Special Care Dentistry PG Cert

London, Bloomsbury

Special Care Dentistry ensures that common oral disease of individuals with special needs is appropriately managed and/or prevented. Delivered mostly online on Mondays, this part-time, one-year Postgraduate Certificate aims to provide interested dentists with a basic understanding of the delivery of special care dentistry.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
1 academic year
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 and be working in an appropriate UK- based practice throughout the proposed period of enrolment at UCL.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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 people with complex disease that may impact upon their oral health and dental care is ever rising. Special Care Dentistry ensures that patients are appropriately managed to enhance their function and quality of life.

The PGCert Special Care Dentistry provides a grounding in the basic practical and academic skills necessary for the practice of special care dentistry. You will identify the key concepts which underlie successful patient treatment and gain an understanding of the evidence base for special care dentistry and the ability to critically access scientific literature.

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.

Who this course is for

The programme is for 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.

  • 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

As well as enhancing their clinical skill and knowledge and increasing their opportunities for promotion, students can also network with the senior UK specialists who teach on the programme. This interaction between graduates and teaching staff has also led to our staff being invited to lecture to the colleagues of graduates.


Successful graduates of this programme have progressed to:

  • Entry to the GDC specialist list for Special Care Dentistry
  • Senior posts within the special care dentistry services.


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, and seminars. Teaching is provided by academic staff and honorary academic staff of UCL Eastman Dental Institute and the allied UCLHT Eastman Dental Hospital. We also invite external lecturers from the British dental Association, General Dental Council and groups who champion unconscious bias. We encourage students to ask questions and to read independently around their subject areas of interest.

Your examinations take place around two weeks after the module teaching is complete. For each module, this comprises two departmental tests (MCQ and MSA Test), which makes up 66% of the weighting, and an oral examination, which makes up 34% of the weighting.

Your logbook is examined within the oral examination of each module, while the four case studies are covered within the oral examination of the second module. You must pass both modules to achieve the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Special Care Dentistry.

The programme is spread across 27 days between October and July. Teaching is delivered on Mondays during term time. Most teaching takes place online between 9am and 5pm. You will need to allow 6-7 hours during these days for the required teaching.

Separate to this, all students must prepare a logbook of 75 patients with special needs whom they have managed in their clinical practice(s) during the programme. You must also complete case study reports of four of these patients.

We do not provide access to patients, so all students must already have a reliable source of patients.


This programme comprises two 30-credit modules.

Applied Biology, Systemic Disease and Behavioural Sciences

This module enhances your knowledge of the interplay of common systemic disease upon oral health and oral health care.

Ethics, Governance and Public Health Policy in Special Needs Dentistry

This module enhances your knowledge of common, essential aspects of the delivery of ethical and clinically safe oral health care to individuals with special needs in the UK.

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.

Certificate students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert 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.

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 Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed

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

All students on this programme on a part-time or flexible basis are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

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
  • your present clinical position within the UK.

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.