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Dental Technology, DipHE

Dental Technology, DipHE

Course Overview


A specialist programme integrating teaching of dental technology, on and off campus, with on-line learning which will educate and train students to be Dental Technicians. On qualifying with the DipHE in Dental Technology, you will be eligible to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) to practise as dental technicians and to use that title. Dental technicians manufacture, repair and advise on custom-made dental appliances under the prescription of a dentist or other qualified Dental Care Professional.

Upon completion of the programme you will understand the role of a dental care professional, the anatomy, physiology and human disease relevant to dental technology as well as biomaterials and technical aspects related to fixed and removable prostheses and orthodontic appliances. The programme offers you the opportunity to study whilst employed as a trainee dental technician in a registered dental laboratory. This facilitates learning and removes the need to re-locate.

LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning, Distance learning
DURATION 36 months
What You'll Study
How You'll Study
  • Primary Dental Laboratory Skills
  • Professional Practice
  • Removable Partial Dentures
  • Oral Anatomy and Physiology
  • Dental Alloy Techniques
  • Removable Dental Prosthodontics 2
  • Design Principles and Processes
  • Dental Public Health, Leadership and Management
  • Fixed Dental Prosthodontics 1
  • Fixed Dental Prosthodontics 2
  • Orthodontic Technology
  • Fixed Dental Prosthodontics 3

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Dental Technology?
  • You will gain a professional qualification that will provide opportunities for career progression.
  • You will be able to put things into practice immediately the aspects of dental technology that you have learnt.
  • You will have the opportunity for hands-on practice, under supervision, helping you to build confidence and gain practical knowledge of what is possible within a clinical laboratory
  • Evidence-based content will give you the confidence to know that you are doing the best for your patients. 
  • You will have networking opportunities with others on the programme and in the institute building as well as the opportunity to learn from other dental professionals’ experience.
  • The programme is delivered via a combination of in-practice and on-campus learning which is designed to fit around your work and life.
  • Teaching takes place in a purpose-built, modern facility with easy access to specialist laboratory equipment.


Dental technicians work either in commercial dental laboratories or the community or hospital dental service. Dental technicians usually specialise in one discipline within dental technology:

  • Orthodontics – creating plastic or metal devices, such as braces to straighten teeth
  • Crown and bridge work – making crowns to restore extensively damaged teeth or to replace a number of teeth with a fixed bridge supported by teeth or dental implants
  • Prosthetics – producing plastic or metal-based removable dentures which replace either some or all of the teeth.

Dental technicians work with materials such as porcelain, gold and plastic resins using both traditional techniques and more modern ones such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM). In a private dental laboratory, dental technicians work for a range of dental practices. In a hospital, dental technicians work with dental staff and patients, frequently this work is of a specialist nature. There are opportunities for dental technicians to progress their careers to senior technical and managerial positions.

Being listed on the General Dental Council’s List of Dental Technicians is the entry requirement for the current Clinical Dental Technician (CDT) courses in the UK. A CDT is a dental technician who has undertaken further academic and clinical study to enable them to provide some dentures and other appliances direct to the public. The CDT will undertake both the clinical and technical procedures required.

Dental Technology is also the starting point for Maxillofacial technicians. This is where the technician constructs splints and facial prosthesis for patients who have lost large areas of soft and hard tissue either through surgery or trauma.

Entry requirements


All students must be employed as a trainee dental technician in an MHRA registered laboratory and have access to all three dental technology disciplines. Evidence of employment is required (normally in the form of contract and a reference from their employer). Entry qualifications for University-level qualification (access to University course), standard entry requirement, including specified subjects:

  • Passes in two subjects at SQA Higher (C or above), which will include a science subject (or equivalent).
  • You will need English at a SCQF Level 5 which in Scotland this would equate to a Nat5 (or equivalent).
  • English should be the student’s primary language or IELTS6 equivalent.
  • Satisfactory employer documentation and workplace visit.

Applicants will be invited to a MMI interview prior to confirming entry to the course.

As part of the application process, successful applicants will be offered a place on the course subject to a satisfactory workplace visit. The Programme Leader or nominated deputy will visit each student’s workplace to review the submitted workplace checklist, discuss with employers and mentors the requirements of the course, IT requirements and explain the vital role that they play as a supervising registrant. Following acceptance onto the programme, supervisors will sign an educational agreement with the Northampton University and also receive mentoring support and training throughout the academic year, which will be eligible for CPD.


SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.


Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions