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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

Overview Dental nurses support dentists in all aspects of patient treatment and care. On this 1-year CertHE Dental Nursing course, accredited by the General Dental Council (GDC), you’ll get the knowledge and practical skills required to achieve safe beginner status, become a vital member of the dental team and register with the GDC when you graduate.

  • Build your team-working skills by studying alongside dental hygiene, dental therapy and final year students from King’s College London Dental Institute
  • Use some of the best dental facilities for students in the country at our Dental Academy, with 44 treatment bays, 2 individual surgeries, a phantom head skill lab, full radiography suite and an electronic patient records system
  • Work with real patients in the local community, gaining valuable work experience supporting our dental outreach project
  • Qualify with a CertHE in Dental Nursing when you complete the course, which allows you to register with the GDC as a dental nurse
Professional accreditations This course is accredited by the General Dental Council (GDC). Careers and opportunities Dental nurses offer vital support to dentists by ensuring they have all they need to treat patients, such as preparing tools and materials, sterilising treatment spaces and managing patient records. They also assist dentists as they carry out treatments, passing instruments as they need them, keeping a patient's mouth clear of water and saliva, and making sure patients are comfortable and relaxed throughout. Dental nursing is a crucial role within a dental team and since the pandemic, there is an even higher demand for dental nurses in the both the NHS and the private sector. On this Dental Nursing CertHE, you'll gain what you need to become a registered dental nurse, including knowledge of many dental restorative and preventative procedures, and professional and people skills. You'll complete a programme of statutory and mandatory training as part of our commitment to the NHS, including the anatomy and physiology of the head and neck, body systems, and understanding health, safety and infection control. Once you complete the course, you’ll be able to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) as a dental nurse, ready to work at a general dental practice, a hospital, with the community dental service or in the Armed Forces. Or, you could continue your studies at diploma or degree level. What areas can you work in with a dental nursing CertHE? As a registered dental nurse, you’ll be qualified to take on roles in any sector of the dental industry, including:
  • general dental practice (NHS or private)
  • corporate dental practice
  • hospital dental services
  • Armed Forces
  • specialists dental practice
  • health promotion
Potential salary As an NHS dental nurse in 2021, your starting salary would likely be between £20,330 (Band 3) and £22,549 (Band 4). With more experience as a senior dental nurse, you could make up to £31,534 (Band 5). You could also work in the private sector, or as a locum dental nurse, for a competitive hourly rate. Work experience with patients in the community To help you gain professional experience, you'll help to provide free dental health services to the public at the Dental Academy and work with patients in local community settings. You'll have the chance to offer preventative and educational dental support within institutions such as school clinics and hostels for homeless people, enabling you to gain a better understanding of the social impact of good dental care. Our community work experience projects include:
  • outreach activity in community surgeries and maxillofacial departments in local hospitals
  • oral health promotion
  • supervised tooth brushing in infant schools
  • helping staff to develop oral care plans in residential homes
  • providing dental screening to offenders in the probation service


Full time Year 1 Core modules in this year include: Foundations of Dental Nursing Professional Practice – 40 credits Fundamentals of Dental Nursing Practice – 20 credits Science Informing Practice (Dental) – 40 credits Foundation of Evidence Based Practice (Dental) – 20 credits There are no optional modules in this year. Part time Year 1 Core modules in this year include: Foundations of Dental Nursing Professional Practice – 40 credits  Fundamentals of Dental Nursing Practice – 20 credits  There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules in this year include: Foundation of Evidence Based Practice – 20 credits  Science Informing Practice (Dental) – 40 credits  There are no optional modules in this year. We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through examinations and coursework, and your clinical development and competency is assessed via an electronic software platform (LIFTUP). You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • General Dental Council

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before starting the course.

Health checks

Applicants must pass Occupational Health check before starting the course. This includes screening to exclude infectivity with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.


All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in support of their application.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)7English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
PTE Academic68An overall score of 68 with a minimum of 61 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)100100 with a minimum of 24 in Reading, 23 in Listening, 25 in Speaking and 24 in Writing
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 185 with no component score less than 176.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 185 with no component score less than 176.
Trinity ISETrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

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

EU £9250 Year 1
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
International £18100 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 | EU – £925 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £2,000. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to
Dental Nursing at University of Portsmouth - UCAS