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Oral Radiology MPhil

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Programme description

Research within Oral Radiology aims to develop and promote evidence-based imaging in dentistry through research. The group collaborates with others in the Dental School, the Faculty and wider University and has strong links with several comparable research groups in European Dental institutions.

Although based in the Dental School, access to complex imaging facilities (MR, CT, bone densitometry) is available within the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Medical School.

In the majority of cases, an MPhil degree is undertaken by candidates seeking eventual entry onto the PhD. Successful completion of the MPhil year, following the assessment of a transfer report and viva, permit progression to PhD which would then involve either 2-3 years of further research before submission for the degree of PhD.

Candidates will often be recommended to register for the degree of MPhil due to the policy of the admitting School or due to the nature of the research if the supervisory team do not feel the study warrants three-years of scholarship. Alternatively, candidates often register onto the MPhil due to restrictions of funding guarantees beyond the initial year, which if resolved would facilitate transfer to the PhD at a later date.

The supervisory team will assist the MPhil candidate throughout the study, ensuring academic objectives are met and suitable training is provided in core skills fundamental to the research.

Transferable skills training is provided by a dedicated Graduate Training Programme offered by the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, which provides training in research methodology, critical writing skills, intellectual property, research ethics etc.

All dentistry based MPhil/PhD researchers are required to successfully complete course units in Research Methods, and Biostatistics, and to participate in the Graduate Training Programme. Students are encouraged to attend journal clubs and research meetings within the School and are provided a personal laptop computer for the duration of their studies.

Coursework and assessment

Applicants within this dental theme would be based within the Oral Radiology and Imaging Research Group. Each academic grouping holds regular meetings aimed at the following types of research activity:

  • Discussing students' progress in a wider research context
  • Providing a forum for staff and students to present research findings and ideas in a supportive atmosphere
  • Discussing and giving advice on conference presentations and broadening awareness of student's research
  • Facilitating career development opportunities beyond their MPhil/PhD

There is a detailed system to monitor the progress of PhD and MPhil students. Students must submit work at specific stages and meet with their supervisors throughout their course. Some meetings are informal, while others are formal and documented.

The Research Methods and Biostatistics units run in the first year, and students must be successful in the assessments in order to proceed with the programme.

All students must submit a literature report at the end of the first three months (six months if part time). Preparation is then made for the key elements of the study to be conducted to allow the development of the thesis and submission within the year where possible.

Candidates also have the opportunity to transfer to PhD study following successful completion of the MPhil year and approval of an examined transfer report (subject to continued funding).

When students register, they receive a postgraduate handbook which explains the monitoring procedures in detail, including flowcharts for easy planning. This information is also available on the Faculty intranet, which students gain access to upon registration.

Programme unit details

  • Research Methods Component (15 credits): The aim is to equip students with skills related to design, execution and interpretation of clinical and clinically-related research.

    Formal assessment takes the form of two tutor-marked assignments.

  • Biostatistics Component (15 credits): The aim is to equip students with skills related to data collection, simple analysis and interpretation of clinical and clinically-related research.

    Formal assessment takes the form of two tutor-marked assignments.


Students have access to dedicated postgraduate suites located within the School.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office.

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