Fast track master's degree in research

01 July 2024

Fellows and associate fellows of the College of General Dentistry (CGDent) are now eligible to enrol on a ‘top-up’ Master’s degree, which can be completed during a single year of part-time distance learning.

Holders of ‘FCGDent’ and ‘AssocFCGDent’ status can enter via advanced standing into Stage 3 of the MSc in General Dental Practice offered by Aston University, with their attainment recognised as equivalent to 90 credits of relevant prior learning at Level 7.

The arrangement applies regardless of dental team role, so long as the applicant meets the university’s standard postgraduate admissions criteria.

The course consists of a 30-credit taught module in advanced research methods followed by a 60-credit individual research project pertaining to clinical dental practice.

The programme develops competence in research skills, including the development of hypotheses, research design, execution, data analysis and interpretation, critical evaluation of literature, understanding of ethical issues and reporting of an empirically-based project.

On completion of the taught component, students will be able to select and implement appropriate quantitative and qualitative techniques for different research questions and designs and will know how to manage their time and resources when undertaking research independently. They will then develop a suitable research question for their topic of choice within the field of general dental practice and plan a programme of research.

Delivered by the Cambridge Academy of Postgraduate Dentistry, learning methods include online lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group activities, independent study, assignments, and reflections on assignment feedback. Assessment will be through a combination of continuous assessment, logbook, research proposal, presentations, and a dissertation.

Fellowship of the college requires a breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and experience fulfilling the requirements of at least three of five fellowship domains (clinical; teaching, learning and assessment; leadership and management; publications research; and law and ethics).

Associate fellowship of the college acts as a stepping stone to fellowship, and is open to any dental professional holding the MGDS, DPDS, a relevant and accredited Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma providing 120 UK credits, a specialty membership of a UK Faculty or certain CGDent/FGDP(UK)/RCS Edinburgh-issued diplomas. Most associate fellows will find that their qualifying award already fulfils the requirements of the clinical domain of fellowship, and successful completion of the MSc in General Dental Practice would also satisfy the requirements of the research domain.

Aston University is the only provider in the UK offering students the opportunity to top up their existing dentistry qualification and convert it into a fully approved Master’s qualification.

The next cohort of the MSc in General Dental Practice starts in September 2024.