The Dentist Magazine.

King’s College launches new undergraduate course: Dental Therapy and Hygiene BSc

Published: 11/28/2019 12:00:00 AM

The Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences has announced the launch of a new undergraduate course – Dental Therapy and Hygiene BSc, which is now open for UK/EU applications for September 2020 entry.

Dental therapists and hygienists work to promote oral health and restore tooth function and carry out a significant amount of the primary care within general practice without the need for a referral from a dentist. 

From oral disease prevention strategies to direct restorations, they have the intellectual challenges of diagnostics and the technical challenges of treatment in this demanding and hugely rewarding field of healthcare. 

The Dental Therapy and Hygiene BSc course combines the latest knowledge in dental education with early clinical experience. Taught by internationally renowned staff, students are exposed to a rich breadth of skills and education in a diverse clinical environment. 

The course is designed to integrate with the undergraduate Dentistry BDS programme, offering students the opportunity of co-training, and preparing them for employment as a GDC registered professional and a key member of the dental practice team.

Professor Kim Piper, Dean for Education, said, “The faculty are delighted to welcome therapy and hygiene students together with dental students onto new innovative curriculum’s which will allow us to educate the dental team of the future to improve global oral health.”

Context:

  • Following the removal of Diplomas for Dental Therapy and Hygiene, King’s is entering an established market later than some competitor dental schools. However, the new BSc is replacing the long-established and highly successful diploma run at King’s College Hospital and will be taught by many of the same experienced staff.
  • UCAS application data for Russell Group institutions shows a steady increase in applications year on year, with an increase of 23 per cent between 2016/17 and 2018/19. For 18/19, application to offer rate is around 10 per cent (capacity limited) and acceptance to enrolment is 95 per cent. 
  • The 2014 Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CFWI) report commissioned by Health Education England on dental care professionals estimates that demand for dental hygienists and therapists will exceed supply by 2025 should current workplace trends continue. 

Student Appeal:

  • Dental therapists carry out a significant amount of the primary care within general practice without the need for a referral from a dentist. The BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene programme will train students to be autonomous, safe-beginner clinicians, prepared for registration with the GDC and employment as a key member of the dental practice team.
  • Graduate attributes fostered in training are transferable, building a resilient professional able to meet future challenges.
  • Scholarship is student and patient-centred, designed for students to experience authentic training through approaches such as enquiry and problem-based learning, embedding employability.
  • Students can select inter-disciplinary components to acquire skills such as languages or business management.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged through self-selected, independent project-based learning in education, business development or research methods.

Course USPs:

  • Ranked first in the UK and second in the world for Dentistry, the skills and experience of King's graduates are highly valued by practice employers. 
  • Co-training with Dentistry BDS students and learning from highly experienced teaching staff. 
  • Based at Guy's and King's College Hospitals, students will be exposed to diverse patient populations from year one for rich practical experience.  
  • Preparation for GDC registration and employment as a dental therapist/hygienist.
  • Inter-disciplinary student-selected components to acquire skills such as languages and business management. 
  • Community placements in South East London from year two for broad clinical and team-working experience. 

Entry requirements:

  • UK A level: A typical offer is BBB at A Level, including Chemistry or Biology, and an additional grade in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths or Psychology. If an applicant is using Maths to meet the subject requirements, Further Mathematics will not be accepted as the third A Level. Additionally, grade 5/C in Mathematics at GCSE, if not offered at A Level. Those taking linear A Levels in England will be required to pass the practical endorsement in all science subjects. A Level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A Levels.
  • IB: 35 points. Including 555 at Higher Level, and including Chemistry or Biology, and an additional one of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths (either Analysis & Approaches or Applications & Interpretation) or Psychology at Higher Level at grade 5. The total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE. Additionally, grade 5 at Standard Level is required in Mathematics if not offered at GCSE.
  • BTEC: a) BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010): DDM in Applied Science. Subjects offered should include Biology (or Human Biology).
              b) BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010): DM with six Distinctions in Applied Science and one A level at grade B OR four Distinctions in Applied Science and one A level grade A.
              c) BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010): M in Applied Sciences and two A levels at grades BB
  • Access to HE Diploma: D: 30 credits; M: 12 credits; P: 3 credits. QAA Access to Medical Professions, Health and Science HE Diplomas are considered. Additionally, GCSE (or accepted Level 2 equivalent) at Grade 5/C in Mathematics is required (or recognised equivalent).