University of Essex Oral Health Science
University of Essex Oral Health Science
BSc Oral Health Science
BSc Oral Health ScienceFull-time
Telephone 01206 873666
About the course
Are you a registered Dental Hygienist who wants to register with the General Dental Council as a Dental Therapist? Do you want to develop your role within your dental team while maintaining the flexibility to continue to work in your current role as a Dental Hygienist?
Our BSc (Hons) Oral Health Science is a full-time, one-year course designed to meet an identifiable need for Dental Therapists within your dental team. There is currently much interest in the future role of the Dental Therapist in the delivery of oral healthcare in the UK, and our course enables you to register with the General Dental Council (GDC). Our Oral Health Science programmes have enjoyed a 100% success rate in employability after graduation.
Here at Essex, we have one of the largest portfolios of oral health science courses in the East of England, putting us in a strong position to provide you with excellent training and education. We offer courses that both commissioners and employers believe in, and our training integrates NHS values and principles, meaning that your abiding focus is on helping people.
People are at the heart of all we do, and students are involved in the appropriate treatment of patients from early on within the programme. This allows you to develop and enhance crucial skills that prepare you to care for patients and clients in the workplace.
Dental Therapists fit for the future
Your development from Dental Hygienist to Dental Therapist will occur through flexible study, including attendance both at our Southend Campus and within a primary care-based placement. This will ordinarily be the existing workplace environment where you currently work as a Dental Hygienist (minimum 14 clinical hours per week).
You increase your clinical skills in a dedicated, state-of-the-art dental skills laboratory at the University, experiencing the academic rigour of a Bachelor’s Degree through structured learning that builds upon your existing knowledge.
Your academic study is integrated with other healthcare professionals to promote excellence and understanding of your role in general health. You benefit from small group teaching and personalised feedback and further develop the skills and competencies required of a Dental Therapist in the primary care environment.
Benefits to Dental Practices
Even for industry leaders, keeping pace can be a challenge. So when considering the latest investments, it can be easy to overlook your most valuable resource – your staff. Because above all, your patients need to know they’re in good hands.
Our course provides you with the opportunity to be closely involved in the professional development of a valued member of your team. Enrolling a student on our course will increase the clinical skill set available within your practice, putting you in an advantageous position in terms of skill mix in anticipation of changes in how dentistry is delivered in the future.
As the programme is taught through flexible study including university and work based teaching, the student will continue to work in practice whilst studying.
The primary care based placement where you develop your skills, will ordinarily be an existing workplace environment where you currently work as a Dental Hygienist (minimum 14 clinical hours per week).
You will need to identify a clinical supervisor (clinical educator) who will support your learning within the placement.
We are committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values (which are strongly reflected in our University values) into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of all our staff and students underpinning the work we do in the university, clinical arena and other workplaces.
We understand that not all of our students and staff are employed within the NHS, but these values uphold the underlying principles of excellent care as a standard and as such we expect that anyone who has any aspect of their work which ultimately cares for others will aspire to uphold these values.
For us, involving not only our students but service users, experts by experience, carers and NHS/non NHS professionals in the creation and delivery of all programmes is vital.
Our expert staff
A unique feature of our School is that you will be taught by a team of specialist clinicians with over 250 years of experience in dentistry. This enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and real-life practice.
Oral Health Science is taught by registered experienced staff including dentists and dental therapists, with a variety of different backgrounds. Prof Phil Cannell, Subject Lead for Oral Health Science, is also a partner at Chalkwell Dental Practice, and has won awards for staff management in the past. As a respected educationalist, he was recently awarded the first Fellowship in teaching, education and assessment by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) (FGDP) of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Other members of staff include Sarah Murray, a leading dental hygienist/therapist in the UK, who was awarded the 2007 Hygienist of the Year Award, and the 2013 British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy Gerald Leatherman Award for services to the profession. Sarah also works with a number of national organisations and professional bodies to promote dental hygienists and therapists, including the GDC, Faculty of General Dental Practice Royal College of Surgeons UK.
Full details of our staff can be found on the HHS Staff Profiles.
As a School, we specialise in applied, multidisciplinary research that addresses issues of national and international concern to health and social care policy and practice and related fields. We also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.
The School of Health and Human Sciences is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester Campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend Campus.
The Oral Health Science facilities are located in the Gateway Building, and BSc Oral Health Science is currently taught at our Southend campus. We offer clinical laboratories with the very latest equipment and IT facilities – in particular, a state-of-the-art dental skills lab with the latest simulation ‘phantom heads’ to practise on.
At Southend you will find purpose-built accommodation to meet the needs of a growing and lively School. We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials including the Forum library on the Southend campus.
As a Dental Therapist, you will be a working as a Dental Care Professional in all sectors of dentistry. A Dental Therapist provides a range of restorative dental treatments to adults and children and the delivery of oral health care and advice. You will need a flexible team approach, high levels of manual dexterity, professionalism and a caring attitude. Good communication, problem-solving and decision-making skills will also be vitally important for you in this role.
On successful completion of this course you will be eligible to register with the General Dental Council (GDC), which is the statutory body for regulating dental professionals within the UK. The GDC monitors education, and our BSc’s curriculum has been designed to comply with the GDC documents Preparing for practice and Standards for Education.
For further details on the role of a Dental Therapist, please review the Preparing for practice PDF from the GDC website – which is under the header “Dental team learning outcomes for registration”.