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Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

Programme Code: HD 108 3416 6338 2305 5315
QF Level: 4
QR Registration No.: 07/001633/4
Registration Validity Period:  05/05/2008 to ongoing

Application Code 報名編號 : HD108

A survey by the China Health Department in 2003 indicated that about 2/3 of the Chinese on the Mainland are suffering from a certain degree of periodontal disease. Though the local situation is not as bad, many Hong Kong citizens are also affected by the disease. Proper daily cleaning does not completely eliminate this problem, and very often, professional help from a dental hygienist is needed. In response to the needs of the community, the College and the Prince Philip Dental Hospital are offering this 2-year Higher Diploma programme in Dental Hygiene. This is the only dental hygiene programme offered in Hong Kong.

Course Aims and Objectives

This programme aims to provide the relevant professional training needed to prepare you for a career in dental hygiene. Upon completion, you will be qualified to serve as a member of a dental team who will be capable of controlling and preventing periodontal disease and dental caries.

Clinical Placement

All specialism practical training is held at Prince Philip Dental Hospital. Clinical placement may be arranged for students to visit or work in dental clinic or department other than the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, e.g. government or private dental clinics.

Professional Recognition

Upon completion of the programme, students are eligible to enroll as “Dental Hygienists” with the Dental Council of Hong Kong, and thus are qualified to serve as member of a dental team, in controlling and preventing periodontal disease and dental caries.

Opportunities for Further Studies

Graduates can apply for further degree studies in Biological Sciences, Nursing or related subjects in universities overseas or locally through the Non-JUPAS route. 

Career Prospects

Dental Hygienists are permitted to treat patients in Hong Kong under the supervision of dentists. They also work as oral health educators in promoting dental health to the general public.

The average salary of graduates is HK$28,100.

Special Entrance Requirements

1. Applicants are also required to have obtained Level 2 or above in HKDSE Biology or Level 3 or above in Combined Science (Biology), or equivalent.

2. Special consideration may be given to applicants who have experience of working in a dental clinic and / or are holders of a Diploma in Dental Surgery Assisting or an equivalent qualification.

Sponsorship Scheme

To attract talented individuals to join the professional field as dental hygienists, the Department of Health of the Government of HKSAR, has set up a sponsorship scheme to provide financial assistance to the graduates of the Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene programme. Upon successful completion of the programme, the graduates can receive a full sponsorship of the tuition fees under the conditions specified by the government. The annual sponsorship amount is up to HK$70,000. For details, please click here.

  • Quantitative Analysis I
  • Information Technology Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Academic English
  • English for Academic Purposes I 
  • English for Healthcare Professionals
  • Practical Chinese


Year 1

  • Clinical Training 1 

Year 2

  • Clinical Training 2
  • Fundamentals of the Human Body

  • Applied Psychology

  • Problem-based Learning (PBL)

The PBL curriculum offers an integrated, problem-based curriculum with emphasis on student-centered learning, which is socially and culturally relevant and community-oriented. It is well adopted after its successful introduction to the medical and dental curriculum at HKU.

  • Clinical Training

  • Phantom Head Practice
  • Clinical Sessions
  • Dental Team Experience
  • Dental Clinic Visits
  • Government Oral Health Education Unit Visitation
  • Clinical Report Writing
  • Patient Clinical Assessment
  • Formulation of Treatment Plan
  • Application of Treatment Plan on Patient
  • Dental Health Promotion

Under the Guidance and Supervision of the dental hygiene teaching team, student dental hygienists work in groups to prepare Waiting Room Display Board in hospital, to plan, design, implement and evaluate a Dental Health Education Project for aspecific target group which is of their own interest and to prepare report after presentation.

  • Oral Radiography

  • Properties and Production of X-rays
  • Principles of Intra-Oral Radiographic Technique
  • Radiation Hazards and Safety Measures for Protection of the Patient & Operator
  • Proper Record Keeping and Processing Periapical and Bite Wing Radiographs
  • Diagnosis of Intra-Oral and Panoramic Radiographic Images

Courses offered in each semester are subject to student enrolment and resources available.

Mandy Kong Man
Mandy Kong Man
  • 2020-2022 Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

Before studying the Dental Hygiene Programme, I was a dental surgery assistant. Although I have some basic dental knowledge from my previous work experience, it was an entirely different experience from a chairside assistant to be an operator. The programme comprehensively trained my ability to become a qualified dental hygienist.

The clinical training was way more comprehensive than just cleaning the teeth. Motivating patients to perform good oral hygiene daily is an essential routine. It also allowed me to have more opportunities to communicate with different types of patients, such as, patients with special needs/ mental health problems. Although it was challenging for me, it built up my patience in treating patients. And I really get satisfaction when I know patients who have improved their oral health status.

Other than attending classroom seminars/ lectures, the problem-based learning module requires critical thinking and analytical skills which also helps me to gain motivation in learning. It also gives me a deeper understanding of the content of knowledge that I can immediately apply to treat patients with different oral and medical conditions.

