• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Dentistry
  • Study Mode: Full Time

The University of Dundee's Masters in Dental Public Health (MDPH) will prepare you for a career in promoting and improving oral health at a population level.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Dundee's MDPH course can lead to a practical or academic career supporting the development of Dental Public Health and reducing dental health inequality.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Yusra Massood speaks about why she chose to study Dental Public Health at the University of Dundee

This course is unique to Scotland, and is a joint venture between the internationally renowned Dental Health Services Research Unit (DHSRU) at the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine, University of Dundee.

Using the World Health Organisation (WHO) Oral Health Programme strapline 'think global act local', the course will provide you with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills to develop a career in government-based and national Dental Public Health programmes.

This programme also focuses on evidence-based dentistry, with input from Derek Richards, Director for the Centre of Evidence-Based Dentistry, and Professor Jan Clarkson, Coordinating 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
60 months

PGDip 9 months 18 months
PGCert N/A 9 months

Who should study this course?

A Masters in Dental Public Health (MDPH) is the ideal course of study for those who are passionate about reducing oral health inequality.

It is designed for dental practitioners, dental health professionals and academics with an interest in Dental Public Health.

In particular, there is support for those who undertake this course while training to become specialists or consultants in Dental Public Health in Tayside and elsewhere.

I applied to many universities across the globe and was accepted to most, but the tie breaker was Dundee's rankings, being No.1 for students' experience and amongst the world's top 100 universities founded in the last 50 years. From travelling abroad to meeting dental health professionals from around the world and our discussions in class, I enjoy everything about studying in Dundee.


Yusra Masood
MDPH Dental Public Health

MDPH Dental Public Health graduates

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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.

How you will be assessed

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

Students must pass in all written and oral examinations in order to progress from the Diploma onto the Masters.

What you will study

If you're studying for a MDPH you will undertake research and write a dissertation.

Semester 1

10 credits

The aim of the Health Promotion module is to enable students to acquire a comprehensive and critical understanding of the techniques applicable to develop and implement health promotion programmes.

Indicative content:          

  • Ottawa charter for health promotion
  • Communication for health promotion
  • Planning and evaluating health promotion
  • Needs assessment
  • Tackling inequalities
  • Empowerment and health behaviour change
  • Health promoting health board
  • Targeting and tailoring community interventions

Number of credits: 15

Through self-directed learning, this module will teach you basic scientific applications of statistics, and the techniques used for both clinical audit and research. You will receive weekly tutorials to support your studies.

15 credits

The aim of the Epidemiology module is to introduce students to the foundational principles of epidemiology, the major research designs used to collect data, and approaches to analysis and interpretation.

Indicative topics:

  • Research study design, including case-control, cohort and ecological studies, RCTs and qualitative study designs. Sampling strategies and the concept of appropriate study size; bias and confounding.
  • Measures of risk: odds ratio, relative risk, attributable risk, population attributable risk and population attributable risk percent.
  • Concepts of causation; Bradford-Hill’s criteria for causality; genetic epidemiology.

20 credits

The aim of the Public Health module is to provide an introduction to the history, development and current importance of Public Health in our societies; to highlight major public health issues in a local, national and global context, and to identify techniques and strategies for addressing them.

Indicative topics:

  • Measures of social deprivation, and their relationship to strategies for health improvement.
  • Public health burden of lifestyle-related issues (e.g. smoking, obesity, substance abuse).
  • Population based interventions (including screening, immunisation and health protection).
  • Public health strategies for the improvement of health and prevention of disease in areas such as ageing, mental health, communicable disease, in the management of natural and man-made disasters and sustainable development.
  • The effect of global economics and trade on poverty and health.

10 credits

The aim of the Behavioural and Social Science module is to support students’ understanding of theories, methodologies and techniques commonly used in behavioural and social science and their application to wider public health issues.

Indicative topics:

  • Inequalities, marginalisation and social exclusion in health and disease.
  • Definitions and concepts of chronic illness/long-term conditions and disability.
  • Definitions of stressors, strain and stress.
  • Key steps in the development of behaviour change interventions to reduce harm.
  • Definitions of human factors and healthcare organisations as complex systems; Systems Thinking and its application to healthcare delivery.
  • Key principles behind qualitative interviewing within the context of public health research.
  • Definitions and key principles of ethnography; key methods that form part of an ethnographic approach.

