Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

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. Placement Opportunities During your study you will undertake six placements. These are based on educational need and are allocated by the placement lecturer. You will be required to undertake 14 hours of placement per week. Our placements are primarily based in Essex. As a student of FdSc Oral Health Science you are not eligible for an NHS Bursary but can claim travel expenses if the travel mileage from term time address to placement is greater than term time address to university. Unfortunately if you need a Student Visa to study in the UK this course is not suitable for you. This is due to the high percentage of work placement which exceeds the amount permitted in the Student Visa regulations. Location Whilst this course is offered at both our Southend and Colchester campuses, we recommend that you consider which location would suit you best and apply for that campus. If you apply to multiple campuses, you will only have one interview. If you pass the interview and we are able to offer you a place, you will be offered your first campus choice if available. If that campus is full, you will be offered the other campus. This is the same for applicants who only apply to one campus. Once your place is confirmed, requests to change campuses are not possible due to the restrictions on numbers.


Many of our courses offer a choice of optional modules to tailor your learning experience. More information about these can be found on the University of Essex website.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
Institution code:
Campus name:
Southend Campus
Campus code:

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

We are able to consider the National Dental Nurse Certificate or Diploma in Dental Nursing (with a minimum of two years' experience). Two years’ experience as a dental nurse can be taken from both pre and post qualification employment – please list employment details carefully on your UCAS application. In addition all applicants require GCSE Mathematics, English and Science at grade C/4. Unfortunately due to the percentage of work placement on this course, it is not suitable for anyone that will need a Student visa to study in the UK.

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)



You must also have: a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) – both of these are organised by the University.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £28850 Year 1
International £28850 Year 1

Additional fee information

Fees displayed are for 2024-25 entry. Fees may increase for each academic intake and each academic year of study.
Oral Health Science at University of Essex - UCAS