Oral and Dental Sciences

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Run by Faculty of Health Sciences
Awards available PhD, MSc by research
Programme length PhD: Three to four years full-time; six years part-time
MSc by research: One year full-time

All programmes (except the four-year full-time PhD) also have the option of an additional year for writing up.
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date Not fixed. This research degree is also available via distance learning.

Programme overview

Bristol Dental School performed highly in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). We increased our percentage of world-leading (4*) research from 20 per cent to 43 per cent compared with RAE2008, and the percentage of world-leading and internationally excellent (4* and 3*) research increased from 60 per cent (RAE2008) to 80 per cent (REF2014).

The school combines laboratory-based and clinically-applied research and fosters a high level of collaboration between staff and students. The research programme is funded by internal and external grants from charities, research councils and industry.

Fees for 2021/22

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2021/22 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK: part-time
Overseas (including EU): full-time (Non-clinical)
Overseas (including EU): full-time (Clinical)
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (e.g. training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

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 2021/22

Please contact Bristol Dental School for information about funding.

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

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) or a master's degree with a lower second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile E
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

The school hosts two overarching research groups: Lifecourse Epidemiology and Population Oral Health; and Microbiology and Materials.

Each group comprises clinical and basic scientists to promote interdisciplinary and translational research.


After completing this course, career opportunities include post-doctoral research, academia and research in industry.

Staff profiles

Dr Charlotte Atkinson, (Senior Research Fellow), Dietary intervention studies; inter-individual differences in phytoestrogen metabolism; peri-operative nutrition; physical activity.

Dr Nihal Bandara, (Lecturer), Biofilm antimicrobial resistance; candida pathogenesis mechanisms; fungal bacterial interactions; microbial signalling and quorum sensing; novel approaches to overcome antimicrobial resistance; pathophysiology of microbial biofilms

Dr Michele Barbour, (Reader), Nanotechnology in dentistry; oral nanoscience.

Professor David Dymock, (Professor), Assessment; curriculum design; dental education; student reflection

Professor Anthony Ireland, (Professor), 3D scanning technology; adhesion; biomaterials research; orthodontic archwires; particulate production.

Dr Sam Leary, (Senior Lecturer), Diet, obesity and cardiovascular risk; lifecourse epidemiology; physical activity.

Professor Andy Ness, (Professor), Cleft lip and palate; diet, obesity and cardiovascular risk; head and neck cancer; lifecourse epidemiology; physical activity.

Dr Patricia Neville, (Lecturer), Dental education; dental professionalism; sociology of health; sociology of oral health

Dr Angela Nobbs, (Senior Lecturer), Mechanisms of bacterial (Streptococcus) colonisation and pathogenesis; polymicrobial interactions and biofilm formation

Dr Miranda Pring, (Consultant senior lecturer), Aetiology and pathogenesis of oral disease; pathology of head and neck cancer

Professor Peter Robinson, (Professor), Health services research; oral health-related quality of life

Professor Jonathan Sandy, (Dean of Health Sciences), Clinical outcomes in craniofacial anomalies; craniofacial development.

Professor Bo Su, (Professor), Biomimetic and bio-inspired materials; cell-instructive materials and surfaces.

Professor Steve Thomas, (Professor), Head and neck cancer; nutrition

Dr Andrea Waylen, (Senior Lecturer), Effective communication; parent-child relationships; psychology across the lifespan.

Professor Nicola West, (Professor), " in vitro" and " in vivo" models; clinical periodontology, erosion and abrasion of enamel and dentine; dentine hypersensitivity.

Dr Andrew Wills, (Lecturer), Growth and obesity; lifecourse epidemiology; methods for longitudinal data

How to apply
Application deadline:

Not fixed

Open days and visits

Find out how to attend one of our upcoming online events.

Get in touch

Liz Hemmings Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 428 2754 Email: fohs-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk

Professor Bo Su Postgraduate Research Director Phone: +44 (0) 117 342 9493 Email: b.su@bristol.ac.uk

Faculty of Health Sciences
5 Tyndall Avenue
School website: Bristol Dental School

International students

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

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2014 results

  • Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy:
  • 43% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 37% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 18% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

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


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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