Undergraduate study - 2019 entry

Subject area: Oral Health Sciences

Why choose Oral Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • You will have the opportunity to explore all aspects of dentistry through rotation and observation in other dental specialties.

  • You will receive closely-supported learning, particularly in the clinical setting. Our class sizes are around 10 students a year.

  • In Year 4 you will attend clinical placements for two days a week, working in outreach centres where you will gain valuable experience treating patients in a primary care setting.

  • This is the only four-year oral health sciences honours programme in the UK.

  • You will be given a firm learning foundation in health and disease, clinical practice, personal and professional development, and preparation for practice, which is taught throughout the programme.

  • You will have access to state of-the-art clinical facilities and a designated clinic for patient treatment sessions, which start in Year 1.

The programme is providing me with the key clinical skills and knowledge I need to pursue a career in dental hygiene or therapy, as well as skills that will be beneficial in everyday life.

Charlie Nichol 2nd year BSc (Hons) Oral Health Sciences
Charlie Nichol 2nd year BSc (Hons) Oral Health Sciences

The study of oral health sciences leads to a dual 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 the four-year honours programme you will study courses from four key 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 will study general histology, anatomy and physiology, human disease, oral biology and immunology, among other subjects.

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, 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 progress to 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 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?

You will be required to provide a £10 deposit towards your sets of clinical scrubs.

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 in the community.

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 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. Upon graduation, you must register with the General Dental Council prior to commencing employment.

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