Dental Development Programme - University of Portsmouth
Professional progression course

Dental Development Programme

Part Time23wks

Gain the access and experience you need for entry onto some of our undergraduate dental courses

Course Overview

Why take this course?

If you are a qualified dental nurse or dental technician who has not attained a level 3 qualification that will be accepted for direct entry via UCAS, this 23-week Dental Development Programme provides an access route for entry onto the BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy or BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene degree courses.

You will cover core topics in anatomy and physiology while preparing yourself for study at university level.

The course forms a basis for further education in dental health professions at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy.

Applicants are requested to make their preferred progression route clear on their application to the Dental Development Programme.

  • Progression route 1: BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy
  • Progression route 2: BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene 

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Access University facilities on campus
  • Meet our BSc students in action in our purpose-built dental facilities
  • Work with tutors to plan and develop your career

What opportunities might it lead to?

Although this short course does not lead to a recognised academic award of the University or the award of credits, it prepares you for progression to the full-time BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy courses.​



Dental Development Programme

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

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Structure & Teaching

The subjects covered in this 23-week course give you the core knowledge you need to progress onto your chosen BSc.

Subjects include:

  • Introduction to biology
  • Biology body systems
  • Learning skills
  • Evidence-based practice

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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, virtual learning, group work and guided reading.

Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice and research. We provide a student-centred approach to teaching, with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.

How are you assessed?

We assess you in a variety of ways. All assessment requires a pass mark for you to be eligible to progress to degree level.

Here’s how we assess your work:

  • written assignments
  • examinations
  • presentations
  • reflective reports

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Facilities & Features

The Dental Academy

We have built the optimal environment for you to study dental practice. Offering a balance of state-of-the-art teaching and clinical facilities, here’s a taste of what you’ll have access to:

  • two clinics (44 dental treatment bays)
  • two individual surgeries
  • a phantom head room
  • decontamination suite
  • radiography suite
  • four radiography booths

Working as a Team

Our Dental Academy is a training ground for undergraduate King’s College London Dental Institute students as well as you and others on your course. So with dental care professionals and undergraduate dentists under the same roof, you’ll really get a feel of what it’s like to be part of a dental team working within a primary dental care setting.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

Other costs to consider

We provide you with three sets of scrubs (clinical clothing) and a name badge at the start of the course. Extra or replacement scrubs can be ordered at £8 per set or £4 for individual items. Replacement name badges can be ordered at £7. You will need to purchase your own visor frame (available from the Dental Academy for £8) and a pair of black shoes which enclose the foot (not clogs). You will also need to pay £30 for the use of a model skull (with extra fees if not returned). Locker keys require a deposit of £10.  There are a variety of outreach locations that you will need to attend to support your study which will incur travel costs.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

When you complete the Dental Development Programme you will progress to either the BSc Dental Hygiene/Therapy programme, or the BSc Dental Hygiene programme. This is dependent on the course you selected for progression on initial application. Either of these degree programmes lead to a variety of career options.

Here are some routes and role our BSc (Hons) graduates have go onto:

  • general dental practice
  • hospital dental services
  • the Armed Forces
  • the NHS
  • health promotion
  • business owner
  • postgraduate study

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484