The tutor and instructors from the programme are knowledgeable and passionate about teaching. I am so grateful for all the support and guidance given by them. It has been an incredible learning journey and the skills I gained in this programme have made me become a better and a more confident professional in the workplace.

Pauline Wong Po Ling
Pauline Wong Po Ling
  • 2019-2021 Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

Being one of the clinical patients for more than ten years in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, I am very used to sitting in the dental chair. Yet, it’s a completely different experience sitting behind it as a dental hygienist. It was not as easy as it seems, with the responsibility of maintaining the periodontal health of patients, it’s essential to acquire relevant knowledge and apply it clinically. The most challenging condition was that some oral conditions of the patients were beyond or ahead of the theoretical syllabus, which means that I might need to study in advance under the supervision of tutors and instructors in order to manage the oral health of my current patients. I think this is one of the very important qualities to study dentistry or to be a dental hygienist, to be responsible to the patients by learning actively and continuously. 
Bounded by the scope of dental hygienists, I always require prescription and help from the dentists to treat the patients comprehensively, so I am very pleased that the dental hygiene program provides me with the opportunity to learn dental knowledge from different aspects to understand how a hygienist could maximize his or her role to cooperate with the dental team and to optimize the dental health of patients.
Finally, I would like to give my greatest gratitude to all the teaching staff under the dental hygiene programme. Without their help, I could not meet the standard of a qualified registered dental hygienist.

Sharon Chui
Sharon Chui
  • 2018-2020 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and joy when I finally graduated with a qualification of High Diploma in Dental Hygiene.

Before I joined this programme, I’d always been inspired to become a healthcare professional. It was not until I realised dental health plays an important and indispensable role in our well-being did I decide to apply for this programme.

In the grand scheme of things, this programme not only provided useful textbook knowledge about dental health, but also hands-on clinical sessions that took a holistic approach to treating patients.

The teachers of the programme were extremely kind, helpful and knowledgeable. They brought a lot of experience and skills to the table. I was pleased and grateful for their help and support. I was also glad that I met some friendly peers who were truly my staunch friends and allies during my study journey.

Now that I’m a qualified dental hygienist, my experience and skills have been honed to the next level. The skill set I acquired over the past few years allows my patients to get the most out of my dental service.


  • Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene (2017-19)

I started my career in dentistry as a dental surgery assistant before being enroled into the Dental Hygiene programme. It is indeed my luck and pleasure to have the opportunity to further my study in the dental field. I still remember how excited I was on the day I received the offer.

HKU SPACE Community College, with the support of the Faculty of Dentistry of HKU, provided a qualified and complementary course. Throughout these two years, my life has been significantly enriched and enlightened. The instructors were very knowledgeable, approachable and caring, and they taught from a problem-based approach, which enabled us to gain in-depth understanding of the topics and develop advanced reasoning skills. I am certain that the clinical experience and guidance acquired in the programme will lead me to a successful and rewarding career.

Dental Hygienist is a career more than earning a living. It is interesting because we perform a wide variety of tasks to prevent oral diseases and promote oral health. In addition to enhancing one’s quality of life, it is a wonderful adventure to communicate with different people from all walks of life.

Miss Chan Man Yee Cara
Chan Man Yee Cara
  • Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene in 2016

Time flies. I have successfully completed this intense and challenging training programme. Being a student of dental hygiene is totally different from a secondary school student. There is no choice but to comply with the instructions during the clinical training sessions. However, it is full of great satisfaction and an unforgettable memory in my entire life. Clinical training is an integrated part of the whole programme. I have to practise clinical skills and apply dental knowledge when treating patients. Besides the clinical treatment, I found that persuading patients from changing their habit and attitude is the most challenging mission. Nevertheless, when I observed a positive change from a patient, I am very delighted with my efforts. In addition, to searching for information and having group discussions are the major ways to acquire knowledge in this problem-based learning (PBL) atmosphere. Compared with the traditional learning, PBL is more inspirational and easier to understand theories and practices. Besides, generic skills courses provide a balanced development for my study and I learned cooperate with team members and it greatly improved my communication skills. Last but not least, what I have learnt in this course is not only the dental knowledge but also working and interacting with different people. This course provides a great foundation for my future career and I am grateful to be one of the graduates in dental hygiene.

Ng Hiu Kam Catherine
Ng Hiu Kam, Catherine
  • Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene (2013-15)

I am so delighted for being a graduate of Higher Diploma of Dental Hygiene programme. The two years training from this programme supports me to handle and solve many big task of my job already, such as how to communicate with different patients. At the beginning of the programme, the clinical training session is very difficult for me, because I need to properly deliver oral health knowledge and treatment to my patients who suffer from periodontal disease. After two years training, I truly believe that the clinical training session helped me to build a good foundation of how to manage patients and treat periodontal disease. For the problem based learning (PBL) module, this is very new and interesting for me. All of us need to solve problems by ourselves and have sharing and presentation during PBL class. I believe that I have increased my originality and curiosity in the PBL class. The generic skills courses are also important that the diverse courses improve my language and communication skill. During the time I was studying in the programme, I met many good tutors who relieved an enjoyable and useful learning experience. I consider myself is lucky to have an opportunity to study in dental hygiene programme.

