Our FdSc Oral Health Science is a programme which leads to the award of a Foundation Degree, and qualifies you to register with the General Dental Council (GDC)* as a Dental Hygienist. It is based on the General Dental Council’s (GDC’s) guidance document Developing the Dental Team and is kept under continual review to ensure that you are ‘fit to practise’ upon qualification. Following the successful completion of this course, you may consider continuing your training with us to become a Dental Therapist through our BSc (Hons) Oral Health Science programme.
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 on this programme. You learn clinical skills in our state-of-the-art dental laboratories and academic dental clinics, studying oral health issues affecting the health of individuals and communities including:
Through integrating your studies with other healthcare professionals, we ensure that you consider these wider issues in order to adopt a holistic approach to patient care.
Our aim is to create professional learning pathways to bridge the skill gap of the current NHS dental workforce while meeting your learning needs and helping you develop self-awareness, confidence and autonomy.
At the same time, we develop professional hygienists who through continuing professional development (CPD) courses, foster the habit of lifelong learning in order to meet the future needs of individuals and society. Our overarching aim is to widen access to professional education so that you can practise as registered practitioners safely and competently.
The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.
During your study you will undertake six placements. These are based on educational need and are allocated by the placement lecturer. You will be required to undertake 14 hours of placement per week. Our placements are primarily based in Essex.
As a student of FdSc Oral Health Science you are not eligible for an NHS Bursary but can claim travel expenses if the travel mileage from term time address to placement is greater than term time address to university.
The General Dental Council quality assures and approves qualifications for registration, for the following registrant groups: Dentists; dental hygienists; dental therapists; dental nurses; clinical dental technicians; dental technicians; and orthodontic therapists.
A unique feature of our School is that you will be taught by a team of specialist clinicians with over 250 years 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 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.
Bryan Paddison, Programme Lead for the FdSc Oral Health Sciences, qualified as a dentist from King's College London in 2001, and spent ten years in general practice in Essex. He became a Clinical Educator for the FdSc Oral Health Science in 2008, and in 2012 left clinical practice to teach full-time on our course.
Full details of our staff can be found on the HSC 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 Social Care 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 FdSc 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 and a 20-chair dental education unit.
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.
Foundation degrees are work-related, higher education qualifications designed in conjunction with employers to offer accessible and flexible learning opportunities relevant to a student’s career. A foundation degree is shorter than a standard undergraduate degree but is a higher education qualification in its own right and it can be used as a progression route to a full undergraduate degree.
The successful completion of this programme leads to the award of a Foundation Degree Oral Health Science, with 240 academic credits. This qualification is recognised by the General Dental Council (GDC) and gives you eligibility to register as a dental hygienist.
97% of our School of Health and Social Care students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020).
“I was very keen to study oral health at Essex because the placement rotation allowed for a varied experience in numerous areas of dentistry. The facilities at our Southend Campus are fantastic – you get to learn the basics in the skills labs and with the phantom heads before trying your skills out for real on patients! After graduating, I quickly secured employment with dental practices and am now working as a dental hygienist."
Sarah Cheeseman, FdSc Oral Health Science, 2011
All applicants require:
GCSE: Mathematics, English and Science at C/4 (GCSE Science can be single Science or one of the following: Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
Plus one of the following:
A-levels: CC, including one core science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Applied Science or Physics)
BTEC: MPP in a science related subject
Access to HE Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3 at pass or above (in a science related subject)
National Dental Nurse Certificate or Diploma in Dental Nursing (with a minimum of two years' experience). Two years’ experience as a dental nurse can be taken from both pre and post qualification employment – please list employment details carefully on your UCAS application.
You must also have: a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) – both of these are organised by the University.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
This programme is full-time and you are expected to complete the minimum number of weeks required by the GDC, which is 90 weeks. Term dates do not coincide with our normal University term dates due to this requirement and you are in placement throughout the summer. Any time missed by non-attendance, through sickness or other personal reason, will need to be made up in order to register.
The dates for holiday breaks are timetabled throughout the programme and these cannot be changed for individual students. The planned holiday periods include time at Easter, summer, Christmas and New Year.
These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.
We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.
£9,250EU students commencing their course in the 2020-21 academic year will be liable for the Home/UK fee.
TBCThis course is only available to applicants from the UK or EU.
Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
If you’re shortlisted for interview based on your application to this course you will be invited onto campus for a compulsory interview. As part of this, you will complete a literacy and numeracy test, practical assessment, group task and interview. Offers for the course will only be made after a successful interview, once all of the interviews have been held.
The interview and tests will form the main part of the day but you will have the opportunity to tour the campus, meet our academics and students and ask any questions you may have about studying with us. All interviews and tests must be taken at our Southend Campus.
Please be aware that we are not able to offer personalised feedback to applicants who have attended an interview for Oral Health Science, although applicants will receive generic information on how to self-evaluate their performance in the interview and tests. Further information is available in the Undergraduate Admissions feedback policy.
With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and a close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.
If you're joining our School of Health and Social Care, East 15 Acting School, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, or Essex Business School, you may well be studying at our Southend Campus.
Famous for its beach resort and pier, Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline, providing plenty of opportunities for a wide range of water sports and leisure activities.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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