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Orthodontics (MScD)

You will gain the skills needed to perform as a competent specialist in Orthodontics, with focus on the clinical, theoretical and research areas required for provision of appropriate patient care.

Established for over 40 years, and one of the longest-running clinical training programmes in the UK, the Orthodontics MScD course is designed to provide clinical and academic training for future specialists in clinical orthodontics in a highly professional and rewarding environment.

This three-year full-time course aims to equip you with the skills needed to perform as a competent specialist in orthodontics, with focus on the clinical, theoretical and research areas required for provision of adequate patient care.

Open to home, EU and overseas students, successful completion of the course will result in the award of a Master’s degree in Orthodontics. The course is also recognised for training purposes by the Royal Colleges for the Membership in Orthodontics of both Edinburgh and the Bicollegiate examination.

Didactic, self-directed and problem-based modular teaching extends throughout the three-year programme. The course provides clinical training within the teaching hospitals in South Wales.  A structured research project will also be undertaken during the first two years of the course.

Distinctive features

  • High-quality clinical training
  • Excellent clinical and academic facilities
  • This course is recognised for training purposes by the Royal Colleges for the Membership in Orthodontics of both Edinburgh and the Bicollegiate examination.

My time as an Orthodontics MScD postgraduate student at Cardiff University has been a great experience. The course provides the opportunity to treat a wide variety of orthodontic cases with the help of friendly supervisors and nursing staff. The dental school research facilities are excellent and the department has a special interest in 3D facial imaging. Cardiff is a lovely city to live in and the people are sociable and friendly.

Ruqayyah, MScD Orthodontics

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
AccreditationsGeneral Dental Council (GDC)

Admissions criteria

Applicants should normally have passed the MJDF/MFDS/FDS qualifications of the Royal College of Surgeons and have a broad clinical experience. Previous audit and research experience is beneficial.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to obtain an overall IELTS score of 7 (with a minimum sub score of 6.5 in each of the four sub sections). This test will need to have been taken within 2 years of commencement of study. Applicants are required to have achieved the IELTS test result prior to an application being submitted.

Home students for the MScD Orthodontic programme can only be considered alongside a StR application which must be made consecutively to the MScD application. For further details about the StR post please visit the Wales Deanery website.

Selection to the Programme is through written application, meeting above entry criteria, receipt of two references (one must be academic, one must be clinical), and success at informal interview.

Application deadline: 31 December. Please note: interviews will be undertaken on a first come first served basis throughout the application period and offers made to suitable candidates.

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

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

This is a full-time, three-year course, with the final examination in the spring of year three. The course consists of three main elements:

  • A taught course covering evidence-based topics that are consistent with the recommendations of the World Federation of Orthodontists, European and National guidelines
  • A clinical practical element of supervised management of selected problems of dento-facial abnormality
  • A research project and a dissertation.

Weekly sessions:Five clinical (half day) sessions per week providing direct patient care and one session per week attending new patient and joint clinics. One (half day) session per week is dedicated to academic teaching in the autumn and spring terms, and three (half day) sessions are timetabled for research and personal study in the autumn and spring terms. An additional session is available for research during the summer term yielding approximately 560 hours.

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.

Year one

Year two

Year three

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.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught via clinical teaching and instruction; a seminar programme; case review and interactive clinical presentations; guided critical reading and journal clubs; research forum presentations and critical appraisal of research methodologies; individual research guidance; attendance at regional and national meetings of relevance; and self-directed learning and presentation in small group forums to encourage a problem-based learning method.

How will I be supported?

All modules make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, on which you will find course materials and links to related materials.  You will be supervised when undertaking your dissertation, and your supervisor will schedule regular meetings to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance, and give written feedback on a draft.

Opportunities to reflect on abilities and performance are made available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module and through scheduled meetings with personal tutors.

Students will receive written feedback on all assessments, in addition to oral feedback on assessed oral presentations.

How will I be assessed?

There are summative and formative assessments throughout the three-year programme with research being assessed through a final dissertation in year three.

What skills will I practise and develop?

  • Diagnose anomalies of the dentition, facial structures and functional conditions.
  • Detect deviations of the development of the dentition, of facial growth and occurrence of functional abnormalities.
  • Formulate a treatment plan and predict its course.
  • Carry out interceptive orthodontic measures.
  • Execute simple and complex treatment procedures.
  • Work together in multi-disciplinary teams for the treatment of compromised (adult) patients, orthodontic surgical cases and cleft palate patients.
  • Evaluate the need for orthodontic treatment.
  • Understand psychological aspects relevant to orthodontics.
  • Further develop a scientific attitude and an enquiring mind.
  • Undergo training in scientific methodology.
  • Further develop your ability to interpret scientific literature.
  • Carry out a research project.
  • Prepare oral and written presentations of clinical and research findings.

The well-structured course provides the opportunity to treat a wide variety of orthodontic patients using a range of appliances and techniques. During your time as an orthodontic student you will be supported by dedicated and approachable teachers and you will have the chance to produce innovative research. Cardiff University is a leading centre for orthodontic training and provides a world class learning environment for the aspirational clinician.

John, MScD Orthodontics

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.

Graduates from this programme should be equipped to pursue careers in orthodontic specialisms.

The MScD in Orthodontics programme is the longest running at over 40 years now. It provided me with the opportunity to undertake valuable research alongside clinical training. The nurses and consultants in the department look after you very well and are always friendly and approachable. Cardiff has been a rewarding place to be both socially and academically and has provided me with all the skills I need to continue in my long career as an orthodontist.

Stacey, MScD Orthodontics