Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Oral Health Sciences

Why choose Oral Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • This programme is the only four-year Oral Health Sciences honours degree available in the UK.

  • Teaching takes place in the state-of-the-art facilities within the Edinburgh Dental Institute.

  • The Edinburgh Dental Institute is internationally recognised for dental education.

The programme is very hands-on and moulds students into mature, professional individuals. Seeing our own patients helps us acquire essential skills such as time management and communication. These are very important.

Rebecca Office 4th year BSc (Hons) Oral Health Sciences
Rebecca Office 4th year BSc (Hons) Oral Health Sciences

The study of oral health sciences leads to a qualification in dental hygiene and dental therapy. Our programme combines dental science with research, exploring the prevention and treatment of oral disease in both adults and children.

Over our four-year honours programme you will study courses from four areas: health and disease; clinical practice; personal and professional development; and preparation for practice.

Our small class sizes provide a supportive learning environment and we offer a significant focus on practical skills, with clinical treatment of patients commencing in Year 1.

Year 1

You study general histology, anatomy and physiology, human disease, oral biology and immunology, among other subjects.

During semester 1, you 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, pharmacology, periodontal disease, preventive dentistry, behavioural sciences and biomaterial sciences.

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 and special-care dentistry.

You will also undertake a literature review on a subject of your choice. To enter Year 4, you must successfully complete the first three years of the programme.

Year 4

You will develop your clinical skills and undertake a supervised research project.

You will have the opportunity to work in other departments and observe clinical procedures in, for example, oral surgery, oral orthopaedics, maxillofacial surgery and implantology.

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 research project, are undertaken for your final examination.

Are there additional costs?


Our facilities

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

How will I learn?

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

How will I be assessed?

Your academic progress will be assessed through written examinations 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.

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

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