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Oral Biology MSc

Course Description

This 12-month full-time MSc course explores the interdisciplinary field of oral biology, for those from either a scientific or clinical background. It provides the opportunity to develop a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights around the subject.

The course involves four taught core modules and a five-month laboratory research project leading to a dissertation. It encompasses a wide breadth of biomedical research that is also applicable to clinical dentistry and medicine, derived from the research strengths available within the School of Dentistry. The course has a strong research focus in the taught element, as well as the laboratory research projects, and it is envisaged as an entry for postgraduate research.
Distinctive features

The distinctive features of this course include:

• This is a hybrid course, which provides taught components and a laboratory-based research project.
• The taught part of the course has a strong focus on research methodology and modern experimental design/approaches, as well as the relevant Oral Biology background, thus laying a good foundation for the research project.
• Students will develop laboratory research skills.
• Training is provided to enable students to use research equipment independently.


This is a 12-month full-time multidisciplinary modular programme consisting of four taught core modules (part 1) to a total of 120 credits and a laboratory-based research project (part 2) studied over five months and worth 60 credits.

• Part 1: Taught Component

During Part 1, the modules are delivered concurrently over a 26-week period.

• Part 2: Research Project

Following satisfactory completion of the assessed course work and examinations in Part 1, you will progress to Part 2 of the course, the dissertation, which commences in April. You will be required to complete and submit a laboratory-based research project dissertation and present your work as a poster presentation (total 60 credits) to obtain a Master’s degree.

The research projects offered as part of the MSc course in Oral Biology are all laboratory-based. Research projects will be collated from supervisors in the School of Dentistry and their collaborators. We have an extensive collaborative network with co-supervisors/collaborator based in the Schools of Medicine, Biosciences and Pharmacy. You will be asked to propose a first and second choice of research project, and in most cases students will be able to pursue their first choice.

Those who do not achieve the MSc in Oral Biology may be eligible for the exit awards of a Postgraduate Diploma in Oral Biology (120 credits) or a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).

For the Postgraduate Certificate award, students must have completed a particular module together with one other module, which will give them the knowledge and the intellectual, practical and transferable skills appropriate to a qualification in basic science and its practical application.

Core modules:

Research Methods
Cell Biology of Oral Tissues
Microorganisms in Oral Diseases
Tissue Repair, Regeneration & Scientific Methods


All taught elements are delivered within the School of Dentistry. Students may attend other Schools (such as Medicine, Pharmacy or Biosciences) to undertake their research project.

A range of teaching methods is used on this programme, including:

Small group teaching
Discussion groups
Self-directed learning
Oral scientific presentation
Poster / scientific presentation
Laboratory research skills
Writing a dissertation

Due to the relatively small intake for the MSc course, most teaching is delivered via small group teaching, involving seminars or student-led discussion groups. Such a teaching environment should facilitate a good student-teacher relationship, where academic problems can be identified and addressed with relative ease. Students may arrange for additional mentoring as required via the module leaders.

Additionally, all students will attend Student Induction, which includes presentations on the structure of the course and each module, the student services and graduate centre, a tour of the building and library and IT facilities.

During the taught component, you will be provided with reading lists for each module. To foster the high research element of the course the majority of course reading will be via peer-reviewed research journals which are readily accessible via the University electronic library for e-journals. Text-books are available within the libraries on the Heath Campus.


Throughout the course, you will be issued with student assessments that may take the form of essays, presentations and reports. These will be used to monitor your academic progress.

You must pass both parts of the course in order to qualify for the Master’s degree. You must pass Part 1 in order to progress to Part 2.

Module assessments are used to assess learning outcomes and allow you to express Master’s level concepts of understanding, analysis, evaluation and presentation. You will be required to pass all four module assessments in the taught element and the dissertation with a minimum pass mark of 50%.

You must complete each assignment according to the assignment submission schedule issued to students at the start of the course.

Career prospects

A Master's degree in Oral Biology opens the door to a variety of possible future careers. The modules are designed to prepare each student to optimise their learning towards their chosen future career. The core skills modules immerse you in the research environment, developing research skills which will be practised in the laboratory-based research project, leading to a dissertation. This should allow you to distinguish yourself in today's highly competitive job market.

We anticipate that students will pursue further PhD qualification leading to research careers in the biomedical or pharmaceutical industry or an academic career in biomedical or dental research and teaching.

Visit the Oral Biology MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Last Updated

28 June 2017

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