Semester 2

15 credits

The Dental Public Health Module comprises of Dental Public Health, Behavioural Sciences for Dental Public Health and Oral Health Promotion. It aims to introduce students to the techniques applicable to the practice of Dental Public Health; critical evaluation of current practice and new methods; critical examination of behavioural sciences and oral health promotion as they related to public health policy and strategy.

Indicative topics:

  • Evaluation of national and local oral health care policies, national health care systems.
  • The principles of evidence-based dentistry.
  • The determinants of oral health-directed and oral health-related behaviours.
  • Introduction to behaviour change models and their application to health promotion.
  • Planning and executing an evidence-based oral health strategy using WHO oral health and health policies for national country.
  • Using appropriate methods to devise an oral health strategy road map.

10 credits

The aim of the oral epidemiology module is to provide students with the critical understanding and systematic knowledge to acquire a full appreciation of oral health needs assessment, critical awareness and new insights in oral epidemiology and to use this knowledge and skills to plan, execute and interpret oral health surveys.

Indicative topics:

  • Identification of the principles of oral epidemiology using oral health indices, inter and intra examiner reliability measures and oral health trend trajectories.
  • Assessment indices used in oral health needs assessment and interpretation of oral health survey data. 
  • Governance and ethics issues.
  • Design of oral health survey and evaluation of value and limitations

5 credits

This module will enable students to undertake preparatory work for their dissertation.

Indicative content:

  • Develop a research question which can be answered within the limits of a dissertation.
  • Develop the protocol for the dissertation.
  • Produce a Gantt chart detailing the progression of the dissertation from conception to submission.

60 credits

The Dissertation is a sixty-credit core module in which students develop and undertake an independent piece of research. It involves critical evaluation of current research and advanced scholarship in Dental Public Health. This allows students to gain an understanding of the ethical and professional challenges of research in Dental Public Health and to evidence approaches to deal with these within the submission.

Students will receive individual supervision and will work closely with their supervisor throughout the duration of the dissertation project. Formative feedback will be given through regular contact with the supervisor.

15 credits

The aim of the Statistics for Clinical Trials module is to support students in developing skills to understand statistical issues in clinical trials during the design and process of the trial, and to implement appropriately the analyses and reporting of results.

Indicative topics:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of particular trial designs, randomisation methods, sample size calculation methods, clustering and dealing with missing data.
  • The principles of missing data estimation and implementation, the importance of intention-to-treat analysis.
  • Sample size and power for particular designs.

10 credits

The aim of the Research Methods module is to support the development of expertise in research design, culminating in the production of a grant application relevant to population health research.

Indicative topics:

  • Use appropriate scientific literature to justify study design.
  • The different stages of the research process, including sampling, identification and recruitment, consent and retention of subjects, and strategies used to increase response rates.
  • Writing of a research protocol with a detailed study timetable.
  • The need for, and the process of systematic review; the importance of strict methodology and quality control.
  • The ethical principles governing research; the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki and the key features of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Caldicott Principles and the Research Governance Framework; the role of the Research Ethics Committee; informed consent.

MDPH graduates pursue careers in health service planning, government offices, national and international health agencies, and in academia.

Additionally, this programme will enhance current dental careers with research skills and knowledge, and give a broad base of dental health knowledge applicable in other dental healthcare fields.

Roquiyah Alsomali graduated from our Dental Public Health course in 2015. She is working with the UNFPA (United National Populations Fund) in Somalia as a Trainer for the Somali Health Demographic Survey.

I love this programme because we have a very close group of people in the class and one to one interactions with the professors which is amazing. Secondly we have a Dental Public Health research unit that works with the WHO so there are amazing collaborations going on all of the time.

So if you want to work to help improve the quality of the community then this is the place and this is the course to be in!


Zainab Kidwai
Current student

Applicants are normally required to hold a first class or upper second class degree in a health related topic and/or in subjects including dentistry, dental therapy/hygiene, the social sciences, and medical science. Applications will also be considered from others who, although not graduates, are exceptionally well qualified in terms of seniority and experience.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £7,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £7,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £19,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the How to Apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course Code
Apply NowDental Public Health MDPHP052121

Course Contact

Professor Ruth Freeman
+44 (0)1382 381725