Continuing Professional Development

Dental Hygienist Adaptation


The details
Dental Hygienist Adaptation
30 credits
Level 6
No date available
Southend Campus

For key module dates, view the 2023-24 Module Calendar (.docx)

The Academic Dental Clinic where the module is based is located on Bromley Road, Colchester, CO4 3JE.

This module provides a route for dental hygienists, who have trained outside the UK, to meet the requirements set for them following a General Dental Council (GDC) assessment of their native dental hygiene qualification, usually for the purpose of registering and practising as a dental hygienist in the UK. It is also appropriate for dental hygienists, already registered in the UK, who wish to bring their skills and knowledge up to date after time away from the profession.

The result of a GDC qualification assessment of an overseas qualification will often lead to a set of requirements/learning outcomes that the GDC assessment panel deem need to be met prior to the applicant being allowed to register with the GDC as a dental hygienist.

On this module you will engage in a combination of supervised clinical practice and classroom teaching which will cover the contemporary underpinning theoretical knowledge required to meet the GDCs requirements. The exact course content and its duration will be tailored to your requirements. You will learn in a variety of settings including the University’s academic dental clinic where you will undertake supervised clinical practice.

Learning outcomes

  • Gain theoretical underpinning knowledge necessary to practise contemporary dental hygiene competencies.
  • Competently demonstrate the clinical competencies of a dental hygienist practising in the UK.
  • Be able to critically reflect upon own strengths & weaknesses.
  • Develop an ability to select appropriate methods to address and evidence professional development to meet the required GDC learning outcomes.
  • Develop a critical understanding of current UK policy in relation to dental hygiene practice.

Accreditation and professional recognition

Satisfactory completion of this module allows the successful student to submit the evidence required of them to the GDC assessment panel, with a view to facilitating entry to the GDC register as a dental hygienist.

Our expert staff

This module is taught by experienced staff who teach on many of the oral health science programmes at the University of Essex, including the 2 year GDC accredited pre-registration dental hygienist qualification.

The period of clinical practice is supervised by a combination of experienced academic and practice-based educators.

Entry Requirements

  • Possess an existing dental hygiene qualification.
  • Have undertaken GDC Dental Care Professional assessment and following this possess documented GDC learning outcome requirements.
  • Evidence of English language competence (minimum IELTS 6.5).
  • Enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) Clearance.


Module Outline

The course is delivered over 3 days a week over 3 months. It combines teaching on theoretical underpinning knowledge with supervised clinical practice, treating patients at the university’s academic dental clinic.

Topics covered include:

  • History taking and interpretation of medical and social history.
  • Examination and charting.
  • Preventative care.
  • Smoking cessation.
  • Inferior dental block and local infiltration analgesia.
  • Dental biomaterials.
  • Antimicrobial therapy.
  • Scaling and root surface debridement.
  • Fissure Sealants.
  • Dental Impressions.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Assessment strategy

  • Work based assessment of each relevant GDC competence using Direct Observation of Performance (DOPs) and Case Based Discussion (CbDs).
  • 25 x Clinical Logs and 3 x Reflective Logs (per three months of supervised clinical practice) to provide supplementary evidence of underpinning knowledge.

Fees and funding

The fee for this module is dependent on the length of the supervised practice element of this module, agreed in advance of undertaking the programme with each individual student. This may be from 3 months duration up to 12 months duration, and ordinarily is dependent on the duration of supervised practice specified by the GDC in their assessment of each student’s existing hygienist qualification. The fee for the module will depend on the agreed duration of supervised practice, as either 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. For more information on CPD funding please visit

What's next

We have guidance on making your application and the forms to download on our how to apply page.

Get in touch

If you require further details about this module, including future course dates, please email