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The Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) degree provides graduate training in different disciplines in dentistry. The aim of each discipline programme is to prepare graduate students to become registered dental specialists. The programmes foster development of critical analysis, research skills, and advanced clinical skills that will be recognised for specialist registration. The programmes prepare students to be both practitioners and advisory consultants in their chosen areas of specialisation. Within each programme, papers on research methods and practice, advanced clinical science, and advanced clinical practice are included.
Because of the different training requirements for registration in each area of specialisation, the programme entry requirements and lengths vary.
The Masters degree will be phased out and replaced by the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (introduced 2007).
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Faculty of Dentistry.
- Every applicant shall have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
- have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery of a university in New Zealand;
- have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the degree.
Structure of the Programme
- The degree may be awarded in any of the following subjects:
- The programme of study shall consist of either:
- appropriate papers, which normally will include clinical practice, together with a thesis embodying the results of supervised research relating to the field of study; or
- appropriate papers, which normally will include clinical practice, together with a report of a supervised research project relating to the field of study.
- The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis or research report, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned and the Faculty for the topic chosen, the supervisor(s) and the proposed course of the investigation.
- For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Duration of the Programme
- A full-time candidate should normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within three years.
- A part-time candidate should normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within four years.
- Examinations shall be taken at times appropriate to the structure of the programme.
- A candidate who fails an examination may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be permitted by the Faculty to be re-examined at another time.
- The research report shall be submitted for examination in accordance with the regulations governing the Presentation of Theses or in a form suitable for submission to an appropriate journal.
- The thesis or research report shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Head of Department concerned.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis or research report and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis or research report as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options as specified in clause (g) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis or research report:
- be accepted without amendments;
- be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Head of Department concerned;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of submission.
- Amendments (regulation 4(g)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4(g)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Head of Department concerned.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis or research report for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis or research report is finally accepted, the result shall be either 'Pass' or 'Fail' (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
Note: This provision applies only to students who first enrol for the degree in 2009 or subsequently.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Head of Department concerned should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
On the recommendation of the Faculty, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.
(1) The programme leading to the MDS degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery or in Oral Medicine may be taken in conjunction with the programme for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. For further information and details of the integrated programme requirements contact the Faculty Operations Manager.
(2) The due date for applications for first enrolment in the programme is 31 May in the year preceding that in which the applicant wishes to commence the programme.
(3) Before being admitted, overseas applicants will normally be required to undertake and satisfactorily complete at the School of Dentistry such work as the Faculty may require.
(4) The thesis or report shall normally be submitted by 15 October of the candidate's last year of study for the degree.
(5) All applicants who have not gained their Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of New Zealand or the University of Otago will have to fulfil an English language requirement.