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Dental Public Health MSc



A dynamic programme that challenges you to think critically about oral health at population level. Subjects covered include the philosophy and principles of dental public health; the major health problems of a community (and their determinants); the organisation and delivery of oral health services; research methods, epidemiology and statistics; methods of control and prevention of oral and dental diseases; planning and evaluation for oral health; and social and behavioural sciences as applied to dentistry.

Research themes include the social determinants of oral health inequalities, the burden of oral diseases on individuals and society, and health services research, including dental workforce.

Key benefits

  • Practical experience in dental public health by participating in teaching, research health promotion and health services activities during placements
  • Strong emphasis on evidence-based prevention of oral disease at population level
  • Developing technical skills in dental public health such as critical appraisal of evidence, designing oral health surveys, planning and evaluting dental programmes, devising research protocols and data management
  • A dissertation format that enables students to submit their work for publication in scientific journals
  • In-house preparation for the Diploma in Dental Public Health examination of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year five days per week, September to September.

Study mode Full-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 8-10 students per annum (1 place for home students)

Course leaders

Dr Eduardo Bernabé

Course contact for further information

Joanna Wright tel +44 (0)20 3299 2561

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Dental Institute



Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Undergraduate degree with 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject plus an interest in the following: dental public health, community dentistry, preventive programmes, health promotion, and/or special needs care. 

Evidence of experience of research, report writing or relevant knowledge is desirable.

Application procedure

Completed applications (which will normally consist of an online application form, both references and a transcript of previous degrees) will be considered on a "first come first served" according to the date of completion of the application.

Applications will be initially considered by two academic members of staff. The initial decision will be to either confirm the offer of a place without an interview, invite you for an interview, hold your application for further consideration following the official closing date for applications or reject. It is expected that the majority of applicants offered a place will be required to attend an interview beforehand, although a telephone interview will be offered for overseas candidates.

You should expect to receive this initial decision within three weeks of the date of completion of the application, although this may be slightly longer at peak periods near to the closing date.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please demonstrate a focused interest in one or more of the following areas: dental public health, community dentistry, preventive programmes, health promotion and/or special needs care.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


Dental Public Health is especially for people, not just dentists, who intend to become planners, managers of services, epidemiologists, health promoters and teachers of public health dental subjects. The programme consists of six modules with assignments and written examinations, and a research project in dental public health assessed by dissertation. It includes opportunities to work and learn with a multidisciplinary team, practical experience in some dental public health activities, and involvement in high quality research. The programme is also recognised for the Royal College of
Surgeons of England Diploma in Dental Public Health examination.

Course purpose

The MSc in Dental Public Health programme aims to produce a highly knowledgeable individual, proficient and skilful in dental public health with an
appreciation of the need for lifelong learning and the need for application of advances in relevant knowledge.

Further literature

A graduate handbook, which includes a preliminary reading list, is available on request from the department.

Course format and assessment

Modular programme consisting of 180 credits, as follows: six taught modules, assessed by coursework and written examination and one research module, assessed by dissertation.

Extra information

If you are applying from overseas, you must have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment to complete the programme successfully. You can apply without submitting evidence of your English proficiency, but you will be required to provide certificated proof of your competence in English before being offered an unconditional place. Strong candidates may be given a conditional offer, which will be subject to providing an English proficiency certificate within a specific timeframe. Therefore, we advise all candidates to make early arrangements to take an English proficiency test and preferably submit a copy with their application.


  • Required Modules

    Introduction to Dental Public Health

    Module code: 7NPHPH01

    Credit level: 7

    This 20 credit module aims to provide students with an overview of the principles, philosophy and strategies underpinning the practice of Dental Public Health and to provide students with an understanding of the structure of health care systems and the drivers of change within a system. At the end of the module, you will be able to: demonstrate a detailed systematic knowledge, critical awareness and application of the main principles and strategies in dental public health; and discuss the principles of the primary health care approach, how they are evidenced in practice and their use as a strategy for the organisation of oral health care services. Assessment is by coursework and written examination.


    Principles of Epidemiology

    Module code: 7NPHPH02

    Credit level: 7

    This 20 credit module aims to provide students with basic epidemiological tools for the design, analysis and interpretation of oral health studies, and comprehensive knowledge of the epidemiological aspects related to common oral diseases (indices, examination protocols and disease patterns). At the end of the module, you will be able to: describe and apply the basic principles and methods of epidemiology; design epidemiological studies to address research questions in clinical and public health dentistry; and develop a protocol for the implementation of an oral health survey in a given population. Assessment is by coursework and written examination.


    Research Methods

    Module code: 7NPHPH03

    Credit level: 7

    This 20 credit module aims to equip students with practical skills for the appraisal of research evidence, for the design and conduct of research using quantitative and qualitative methods, and for the management, analysis and interpretation of data using statistical computing software. At the end of the modules, you will be able to: find existing evidence relevant to research questions in clinical and public health dentistry; become a critical reader of dental literature by analysing the appropriateness of study design, quality of data, methodological strategies, and interpretation of results; and produce a scientifically valid, ethical and feasible research proposal. Assessment is by coursework and written examination.


    Social and Behavioural Sciences as Applied to Medicine and Dentistry

    Module code: 7NPHPH04

    Credit level: 7

    This 20 credit module aims to provide students with an introduction to psychology and sociology and their application to medicine and dentistry. At the end of the module, you will be able to: identify ways in which changes in behaviour and social structures may affect the health of populations; discuss theories underlying health behaviour in dental settings; and apply social and behavioural sciences theories to dental public health practices. Assessment is by coursework and written examination.


    Oral Health Promotion & Education

    Module code: 7NPHPH05

    Credit level: 7

    This 20 credit module aims to provide an understanding of the issues which relate to formulating a preventive or health promoting dental strategy. At the end of the module, you will be able to: discuss the different theories and models underpinning the practice of health promotion; plan and evaluate disease prevention and health promoting strategies; and develop appropriate evidence-based approaches to prevention of oral diseases. Assessment is by coursework and written examination.


    Planning and Evaluation for Oral Health

    Module code: 7NPHPH06

    Credit level: 7

    This 20 credit module aims for students to develop the ability to plan for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of oral health programmes and services. At the end of the module, you will be able to: differentiate between normative and perceived approaches to assessing dental care needs; elaborate a situation analysis for a defined population for a specific purpose; and prepare a plan to address the oral health needs of a particular population, including goals and objectives, intervention activities, budget, timeline and evaluation plan. Assessment is by coursework and written examination.


    Dental Public Health Research Project

    Module code: 7NPHPH07

    Credit level: 7

    This 60 credit module aims to enable students to investigate in great depth a topic within the field of dental public health and to write it up in a dissertation. At the end of the module you will be able to: design and undertake a research project; demonstrate an ability to critically review the literature and evaluate scientific data and research; Apply and interpret common statistical techniques to a variety of estimation and hypothesis testing situations, in accordance with underlying assumptions and type of study design; reflect on your own academic work; write in a scientific manner; and be familiar with use of information technology. Students will be encouraged to present their work at relevant scientific conferences. Assessment is by dissertation.


Career prospects

UK graduates: consultants in dental public health, directors of community dental services, PhD studies and senior academics in universities. Overseas graduates: directors of community dental services, senior academics in universities which included setting up departments of dental public health.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£8,000 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£21,750 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU


Part time tuition Fees - Overseas


*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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