BSc Oral Health Sciences
UCAS code: A900
Duration: 4 years
School: Dental Institute
College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Introducing BSc Oral Health Sciences
This BSc (Hons) in Oral Health Sciences is the only four-year honours degree in this subject in Scotland. Graduating from this programme earns you a qualification in dental hygiene and dental therapy.
This degree offers a broad scientific and clinical base and prepares you to practise as a dental hygienist-therapist. Professionals in this field have skills in preventive, periodontal and restorative therapy and provide 70% of routine dentistry for the UK adult and child population.
You 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. Our academic staff bring a wealth of research-based knowledge and expertise to their teaching and supervision, which contributes to an outstanding learning environment. This is a programme that encourages and nurtures each student's individual aspirations.
Our curriculum is modern and innovative with a substantial clinical component.
Your learning is split into the following four themes, which form the core of your education. You will expand upon these as your knowledge and skills progress.
- Health & Disease
- Clinical Practice
- Personal & Professional Development
- Preparation for Practice
You will begin to undertake dental treatments for patients in your first year.
You will have opportunities to explore dental services in a number of locations and develop your skills in subject areas you may wish to focus your dissertation on in your final honours years.
Reflective learning is essential throughout this programme, particularly in areas of clinical practice. You will build a personal portfolio of work that will contribute to the continual assessment of your progress.
This BSc OHS programme is PSRB accredited by the General Dental Council (GDC). This accreditation is reviewed every 5 years and was last renewed in January 2020.
The programme's curriculum is based on the learning outcomes laid out by the GDC. After graduation, you will need to register with the GDC before you can practise as a dental hygiene-therapist.
You will study:
- general histology
- anatomy and physiology
- oral biology
- infection control
- preventative dentistry
- human disease
- behavioural science
- periodontal clinical skills
During semester 1, you will begin to develop your clinical skills in the laboratory.
You will begin treating patients in semester 2.
Some of the subjects you will study include:
- general pathology
- dental caries
- periodontal disease
- evidence-based dentistry
- oral health promotion
- dental public health
- dental materials
You will develop your skills in many aspects of clinical treatment, and continue to expand on these in the clinical laboratory.
You will build on your knowledge from previous courses and will study:
- oral medicine and pathology
- oral surgery
- special care dentistry
- radiology and radiography
You will be examined on the theoretical elements of the three main areas of your clinical activity for your final exam.
- periodontal therapy
- restorative care
- paediatric dentistry
This is in addition to your dissertation.
You will also have the opportunity to work and observe in a number of different dental care settings.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on 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.
Most of your teaching will take place at the Edinburgh Dental Institute in the University's Central Area.
Clinical teaching in Year 4 takes place in a number of outreach centres.
You will have the opportunity to work and observe in a number of different areas of dentistry. These include:
- oral surgery
- dental laboratory
- general anaesthesia
You will also have opportunities to explore areas within oral health improvement teams.
In Year 4, you will attend dental outreach centres in the public dental service.
We are delighted to be working with the University of Oslo to offer students the opportunity to study with their Dental Team.
Exchanges are typically taken in Year 3.
How will I learn?
- TopHat classroom
- flipped classroom
- reflective practice
- peer assisted learning
- case-based learning
- journal clubs
- student-led learning
How will I be assessed?
We will assess your academic progress at the end of each semester through:
- written examinations
- simulated clinical cases
We will assess your clinical progress throughout the programme through:
- objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
- direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS)
Career opportunities in the UK exist within:
- the NHS
- private practice
On graduating, you must register with the General Dental Council before you can enter 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 HL.
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.
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.
Health clearance checks
Students entering programmes in dental hygiene and therapy will be involved in undertaking what are known as exposure prone procedures (EPP) from an early stage of their undergraduate training. You will require evidence of full MMR vaccination as one of the conditions of your offer. Before you are able to begin your studies, you must also show that you have been immunised against hepatitis B. On beginning your studies with us we will arrange an Occupational Health Blood-Borne Virus Screening appointment, which will include any outstanding vaccinations for hepatitis B, as well as checking you are non-infectious for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. A positive result in any test will not necessarily preclude entry to the degree programme.
Applicants are encouraged to declare any disabilities or learning difficulties prior to commencing the programme, so we can ensure we have the right support in place and that you are able to complete your programme of study.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of 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.
SQA, GCSE and IB
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.
The intake for this programme is 10 places per year so entry is very competitive.
We do not ordinarily consider international 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.