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Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

A900 Diploma of Higher Education 2 years


The Dental Hygiene and Therapy programme at Barts and The London was established in 1983. This accredited 28 month programme leads to a Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Therapy. Students are guided in the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for positions of responsibility in the oral health care system through laboratory, clinical, and class room experiences.

At Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, our aim is to assist students to acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are necessary to practice as a dental care professional in the 21st century. At the same time we want our students to engage in a programme of higher education that will enrich every individual.

Career prospects

The programme has links with employers during the programme to ensure high quality employment at graduation:

  • Clinical experience gained within the Dental Hospital and outreach centres, supervised by a variety of clinical lecturers, who may be General Dental Practitioners
  • Outreach experience provides students with the opportunity to work in a Community Dental Service environment, which may lead to employment in this area of dentistry

Career-wise, dental hygienists and therapists have many options open to them. They can work in general practice, both for the NHS or privately, in the community or in the armed forces, at home or overseas. There are also opportunities to be involved in dental research and education. Historically, nearly 100% of our graduates successfully complete their examinations and easily acquire employment in general dental practice or in speciality practices.

Reasons to study with us

  • We have an established reputation of educating dental hygienists and therapists for 30 years so we are considered pioneers of the combined dental hygiene and therapy programme, which other education providers have since followed.
  • Our dental hygiene and therapy students are integrated with dental undergraduates from the beginning of the programme; this fosters team-working for patient benefit, in addition to dental professionals developing an understanding of each other’s roles.
  • We have a team of lecturers who have a national profile, which enables our students to be at the forefront of dental education and matters that concern the practicing dental hygienist and therapist
  • Our unique location between the City of London and Docklands provides a broad diversity of patients from all cultures and social backgrounds.
  • We are a small dental school so provide exceptional pastoral support throughout the programme, and as students commence employment.
  • We are a research-led institution which ensures that we are at the forefront of the provision of dental education and excellent patient care
  • Our student group size is small enabling us to provide an excellent student: staff ratio and a nurturing approach with feedback after each and every patient encounter
  • Our admission requirements provide a skills escalator for registered dental nurses to apply to the programme; as we offer a Diploma programme, it is anticipated that we will offer additional modules post graduation to be awarded a BSc
  • We provide outreach opportunities in one of our two outreach centres – the award-winning clinic at Southend, plus one at Barkantine – that offer unique training opportunities for students to utilise the skills they have acquired at the Institute, preparing them for theresponsibilities of general practice whilst providing excellent and efficient dental care for local communities.
  • The Dental Institute and Hospital will relocate to the Alexandra Wing on the Whitechapel site in 2014, where there will be state-of-the-art clinical and academic facilities.


The dental hygiene and therapy programme is designed around integrated multidisciplinary modules, which enable you to gain the appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding of scientific and clinical principles to apply to the prevention, alleviation and treatment of oral diseases. The curriculum also encourages community work, life-long learning and the creation of self-directed learners.

The programme of study extends over a minimum of 28 months of full time study and comprises 3 stages, totalling 9 modules.

All the modules are core to the programme and are studied in order of presentation, commencing with theory supported by clinical skills teaching in the clinical skills laboratory, and as the programme develops incorporating a wider and more complex range of clinical procedures. All modules have linked summative assessments and have to be passed at 50%.

The core course material is presented in dental modules:

Stage 1

Optional exit with Certificate of Higher Education (Part 1 Examinations)

  • Introduction to Clinical Dentistry
  • Level: 4
    Credit Value: 60
    Terms taught: 1,2,3,4
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Level: 5
    Credit Value: 15
    Terms taught: 1,2,3
  • Professionalism, Teamwork & Social Responsibility
  • Level: 5
    Credit Value: 15
    Terms taught: 1,2,3,4
  • Clinical Practice
  • Level: 5
    Credit Value: 60
    Terms taught: 1,2,3,4
  • Selected Study Modules
  • Level: 4
    Credit Value: 15
    Terms taught: 3,4

Stage 2

Exit with grace option with award of Diploma in Dental Hygiene

  • Health & Illness
  • Level: 5
    Credit Value: 30
    Terms taught: 5,6
  • Clinical Periodontology
  • Level: 5
    Credit Value: 45
    Terms taught: 5,6

Stage 3

Award of Diploma in Dental Hygiene & Therapy

  • Integrated Clinical Care
  • Level: 6
    Credit Value:30
    Terms taught:6,7
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Level: 6
    Credit Value:30
    Terms taught:6,7

Modules undertaken in the first stage of the programme reflect learning outcomes related to acquisition of knowledge and understanding, and to the basic key and professional skills that form the basis for more specialised study at higher levels. As a means to promote intra- professional education and teamwork, the Dental Care Professional's (DCP) programme has utilised aspects of the BDS programme; you will be educated alongside second year dental undergraduates at commencement of your programme for this stage. This fosters and facilitates inter-professional learning and patient care opportunities.

At Stages 2 and 3 there is progressively more specialized study undertaken as a peer group in which you build upon your level 1 studies to enhance your knowledge and understanding of dental hygiene and therapy theory and practice. Successful students will be able to apply for registration as a dental hygienist and dental therapist with the General Dental Council.

Entry requirements

Application to this course is dealt with via UCAS. Please apply via the UCAS website.

Key information:

  • The closing date for application to UCAS is 15th January of the year in which the course starts.
  • The course code is A900- (Diploma in Dental Hygiene & Therapy), the short form of course is DipHE/DHDT.
  • Institution code name is QMUL
  • Institution code Q50.

In order to establish the applicant’s potential to cope with the academic requirements of the course the following minimal entry requirements are necessary:

  • All applicants must provide evidence of a minimum of FIVE GCSE’s Grade A-C, including English and a Biology based subject (e.g. Human Biology, Dual Science).
  • In addition to 5 GCSE's Grade A-C, the following qualifications are required:
    • OPTION 1 A dental nursing/dental technician qualification plus One x AS level in Biology or Human Biology Grade A-D.
    • OPTION 2 Two x A2 (A Level) at grades A-D one of which must be Biology or Human Biology

Applicants with equivalent qualifications will be considered (e.g. Advanced GNVQ, BTEC, Access to HE Diploma or the Advanced Diploma , all of which must be in a relevant science based subject).

Evidence of study within the last 5 years.

NON-UK Qualifications

Applicants with a non-UK qualifications must in addition to their UCAS form send the Admissions Office:, the following documents:

  • A transcript of your qualifications (translated into English if necessary)
  • A statement of comparability from NARIC confirming your qualification is comparable to the equivalent entry requirements:
    ECCTIS Ltd
    Oriel House
    Oriel Road
    Gloucestershire GL50 1XP
    Tel: 01242 260010

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in English by passing IELTS with a score of 7 or higher. Alternatively TOEFL is acceptable with a mark of 600+ (paper test) or 250+ (computer test) or 100+ (internet test).

IELTS and TOEFL must be taken within the last two years.

Equal opportunities

Applications are considered on an equal basis irrespective of gender, sexual orientation marital or parental status, religion, social class, nationality or ethnic origin.


No offers are made to applicants without interview, which usually takes place in March. Applicants should bring with them proof of qualifications already obtained and their original birth certificate.

The interview panel usually consists of at least 2 members of the Centre for Dental Care Professionals, who are involved with teaching dental undergraduate students and DCP students. The interview is usually no longer than 20 minutes.

The interview is currently an integral part of the selection process.

In the interview we aim to assess your personal qualities and decide whether you have the potential to become a successful member of the dental team. We need to ensure that you are aware of the realities of dentistry, and it is likely that you will be asked about any personal experience you have had, for example, through work experience or voluntary work. We use it to assess your determination, communication skills and personality, and it also gives you a chance to meet people involved with the course.

The intense competition for places means that every year we are not able to interview all applicants, and no offers are given without an interview.


Applicants are notified by UCAS once all interviews have taken place.

All offers are conditional on academic requirements, occupational health clearance and CRB checks.

Occupational Health

All potential students have to be cleared by Occupational Health and be deemed fit to undertake Exposure Prone Procedures prior to commencing the course. Therefore, all applicants offered a place would be invited to spend a day within the Department prior to commencing the course in September, for this to be undertaken.

Learning and teaching

The taught course is delivered by a variety of methods with lectures, seminars, small group teaching and practical (laboratory based and clinical work on patients) elements making up the majority of the teaching. Some modules offer the students a high proportion of independent learning (SSC) and a choice of topics within a specified framework.

Assessment of learning is an integral part of the overall learning and teaching process. It facilitates the integration of knowledge and skills with clinical judgment as the student’s progress from novice to competent practitioner. The taught components of the course are assessed by a range of assessment methodologies. The nature of the assessment is closely linked with the desired learning outcomes and the mode of teaching within each module. The assessments will encourage the students to assess their own learning through reflection and evaluation, identify areas and ways to improve, and to make judgments about their own performance with relative accuracy. Each module will have both formative and summative assessment, using a wide range of assessment methods- these may include: short answer questions, case studies and oral presentations, clinical ‘gateway’ tests (to ensure competency) and projects. There will be a balance between formative and summative assessment to provide students with regular and in-depth feedback on their performance and progress.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2015 entry

Tuition fees for International students

2015 entry

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2014):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £7,751 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • A Maintenance Grant of up to £3,387 to help towards your living costs
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • Extra amounts of loan or grant if you study for longer than the standard academic year or if you have travel costs because you are studying away from your main campus

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

The programme has links with employers during the programme to ensure high quality employment at graduation:

  • Clinical experience gained within the Dental Hospital and outreach centres, supervised by a variety of clinical lecturers, who may be General Dental Practitioners
  • Outreach experience provides students with the opportunity to work in a Community Dental Service environment, which may lead to employment in this area of dentistry
  • The Elective Project (part of Selected Study Component) enables students to gain experience and insight into the day-to-day working of a variety of locations; these may additionally provide employment upon graduation and this has occurred in the past

Career-wise, dental hygienists and therapists have many options open to them. They can work in general practice, both for the NHS or privately, in the community or in the armed forces, at home or overseas. There are also opportunities to be involved in dental research and education. Historically, nearly 100% of our graduates successfully complete their examinations and easily acquire employment in general dental practice or in speciality practices.


Latha Bonthala


“I chose to study at Barts and The London because I had heard very positive comments about the quality of the teaching and the down to earth atmosphere and attitudes of both staff and students. When compared to other medical schools in London, Barts seemed like the best place to be!

“The Medicine in Society placements mean you are placed in the community right from the start, which is both enjoyable and incredibly beneficial. Also, the regular in-course assessments were very useful in consolidating all the information learnt during the year, particularly in the run-up to the end of year examinations.

“One thing there is no shortage of in east London is a social life! There is always something to do, and always people ready to celebrate successes in the recently renovated Griffin Students’ Union building. The leisure and recreational facilities are great at Queen Mary’s Mile End campus. There is a good choice of places to unwind whichever way you want to, for example exercising in the Qmotion gym or relaxing with friends by the canal.”

Vikki Argent

BDS Dentistry

“I chose Barts and The London for a number of reasons: it always scores really well in the league tables, and is only two hours from home for me so I can go home for a weekend if I want. At the open day I was really impressed with the campus and the facilities, but more so with how friendly and helpful all the people were!

“It’s got a really nice intimate environment with only 80 students, (including those on the Graduate Entry Programme) so everyone knows everyone and is really supportive of each other.

“The clinical teaching staff are superb, you have a different tutor every year so you get a wide range of help and experience.

“The location is excellent, we have a local cinema, some bars and pubs and some good restaurants in Brick Lane as well as Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane markets. For everything else it’s a 20-minute tube ride to central London or a 10-minute DLR journey to the Docklands.”


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