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Course content

Our web-based MRes Dental Public Health course is designed for students who want to develop skills for health services research to help improve oral health for whole populations.

This course is especially suited to those who want to go on to undertake a PhD, but have limited experience of research.

You will collaborate online with colleagues from across the world to explore practical, evidence-based approaches to care, prevention and planning services.

The course has been recognised for higher training in the specialty and confers eligibility to sit the Diploma in Dental Public Health examination of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (DDPHRCS).

Our students come from a range of occupations, including clinicians, managers, commissioners, providers or researchers. Our tutors will work with you to apply what you learn within your own context and healthcare system.


We aim to enable you to:

  • critically assess evidence that underlies oral health practice;
  • use a population approach to health issues;
  • demonstrate skills that contribute to public health policy-making and service planning;
  • demonstrate the skills necessary to research and answer population health questions;
  • apply your research skills to a PhD programme.

You will also be able to critically appraise the evidence base and take an international perspective on population health.

Special features

Connect with students from around the world

This course runs alongside the Master of Public Health (MPH) course at Manchester. There are currently around 200 students from 24 countries enrolled across both courses.

Teaching and learning

Online course delivery

The primary method of course delivery is via the internet, using technology that allows tutors to encourage active communication and discussion between participants on the course. This enables you to learn through easy access to a wealth of web-based materials and published articles, both from the course tutors and other students.

Induction residential course 

A two-day residential is held jointly with the MPH, MDPH and MRes courses at The University of Manchester at the beginning of the first academic year. It is designed to give everyone the necessary technical training and general orientation of materials that you will use throughout the course. You are encouraged to attend the residential, but it is not compulsory, as the same induction material is available online.

Coursework and assessment

Unit assessments

The assessment of each course unit is by written assignment rather than exams. Typically, assessment of each unit would involve a mid-semester and end-of-semester assignment. The word count of the assignments is typically 1,000 and 4,000 respectively.

Additionally, some assessment may be made of your contribution to online discussion.


The dissertation is worth 90 credits and should be between 15,000-18,000 words in length. It will comprise one of the following options:

  • a research protocol/grant application;
  • a research report, usually the secondary analysis of a dataset;
  • a qualitative or theoretical study;
  • a structured literature review.

Course unit details

You should expect to spend, on average, approximately 10-15 hours a week for every course unit studied.

Part-time students are advised to take only one course unit in the first semester.

Qualitative Research Methods is a prerequisite for any students planning a qualitative dissertation.

Career opportunities

Our course will enable you to apply your new skills and knowledge to conducting research into planning and delivering oral health services in your own area of work.

Some graduates may also go on to work towards the Diploma in Dental Public Health from the Royal College of Surgeons.

Visit the Dental Public Health (MRes) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Manchester

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