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Oral Biology (MSc)

Oral and Dental disease is a world-wide problem, often leading to loss of quality of life. This course offers in depth knowledge of Oral Biology, including disease mechanisms, understanding of the complex interplay between host and microorganisms driving pathology, as well as current approaches to tissue repair and regeneration.

This 12-month full-time MSc course explores the interdisciplinary field of oral biology, for those from either a clinical or scientific background. It provides the opportunity to develop master level understanding and knowledge of Oral Biology for future biomedical researchers.

The course consists of four taught core modules and a five-month laboratory research project leading to a dissertation. It encompasses oral biomedical research that is applicable to clinical dentistry and medicine. The course has a strong disease and research focus and is a pathway to further postgraduate research; an ideal course for those seeking an in-depth biological training in a medically relevant discipline

Distinctive features

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of oral biology in health and disease

  • The course offers an insight into modern therapeutic approaches

  • Students will develop critical analysis, presentation and laboratory research skills.

  • This is a hybrid course, which provides taught components and a laboratory-based research project.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration1 year

Admissions criteria

This course is suitable for dentists, physicians, biologists, biochemists, biomedical engineers, chemists or pharmacists.

Applicants should possess a minimum second class honours degree (or equivalent), in clinical dental (BDS, MBBS, BSc Therapy and Hygiene), Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical engineering medical or pharmacy backgrounds.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to obtain an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (with no less than a score of 5.5 in each of the four bands) or an equivalent qualification – this test should have been taken within 2 years of commencement of study. Applicants are required to have achieved the IELTS prior to an application being submitted.

Applications must be submitted through the University's Online Application System.

Applicants need to upload a CV which details all relevant qualifications achieved or pending, and two academic references.

Applicants will be interviewed as part of the admissions process. Interviews will be performed throughout the year using Skype.

Decisions will be made on a continuous basis.

Application deadline: 30 June each year


Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

Confocal microscopy laboratory

This is a 12-month full-time multidisciplinary modular programme consisting of four taught core modules (part 1) to a total of 120 credits and a laboratory-based research project (part 2) performed over five months (60 credits).

Part 1: Taught Component

During Part 1, the core modules are delivered concurrently over a 26-week period.

Part 2: Research Project

Following satisfactory completion of Part 1, you will progress to the dissertation, which commences in April. You will be required to complete and submit a laboratory-based research project dissertation and present your work as a poster presentation (total 60 credits) to obtain a Master’s degree.

The research projects offered all laboratory-based. We have an extensive collaborative network with co-supervisors/collaborators based in the Schools of Medicine, Biosciences and Pharmacy. You will be asked to propose a first and second choice of research project from a range of research titles, and in most cases students will be able to pursue their first choice. 

Those who do not achieve the MSc in Oral Biology may be eligible for the exit awards of a Postgraduate Diploma in Oral Biology (120 credits) or a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits).

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

This is a 12-month full-time multidisciplinary modular programme consisting of four taught core modules (part 1) to a total of 120 credits and a laboratory-based research project (part 2) studied over five months and worth 60 credits.

The course encompasses a wide breadth of biomedical research that is also applicable to clinical dentistry and medicine, derived from the research strengths available within the School of Dentistry. The course has a strong research focus in the taught element, as well as the laboratory research projects and it is envisaged as an entry for postgraduate research.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Student with Petri dish

How will I be taught?

All taught elements are delivered within the School of Dentistry. Students may attend other Schools (such as Medicine, Pharmacy or Biosciences) to undertake their research project.

A range of teaching methods is used on this programme, including:

  • Lectures
  • Paper discussion groups

  • Small group teaching

  • Self-directed learning

  • Oral scientific presentation run as seminars

  • Poster presentation

  • Laboratory research skills

Teaching is delivered via small group teaching. Students may arrange for additional mentoring as required via the module leaders.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor, who will be able to provide pastoral support throughout the course. This tutor will also be responsible for ensuring your academic progress and will meet you formally on a regular basis.


You will receive feedback within two weeks of completing assessments. 

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course, you will be issued with student assessments that may take the form of essays, presentations and reports. These will be used to monitor your progress.

Module assessments are used to assess learning outcomes and allow you to express Master’s level concepts of understanding, analysis, evaluation and presentation. You will be required to pass all four module assessments in the taught element and the dissertation with a minimum pass mark of 50%.

You must pass both parts of the course in order to obtain your MSc. You must pass Part 1 in order to progress to Part 2.

What skills will I practise and develop?

  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of oral biology in disease, health, repair, regeneration including cancer.

  • Develop research skills to formulate hypothesis-driven research and design suitability controlled experiments with appropriate statistical evaluation.

  • Wide knowledge of research technologies and practical research experience

  • Critically analyse, synthesize and evaluate cell and molecular Oral Biology including clinical conditions in order to drive modern treatment options required to prevent or treat Oral Diseases.

  • Develop advanced communication skills

  • Demonstrate problem solving skills and plan research independently

  • Clear concise scientific presentation skills.

  • Develop critical discussion skills

  • Undertake research for your professional development.  

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

A master degree in Oral Biology provides you with the skills to pursue a future career in higher education to teach or perform biomedical research in University and Industry, including clinical academia.  Whilst the focus is in Oral Biology the knowledge you will learn is transferable to other medical disciplines.

This course is a foundation for further PhD qualification leading to academic dental research or teaching career paths.  Alternatively this course could open up careers in the biomedical or pharmaceutical industry.