The course aims to develop practitioners' diagnostic knowledge and skills in oral microbiology, dental infection control and oral medicine.
The course aims to deliver sound teaching in the theory and safe practice of modern clinical and diagnostic oral sciences. It aims to produce competent and reflective practitioners as well as encouraging opportunities for research and further postgraduate development. The programme aims to develop confident senior practitioners who have a comprehensive understanding of, and proficiency in, the principles and management of oral medicine, microbiology, immunology and infection control.
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About this course
In this section
The Master of Science (MSc) in Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences is perfect for dentists and healthcare alliance professionals (infection control pathway), keen to increase their abilities to save lives by diagnosing and managing oral manifestation of systemic disease and infections, and by preventing infection transmission.
Students can choose from the three main pathways:
- MSc in Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences (Oral Medicine)
- MSc in Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences (Oral Microbiology)
- MSc in Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences (Dental Infection Control)
The courses aim to prepare you to be a safe practitioner, with the theoretical knowledge and expertise you need to confidently diagnose and manage the most challenging infections and oral manifestation of systemic diseases and confidently manage infection control in dental settings.
Taught by renowned international academics and experts in the field, you will learn how to effectively apply theory to practice in a safe learning environment. You will be exposed to an intensive mix of lectures, seminars and practical workshops using advanced clinical case scenarios, simulations, as well as contemporary ways of learning evidence-based medicine and problem solving. You will have the opportunity to discuss with peer students from other courses for a multidisciplinary approach and develop sound judgement based on evidence.
In addition to principles and advanced skills within their chosen pathway, all students will study shared modules of Immunology and Infection, and research modules. Throughout the programme students will gain competency in research methodology skills, and will submit a final dissertation at the end of the programme.
For further details please contact the College of Dentistry website at comd.org.uk
Our Dentistry programmes are delivered in partnership between Ulster University and the College of Dentistry, Birmingham. By applying to one of our Dentistry programmes you will be consenting to the personal information you provide in your application being shared between Ulster University and College of Dentistry for the purposes of processing your application.
This full-time programme is delivered at the College of Dentistry in Birmingham.
The programme has 3 semesters of study (1 calendar year), and a single entry point (September).
- September 2019
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The programme is multi-modular, and all modules have to be completed to progress through the programme. Students must complete all the modules on the programme for the chosen pathway.
Teaching will include lectures, seminars, practical interactive workshops and training on phantom heads and simulated models.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Immunology and infection
This module will enable students to enhance their scientific understanding of the different infections that can affect the orofacial tissues. They will appreciate the importance of the microbiome and immune function in health and disease. A great emphasis will be made on the immune dysregulation and dysfunction in relation to oral health and disease.
Research Methodology II
This module will give students the required knowledge to be able to design a research protocol. This is a comprehensive module covering enhanced knowledge and skills on clinical statistics, evidence based practice, critical appraisal, research design, and explores their specific application in dental research and treatment. It also enables students to efficiently identify and access the information they need in the dental literature, reading it from a critical viewpoint, and applying rules and measurements to assess the validity of methodology and conclusions.
Research Methodology I
This module will give students the required knowledge to be able to design a research proposal. This is a comprehensive module covering clinical statistics, evidence based practice, critical appraisal, measurement and research design, and explores their specific application in dental research and treatment. It also enables students to identify and access the information they need in the dental literature, reading it from a critical viewpoint, and applying rules and measurements to assess the validity of methodology and conclusions.
This module will give students the required knowledge to be able to complete all elements of a research dissertation on postgraduate level 7 attainment. This is a comprehensive module covering advanced knowledge and skills on biostatistics, evidence based practice, critical appraisal, research design, and explores their specific application in dental research and treatment. It also enables students to efficiently identify and access the information they need in the dental literature, reading it from a critical viewpoint, and applying rules and measurements to assess the validity of methodology and conclusions.
Principles of oral medicine and oral pathology
This module is optional
This module will enable students to enhance their history taking and clinical examination within the scope of oral medicine and pathology practice. They will be able to reach comprehensive differential diagnosis, identify and manage emergencies, and safely prescribe medication relevant to core oral medicine practice.
Principles of infection control and decontamination
This module is optional
This module will enable students to enhance their understanding of infection prevention and control in clinical settings. They will be able to design comprehensive infection control interventions, and monitor its effects on delivering safe care to patients relevant to dentistry.
Advanced infection prevention and control
This module is optional
This module will enable students to consolidate their knowledge, experience and skills gained in previous modules. They will build their understanding of the importance of infection prevention and control to deliver safe dentistry. The module will put great emphasis on designing and monitory high quality infection control interventions relevant to dentistry.
Principles of medical and oral microbiology
This module is optional
This module will enable students to develop their understanding of the basic sciences to underpin the knowledge and understanding of the cause and effect infections could have on the oral health and disease. They will be able to reach comprehensive differential diagnosis, identify and manage infections, and safely prescribe medication relevant to core oral microbiology practice.
General medicine in relation to oral health
This module is optional
This module will enable students to acquire advanced knowledge and skills to enable them identifying oral manifestation of systemic disease. They will be able to enhance their ability to evaluate body systems relevant of oral medicine practice with emphasis on nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and musculoskeletal.
Advanced oral medicine
This module is optional
This module will enable students to consolidate their knowledge, experience and skills gained in module DEN817 and/or DEN818. They will build their understanding of the importance of engaging with patients, parents and carers in clinical decisions related to oral soft tissue and salivary glands health and diseases. The module will put great emphasis on comprehending the relevant diagnostic investigations and imaging used in oral medicine practice.
Advanced oral microbiology
This module is optional
This module will enable students to consolidate their knowledge, experience and skills gained in DEN820 and DEN823. They will build their understanding of the importance of engaging with patients, parents and carers in clinical decisions related to oral microbiology. The module will put great emphasis on comprehending the effect of microbial community balance on the orofacial health and diseases.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
Applicants must hold a degree of at least 2ii Honours standard or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning. In addition, applicants must:
a) have gained a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), or equivalent, or other approved qualification in a cognate area
b) for those residing outside the UK, be currently registered within their profession within their own country and have access to an appropriate patient base to facilitate study;
c) or those practising on patients in the College#:
- be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) or other approved professional body
- provide evidence of good health
- provide evidence of Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance or equivalent
d) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GSCE grade C or equivalent) or for international students, a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent with no band score under 5.5 or equivalent English language examinations and tests;
e) provide two satisfactory references, one of which must be an academic reference.
# Criterion c) is only for those who are practising on patients in the college. If an applicant cannot meet criterion c) then they can undertake the courses but would not practice on patients – their practice would be simulation-based.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Exemptions and transferability
In exceptional circumstances, as an alternative to the standard entry criteria, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Completion of this programme will upskill dental practitioners in the dental specialism and should enhance employability and career progression within this specialist field.
Work placement / study abroad
Students who are GDC registered will have placements within the College Dental Institute during the programme.
Students who are non-GDC registered will be able to attend these placements, however they will only be able to observe treatments being delivered.
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