for 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.

Our placement programme for students is outstanding. You'll learn the value of evidence-based dentistry and how to apply it to clinical practice.

Dentistry students are based at the School of Clinical Dentistry, situated within the University campus to the west of Sheffield. The school has a very close working relationship with the adjacent Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, a specialist facility offering dental services to people in Sheffield and surrounding areas.

Facilities

We aim to provide a stimulating interdisciplinary environment, with access to first-rate facilities. In our virtual simulation suite you can practice dentistry in a virtual reality environment.

We have dedicated research facilities and laboratories for tissue culture, molecular biology, materials science, histology-microscopy and electrophysiology, all with dedicated technical support.

We continually seek to improve our range of state-of-the-art facilities to meet the needs of our student and research community.

School of Clinical Dentistry

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


School of Clinical Dentistry

92% percent of our research was graded as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The University of Sheffield is within the top 100 in the world for clinical and health subjects

Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings 2021

The University of Sheffield is one of the top 10 places in the UK to study dentistry

The Guardian University Guide 2021


Graduate careers

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.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Additional funding

If you're studying one of our health care courses, you could be eligible for funding from the NHS.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've made an application to study with us, we may invite you for an interview. If you are then successful in receiving an offer, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply

Applications for our next scheduled intake in April 2022 will open later in the year.

We anticipate the deadline for receipt of applications to be around September 2021. Selection days are likely to take place in November 2021.

If you would like to receive email updates on our April 2022 intake, including notification of applications opening, please register your interest.

To apply for a place on our Higher Education Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy course, you'll need to complete and submit an online application for Alternative Routes and Programmes at the University of Sheffield. Applications are not made through UCAS.

It is in your best interests to submit your application as early as possible. This will enable us to clarify any details necessary to assess your application fully.

Please read the following sections carefully to find out more about the application process.

Step 1: Apply online

Read the following guidance before you fill out our online application. If you don’t read this guidance, you may jeopardise the success of your application.

You should only submit an application if you will meet the minimum entry requirements by the deadline for receipt of applications. Pending qualifications, due after the deadline for receipt of applications, will not be taken into consideration. Your application will be automatically rejected if you don’t meet the minimum entry requirements by the deadline for receipt of applications.


Create an application account

You’ll need to set up an application account online. You'll need an email address in order to do this.

You'll have the option to save and return to your online application as many times as you like. Once you’ve filled in all the mandatory sections you’ll be able to submit your application.

Step 2: Attend our selection day

If your application is short listed, you’ll be invited to attend a selection day.

During the selection day you will have a structured interview and take part in an interpersonal skills test.

Your interview will be conducted by two members of staff and will last approximately 15 minutes. All applicants will be asked the same questions.

The questions may cover:

  • motivation for the course
  • motivation for the profession and knowledge of current issues
  • evidence of independent thought
  • evidence of ability to apply knowledge
  • relevant experience, commitment and values

After your interview, you will undergo an interpersonal skills test. This will involve a group task.

During our selection day you will also have the opportunity to find out more about the innovative aspects of our course, tour the School and its first class facilities, and meet some of our current students. Further information will be provided nearer the time.

When all applicants have attended a selection day, a selection panel will meet to discuss every application in detail. The selection panel will take into account the observations made from the structured interview and the interpersonal skills test. The selection panel may also refer back to your personal statements and qualifications.

Our assessment methods are fair, valid, and applied consistently.

Step 3: Receive an offer

Once you have a attended our selection day we will work quickly to let you know if your application has been successful. We will write to you with details of an offer.

All offers are initially conditional and include the receipt of a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and health clearance. Academic conditions may also be applied to your offer.

Once you have accepted our offer of a place we will be in touch with details on how to prepare for the start of our course. There will also be the opportunity to get to know your new classmates via our private Facebook group and attend an applicant open day.

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2022-2023

    Applications for our next scheduled intake in April 2022 will open later in the year.

    We anticipate the deadline for receipt of applications to be around September 2021. Selection days are likely to take place in November 2021.

    If you would like to receive email updates on our April 2022 intake, including notification of applications opening, please register your interest.

    To apply for a place on our Higher Education Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy course, you'll need to complete and submit an online application for Alternative Routes and Programmes at the University of Sheffield. Applications are not made through UCAS.

    It is in your best interests to submit your application as early as possible. This will enable us to clarify any details necessary to assess your application fully.

    Please read the following sections carefully to find out more about the application process.

    Step 1: Apply online

    Read the following guidance before you fill out our online application. If you don’t read this guidance, you may jeopardise the success of your application.

    You should only submit an application if you will meet the minimum entry requirements by the deadline for receipt of applications. Pending qualifications, due after the deadline for receipt of applications, will not be taken into consideration. Your application will be automatically rejected if you don’t meet the minimum entry requirements by the deadline for receipt of applications.


    Create an application account

    You’ll need to set up an application account online. You'll need an email address in order to do this.

    You'll have the option to save and return to your online application as many times as you like. Once you’ve filled in all the mandatory sections you’ll be able to submit your application.

    Step 2: Attend our selection day

    If your application is short listed, you’ll be invited to attend a selection day.

    During the selection day you will have a structured interview and take part in an interpersonal skills test.

    Your interview will be conducted by two members of staff and will last approximately 15 minutes. All applicants will be asked the same questions.

    The questions may cover:

    • motivation for the course
    • motivation for the profession and knowledge of current issues
    • evidence of independent thought
    • evidence of ability to apply knowledge
    • relevant experience, commitment and values

    After your interview, you will undergo an interpersonal skills test. This will involve a group task.

    During our selection day you will also have the opportunity to find out more about the innovative aspects of our course, tour the School and its first class facilities, and meet some of our current students. Further information will be provided nearer the time.

    When all applicants have attended a selection day, a selection panel will meet to discuss every application in detail. The selection panel will take into account the observations made from the structured interview and the interpersonal skills test. The selection panel may also refer back to your personal statements and qualifications.

    Our assessment methods are fair, valid, and applied consistently.

    Step 3: Receive an offer

    Once you have a attended our selection day we will work quickly to let you know if your application has been successful. We will write to you with details of an offer.

    All offers are initially conditional and include the receipt of a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and health clearance. Academic conditions may also be applied to your offer.

    Once you have accepted our offer of a place we will be in touch with details on how to prepare for the start of our course. There will also be the opportunity to get to know your new classmates via our private Facebook group and attend an applicant open day.