University of Chester

Programme Specification
Restorative Dentistry MSc
2014 - 2015

Master of Science

Restorative Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry

University of Chester

Red Square and Faculty of Health and Social Care

The Manchester Dental Education Centre (MANDEC), 3rd Floor, University Dental Hospital, Higher Cambridge Street, Manchester, M15 6FH and University of Chester

Postgraduate (Taught)


Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years

6 Years

Annual - January - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

QAA – Master’s Level

Not applicable.

Health and Social Care, Postgraduate Programmes Assessment Board

Monday 1st July 2013

The programme aims to enable dental practitioners to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained both through their original dental qualification and their subsequent practice. Study of restorative dentistry at level 7 is seen as a way of facilitating practitioners to develop expertise in their field and potentially become leaders in that field.

The aims are:

  • To enable registered dental practitioners to develop their skills in assessment and diagnosis of conditions suitable for restorative treatment (‘restorative disease’).
  • To enable registered dental practitioners to critically appraise treatment options for patients with general restorative disease, and successfully carry out the required treatment.
  • To enable registered general dental practitioners to avoid iatrogenic damage during treatment, and to successfully resolve restorative treatment failures.
  • To develop advanced clinical skills and knowledge in restorative dentistry.
  • To investigate systematically and rigorously an in-depth topic of direct relevance to students' practice.
  • To promote, encourage and enable students to gain skills in scholarship of professional theory and its application to practice.
  • To critically evaluate the interface between theory, research and professional dental practice.
  • To contribute to the development of the growing body of applied knowledge and evidence-based practice in the dental field.

Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:

  • Critically analyse and evaluate advanced treatment planning of a complex case e.g. an advanced toothwear case.
  • Appraise and evaluate critically the options and potential benefits of a wide range of treatments, and be able to compare and contrast them.
  • Critically assess and evaluate the evidence base for advanced treatment in specific clinical cases.
  • Reflect critically on acquired knowledge and skills concerning restorative dentistry.
  • Develop analytical and cognitive skills in the functional areas that concern restorative dentistry.
  • Develop an extensive knowledge of the scientific and clinical literature relating to restorative dentistry, and be able to evaluate the quality critically.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate self-direction, independence of thought and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Access, analyse and process information applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship.
  • Utilise higher level analytical and clinical decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrate independent learning ability when working as a reflexive and autonomous practitioner.
  • Demonstrate originality when exercising innovative and creative thinking strategies.

Practical Skills

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate advanced clinical skills in endodontic, periodontic and prosthetic dentistry, and an understanding of dental implants.
  • Demonstrate advanced clinical skills by the management of an advanced clinical case that is written up.
  • Be competent to identify the clinical errors in a case.
  • Be competent to alter a patient's occlusion, and manage an alteration in occlusal vertical dimension.
  • Translate an understanding of technical challenges in re-organising a patient's occlusion into practice.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • Information literacy and technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Communicate effectively both at individual and organisational levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively, and lead a team.
  • Demonstrate higher literacy and numeracy skills.

Transferable Professional Skills

  • Professionalism/management skills
  • The skills necessary for a career as a researcher and/or for employment in a senior and leading capacity in a relevant area of professional/clinical practice or industry.
  • Self-assessment/evaluating their own achievement and that of others.
  • Self-direction and effective decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations.
  • Independent learning and the ability to work in a way that ensures continuing professional development.

Postgraduate Certificate in Restorative Dentistry
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to deal with complex problems in a rational manner, and will have the ability to apply these skills to the reality of restorative dental practice.
Postgraduate Diploma in Restorative Dentistry
The graduating student who exits at this level will be able to deal with a variety of complex problems in varying contexts, and will have the ability to translate complex issues, concepts and advanced skills from the academic world to real world restorative dental practice.
Master's in Restorative Dentistry
The graduating student will have highly developed cognitive skills, and will have the ability to consider and evaluate complex situations in an analytical and critical manner.In addition, they will be able to apply this cognitive ability developed from academic study to the restorative dentistry context.

The MSc in Restorative Dentistry is designed to provide the busy General Dental Practitioner with a part time educational route to acquiring the skills and knowledge required to assess and treat more complex cases. The underlying philosophy of the programme is to develop highly skilled competent dentists who can apply their knowledge of contemporary practice and evidence-based principles to ensure an optimal outcome for the patient and practitioner.

