PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma) Postgraduate Dental Studies

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Awards available PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma) , MSc, PG Certificate (Postgraduate Certificate)
Programme length MSc: up to two years part-time after completion of the Diploma;
Postgraduate Diploma: up to two years part-time after completion of the Certificate;
Postgraduate Certificate: one to two years part-time;
Occasional route: maximum one academic year.
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes, part-time only
This course is a blended learning course which includes distance learning and one to two mandatory study days per unit in addition to exams in Bristol.
Open to international students Yes

A Tier 4 student visa cannot be issued for this programme. Our International Student Advice Team can provide information and guidance on whether you are required to obtain a visa to study with us.

Start date Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc: September 2017
Occasional route: September 2017, Jan 2018 or April 2018

Programme overview

Bristol University Open Learning for Dentists (BUOLD21C) is a very popular modular distance learning programme for students aiming to achieve the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Postgraduate Dental Studies. It provides a unique form of dental postgraduate education, designed for busy dental practitioners.

Students must complete three units (60 credits) from a choice of units to achieve the certificate or six units (120 credits) to achieve the diploma. Each unit provides a structured programme that involves reading, study days and assessments.

This method of study is not led by teachers in a classroom but is supported by tutors and administration at a distance, offering the flexibility to suit your personal needs. The units are specially written for the programme and are designed to be interactive, giving you the opportunity to think and learn for yourself. Following successful completion of the diploma, students may carry out a research project and prepare a dissertation to achieve an MSc.

All students applying for Postgraduate Dental Studies will initially be enrolled on to the certificate, and on satisfactory completion will be transferred to the diploma.

Occasional route of study

The occasional route of study is an option for students who do not want a formal postgraduate qualification but still want to register for individual units. After successful completion of a unit, the student is awarded a transcript confirming that they have attained 20 credits; this could later be used in an application for Recognition of Prior Learning. CPD hours are also awarded. Students who have completed a unit via the occasional route may transfer to the certificate programme, subject to availability of places. The modular fee is the same regardless of the route of study. NB For students starting in January 2017 or April 2017, fees for 2016/17 will apply (UK/EU £1,075 per 20-credit unit).

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees

£1,310 per 20-credit unit
£3,720 per 20-credit unit

Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Students may be employer-sponsored. Please note the University does not offer any funding for this programme.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The year is divided into three teaching blocks and students may only take one unit per block. Programme material is posted on Blackboard, an online learning environment. There are between one and four elements per unit and they contain assignments to be completed by the student. The units normally available are:

  • Anxiety Management
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Endodontics
  • Full Denture Prosthetics
  • Law and Ethics
  • Local Anaesthesia
  • Periodontics
  • Surgical Skills 1 and 2
  • Dental Injuries in Children and Young Adults

There are one to two compulsory study days per unit, usually held on Fridays or Saturdays. These cover areas that do not lend themselves well to distance learning, such as hands-on sessions.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold the BDS or other approved dental qualification and have been qualified for at least one year. Students must be eligible for, or registered with, the General Dental Council or other recognised registration.

For the Postgraduate Diploma: applicants must hold the Postgraduate Certificate in Postgraduate Dental Studies or equivalent qualification as well as be eligible for, or registered with, the General Dental Council or other recognised registration. Recognition of Prior (Certified/Experiential) Learning would be considered.

For the MSc: applicants must hold the Postgraduate Diploma in Postgraduate Dental Studies or equivalent qualification, as well as be eligible for, or registered with, the General Dental Council or other recognised registration. Recognition of Prior (Certified/Experiential) Learning would be considered.

Additional requirements: The UHBristol NHS Trust requires that all those who are granted access to patients (applicants wishing to undertake the Conscious Sedation unit[1] ) must have evidence of immunisation against infectious diseases and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance prior to commencing the clinical sessions within the Trust premises. Students on this programme will require a honorary contract with the trust. International applicants will be required to provide a satisfactory police check/certificate of good conduct from their home country (with a certified translation into English if necessary). This requirement will be included in the conditions of any offer that is made, and will need to be satisfied before the applicant's place on the programme can be confirmed.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile B
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


The aim of this programme is to inform and enhance the current practice of busy dental practitioners. In future some of the units may be helpful for gaining a contract with the NHS to provide clinical services as a Dentist with Special Interests or Dentists with Extended Services, which may be introduced in England.

How to apply
Application deadline:

1 August 2017 for Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.

Students on the occasional route can start in January or April. The closing date for application will be two weeks before the study days in those months.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 43% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 37% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 18% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

BUOLD Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 342 9645 Email:

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 1676 Email:

School of Oral and Dental Sciences
University of Bristol
Lower Maudlin Street
Bristol BS1 2LY


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