University Undergraduate Study Programme in Dental Hygiene

Type of study programme:

University programme

Location of the study programme:


Duration of the study programme:

3 years, i.e. 6 semesters (180 ECTS points)

Academic title obtained upon completion of studies:

University Undergraduate in Dental Hygiene – univ.bacc.dent.hig

Conditions of enrolment

Legal acts (the Statute of the University of Josip JurajStrossmayer in Osijek, the Statute of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health Osijek, the Work Regulations of Josip JurajStrossmayer University of Osijek and the Ordinance on conducting the state graduation exam) prescribe the status of a student, which implies the manner in which a student acquires this status, who has the right to enrol, the manner in which an applicant obtains the right to enrol in the first year and higher years of studies.
Conditions of enrolment in a undergraduate university study programme in dental hygiene are determined on the basis of the above mentioned legal acts, as well as on the basis of the Ordinance on Studying.

Starting from the principle of equality, as well as vertical and horizontal mobility through the educational system, following the instructions of the National Centre for External Evaluation of Education and the Central Applications Office, the study programme enables the continuation of education for persons who have:
1. Completed a four-year high school and passed a state graduation exam in Republic of Croatia – selection of candidates according to the unified list of the Central Applications Office, and according to the criteria for evaluating the results of the state graduation exam adopted by the Faculty. 
2. Successfully passed a psychomotor test conducted by the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health Osijek:

3. Completed secondary school without having to pass a state graduation exam if they are older than 25 – selection of candidates by means of a classification procedure organised by the Faculty during which the best candidates will be chosen in a transparent manner.

Competencies acquired by the student upon completion of relevant studies

Students of dental hygiene will be competent to independently plan, educate, inform and implement the sanitary protection of the oral cavity based on the assessment of facts and the evaluation of theoretical knowledge within the field of dental medicine. In this way, the bachelor in dental hygiene is qualified for independent work in the health-care system where he/she has a significant role for oral health of the entire society manifested in education, prevention and promotion of health performed by dental hygienists within the dental team.

After completing the study programme, it will be possible to continue education at another similar university study programme.

The coherence of studies with basic and modern skills and the profession

The purpose of the study programme is to familiarize students with the modern approach to dental medicine development through lectures, seminars and exercises.
The relevant profession has a significant role for oral health of the entire society manifested in education, prevention and promotion of health performed by dental hygienists within the dental team.
For the time being, the profession of a dental hygienist is not registered in the Republic of Croatia. Following trends from the European Union and countries in our region, we recognized the advancement of dental medicine by introducing the profession of dental hygienists.
In developed EU countries, the demand for prevention, aesthetics and “wellness” treatments in the field of oral cavity is constant and awareness is developed that oral health is part of general health and an essential component of quality of life. There are relevant data that dental care by dental hygienists in these countries has resulted in a decrease in the incidence of tooth decay in children, a decrease in anodontia in the elderly and a general improvement in oral health in the community.

Connectivity of the study programme with the needs of the local community

The Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health Osijek, where experts in the field of biomedicine and health-care (doctors of dental medicine, bachelors and masters in nursing) are educated, is aware of its responsibility to improve the health and level of physical preparedness of the population of the local community, taking into account the existing network of health-care institutions and the growing number of institutions engaged in various forms of health-care services, as well as the development of health-care tourism. It is the local development of health-care tourism that, in order to preserve and improve health and improve the quality of life, requires competent educated personnel in the field of dental hygiene.
Therefore, the intention of initiating this university study programme in dental hygiene is to complete a range of study programmes in the field of biomedicine and health-care conducted by the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health Osijek with the aim of increasing the quality of health-care services, which consequently leads to potential creation of new jobs.

Analysis of student employment after completion of the study programme

There are currently two higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia that implement this study programme, which, in view of the expressed need for the dental profession, represents a great space for the employability of undergraduate students.
The university undergraduate study programme in dental hygiene belongs to the field of biomedicine and health-care, and therefore to the STEM field of study programmes determined by the University of Josip JurajStrossmayer in Osijek as a strategic goal, in relation to which a programme agreement was signed with the Ministry of Science and Education of Republic of Croatia. This objective was determined by precisely taking into consideration the growing potential of employing health-care professionals, especially after the Republic of Croatia joined the EU.
This should be accompanied by the expected further development of the tourist offer in the Republic of Croatia, as well as health-care tourism, where highly qualified dental hygienists have one very important role.

Comparison of relevant study programmes with foreign accredited programmes

In accordance with the principles of the Bologna Declaration, the proposed study programme is structured and evaluated with ECTS points. Therefore, there is an opportunity to attend organised courses of any other similar undergraduate study programme, or to attend similar professional study programmes by transferring their ECTS points. The international mobility of students and teachers should be based on bilateral partner agreements of universities, supported through EU programmes to foster mobility in universities.

The drafting of the programme of undergraduate university study in dental hygiene was an attempt at adapting to study programmes that are largely comparable with higher education institutions in the European Union, all with the aim of achieving mobility of students and teachers. The study programme in dental hygiene has previously been recognized as a university program in most European Union countries.

The programme was prepared according to the recommendations of the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) (
The programme of the university undergraduate study in dental hygiene is in terms of its content and qualifications comparable to the study programme carried out at universities in Malta( and Slovakia

Vertical mobility of students in national and international higher education areas

Upon completion of this study programme, students can continue their education in any graduate study programmes in the field of biomedicine and health-care. Further development of graduate study programmes for health-care professions is one of major strategic goals leading to the establishment of a comprehensive study programme for vertical education.

With the organisation of study programmes of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health Osijek, vertical mobility of students within the Faculty itself is ensured. For all university study programmes currently conducted by the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health Osijek, the possibility of continuing education in the university educational vertical in the field of biomedicine and health is open (the mobility diagram of FDMH students).

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