Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

Degree Programme Specification 2020/2021

BSc (Hons) in Oral Health Sciences

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. This information is created when new programmes are established and is only updated periodically as programmes are formally reviewed. It is therefore only accurate on the date of last revision.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. This information is created when new programmes are established and is only updated periodically as programmes are formally reviewed. It is therefore only accurate on the date of last revision.
Awarding institution: The University of Edinburgh
Teaching institution: School of Clinical Science and Community Health, Edinburgh Dental Institute
Programme accredited by: General Dental Council
Final award: BSc (Hons)
Programme title: Oral Health Sciences
UCAS code: A900
Relevant QAA subject benchmarking group(s): Health Studies
Postholder with overall responsibility for QA: Professor Angus Walls
Date of production/revision: January 2020

External summary

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

Educational aims of programme

The programme aims to: •    Enable graduates to meet GDC requirements to register and practise as dental-hygienist therapists; •    Provide a stimulating and supportive learning environment that fosters the enthusiasm of students; •    Provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning dental hygiene and therapy and facilitating evidence based practice; •    Ensure students develop analytical, critical, reflective and communication skills enabling them to provide excellent patient care and to manage clinical situations appropriately; •    Develop personal, interpersonal, presentation and team working skills with an understanding of the multi-cultural, multi-professional environment in which these skills will be used; •    Integrate learning into the context of patient care; •    Use e-learning to enhance the quality and efficiency of learning; •    Produce graduates who will understand and practise  lifelong learning including continuing professional development; •    Produce graduates fit to practice in the dental workforce.

Programme outcomes: Knowledge and understanding

The oral health science graduate will understand: •    Mechanisms of knowledge acquisition; •    The scientific basis of dentistry including the appropriate medical sciences; •    Biology of disease processes; •    Behavioural Science and Communication; •    Clinical skills and procedures; •    Processes of disease and how these affect the appearance, function and treatment of oral tissues; •    Principles of health promotion and disease prevention; •    Organisation and provision of healthcare in different settings; •    Relevance of research to dental practice and evidence-based dentistry; •    Medical emergencies and their management; •    Ethics, medico-legal issues, health and safety and the maintenance of a safe clinical working environment;   •    Role of the GDC and dental defence organisations.  

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in research and enquiry

Students will be encouraged to develop skills to enable them to: •    Source information from a variety of media, critically analyse it and synthesise it  •    Develop, plan and execute a research project and to communicate findings •    Understand the scientific method •    Develop numeracy and literacy competence with IT abilities to support these competencies Intellectual skills are developed through lectures, small group tutorials, practical classes, individual and group project work, case-based learning, clinical teaching and e-learning programmes being used as a scaffolding for learning Assessments will include, Directly Observed Procedures (DOPs) competency based procedures, simulated clinical case presentations, short answer written papers and Clinical OSCEs.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy

The oral health science graduate will be able to demonstrate the following: •    A range of clinical procedures within their scope of practice as defined by  the GDC •    Effective communication skills with patients, their families and associates, members of the dental team and other health professionals involved in patient care •    Accurate history taking, appropriate clinical and physical examination, interpreting a care plan and making appropriate arrangements for patients whose treatment is beyond their level of competence •    Acquisition of research, investigative, analytical, problem solving, planning, communication, presentation and team skills •    Ability to recognise and manage health and legal risks to dental hygienist-therapists •    Use of computer based techniques for information retrieval and analysis as well as communication and information management 

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in communication

Transferable skills are acquired at all stages of the degree programme.  Students will develop skills in the following:

  • oral communication
  • written communication
  • graphical communication
  • oral and visual presentation
  • problem solving
  • criticism and analysis
  • IT e.g. web, word processing spreadsheets, graphics packages, PowerPoint
  • information retrieval and research 
  • teamwork
  • leadership
  • negotiation 
  • interpersonal relationships
  • self-evaluation
  • independent learning
  • forward planning and time management

The oral health science graduate will also have:-

  • An approach to learning based on curiosity and exploration of knowledge.
  • A recognition of the need for evidence based practice, ability for self audit and an understanding of the value of peer review.
  • Team working skills and the insight to know when to seek help.
  • Respect for patient and  colleagues irrespective of age, race, gender, religion, background and opportunity, or language and culture.
  • Ethical awareness.
  • The requirement for honesty, integrity and trustworthiness at all times in clinical practice.
  • An understanding of the need for and value of life long learning.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness

Communication:

Communicate appropriately, effectively and sensitively at all times with and about patients, their representatives and the general public.

