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    Faculty of Health Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    September, January

  • Course Duration

    1-5 years part time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    13 September 2018

Course content

Bristol University Open Learning for Dentists (BUOLD21C) is a popular modular distance learning programme for students aiming to achieve the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Postgraduate Dental Studies. It provides a unique form of dental postgraduate education, designed for busy dental practitioners.

You will complete three units (60 credits) from a choice of units to achieve the certificate, or six units (120 credits) to achieve the diploma. Each unit provides a structured programme that involves reading, study days and assessments.

This method of study is not led by teachers in a classroom but is supported by tutors and administration at a distance, offering the flexibility to suit your personal needs. Units are written specifically for this programme and are designed to be interactive, giving you the opportunity to think and learn for yourself. Following successful completion of the diploma, you may carry out a research project and prepare a dissertation to achieve an MSc.

All students applying for Postgraduate Dental Studies will initially be enrolled on to the certificate, and on satisfactory completion will be transferred to the diploma.

Occasional route of study

The occasional route of study is an option for students who do not want a formal postgraduate qualification but still want to register for individual units. After successfully completing a unit, you will be awarded a transcript confirming that you have attained 20 credits; this could later be used in an application for Recognition of Prior Learning. CPD hours are also awarded. Students who have completed a unit via the occasional route may transfer to the certificate programme, subject to availability of places.

Programme structure

The year is divided into three teaching blocks and you may only take one unit per block. Programme material is posted on Blackboard, an online learning environment. There are between one and four elements per unit and they contain assignments for you to complete.

There are one to two compulsory study days per unit, usually held on Fridays or Saturdays. These cover areas that do not lend themselves well to distance learning, such as hands-on sessions.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our:


The aim of this programme is to inform and enhance the current practice of busy dental practitioners. In future, some of the units may be helpful for gaining a contract with the NHS to provide clinical services at Tier 2 level, which may be introduced in England.

Visit the Dental Studies - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Bristol website for more details!




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