The programme is modular in design and adheres to the structure benchmarked by the QAA Master’s Degree Characteristics (2010). The modules have internal integrity and are linked together to form a coherent programme of learning, and this denotes their normal sequencing. The programme comprises three distinct and equal parts with two specific exit points. Each module in year 1 is worth 20 credits with 200 hours of associated teaching and learning activity, with year 2 consisting of a 40 credit module and a 20 credit module. The final year is assigned to a Research module and a 60 credit Dissertation module with 600 hours of associated teaching and learning activity.

Year 1 consists of three core modules, NM7145 Patient assessment, treatment planning and occlusion, NM7146 Fixed and removable prosthodontics and NM7147 Endodontics and periodontology. These modules are developmental and must be completed in sequence. The modules explore advanced diagnostic techniques, before engaging the students in the development of treatment plans which will draw on their analytical and clinical decision-making skills with the aim of achieving ideal restorative outcomes. There is an exit award following successful completion of these modules, a Postgraduate Certificate in Restorative Dentistry.

Year 2 consists of two core modules, NM7148 Implant, aesthetic and advanced restorative techniques and NM7069 Research.  NM7148 will build on the knowledge and skills students gained during year 1 to explore more complex cases and advanced restorative techniques. The modules can be completed in any sequence, and the Research module will facilitate students to extend their knowledge of empirical methods and develop a research proposal that will provide a valuable foundation for the dissertation. There is an exit award following successful completion of 120 credits, a Postgraduate Diploma in Restorative Dentistry.

Year 3 consists of one core 60 credit module NM7059 which is the Dissertation module. This enables the learner to select an area of restorative dentistry and undertake an in-depth study of it. On successful completion of 180 credits, the learner can be awarded an MSc in Restorative Dentistry.

All of the modules are compulsory as they are developmental, with each building on the last to develop the students’ advanced competence in restorative dentistry. Modules have been designed and structured to meet benchmarks set out in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (2008), using the stated descriptors of level 7 study as the reference point.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7059 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
NM7069 7 Research 20 Comp
NM7145 7 Patient assessment, treatment planning and occlusion 20 Comp
NM7146 7 Fixed and removable prosthodontics 20 Comp
NM7147 7 Endodontics and periodontology 20 Comp
NM7148 7 Implant, aesthetic and advanced restorative techniques 40 Comp

180 level 7 credits for a Master's Award.

Exit awards:
60 level 7 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate.
120 level 7 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma.

  • Be qualified as a dental surgeon and be registered with the appropriate registering body within their country of practice.
  • Be working in professional practice.
  • Hold valid professional indemnity insurance.
  • Be qualified at IELTS level 6.5 or equivalent (if English is not the applicant's first language).
  • Students from outside of the EU will require a student visa.
  • All international applications will be processed through the international office to enable UK equivalence to be determined by UK NARIC.

The programme is written in line with the recommendations of the Guide to training and training posts in restorative dentistry (2001) written by the Joint Committee for Specialist Training in Dentistry. It also notes the comment by the Association of Consultants in Restorative Dentistry: ‘The speciality of Restorative Dentistry has a close inter-relationship with General Dental Practice and it is common to find Consultants in Restorative Dentistry heavily committed to the organisation and provision of postgraduate courses in their region.'

The learning and teaching methods selected for the programme are reflective of the guidance outlined in the QAA (2010) document Master's Degree Characteristics.

A range of learning and teaching methods will be employed during the delivery of this programme, with an emphasis on practice simulation. The use of simulation in postgraduate dental education promotes the transition from theory to practice, and supports and reinforces ergonomics and the development of competence. It broadens the students' previous clinical experience by using models and advanced computer technology to mimic real patient conditions. Students will not be engaged in direct patient care, but will have the opportunity to practise their skills in a safe environment and critically reflect on their own practice. The programme will also make use of the University and the partner's virtual learning environment which will enable streaming of taught sessions.

Blended learning will also be utilised where appropriate, with students having access to a wide range of learning materials online. For example, the Research module is offered as a taught module or an e-learning option. As well as promoting independent study skills in the students e-learning also provides flexibility, which is paramount given that the majority will be in employment and attendance may at times be problematic.

All methods of learning and teaching will emphasise student-centred techniques. These will facilitate the student to become an increasingly autonomous learner, able to identify their own learning needs and goals within the parameters of the programme aims and outcomes. The programme team are committed to fostering the personal and professional development of the students. The critical and analytical development of knowledge, synthesis and understanding will be promoted by the students' involvement in debates, discussions, project work, case study examination, critical reflection, tutorials, and via the support of their personal academic tutor. For the MSc programme students will be required to complete a research dissertation which will include group tutorials and individual supervision.