Professionalism: Recognise and demonstrate own professional responsibility in the development of self and the rest of the team. Recognise and act upon the legal and ethical responsibilities involved in protecting and promoting the health of individual patients.

Management and Leadership: Take a patient centred approach to working with the dental and wider healthcare team.

Programme outcomes: Technical/practical skills

Clinical :

Upon registration with the GDC the registrant will be able to demonstrate the outcomes as relevant to the practice of dental hygiene-therapy and patient care.

These aspects are:

  • Individual patient care
  • Contribution to patient assessment
  • Responding to the treatment plan
  • Patient management
  • Patient and public safety
  • Treatment of acute oral conditions
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Periodontal Therapy
  • Extraction of teeth
  • Management of the developing dentition
  • Restoration of teeth
  • Population-based health and care

Programme structure and features

Honours BSc in Oral Health Sciences This is a full time four year degree programme leading to the award of an Honours BSc. The curriculum in the first three years is proscribed and students will take a series of courses adding up to 120 points in each year. Entry to the honours stream is dependent on successful completion of the first three years. The fourth year will consist of a research project and further clinical practice. Students will be eligible for registration with the GDC as dental hygienist-therapists following successful completion of the final Honours year.

Year 1: Health and Disease 1 (60 points): Clinical Practice 1 (30 points): Personal and Professional Development 1 (10 points): Preparation for Practice 1 (20 points)

Year 2: Health and Disease 2 (60 points): Clinical Practice 2 (30 points): Personal and Professional Development 2 (10 points): Preparation for Practice 2 (20 points)

Year 3: Health and Disease 3 (30 points): Clinical Practice 3 (60 points): Personal and Professional Development 3 (20 points): Preparation for Practice 3 (10 points)

Year 4:  Research Project (40 points); Clinical Practice (60 points): Preparation for Practice (20 points)

Teaching and learning methods and strategies

Teaching and Learning strategies employed at the University of Edinburgh consist of a variety of difference methods appropriate to the programme aims. The graduate attributes listed above are met through a teaching and learning framework (detailed below) which is appropriate to the level and content of the course. Teaching and Learning Activities: For each vertical course in years 1-4 Health and Disease: teaching in the form of lectures, seminars, e-learning and tutorials with visits to the anatomy department. Clinical Practice: lectures, seminars-learning practical workshops, clinical skills practical sessions, (phantom heads) clinical treatment sessions under supervision and clinical observation sessions Personal and Professional Development: lectures, seminars, case-based learning, reflective portfolios, journal clubs, practical workshops Preparation for Practice: lectures, seminars, practical workshops, clinical scenarios, medical emergencies and basic life support simulations and scenarios. Learn is the hub for the programme providing curriculum information, useful links and discussions boards. Learning methods that are self-directed, experiential, learning in ‘context’ and problem centred learning are encouraged throughout the programme. majority of the learning takes place on real patients across a range of clinical settings including Edinburgh Dental Institute (EDI), hospitals and outreach dental centres

Teaching and learning workload

You will learn through a mixture of scheduled teaching and independent study. Some programmes also offer work placements.

At Edinburgh we use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions, technical workshops and studio critiques.

The typical workload for a student on this programme is outlined in the table below, however the actual time you spend on each type of activity will depend on what courses you choose to study.

