Special Care Dentistry MSc

London, Bloomsbury

Special Care Dentistry ensures that all patients are appropriately managed to enhance their function and quality of life. This master's degree provides dentists with the knowledge to enhance their ability to provide care to patients with special needs. It is available full-time or part-time and is taught at new facilities in the heart of London.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 academic year
2 academic years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

All applicants must hold an approved dental qualification and normally have a minimum of two years clinical experience post-qualification.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The number of individuals with complex systemic disease that may impact upon oral health and the provision of dental care is rising. Increasing lifespans have led to an increase in cardiac, neurological, endocrine, and other disease processes. Special Care Dentistry is now more relevant than ever to ensure all patients are managed appropriately to enhance their function and quality of life.

Our MSc Special Care Dentistry provides a detailed understanding of the common systemic disorders likely to be of implication for routine dental care. You will gain an understanding of the appropriate management and the ability to undertake clinical investigations for patients with systemic disease likely to complicate dental treatment.

We emphasise putting theory into practice to ensure that graduates are well equipped to manage patients with complex needs and help them maintain good oral health and general wellbeing.

Our students are taught in new facilities in the heart of London and the campuses of UCL and UCL NHS Foundation. All clinical teaching takes place within the newly opened UCLHT Eastman Dental Hospital, while all non-clinical teaching is within UCL Eastman Dental Institute. The facilities within these sites and the UCL libraries provide a unique twenty-first century educational experience.

Who this course is for

The programme is directed towards dentally qualified clinicians who wish to extend their knowledge and skills in special care dentistry to become a competent practitioner in the field within and outside the United Kingdom.

What this course will give you

This programme offers you the following benefits and opportunities.

  • Teaching in new facilities in the heart of London. All clinical teaching takes place within the newly opened UCLHT Eastman Dental Hospital.
  • Friendly, welcoming staff, and a highly experienced Professional Services team.
  • A comprehensive education portfolio.
  • Teaching by national and international leaders of special care dentistry and allied subjects who bring a wealth of experience in teaching at the postgraduate level and the clinical care of patients with complex needs.
  • Access to a wealth of online material allied to the course and UCL library services.

The foundation of your career

Students establish important working collaborations with staff at the institute and other parts of UCL. They will be encouraged to present aspects of their work at international conferences, which provides further opportunities to collaborate with specialists from across the globe.

My aims are to establish a dental service in the Middle East serving both children and adults with special care, and to teach these dental aspects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Dr Lama Dakkouri

Dr Lama Dakkouri

Special Care Dentistry, MSc


The course provides students with knowledge, skills, and collaborations to further their clinical careers. Former students have gone on to become specialists and/or consultants in special care dentistry in the UK and abroad. Some have gone on to establish special care dental services in several countries, create undergraduate or postgraduate programmes, and become leaders of specialist organisations relevant to special care dentistry.


There are regular networking opportunities, including events where you can hear from expert speakers. We encourage students to broaden their skills and expand their networks by attending and participating at conferences.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, journal clubs and clinics organised by many of the scientists and clinicians of the institute and its allied hospital. The more didactic elements of teaching are delivered via on-line and face-to-face lectures, seminars, and tutorials. All clinical teaching is provided via attendance at the many clinics of special care dentistry in UCLHT Eastman Dental Hospital.

Assessments / examinations include:

  • Essay-type written examinations
  • Completion of a logbook of clinical activities
  • Completion of case reports
  • Completion of written dissertation
  • Viva-type examinations.

The programme is approximately 46 weeks long and extends over one academic year with students expected to attend in person throughout the programme.

Approximately 30% of your time is dedicated to lectures, seminars, and other teaching activities. This may vary slightly depending on which optional modules you select.

The remaining 70% is allied to clinical teaching (via direct patient contact) and completing a research dissertation.


You will take five compulsory taught modules and the research dissertation.

Areas covered include: Clinical Science and Research Methods, Principles of Therapeutics and Treatment, Clinical Care, Applied Biology, Systemic Disease and Behavioural Sciences of Relevance to Special Care Dentistry, Ethics, Governance and Public Health of Relevance to Special Care Dentistry, and a dissertation.

Modules are undertaken in parallel. You will receive conventional teaching as well as clinical teaching spread across each week of the programme. In the early stages, teaching is principally conventional to ensure you have the understanding to be able to manage patients appropriately.

The programme can be taken part-time over two academic years. While we make every effort to accommodate the needs of students, it is essential that:

  1. In the first year, students always attend on a Monday, when the majority of lectures are delivered;
  2. Students attend for two or three consecutive days in the first year.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Special Care Dentistry.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Where you'll study

Welcome to UCL Eastman Dental Institute

We are a world-leading, academic centre for postgraduate dentistry and translational research. We offer high-quality postgraduate education, including Master's degrees, speciality training, certificates, diplomas, research degrees and CPD courses. Our clinically-intensive programmes are led by international specialists. As a world-class research centre, we are continually improving systemic and oral health by developing novel treatments, therapies, diagnostics and smart materials. Our new state-of-the-art facilities at Bloomsbury campus ensure that our students, researchers and academics have exceptional access to patients and opportunities for education and research. The UCLH Eastman Dental Hospital is part of the largest hospital in Europe specialising in complex oral health care and advanced ear, nose and throat treatments.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Advanced Aesthetic Dentistry PG Cert

This is an opportunity to learn what is taught and how it is taught in the lectures and hands-on training of UCL's flagship Aesthetic Dentistry Degree Programme. This clinical programme is tailored for dentists at any point in their career who would like to confidently treat aesthetic interdisciplinary cases, with the latest techniques and materials and with user-friendly predictable protocols for their daily practice. Speaker: Dr. Konstantina Dina Dedi DipDS, MS, FACP

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Periodontology (distance-learning) MSc

The MSc Periodontology is a three-year blended-learning programme that offers busy dental practitioners the chance to learn the latest techniques in Periodontology. It combines flexible online learning with compressed residential components in London. We will present the programme structure, the virtual environment and examples of learning activities, including some of the practical elements delivered during the residential weeks. Speakers: Prof Jacopo Buti and Dr Inbar Eshkol-Yogev.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500 £18,750
Tuition fees (2024/25) £61,800 £30,900

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Fee deposits for this programme are as follows: UK full-time and part-time students £2,500; Overseas full-time and part-time students £5,000.

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

This programme requires a completed DBS check for some compulsory modules. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme. The DBS application cost will be covered by UCL, but offer holders will also need to have their ID checked and verified at a Post Office, for which they will incur a charge of £15.00. The offer holder is also required to arrange and pay for any overseas police check that may be necessary; costs vary by country. For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the UCL Graduate Admissions team.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for Eastman Dental Institute programmes of £120 for online applications and £145 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • why you want to study special care dentistry at graduate level
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • what is your source of funding and is this something you have applied for already
  • what is your previous experience of special care dentistry
  • what your plans are after completing this master's degree and how you expect this qualification to help you.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.