MPH Public Health (Web-based Learning)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Implementing Strategy in Dental Services

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH76072
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit is for students who want to explore how to get the best from a system for providing oral healthcare - both treatment and prevention. It is about putting into action our plans for a service.

We aim to enable the student to understand the systems within which dental services are planned and delivered, to identify the opportunities for improvement and to anticipate and address the barriers to change.

Throughout, there is an emphasis on preventing oral health problems and on reducing inequalities. It is not assumed that students have taken any other course units prior to starting this unit.  


This unit is one of two which may be taken as the additional mandatory unit for the Dental Public Health pathway, alongside the mandatory core units of POPH60041, POPH60991 and POPH60982.

The other option is:

  • POPH76061 Oral Health & Disease in Populations


  • To explore the practical implementation of strategy into delivery of appropriate and effective dental services.

Learning outcomes

  • To understand the potential for preventing oral disease and morbidity at individual and population level.
  • To understand the potential models for financing, remuneration and workforce for dental care.
  • To understand the principles of planning dental services at system and local level including care for groups with additional needs.
  • To understand how quality and value for money may be ensured within a delivery system for dental care.


  1. Introduction to dental services – aims, methods of addressing oral health problems, models of delivery.
  2. Systems for financing and remuneration and impact on delivery of dental care.
  3. Quality in dental care systems – how it may be defined, assessed and achieved.
  4. Planning services for population needs at system and local level.
  5. Planning workforce to match population needs.
  6. How dental care systems may be changed. 
  7. How dental care may be delivered for groups with additional needs and those who are hard to reach.
  8. How oral health problems may be prevented at practice and population level.
  9. The role and impact of regulations and legislation in dental health care systems.
  10. Methods to ensure appropriate service delivery.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be web-based, with a high degree of student-led learning through interactive exercises to test understanding built into the web-based teaching materials, and exercises and assignments involving seeking out, retrieving and reflecting upon information from a range of mainly web-based resources.

There will be opportunities for student-student and student-tutor interaction through dedicated discussion groups. Students will be encouraged to share their experiences and examples from their own practice. Material will be made as relevant as possible to the professional and organisational backgrounds of students.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will demonstrate analytical skills through applying their learning to different settings and practical challenges
Problem solving
Students will need to apply a logical approach to analyse oral health problems and dental services and be able to plan improvements
Written communication
Students will need to be able to communicate their arguments coherently in the assignment questions demonstrating literacy and a strong command of the English language

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their final summative assignments within 20 working days for final submission.

Further opportunities for formative feedback (on non-assessed work) will also be provided during a course unit.

Recommended reading

There is no set textbook. The resources are online.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Lucy O'Malley Unit coordinator

Additional notes

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader  Lucy O'malley  via email on  If you have any other queries, please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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