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MSc Oral Biology

Course Description

This course offers a wide ranging, in depth knowledge of oral biology in its broadest sense including relevant microbiology and disease processes. It also provides a sound educational background so that you can go on to lead academic oral biology programmes within dental schools.

Why study Oral Biology at Dundee?

This course is specifically designed for individuals who wish to pursue career pathways in academic oral biology, with a focus, though not exclusively, on developing individuals who can deliver and, more importantly, lead oral biology courses within dental schools.

Oral Biology is a significant subject area that is integral to undergraduate and postgraduate dental training worldwide. The scope of Oral Biology includes a range of basic and applied sciences that underpin the practise of dentistry. These subjects include: oral and dental anatomy; craniofacial and dental development; oral physiology; oral neuroscience; oral microbiology. These subjects will be integrated with the relevant disease processes, for example, craniofacial anomalies, dental caries and tooth surface loss.

What's so good about studying Oral Biology at Dundee?

This programme focuses on the research and education experience of the staff in the Dental School in Dundee. Such expertise lies in the fields of craniofacial development and anomalies; pain and jaw muscle control; salivary physiology; cancer biology; microbiology; cariology and tooth surface loss.

In addition it makes use of the extensive resources available for postgraduate programmes: extensive histological collections; virtual microscopy; oral physiology facilities; cell biology and dental materials laboratories.

Who should study this course?

The MSc in Oral Biology is for graduates who wish to pursue a career in academic oral biology. The course will be of particular interest for those wishing to establish themselves as oral biology teachers, innovators and course leaders within a dental school.

Teaching and Assessment

The Dental School is well placed to deliver such a course with an established staff of teaching and research active within oral biology, and its related fields, an in-house e-learning technologist and substantial links to the Centre for Medical Education in the School of Medicine. There will be an opportunity for students to exit with a PGCert in Oral Biology after successful completion of modules 1 -4 or a Diploma in Oral Biology after successful completion of modules 1 - 7.

How you will be taught

The programme will be delivered via a blend of methodologies including: face-to-face lectures / seminars / tutorials; on-line learning; directed and self- directed practical work; self-directed study; journal clubs.
What you will study

The MSc will be taught full-time over one year (September to August). Semester one (Modules 1 – 4) and Semester 2A, 2B (Modules 5 – 8) will provide participants with wide ranging, in-depth knowledge of oral biology, together with focused training in research (lab-base, dissertation or e- Learning) and its associated methodology. The MSc course is built largely on new modules (5) supported by 2 modules run conjointly with the Centre for Medical Education within the Medical School. All modules are compulsory:

Semester 1:

Module 1: Academic skills 1: principles of learning and teaching (15 credits)
Module 2: Cranio-facial development and anomalies (15 credits)
Module 3: Dental and periodontal tissues, development and structure (20 credits)
Module 4: Oral mucosa and disorders (10 credits)

Semesters 2A and 2B

Module 5a: Academic skills 2a: principles of assessment (15 credits)
Module 5b: Academic Skills 2b:educational skills
Module 6: Neuroscience (20 credits)
Module 7: Oral environment and endemic oral disease (20 credits)
Module 8: Project (60 credits)

The project is designed to encourage students to further develop their skills. This could take the form of a supervised laboratory research project, a literature based dissertation or an educational project. The educational project would be based around the development of an innovative learning resource utilising the experience of the dental school learning technologist.

How you will be assessed

Exams on the taught element of the programme will be held at the end of semester one. Essays and assignments will also contribute to the final mark, and the dissertation will be assessed through the production of a thesis and a viva exam.


The MSc Oral Biology is aimed at dental or science graduates who are either early in their careers or wish to establish themselves as oral biologists within dental schools. Oral Biology is a recognised discipline in many dental schools worldwide. Graduates will have gained sufficient knowledge and skills to enable them to be teachers, innovators and educational leaders in the field. In addition, successful graduates will be well placed to undertake further postgraduate study at PhD level. In some cases, this may possible within the existing research environments within the Dental School, the wider College of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing and the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification of the University of Dundee.

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

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally required to hold dental degree or a first class or upper second class science degree in a biomedical sciences discipline. There will be some flexibility for accreditation of prior or experiential learning.English Language Requirement: IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component less than 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

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