Thus a wide range of both interactive methods will be used, and the acquisition of core knowledge, skills and attitudes will be through a combination of:

  • Practice simulation, including debriefing.
  • Practice observation and demonstration.
  • Seminars.
  • Lectures, which are interactive and encourage discussion and debate.
  • Online resources.
  • Audio-visual resources, such as podcasts, videos and interactive case studies.
  • Tutorials including interactive tutorials.
  • Discussion groups.
  • Peer learning.
  • Critical reflection/reflective diaries.
  • Formative assessment.
  • Self-directed learning/tutor-directed learning.
  • Individual dissertation supervision.
  • Presentations and seminars by visiting lecturers.
  • Case studies.

The programme will provide an induction and students will be invited to the postgraduate induction day, where details of support mechanisms, library services and University regulations will be provided. This knowledge will then be reinforced in the student handbook.

The assessment strategies and methods selected for the programme are reflective of the guidance outlined in the QAA (2010) document Master's Degree Characteristics.

Students will be required to undertake a wide range of assessments to meet the academic requirements of the programme including: essays, multiple short answer, short best answer, extended matching questions, reflective reports and an objective structured long examination record (OSLER) examination, as well as a research proposal and dissertation.



Assignment (% weighting)



Essay focusing on patient assessment (2500 words) (50% weighting).



Essay focusing on determining treatment options (2500 words) (50% weighting).



Short best answer (SBA) (50% weighting)



Extended matching questions (EMQ) (50% weighting)



Reflective clinical assignment: Students must prepare a report of two restorative dentistry cases from their practice which includes their recorded clinical images (2500 words per case report, 5000 words in total) (100% weighting).



Component 1: Objective structured long examination record (OSLER) (4000 words equivalent) (pass/fail).



Multiple short answer paper (MSA) (3000 words equivalent) (50% weighting).



Review of scientific paper (3000 words) (50% weighting).



Research proposal (4000 words) (80% weighting).



Critical review of ethical issues (1000 words) (20% weighting)



Dissertation (15000 words) (100% weighting).


Best short answer exam papers will be standard set and the programme team will align the marks awarded with the level 7 criteria; the external examiner will be asked to confirm acceptance of all exam papers in line with university regulations. The OSLER in module NM7 RS4 will not be allocated an academic mark, but will be recorded as pass/fail with a 70% pass rate.   

Formative assessment using multiple choice questions and presentations from practice are an integral part of the restorative dentistry modules.


Derogation will be sought to ensure that participants pass all practical elements of module assessment to ensure competence on completion of the programme. Having been granted derogation from the University regulations, the following will apply to this programme:

Students must pass every component and module, with a minimum mark of 40%.

Postgraduates are expected to be at the forefront of contemporary practice, and to offer leadership and direction to their profession. The MSc in Restorative Dentistry offers the students the opportunity to achieve this, and graduates will leave not only having extended their knowledge base but also with an extended range of advanced skills, which will enhance their clinical practice and thus the service they offer to their clients.

The programme will develop the characteristics of a postgraduate as determined by both the QAA and the University of Chester's assessment criteria:

  • Demonstrate critical reasoning with regard to complex dental issues, with an ability to explore and develop alternative solutions and treatment options.
  • Critical evaluation of key concepts of knowledge. Extensive systematic reading and demonstration of insight, and originality and application to dental practice.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of relevant knowledge and applicable techniques which are at the forefront of professional dental practice.
  • Demonstrate synthesis and be able to deal with complex issues in an original manner.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of current and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of professional dental knowledge and practice.
  • Ability to deploy accurately, creatively and imaginatively established techniques of analysis and enquiry.
  • Ability to critically evaluate current research, methodology and scholarship and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills which can be understood by a wide audience including professionals and patients.

Master's degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional dental practice.
  • A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research, or advanced scholarship and clinical practice.
  • Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in dentistry the discipline.
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student: a) to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and b) to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound clinical judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences including professionals and patients.
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
  • Continue to advance their dental knowledge and understanding, and to develop new clinical skills to a high level;

and will have

  • The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: a) the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; b) decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations; and c) the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

This programme is unique in the North West, and is a result of a partnership agreement between the University of Chester and Red Square. The delivery of the programme allows general dental practitioners to continue working in practice whilst undertaking this part time study, and counts towards the hours required for Continuing Professional Development.

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel