Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

BSc Oral Health Sciences

UCAS code: A900

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Dental Institute

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Oral Health Sciences

The BSc (Hons) in Oral Health Sciences is the only four year honours degree in this subject available in Scotland Graduates from the programme will gain a qualification in dental hygiene and dental therapy.

These are professionals who have skills in preventive, periodontal and restorative therapy such that they can provide 70% of routine dentistry for the UK adult and child population. The programme offers a broad scientific and clinical base preparing graduates to practise as dental hygienist-therapists.

The programme will be based in The Edinburgh Dental Institute (EDI) which has an excellent reputation, both nationally and internationally, as a provider of first class dental education, with academic staff who bring a wealth of research-based knowledge and expertise to their teaching and supervision. This contributes to an outstanding learning environment that encourages and nurtures the aspirations of each individual student.

The curriculum is broadly split into four themes which form the core of education, and are expanded upon as knowledge and skills progress. These are identified as: Health & Disease, Clinical Practice, Personal & Professional Development and Preparation for Practice. It offers a modern and innovative curriculum and has a substantial clinical Component where students begin to undertake dental treatments for patients in their first year. Students are given the opportunity to explore dental services in a number of locations allowing them to develop skills in subject areas on which they wish to focus their dissertation in final honours years.

Throughout the entire programme, reflective learning is essential, particularly in areas of clinical practice, and a personal portfolio of work is built up which contributes to the continual assessment of progress. Teaching methods include:

  • Lecture/seminars
  • Top Hat classroom
  • Flipped classroom
  • Reflective practice
  • Peer assisted learning
  • Case based learning
  • Journal clubs

Year 1

You will study general histology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, oral biology, infection control, preventative dentistry, human disease, behavioural science and periodontal clinical skills.

During semester 1, you will begin to develop your clinical skills in the laboratory and you will begin treating patients in semester 2.

Year 2

Some of the subjects you will study include general pathology, dental caries, pharmacology, periodontal disease, evidence-based dentistry, oral health promotion, dental public health, and dental materials.

You will develop your skills in many aspects of clinical treatment, and continue to expand these in the clinical laboratory.

Year 3

You will build on previous courses and, in addition, study oral medicine and pathology, oral surgery, special care dentistry, radiology and radiography.

Year 4

You will be examined theoretically in each of the three main areas of your clinical activity: periodontal therapy, restorative care and paediatric dentistry. These assessments, in addition to your dissertation, are undertaken for your final examination. Students are given the opportunity to work and observe in a number of different dental care settings.

Our facilities

The majority of teaching takes place at the Edinburgh Dental Institute, which is located in the University's Central Area. Clinical teaching in Year 4 also takes place in a number of outreach centres.


You will be given the opportunity of working and observing in a number of different areas of dentistry. These include oral surgery, dental laboratory, general anaesthesia sessions and areas within the oral health improvement teams. In Year 4 you will attend dental outreach centres in the public dental service.

Study abroad

We are delighted to be working with the University of Oslo in offering students the opportunity to study with their Dental Team.

Exchanges are typically taken in Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through lectures, seminars, case-based learning, demonstrations and student-led learning and reflection.

How will I be assessed?

Your academic progress will be assessed through written examinations, simulated clinical cases and assignments, either at the end of each semester or at the end of the year. Your clinical progress is continually assessed throughout the programme with objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS) being an integral part of the process.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2020/21)

Career opportunities for oral health sciences graduates in the UK exist within the NHS, private practice, in research and academia. Upon graduation, you must register with the General Dental Council prior to commencing employment.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by end of S5 or ABBB/BBBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: BBB in one set of exams.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: Biology at B. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Biology at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Biology at 5. SL: English at 5.

Additional requirements


Successful shortlisted applicants will be invited in for interview.

Fitness to practise

The University has a responsibility to ensure that students studying on a degree that involves practical training in a clinical environment, and that leads to a professional registerable qualification, are fit to practise.

This is assessed according to the requirements and standards of the profession the student wishes to enter. Students will be provided with further information on admission.

Find out more about entry requirements

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 23 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency overall 176 with 169 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

The intake for this programme is 10 places per year so entry is very competitive.

We do not ordinarily consider international (non-EU) applicants for this course.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Oral Health Sciences

Additional costs



For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

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