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


  • Closing Date

    February 2022

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.

Year 1 is spent between the university campus and the School of Dental Hygiene studying basic medical science and introductory elements of dental hygiene. Year 2 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.


The School of Dental Hygiene is a constituent part of the University Dental School and Hospital. Our teaching modules are delivered over two years as follows:

Year 1

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

Year 2 

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

Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May. Not all our modules will have formal examinations and many modules use other types of assessment. See here for more information on our assessments.

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


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 Hygiene, University College Cork

Our Diploma in Dental Hygiene is designed to meet the needs of the dental community. It leads to a highly rewarding career that provides a valuable health service and establishes relationships with patients. Training at Cork University Dental School and Hospital (CUDSH) is provided by highly experienced staff in an environment with access to a wide range of patients. On successful completion of the programme you can apply for registration as a Dental Hygienist with the Dental Council of Ireland.

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. Graduates may undertake additional training that falls within the Dental Council of Ireland's scope of practice for Dental Hygienists. See the Dental Council of Ireland website for more information.


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 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

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements page for further details. 

Fitness to Practise

This programme is subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy – see our Fitness to Practise page for more information.

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 visit our qualification comparison page.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

Course Fees include a Tuition Fee of €5,700.00, a Student Contribution Fee of €3,000.00 and a Capitation Fee of €130 in 2022/23.  This is a total fee of €8,830.00 payable each year.  

The HEA will pay the Tuition Fees for those who are eligible under the Free Fees Initiative. 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 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 2022/23. Please contact the Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie for confirmation of your fees.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

Please note that this programme is currently open to EU applicants only.

The application process for the Diploma in Dental Hygiene 2022/23 programme is now closed. 

EU Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the Central Applications Office page for further information.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information.

All Applicants

Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and 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. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact