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Master of Community Dentistry (MComDent)


    Applications for the MComDent open on 1 April and close on 31 May of the year prior to study. When applications open, a link to apply will appear on this page.

    The Master of Community Dentistry (MComDent) degree is designed to be an appropriate programme of study for a person who wishes to pursue a specialist career in dental public health. It may be undertaken full-time over two academic years, or part-time over three years. The programme fosters the development of critical analysis and research competence, along with the advanced set of knowledge and skills in dental public health which is required by the specialist in that field.


    Regulations for the Degree of Master of Community Dentistry (MComDent)

    1. Admission to the Programme

      1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
      2. Every applicant shall hold the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery of the University of Otago or another equivalent dental qualification approved by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), and be a registered dental practitioner in their country of practice or residence.

    2. Structure of the Programme

      1. The programme of study shall consist of COMD 801 Research Methods and Dental Epidemiology (60 points), COMD 802 Dental Health Services (60 points), and a thesis (COMD 8) embodying the results of supervised research.
      2. The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, 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.
      3. 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.

    3. Duration of the Programme

      1. A candidate shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
      2. Candidates may meet some programme requirements by external study and research, but a minimum of 20 weeks must be spent in internal study.

    4. Examinations

      1. Examinations for COMD 801 and COMD 802 shall be taken at times appropriate to the structure of the programme.
      2. A candidate who fails an examination in 4(a) may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be permitted by the Faculty to be re-examined at another time.
      3. The Dean or Head of Department concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each thesis examination.
      4. The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
      5. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
      6. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the work as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options as specified in clause (g) below.
      7. The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
        1. be accepted without requiring amendments;
        2. be accepted subject to minor corrections being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Convener of Examiners;
        3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
        4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
      8. Amendments (regulation 4(g)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4(g)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners, in accordance with established procedures.
      9. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
      10. If a revised and resubmitted thesis 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.
      11. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convenor of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable,  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.

    5. Level of Award of the Degree

      The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

    6. Variations

      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 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.
      2. Before being admitted, overseas applicants will normally be required to undertake and satisfactorily complete at the Faculty of Dentistry such work as the Faculty may require.
      3. The thesis shall normally be submitted by 15 October of the final year of the programme, or, in special circumstances, at a subsequent date to be approved by the Head of the Department of Oral Sciences.
      4. 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.

    This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

    Regulations on this page are taken from the 2023 Calendar and supplementary material.

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