We offer the BSc (Hons) in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy for students wishing to train as a dental hygienist and dental therapist. Upon successful completion of the course and registration with the General Dental Council (GDC), you will be qualified to practise as both a dental hygienist and dental therapist.
Since July 2002, dental hygienists and dental therapists have been able to work in all sectors of dentistry including community dental services, hospital services, defence medical services, Personal Dental Services (PDS) and general dental practice.
This course aims to train Dental Care Professionals (DCP) who can work within a team to provide safe, effective oral care and treatment within the remit of a dental hygienist and dental therapist, doing so in a professional and caring manner. The course also recognises the importance and necessity of lifelong learning and professional development.
Graduates will be able to demonstrate the core skills, knowledge and learning outcomes required by the General Dental Council (GDC) and be capable of fulfilling the role of a dental hygienist and dental therapist in many different clinical settings.
In addition to being a competent clinician you will also be well prepared to embark on a career in research, regulation or as an educator.
Dental hygienists and dental therapists perform important roles within the dental team in preventing and treating disease in addition to promoting health. They require many similar clinical skills to a dentist and perform many of the same clinical treatments. They will carry out courses of treatment for patients, usually following examination by a dentist.
The School of Dentistry, in partnership with Leeds Dental Institute, is one of a few dental schools in the UK where the whole dental team (dentists, dental therapists, hygienists, technicians and dental nurses) train together. We emphasise teamwork to develop your communication, leadership and professional skills and, where possible, you'll train with students from other dental courses. The School is also at the forefront of research advances, which directly benefit our patients.
We're proud of the School's friendly atmosphere and good student-staff relations. The National Student Survey annually rates the School highly for overall satisfaction, our learning resources and the level of academic support.
As a dental student, you will have the opportunity to be a member of the Leeds University Dental Society (DentSoc), which organises social and sports events, visits and talks throughout the year.
The Course Leaders are Ms Leean Morrow and Mr Stuart Boomer, supported by a dedicated team of academics and support staff.
Successful completion of this course (and meeting Fitness to Practise criteria) allows you to register with the General Dental Council (GDC), the regulatory body for dental professionals in the UK.
Dental professionals have to adhere to a professional code of ethics to maintain their registration with the General Dental Council (GDC). As a dental student, you'll be expected to demonstrate that you have the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a dental professional. You must apply the principles of professionalism to your studies, training, and your personal and social life. Read guidance on professionalism on the General Dental Council website.
Subject to approval by the GDC.
Laying the foundations
First year modules introduce the basics of dentistry with five of the six modules being taught with the dental surgery students fostering the importance of dental team working. You will be involved in the clinical environment from the start of the course. Later in the year after completing operative skills teaching for local anaesthetic, gum disease and preventive care, you will progress to the provision of treatment of your own patients.
Throughout the course you will spend an increasing proportion of their time in clinic. Initially you will be treating mostly adult patients and then progressing to treating both adults and children by the end of year two.
Building experience and knowledge
You will build on scientific knowledge gained in year 1 and further develop your operative clinical skills in relation to restorative dentistry for both adults and children. Clinical experience will initially be focused on treatment associated with practice as a dental hygienist, with the introduction of patients requiring dental therapy later in the year.
Amassing experience and the culmination
The completion of a final year project will provide evidence of your understanding of research and helps develop your skills in scientific research and in applying principles of research to your project. Clinical experience will include assessment and treatment of more complex dental disease including restorative treatment of children and adults. Personal and professional development will continue in this year focusing on preparation for the world of work developing the skills necessary to practice as a dental hygienist and dental therapist as a leading member of the dental team.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: ABB B in Biology. No General Studies or Critical Thinking
3 A-Levels at Grade ABB which must include Biology, we consider all A-level subjects for the remaining grades, except General Studies or Critical Thinking. You will usually be expected to show evidence of study in the last 5 years.
GCSE: A minimum of 5 GCSEs all at grade C and above to include Chemistry, Biology (or dual science), English and Maths.
Workforce planning reports have predicted that demand for dental hygienists and therapists is expected to rise and significantly exceed supply. The GDC in 2013 removed the barrier preventing patients from having direct access to selected groups of DCP including dental hygienists and dental therapists.
Dental hygienists and dental therapists are now permitted to provide dental treatment within their scope of practice without a prescription from a dentist. These changes have helped to ensure employability for dental hygienists and dental therapist in the future, extending scope of practice and providing long term job satisfaction.
Most starting dental therapy posts in hospital or community dental services are advertised at Band 6 salary level on the NHS pay scale. New graduates who take up positions within a general dental practice can usually expect to earn salaries equal to Band 6 or up to 30-50% higher.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
You'll work with patients in a range of settings – at the dental hospital, in the community, at outreach clinics and through hospital placements.