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Best route for Dental Hygiene after being out of school for 3 years?

Hi,

My question is: What is the best route for getting into Dental Hygiene and Therapy as a mature student?

I left school in 2018. I got average GCSEs:
3 A's, 5 B's, a C and a D.
I got 2 A Levels:
D in chemistry and an E in biology.
My A Levels aren't great due to missing school for health reasons. So I know these grades alone are not good enough to get me into uni.

This is the route I've decided on so far:
Get an apprenticeship in dental nursing and complete within a year. Then, undertake work experience with a hygienist and do an access course, most likely online, as some uni's only accept access courses from affiliated colleges. Apply to uni.

My questions are:
Am I wasting a year doing a dental nursing qualification or will this really strengthen my application?
What are the best online access course providers?
Do they help you with your personal statement and run through interview practice with you?
Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my DH&T application?

Due to personal commitments in the area, I would prefer to get into Birmingham. However, I know they only offer 28 places a year so chances are very slim... and I've heard that they prefer A Level students. Is this the same across the board? Will being an access course applicant affect my chances of getting in in any way?

I would be extremely grateful if you could share your experiences and successes and how you got there. I will appreciate any knowledge that you can share with me!
Reply 1
A lot of universities accept access course as long as you have the ucas points and a science subject. What is more important is your experience and how you are different from the rest of applicants applying as it is a very competitive course. Your plan sounds great! Keep going!
Original post by nattmaxx
Hi,

My question is: What is the best route for getting into Dental Hygiene and Therapy as a mature student?

I left school in 2018. I got average GCSEs:
3 A's, 5 B's, a C and a D.
I got 2 A Levels:
D in chemistry and an E in biology.
My A Levels aren't great due to missing school for health reasons. So I know these grades alone are not good enough to get me into uni.

This is the route I've decided on so far:
Get an apprenticeship in dental nursing and complete within a year. Then, undertake work experience with a hygienist and do an access course, most likely online, as some uni's only accept access courses from affiliated colleges. Apply to uni.

My questions are:
Am I wasting a year doing a dental nursing qualification or will this really strengthen my application?
What are the best online access course providers?
Do they help you with your personal statement and run through interview practice with you?
Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my DH&T application?

Due to personal commitments in the area, I would prefer to get into Birmingham. However, I know they only offer 28 places a year so chances are very slim... and I've heard that they prefer A Level students. Is this the same across the board? Will being an access course applicant affect my chances of getting in in any way?

I would be extremely grateful if you could share your experiences and successes and how you got there. I will appreciate any knowledge that you can share with me!


Hi, I know dental nursing isn’t the best wage but you do gain a lot of experience from it and it teaches you a lot about dentistry so i think it would make the process a lot easier for yourself. Also when applying to university it would count as relevant experience. However, just going straight for the access course would save you a good year and a half as the dental nursing course is around 18 months.

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