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Master of Dentistry (MDent)

    Applications are not being accepted for the MDent endorsed in Aesthetic Dentistry for the 2025 academic year. Please contact the Faculty of Dentistry with any questions:


    Applications for the Rural Oral Health Care endorsement of the MDent are not currently being accepted. Please contact the Faculty of Dentistry with any questions:



    The Master of Dentistry (MDent) is a one year full-time, or two year part-time taught master's programme which enhances dental practitioners' clinical skills and research base, but does not lead to specialist registration. It is offered in two fields: with an endorsement in Aesthetic Dentistry or an endorsement in Rural Oral Health Care.


    Regulations for the Degree of Master of Dentistry (MDent)

    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.
      3. Applicants must have achieved a minimum grade point average of B over the 400- and 500-level papers of the qualifying degree and will normally be expected to have had relevant clinical experience of at least three years' duration and/or have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry before admission to the programme.
      4. Admission to each endorsement is limited to a maximum of six candidates annually.

    2. Structure of the Programme

      1. The programme shall consist of papers and a research dissertation to a total value of 180 points as specified for one of the following endorsements:
        1. Aesthetic Dentistry: AEST 801, AEST 802, AEST 880.
        2. Rural Oral Health Care: ROHC 801, ROHC 802, ROHC 880
      2. All requirements for an endorsement must be passed for the degree to be awarded.
      3. Subject to the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, papers which have been completed at the University of Otago, another university, or an approved examining body may be credited to the programme and/or used as the basis for exemption from the requirements of the clinical papers mentioned in (b) above, provided that this previous study is directly relevant to the candidate's proposed and approved programme of study, to a maximum of 60 points. There will be no exemption from the research paper.

    3. Duration of the Programme

      1. A candidate for the degree shall normally follow a programme of study for one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.
      2. The programme will take place over an academic year of 46 weeks (for full-time students) or over two academic years of 23 weeks per year for part-time students.
      3. A candidate will normally be expected to satisfy the requirements for the degree within two years of admission to a full-time programme or within four years of admission to a part-time programme.

    4. Examination of the Dissertation

      1. The Dean or Head of Department concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners who shall oversee each dissertation examination.
      2. The dissertation shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one whom shall be external to the supervising department.
      3. 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.
      4. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the dissertation and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the dissertation as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.
      5. The examiners may recommend that a dissertation:
        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.
      6. Amendments (regulation 4(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners, in accordance with established procedures.
      7. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a dissertation for examination once only.
      8. If a revised and resubmitted dissertation 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.
      9. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting an independent referee who should normally be external to the supervising department.
      10. The relative weighting of the components of the programme is papers 67% and research dissertation 33%.

    5. Withdrawal from the Programme

      1. A student who withdraws on or before 10 July in the year of admission will be required to reapply for admission to the programme.
      2. A student who withdraws at any other time during the programme will be required to apply to the Faculty Operations Manager for readmission by 1 September of the year prior to that for which readmission is sought. Such a student will be readmitted only on the recommendation of the Faculty.

    6. Exclusion from the Programme

      Any student who, during the course of their studies, is

      1. subject to criminal charges;
      2. subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
      3. found to have an issue in connection with their mental or physical health that could adversely affect their fitness to practise; or
      4. found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (6) (a)-(c), may be excluded from further study towards the degree by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Faculty of Dentistry.

    7. Level of Award of the Degree

      The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

    8. Variations

      The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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

    Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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