Our FdSc Oral Health Science is a programme which leads to the award of a Foundation Degree, and qualifies you to register with the General Dental Council (GDC)* as a Dental Hygienist. It is based on the General Dental Council’s (GDC’s) guidance document Developing the Dental Team and is kept under continual review to ensure that you are ‘fit to practise’ upon qualification. Following the successful completion of this course, you may consider continuing your training with us to become a Dental Therapist through our BSc (Hons) Oral Health Science programme.
There’s never been a better time to train as you can now apply for a £5000 grant that you won’t need to pay back! There is also an extra £3000 funding available depending on your personal circumstances. You can find more information about eligibility and how to apply on the HSC Scholarships and Funding page.
At Essex we have one of the largest portfolios of oral health science courses in the East of England, putting us in a strong position to provide you with excellent training on this programme. You learn clinical skills in our state-of-the-art dental laboratories and academic dental clinics, studying oral health issues affecting the health of individuals and communities including:
- Pathology and disease
- Environment and work-safety issues
- Heredity, lifestyle, education, socio-economic factors
- Media influences
Through integrating your studies with other healthcare professionals, we ensure that you consider these wider issues in order to adopt a holistic approach to patient care.
Our aim is to create professional learning pathways to bridge the skill gap of the current NHS dental workforce while meeting your learning needs and helping you develop self-awareness, confidence and autonomy.
At the same time, we develop professional hygienists who through continuing professional development (CPD) courses, foster the habit of lifelong learning in order to meet the future needs of individuals and society. Our overarching aim is to widen access to professional education so that you can practise as registered practitioners safely and competently.
The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.
Our expert staff
A unique feature of our School is that you will be taught by a team of specialist clinicians with significant experience in dentistry. This enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and real-life practice.
Full details of our staff can be found on the HSC Staff Profiles.
As a School, we specialise in applied, multidisciplinary research that addresses issues of national and international concern to health and social care policy and practice, and related fields. We also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.
The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester Campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend Campus.
In Southend, the Oral Health Science facilities are located in the Gateway Building. In Colchester, the Oral Health Science facilities are located at our Bromley Road Academic Dental Clinic. We offer clinical laboratories with the very latest equipment and IT facilities – in particular, a state-of-the-art dental skills lab with the latest simulation ‘phantom heads’ to practise on.
Foundation degrees are work-related, higher education qualifications designed in conjunction with employers to offer accessible and flexible learning opportunities relevant to a student’s career. A foundation degree is shorter than a standard undergraduate degree but is a higher education qualification in its own right and it can be used as a progression route to a full undergraduate degree.
The successful completion of this programme leads to the award of a Foundation Degree Oral Health Science, with 240 academic credits. This qualification is recognised by the General Dental Council (GDC) and gives you eligibility to register as a dental hygienist.
97% of our School of Health and Social Care students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020).
Why we’re great
- 100% of our undergraduate School of Health and Social Care students are in professional employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduating from Essex (DLHE 2017).
- You learn clinical skills in our dedicated, state-of-the-art dental skills lab.
- You are involved in the treatment of patients right from the beginning of the course.
This programme is full-time and you are expected to complete the minimum number of weeks required by the GDC, which is 90 weeks. Term dates do not coincide with our normal University term dates due to this requirement and you are in placement throughout the summer. Any time missed by non-attendance, through sickness or other personal reason, will need to be made up in order to register.
The dates for holiday breaks are timetabled throughout the programme and these cannot be changed for individual students. The planned holiday periods include time at Easter, summer, Christmas and New Year.
These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.
We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.