The typical workload for a student on this programme for each year of study
Start yearTime in scheduled teaching (%)Time in independant study (%)Time on placement (%)
Year 19280
Year 290100
Year 378814
Year 4305020

Assessment methods and strategies

Courses can be assessed by a diverse range of methods and often takes the form of formative work which provides the student with on-going feedback as well as summative assessment which is submitted for credit. Progression Requirements: No student may proceed to the next year of study for the BSc (Hons) Oral Health Sciences programme until he/she has passed all components of the previous year of the programme including specified attendance requirements. In Year 1 In the first semester students are formatively assessed during the periodontal clinical skills module and 360 degree feedback is employed. In the second semester an e-portfolio of clinical work is kept and students are assessed on their clinical performance, professionalism, communication and management and leadership skills. Professional exam: end of first semester, practical periodontal pre-clinical examination, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and written papers. Professional exam: end of second semester, written paper, In-Course assessment, OSCE Students are required to pass these examinations before progressing into year 2. In Year 2 In the first semester students are formatively assessed during the restorative clinical skills module and 360 degree feedback is employed. E-portfolios, Clinical Competencies and reflective portfolios are utilised throughout year 2 to monitor progress. Professional exam: end of first semester, written papers, OSCE and practical restorative pre-clinical examination. Professional exam: end of second semester, written papers and, In-Course assessment, OSCE, Periodontal simulated case. Students are required to pass these examinations before progressing into year 3. In Year 3 E-Portfolios, Clinical Competencies and reflective portfolios are utilised throughout year 3 to monitor progress. Professional exam: end of first semester: written papers, OSCE and Clinical Imaging exam. Professional exam:, paediatric and adult sim case presentation and In-Course assessments Students are required to pass these examinations before progressing into year 4. In Year 4 E-Portfolios, Clinical Competencies and reflective portfolios are utilised throughout year 4 to monitor progress. Professional examination: end of year 4, dissertation, written paper, periodontal, adult and paediatric restorative and simulated case presentation.  Students must also successfully pass the requirements of the Final Clinical assessment committee, who discuss Clinical experience, Clinical competencies, Professionalism, Attendance and Multiscore feedback. Classification of Honours The level of degree awarded will be based on 50% of the performance in the junior honour year (year 3) and 50% of the performance in the senior honours year (year 4).

Assessment method balance

You will be assessed through a variety of methods. These might include written or practical exams or coursework such as essays, projects, group work or presentations.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme are outlined below, however the balance between written exams, practical exams and coursework will vary depending on what courses you choose to study.

 

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme for each year of study

Start year

Assessment by written exams (%)

Assessment by practical exams (%)

Year 1

 40%

 40%

Year 2

 30%

 60%

Year 3

 20%

 50%

Year 4

 10%

 30%

Assessment method balance

You will be assessed through a variety of methods. These might include written or practical exams or coursework such as essays, projects, group work or presentations.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme are outlined below, however the balance between written exams, practical exams and coursework will vary depending on what courses you choose to study.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme for each year of study
Start yearAssessment by written exams (%)Assessment by practical exams (%)Assessment by coursework (%)
Year 1582913
Year 254424
Year 3391348
Year 4175033

Career opportunities

Career opportunities for Oral Sciences graduates in the UK exist within the NHS and private sector practice. Graduates must become a registrant of the General Dental Council and will be able to pursue a career in all branches of dentistry including general dental practice, the salaried services (which include working in community and hospital environments), within industry or the armed forces.

They may also wish to enter into business to set up and own a referral dental practices. The degree programme’s broad research base also prepares you for a career in university-based research or teaching. It also provides a robust platform for consideration to graduate-entry dentistry.

Other items

Student support Undergraduate students are each assigned a personal tutor. The personal tutor is available to help directees deal with academic or personal issues which may affect their studies. In addition they can direct students to the appropriate university services. Consultation Mechanisms A staff student liaison committee will meet twice a year and feedback will be sought from students on a regular basis and student representatives will be invited to the relevant teaching committees. Clinics take place both within the Edinburgh Dental Institute and in the outreach centre. Students are given the opportunity to work and observe in a number of different dental settings.