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Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)


    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 programme of study shall consist of papers and a research dissertation as specified for one of the following endorsements:

    • Biomaterials Science
    • General Practice

    No new enrolments will be accepted for this programme. The information below reflects the programme as it was last offered.

    The Masters degree will be phased out and replaced by the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry.

    Regulations for the Degree of Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)

    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 papers and a research dissertation as specified for one of the following endorsements:        
        • Biomaterials Science (BISC 801, 802, 803, 830, 880)
        • General Practice (GDPR 801, 802, 803, 830, 880)
      2. The programme of study shall consist of appropriate papers, which normally will include clinical practice, together with a dissertation embodying the results of supervised research relating to the field of study.
      3. The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the  dissertation, 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.
      4. All requirements for an endorsement must be passed for the degree to be awarded.

    3. Duration of the Programme

      1. A full-time candidate should normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within two years.
      2. A part-time candidate should normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within four years.

    4. Examinations

      1. Examinations for papers other than the dissertation 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.

    5. 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 of whom shall be external to the University.
      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 5(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 5(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 University.

    6. Level of Award of the Degree

      The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

    7. 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.

      (i) 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.
      (ii) 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.
      (iii) 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.
      (iv) The thesis or report shall normally be submitted by 15 October of the candidate's last year of study for the degree.
      (v) 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 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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