Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing

Dental nursing

Course Overview

This course will give you the training and an internationally recognised qualification which allows you to work as a Dental Nurse in a variety of settings including private practices, hospitals and community dental clinics. The course includes an assessed work placement where you will spend a minimum of 15 hours per week. The College Placement Officer will help you to find a placement, usually in a dental surgery.

Dental nurses play a vital role in oral healthcare, providing close support to the dental surgeon in all aspects of patient care. They provide assistance to both the patient and the dentist during clinical procedures and maintain good practice and high quality service in the dental environment. In addition, their duties may include maintaining materials and equipment and also practice management. Career pathways can lead to working as a hygienist, therapist or dental technician. There are also opportunities in teaching and assessment.

South London College offers a stimulating programme which combines comprehensive training at the college with a work placement at a local clinic. You will be taught by highly experienced tutors who will give you both the theoretical knowledge and practical knowhow to be a successful nurse. Our on-campus student surgery will allow you to gain crucial practice and build your confidence before you start your placement. You will have access to a comprehensive range of dental materials and be given on-going support and advice throughout the course.

The course is ideal for you if:

  • You would like to make a positive contribution to the dental health of the local population
  • You wish to learn how to maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness and health and safety
  • You enjoy interacting with different people as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • You are looking for a qualification that leads to employment.

Why Study at SLC?

  • You will be taught by UK qualified and registered dental nurses
  • You will have regular practical experience at our on-campus training surgery
  • You will receive individual support for placements
  • You will have access to a comprehensive set of dental materials and instruments
  • You will benefit from Interactive teaching methods including role plays, simulations and group work.

  • Key Course Facts

  • Entry Requirements

  • Course Structure

Commencement: January, July and September

Awarding Body: City & Guilds

Level: QCF Level 3

Duration: 18 – 24 months

Study Mode: Part-time (1 day at the college & 15 hours in a compulsory work placement each week)

GCSE equivalent qualifications, including English and Maths.

A good level of spoken English will be required in order to take up a placement. Students whose first language is not English will have to do a short test before starting the course.

Please note this course is only available for UK, EU and ILR students.


To gain the full qualification, learners must complete a Portfolio of Evidence, demonstrating competence in each of the 15 mandatory units below. They must also achieve a ‘pass’ in a synoptic computer based multiple choice exam.

Mandatory Units
301 Ensure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety
302 Reflect on and develop your practice
303 Emergency First Aid Skills
304 Prepare and maintain environment, instruments, and equipment for clinical dental procedures
305 Offer information and support to individuals on the protection of their oral health
306 Provide celebrity gossip chairside support during the assessment of patients’ oral health
307 Contribute to the production of dental images
308 Provide chairside support during the prevention and control of periodontal disease and caries and the restoration of cavities
309 Provide chairside support during the provision of fixed and removable prostheses
310 Provide chair side support during non-surgical endodontic treatment
311 Provide chairside support during the extraction of teeth and minor oral surgery
312 Principles of infection control in the dental
313 Assessment of oral health and treatment planning
314 Dental radiography
315 Scientific principles in the management of oral health diseases and dental procedures