UCC Undergraduate courses

Dental Hygiene

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Dental Hygiene

  • Code


  • College

    Medicine and Health

  • Duration

    2 Years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • Fees

    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7, Maths, other language, Biology. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points


Course Outline

Dental hygienists form an important complementary branch of the dental profession. Working under the supervision of a dentist, the dental hygienist carries out procedures such as:

  • scaling teeth
  • taking and recording radiographs 
  • local infiltration and inferior block anaesthesia
  • application of fissure sealants
  • application of desensitising agents
  • dietary advice.

A career in dental hygiene will appeal to students who have empathy for people, who are interested in their welfare, and who like carrying out precision work with their hands.


The School of Dental Hygiene is a constituent part of the University Dental School and Hospital.

Year 1 Modules:

  • AN1004 The Anatomical Basis of Dental Hygiene (15 credits);
  • PL1011 Basic Science for Dental Hygiene (15 credits);
  • RD1004 & RD1005 Clinical Dental Hygiene I & II (5 & 10 credits);
  • RD1006 & RD1007 Theoretical Dental Hygiene I & II (5 & 10 credits)

Year 2 Modules:


Preventive Dentistry and Dental Public Health;  Periodontology;  Clinical Prevention;  Clinical Dental Hygiene;  Dental Hygiene Project

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the programme and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of programme modules.

Fitness to Practise
This programme will be subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy – full details may be found here.

Course Practicalities

Equipment: Dental Hygiene students wear scrubs in the clinic and these are purchased in Year 1.

Why Choose This Course

I learned great practical skills and gained confidence in my abilities.

Sonya Cronin, Graduate, Dental Hygeine

The first year is spent between the university campus and the School of Dental Hygiene studying basic medical science and introductory elements of dental hygiene.

The second year is spent in the School of Dental Hygiene/University Dental School & Hospital.

Students benefit from small class numbers and from intense patient contact during the latter stages of training.

Skills and Careers Information

The dental hygienist may work under the supervision of a dentist in general practice, in the Health Service Executive, or in a dental hospital, or may consider undertaking further study to work as an instructor.


Please note: We only accept applications from students who have completed secondary school leaving exams i.e. the Leaving Certificate must be complete prior to application.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by October 15th in the year of proposed entry to the programme, and must hold a Leaving Certificate or equivalent at the time of application or be applying on the basis of mature years. Application forms can be obtained from the Admissions Office by emailing admissions@ucc.ie.

Leaving Certificate entry requirements

Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. Subjects must include Irish (unless exempt), English, another language, Mathematics and Biology.

Mature students

Applicants should apply directly to the UCC Admissions Office and may be required to attend for interview.

Fitness to Practise

This programme will be subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy – full details may be found here.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Course Fees include a Tuition Fee of €5,700.00, Student Contribution Fee of €3,000.00 and Capitation Fee of €130 in 2021/22.

The HEA will pay the Tuition Fees for those who are eligible under the Free Fees Initiative.

NB: If you already hold a Level 7 Qualification, the HEA will not fund a second Level 7 Programme irrespective of whether the initial Programme was funded/self-fund, full-time/part-time. The total fee due in 2019/20 is €8,950.00. The total fee is payable each year.

If you qualify for the Free Fees Initiative, the fees due will be the Student Contribution Fee of €3,000.00 and the Capitation Fee of €130 in 2021/22.

Please contact the Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie  for confirmation of the fees due by you.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

Application for the Diploma in Dental Hygiene 2021/22 programme is now closed.


Non-EU Applications

Non-EU applicants must apply online: How to apply pages for international students


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

Contact details for this course

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact