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Course content

The Masters in Dental Public Health (MDPH) will enable you to develop a career in government-based/national public health programmes of Dental Public Health. Alternatively, it is a good foundation if you intend to follow an academic pathway in dental public health.

Why Dental Public Health at Dundee?

This course is unique to Scotland and is a joint venture between the Dental Health Services Research Unit (DHSRU) and the School of Dentistry.

Both DSHRU and the School of Dentistry are world renowned and have formal links with the World Health Organisation (WHO). DHSRU has made long term contributions to oral epidemiology and public health, caries diagnosis and management and, in particular, to practice-based dental research and evidence based dentistry. DHSRU remains unique in dentistry, in the UK and internationally, by maintaining a long term portfolio of projects focusing on matters of importance to health services and providers of routine dental care.

Using the World Health Organization (WHO) Oral Health Programme strapline 'think global act local', the course will provide you with the necessary Dental Public Health knowledge, understanding and skills to develop a country specific oral health strategy to promote oral health and reduce oral health inequality.

This programme also focuses on evidence-based dentistry and has input from Derek Richards, Director for the Centre of Evidence-Based Dentistry and Professor Jan Clarkson, Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Oral Health Group.

Flexible Degrees

The table below shows the flexibility of the degrees offered:

Degree Length of study
Full time / Part time
MDPH 12 months / 24 months
PGDipDPH 9 months / 18 months

Who should study this course?

The MDPH is designed to attract dental practitioners with a policy and research interest in Dental Public Health. In particular there is support for specialty trainees in Dental Public Health undertaking this course during their training in Tayside and elsewhere. The course structure is compatible with specialist training and therefore will be attractive to dentists hoping to undertake CSST to obtain specialist/consultant status.

In keeping with the current increase in interest in Dental Public Health in the UK and globally this course will also be appropriate for other dental health professionals and to social scientists wishing to work with in the Dental Public Health environment.

Teaching & Assessment

The Masters in Dental Public Health is a joint venture taught by staff in both the Dental Health Services Research Unit and the School of Dentistry both of which are world renowned.

The full time MDPH course lasts for one year. The taught component takes around seven months and is followed by research leading to a dissertation. All students initially enrol on a diploma programme (PGDipDPH) which includes the taught component only. To progress to the Masters programme and undertake the Masters dissertation students must obtain an overall pass of 60% in the taught component. Both programmes may be undertaken on a part-time basis.

How you will be taught

A variety of teaching methods will be used including lectures, tutorials, discussion groups, self-directed learning including the use of internet based resources and supervised research.

The programme of studies will provide structured support sessions for students who encounter difficulties. In addition, students are encouraged to contact lecturers to raise specific questions.

What you will study

The programme consists of the following modules:

Semester 1 -
Public Health
Health Promotion
Basic Statistics

Semester 2 (part 1)
Research methods
Dental Public health
Oral Epidemiology
Intermediate statistics
Behavioural Sciences
Preparation for Dissertation

Students studying for an MDPH then undertake research and write a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

Performance is monitored by continuous assessment throughout the programme. Written and oral examinations are held in December, March and May. Examinations are graded passes (A to D) or fail.

Students must obtain grade D or above in all written and oral examinations in order to be awarded the Diploma.

To be eligible to progress from the Diploma onto the Masters, students must pass the examination of each subject and achieve a minimum overall pass at B or above (60%).


The Masters in Dental Public Health will enable students to develop careers in government-based/national public health programmes of Dental Public Health as well as those wishing to following the academic pathway in Dental Public Health.

This programme will, in addition, enhance current dental careers with research skills and knowledge and give a broad base of dental health knowledge applicable in other dental health care fields. This course is anticipated to be attractive to specialist trainees in Dental Public Health who require to complete a Masters in Dental Public Health, to dentists who wish to enhance their research knowledge; to other dental health professionals working in NHS Boards who wish to develop skills in research; to overseas students who wish to become specialists in Dental Public Health and scientists wishing to engage in Dental Public Health research.

Visit the MDPH Dental Public Health page on the University of Dundee website for more details!





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