Lo Wing Yan Winnie
Lo Wing Yan, Winnie
  • Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene (2012-14)

Without a doubt, this two-year programme is a very comprehensive course, which has fostered my development as a professional dental hygienist. All the training I received from the course can equip me to practically apply in my dental hygienist career. The communication skills developed in the Generic Skills Courses improved my language competency and built up my self-confidence. At the beginning of the course, the Problem-based Learning (PBL) module was definitely a challenge to me because this learning approach was radically new to me. From the presentations in the PBL class, I gradually learnt how to address the compelling practical or theoretical problem, communicate information and ideas to my peers. Proper skills in solving problem were also developed through self-learning and group discussion. The Clinical Training sessions offered me invaluable hands-on practical experience in managing and treating authentic patients suffering from oral hygiene / health problems. With guidance from the clinical supervisors, I learnt the skills to build rapport with patients and properly deliver treatment to patients who suffer from periodontal disease, dental caries or other oral health problems. The professional trainings I got from the Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene programme have undoubtedly been helpful to my career in dental health services. I am proud to be a graduate from this programme and to serve the community in Hong Kong.

Lai Tsz Kiu, Lexie
Lai Tsz Kiu, Lexie
  • 2011-13 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

‘Practical’ is the word that I use to describe this 2-year Higher Diploma course in Dental Hygiene. I was surprised by the methods of training which have equipped me not only with the knowledge in dental aspects but also provided me with holistic development. The Problem-based learning (PBL) module is incredibly useful in training my critical thinking as well as my organising skills. Definitely, the experience that I acquired from this module can be applied and be very useful to my future studies and work. Moreover, the experience that I gained from the Clinical Training module, which was run side by side with the PBL module, can be applied in managing my patients as well as in other work situations. I am very proud of being a member of the dental profession after these two years.

Lee Katherine Ka Yan S.
Lee Katherine Ka Yan S.
  • 2010-12 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

It is amazing to me that I have become a dental professional in just 2 years' time. I am happy to see people benefiting from the services that I have offered to them in preventing periodontal disease and dental caries. By virtue of this course I have found the right path. In addition to the programme itself, the resources provided especially those by the Prince Philip Dental Hospital (PPDH), where many local dental professionals are trained, are essential in making the comprehensive training successful. Things taught in the generic modules at HKU SPACE CC have also helped me a lot in completing my studies in both the generic subjects and specialism. This course has definitely provided a professional training for me to be a dental hygienist. I am sure that students who are determined to become a professional in dental hygiene will benefit a lot from this course.

Fung Hiu Tung, Creamy
Fung Hiu Tung, Creamy
  • 2010-12 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

I became a professional dental hygienist after this two-year Higher Diploma programme. This has provided me with clinical training sessions, problem-based learning and other generic skills. Problem-based learning (PBL) has given me a new learning experience and has encouraged me to analyse problems by information searching, self-reading and group discussions. The clinical sessions have provided invaluable opportunities for me to treat patients in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital. More importantly, apart from the clinical skills, I have learned how to communicate and to take care of my patients. I found these experiences were really applicable and helpful to my career. Besides this, the generic modules also provided me with opportunities to strengthen my language ability and presentation skills. Now I know more about the role and responsibilities of a registered dental hygienist in Hong Kong and I am proud to be one of them.

Kwan Chun Hin Kelvin
Kwan Chun Hin, Kelvin
  • 2010-11 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

During the two years of studies in the Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene, I found it a very memorable experience. The unique "Problem-based Learning" teaching method has allowed me to develop logical and critical thinking which has enhanced my ability to analyse problems independently. These are important for me to work in the dental field. In addition, the clinical sessions have given me the opportunity to treat patients who have a wide range of oral health problems. It is very useful for my future career. And now, I am glad to have become one of the enroled dental hygienists in Hong Kong and I believe I can apply my knowledge and experience and contribute to the community.

Lau Lai Mei, Venus
Lau Lai Mei, Venus
  • 2010-11 Graduate of Higher Diploma in Dental Hygiene

I love my job as a dental hygienist. The 2-year Higher Diploma course is a comprehensive course which provided me with dental knowledge, clinical experience and generic skills. All that I learned and gained from the course can be practically applied in my work as a Dental Hygienist. Without a doubt, I found Problem Base Learning (PBL) a new and challenging academic experience after secondary school. Nevertheless, it helps students develop their critical thinking through information searching, group discussion and tutorial. In the clinical sessions, lecturers not only encouraged us to bring the knowledge into practice, but also taught us effective patient management skills and demonstrated how to co-operate with other dental practitioners. I find this invaluable in my day-to-day work. The generic courses also gave us training on language and communication skills. In short , this course has given me everything I require to become a professional dental hygienist and lots more besides.