MSc/PGDip Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Dental Specialties) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our one-year MSc Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery course is designed for dentists who wish to advance their knowledge of this clinical specialty at postgraduate level.

This specialty is concerned with the diagnosis and management of diseases, injuries and defects affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck.

The specialist clinical component of the course will give you an understanding of the scientific basis of oral and maxillofacial surgery, with particular emphasis on current theories relevant to the diagnosis, treatment planning and clinical management of patients. The course will also emphasise the evidence base supporting clinical surgical practice.

You will observe a wide range of surgery, including facial trauma, implant and reconstructive, cancer and reconstructive, salivary gland and orthognathic surgery, as well as participating in dentoalveolar surgery.

The course also covers the design, data collection, and simple analysis and interpretation of clinical research projects, and culminates in the MSc dissertation. You will learn how to identify, formulate and implement a specific research project in line with the research themes of pain and anxiety control, surgical implantology, or oral cancer and health services research.


The course aims to provide dental practitioners with the knowledge and skills to undertake minor oral surgery in the context of a wider knowledge of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Teaching and learning

Our teaching and learning methods are designed to encourage you to take responsibility for your own learning and to integrate work with formal educational activities.

We will provide the core text book for the course. This book, Master Dentistry Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Oral Medicine (ISBN 0443061920), has been authored by University staff Coulthard, Horner, Sloan and Theaker.

Key academic staff

Coursework and assessment

  • Assessment is by essay and Single Best Answer papers (SBAs) throughout the course and related to the taught units.
  • You will also maintain a clinical surgical logbook and complete work based assessments (WBAs) throughout the course.
  • There is also an oral examination.
  • Research Methods: Formal assessment takes the form of two tutor marked assignments.
  • Biostatistics: Formal assessment takes the form of two tutor marked assignments.
  • Dissertation (10,000-15,000 words).

Course unit details

The Specialist Clinical component consists of the following modules:

  • Surgical Basic Sciences (Basic surgical science, preoperative and postoperative care) and Patient Care (Assessing patients, medical aspects of patient care and control of pain and anxiety)
  • Reflective Oral Surgery Practices
  • Dental Tissues (Infections and inflammation of the teeth and jaws, removal of teeth and surgical implantology)
  • Bone: Disease and Injury (Diseases of bone and the maxillary sinus, oral and maxillofacial injuries)
  • Soft Tissues (Cysts, mucosal disease, premalignancy and malignancy)
  • Salivary Tissue, Pain and TMJ (Salivary gland disease, facial pain and disorders of the temporomandibular joint)

The MSc includes a research project and dissertation.


Examples of dissertations submitted include:

  • A systematic review of randomised controlled clinical trials comparing the adverse effects of articaine and lidocaine as local anaesthetic agents
  • A systematic review of the side effects of inhalation conscious sedation
  • Implant survival with different numbers of dental implants in the mandibular implant over denture: A retrospective cohort study
  • National use of conscious sedation in dentistry
  • Evaluation of pain in paediatric patients undergoing oral surgery

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MSc Dissertation DENT60020 60 Mandatory
Surgical Basic Sciences & Patient Care DENT60961 15 Mandatory
Dental Tissues DENT60971 15 Mandatory
Bone: Disease and Injury DENT60992 15 Mandatory
Soft Tissue DENT61002 15 Mandatory
Research Methods DENT61010 15 Mandatory
Salivary Tissue, Pain TMJ DENT61012 15 Mandatory
Reflective Oral Surgery Practice DENT61252 15 Mandatory
Biostatistics DENT70002 15 Mandatory


You will have access to dedicated postgraduate suites. You will also be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

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

CPD opportunities

We will invite you to participate in a number of conferences and courses. Some selected seminars will also provide you with CPD hours.