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Postgraduate study
Dental Therapy

Dental Therapy MSc

You develop into an independent practitioner working in the scope of practice of the dental therapist. You will be able to work autonomously and take professional responsibility for your own standards of practice.


Course overview

Successful completion of this course will provide eligibility to apply to add dental therapy onto your General Dental Council Registration.

You undertake a journey of personal and professional development in a supportive, student-centred environment, learning through negotiation, shared responsibility and mutual respect, which mirrors the type of dental therapist/patient relationship we wish to encourage.

You gain deep theoretical knowledge and combine clinical skills to prepare you for the role of a dental therapist, and the wider multidisciplinary team in the promotion of health and prevention of disease.

On successful completion of the objective structured clinical examination gateway assessments, you will start treating adults, children and adolescents restoratively within your work-based learning placements.

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Advancing Professional Practice

You develop your understanding of current legal issues relating to accountability and the requirements of continued professional registration and the need to maintain competence and practice. Existing professional dental knowledge will be developed to introduce you to the role of dental therapists and the wider multidisciplinary team in the promotion of health and prevention of disease. You explore a number of key areas to widen your knowledge base including ethical principles, expectations, regulations and professional issues in the practice of dentistry, communication skills, professionalism and reflection. You consider your current and future learning needs and reflect on your current practice in relation to maintaining excellent standards of care in your clinical practice.

Work-based learning will form part of this module. You undertake a minimum of 14 hours per week in either general dental practice and / or community dental services. All placements for work-based learning will be audited through Teesside University processes and the clinical educators will be prepared for their role of facilitating and assessing your learning through regular online workshops for the clinical educators promoting standardisation across the environments. Clinical skills logbooks will be supplied to record clinical activity and all clinical activity will be recorded by the Teesside University’s electronic system used across the dental portfolio.

Comprehensive Oral Health Care for Children and Adolescents

You develop the foundation knowledge and skills required to provide comprehensive oral care to the child and adolescent patient groups whilst developing your autonomy to effectively plan and manage the care of your patients.

The module is delivered via online and onsite learning. Onsite content is delivered a a four-week block to enable you to integrate knowledge of deciduous tooth morphology, pulpal physiology and clinical radiology with cavity design, restorative techniques and dental materials. Child behavioural management techniques, treatment planning skills and the evaluation of patient risk assessment tools are implemented, to achieve positive patient behaviour change and successful restorative and preventive outcomes.

Many of the skills will be delivered within the phantom head skills laboratory with classroom-based activities to support the development of underpinning theory. In the simulation laboratory setting, management for the primary and young permanent dentition will be central to your clinical skills development. You focus on foundation knowledge of the development of the human dentition, dental caries within the child and adolescent patient group and behavioural management techniques. Adolescent patient groups will be explored in relation to occlusion and orthodontic management and children with disabilities and those who are medically compromised will also be explored. You attend regular study/clinical skills development days throughout the year of approximately six days per month. Practical skills will be assessed via objective structured clinical examination prior to undertaking any paediatric procedures on patients.

Designing Research Projects

You gain the necessary knowledge and skills to design and manage a primary or secondary research, audit or evaluation project relevant to your practice. This provides preparation for your dissertation. You develop skills in project design and management; primary and secondary research methods; audit and evaluation methods. You explore research governance and ethics, which prepares you for applying for ethical approval/release.

Enhancing Professionalism, Leadership and Service Improvement Skills for the Future Ready Practitioner

This module is shared with healthcare students across the Allied Health Professional Department to enable you to develop a knowledge and understanding of healthcare policy, statutory and professional policy and explore the impact of these policies with respect to patient care, professional practice and service delivery.

There is a strong emphasis on personal and professional development with an exploration of the theories and concepts underpinning continuous professional development, leadership, human dimension of change and quality improvement. You provide evidence of your personal and professional development using an e-portfolio, to demonstrate critical reflection and action planning to ensure you are prepared for the demands and expectations for your role as a future ready healthcare professional for a career in both traditional and non- traditional settings.

Extending Oral Health Practice for the Dental Professional

You develop the foundation knowledge and skills requirements to manage disease relating to restorative dentistry, via online and onsite learning. Onsite content is delivered as a four-week block to enable you to learn the requirements of initial restorative clinical practice procedures, delivered within the phantom head skills laboratory with classroom-based activities to support the development of underpinning theory. In the simulation laboratory setting, operative dentistry techniques that restore form, function and aesthetics to teeth with the purpose of contributing to both oral and general health will be central to clinical skills development. Emphasis will be placed on the basic principles of cavity and restoration design alongside the appropriate selection and application of direct restorative materials.

Classroom-based activities focus on foundation knowledge and skills to manage dental diseases such as dental caries and non-carious tooth surface loss. You attend regular study/clinical skills development days throughout the year of approximately six days per month. Practical skills will be assessed via objective structured clinical examination assessments prior to undertaking any restorative procedures on patients.


Year 2 core modules


Here you consolidate and develop further skills and knowledge from previous modules. More specifically you synthesise learning as you apply your research-related knowledge to identify a researchable problem, plan and execute a study. You use a range of different methodologies for your study, such as quantitative, qualitative or systematic review.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Lectures and briefings
Lectures are used to impart knowledge to larger groups. These tend to be tutor-led and aim to inform, inspire and engage. But don’t expect just to sit and listen! These types of learning are not passive, they include note-taking, question and answers and/or small group debates and tasks.

