PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma) Postgraduate Dental Studies

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This programme has been discontinued

Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences
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. It includes distance learning and one to two mandatory study days per unit, in addition to exams in Bristol.
Start date Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma: September 2021
Occasional route: January 2021 (20/21 fees apply), April 2021 (20/21 fees apply), September 2021, January 2022 or April 2022
MSc: all through the year

Programme overview

Bristol University Open Learning for Dentists (BUOLD21C) is a 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.

You will 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. Units are written specifically for this programme and are designed to be interactive, giving you the opportunity to think and learn for yourself. Following successful completion of the diploma, you 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 successfully completing a unit, you will be awarded a transcript confirming that you 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.

Fees for 2021/22

Fees are set on a per-unit basis for this programme. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:

£1,510 per 20-credit unit
£4,530 60-credit dissertation fee
Overseas (including EU):
£4,300 per 20-credit unit
Overseas (including EU):
£12,900 60-credit dissertation fee

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

Students may be employer-sponsored.

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

Programme structure

The year is divided into three teaching blocks and you 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 for you to complete.

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.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our:

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a registrable 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. Registered dental hygienists and therapists will be accepted on to units that cover areas within their scope of practice.

For the Postgraduate Diploma: applicants must hold the Postgraduate Certificate in Postgraduate Dental Studies and 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 and be eligible for, or registered with, the General Dental Council or other recognised registration. Recognition of Prior (certified/experiential) Learning would be considered.

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 B
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


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 at Tier 2 level, which may be introduced in England.

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Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

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.

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.


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