Seminars enable structured discussion and analysis to take place between groups of students and a tutor. They are interactive and facilitate the free exchange of ideas through which you learn the process of argument and reason. You may be asked to present a short, researched talk on a particular subject or based on a particular clinical experience, after which the group will discuss the matters raised.

Clinical skills sessions
You’ll be introduced to essential clinical skills techniques that include demonstrations using the state-of-the-art AV equipment in the phantom head skills laboratory and the opportunity to practice and progress new skills in the context of patient-based scenarios.

Group and individual tutorials
Group tutorials comprise small groups of students and a tutor discussing your project work or team efforts. These are interactive, and are intended to promote the exchange of ideas, brainstorming, analytical skills and feedback on project work. Group tutorials normally occur in the lead up to the viva voces.

Individual tutorials involved one student discussing their work or their general progress and pastoral situation with one member of staff.

The confidence and skills required to give effective presentations are acquired over the whole duration of your course. These transferable skills are useful in many walks of life, not just as a dental professional, and contribute greatly to the usefulness of your degree in many areas of employment.

Inter-professional learning
At key points within your course you undertake formalised inter-professional learning with colleagues from across the School. You may also encounter these professional groups on practice placement.

Personal and professional development planning
One of the great strengths of your course is the way that it enables you to make sense of your learning through personal development planning, this is also a new requirement of the General Dental Council since 2018. Personal and professional development planning sessions are embedded at every level of learning, and you will be expected to evidence this within your own e-portfolio (to include a wide variety of evidence, in a range of formats including multimedia files).

Portfolio reviews
At key points throughout your course your e-portfolio will be used as a framework for discussion with a member of the course team. They will provide advice, guidance and formative feedback on your personal professional development and portfolio.

Independent learning
This is a very important part of your postgraduate level work. Your success will depend on your ability to develop the skills that will enable you to learn independently, using your own initiative and resourcefulness to achieve your goals.

Blackboard Ultra (BB Ultra)
This is the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE), accessed at You’ll be introduced to BB Ultra early in your course. It will be used in various ways including keeping you in touch with course and module information, online discussions, wikis, blogs, useful links, and online assessment. You must actively engage in the VLE and check for postings regularly.

Maximising your learning experience
You will be expected to actively participate in all learning activities (onsite and offsite). At the end of each topic, you will be facilitated in critically reflecting on learning and the impact of this learning on your dental therapy practice, using the online e-portfolio. Module tutors will be available for tutorials each week using Microsoft Teams. In addition, you can also catch up with your peers using the course café.

How you are assessed

The nature of the assessment will vary according to the learning outcomes of the module and also to ensure that you are not disadvantaged by any one method.

Summative assessments are marked, and the mark counts towards the final module mark.

Formative assessment is sometimes used to aid your learning. This is where you are set an assessment task that receives a mark or some feedback but does not count towards the final module mark.

Practical skills assessment/objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
Your OSCEs are gateway assessments. On successful completion of these, you will be able to undertake that skill on a patient. You will also receive ongoing feedback on the development of your skills in the lead up to the OSCE assessments.

Clinical placement
You will be assessed by your clinical educator after every patient contact on your ability to plan and deliver effective and safe treatments to a variety of patient groups, including professional aspects such as time keeping, cross infection and organisation.

As a Teesside University student you are covered by public liability insurance for work undertaken on placement. You should have your own appropriate professional liability (and if necessary, public liability) insurance for any paid work you undertake outside of the University setting within the role of dental hygienist. You do not practice any skills/ modalities/assessment approaches learned at the Teesside University as part of your paid work.


Entry requirements

You should be a dental hygienist registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) with an appropriate diploma or degree in dental hygiene. You should also have appropriate professional indemnity and an enhanced DBS to be employed within your role as a dental hygienist.

Work in a suitable clinical environment for 14 hours per week and have the support of your employer who will be required to provide suitable clinical patients and experience and validate workplace activities for your portfolio of experience.

Demonstration of a portfolio of CPD to include competence in local anaesthetic (infiltrations and inferior dental blocks), dental radiographs and dental impressions.

Any eligible international students meeting the above entry criteria will be expected to demonstrate an IELTS Score of 6.5 or equivalent at the time of application.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

Dental therapists provide fillings for adults and children and extract and place preformed crowns on deciduous teeth. On adult patients, dental therapists can provide any dental work that does not extend to the nerve of a tooth. The dental therapist’s scope of practice makes them an essential support to dentists and a versatile and multi-skilled member of a dental team. After you complete this course, you’ll be able to add dental therapist onto your existing GDC registration. When you complete the course, you'll be qualified to work in areas including:

• general dental practice
• hospital dental services
• the armed forces
• the NHS
• health promotion
• owning and managing a dental business of your own

Work placement

You will be required to undertake a minimum of 14 hours of work-based learning per week in either general dental practice and / or community dental services.?All?placements for?work-based?learning will be audited through Teesside University processes?and the clinical?educators will be prepared for their role of?facilitating?and assessing learning?through regular online mentor workshops?promoting standardisation across the environments.?Clinical skills logbooks will be supplied to record clinical activity and all clinical activity will be recorded by Teesside University’s electronic system for dental provision.

The dental practice will be considered suitable for learning if:?
• the placement provides the learning opportunity for you to meet the learning outcomes, including access to a cross section of the population?
• you will be able to work within a dental team.?

The placement fulfils its responsibilities and obligations with regards to the Care Quality Commission health and safety regulations, and General Dental Council (GDC) standards.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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2022/23 entry

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Fee for international applicants

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