Professional Doctorate in Paediatric Dentistry

Programme of study for the degree of Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry

The Professional Doctorate in Paediatric Dentistry recognises the demanding nature of high levels of clinical training coupled with academic study in the dental specialities. The Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry is offered on a full-time. The standard period of study for the full-time programme is 3 years. The maximum period before submission of the thesis is 4 years for the full-time programme. The programme will normally commence in September or October.


The following may be accepted as candidates for the degree of Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry:

  • Graduates of an approved university or equivalent institution who have been awarded at the appropriate standard an Honours degree of Bachelor in Dentistry (BChD/MChD or BDS equivalent).
  • Applicants should also have postgraduate experience equivalent to two years full-time clinical practice.
  • Graduates seeking a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST), in order to be eligible to register on the General Dental
  • Council’s (GDC) Specialist Lists, must be accepted onto the programme as a Specialist Registrar (SpR) with an NTN (National Training Number). Providing all necessary requirements are met, such individuals are then eligible to undertake training for the relevant Royal College Memberships.

Where the applicant’s first language is not English, applicants for admission to the programme leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry must, before they can be admitted to the University, provide evidence that they have obtained an IELTS band score 7.0 (with not less than 6.5 in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills);

Candidates will in the first instance be accepted as provisional DPaedDent candidates.

On entry to the programme, every candidate will be assigned a research supervisor (normally 2) and a clinical supervisor: in most cases one of the research supervisors will also fulfil the role of the clinical supervisor.

Content of programme of study

Candidates are required to complete both research and taught components totalling 240 credits over the duration of the period of study.

The pattern of study for full-time candidates will be as follows:

Year 1-3

DSUR5065M Research Project (40 credits)

Year 1-2

DSUR5061M Introduction to Research Methodology and Ethics (10 credits)

DSUR5059M Core Epidemiology (10 credits)

DSUR5104M Statistical Methods (10 credits)

DSUR5068M Medical Emergencies (10 credits)

DSUR5069M Dental Radiology (10 credits)

DSUR5125M Paediatric Dentistry 1 (468 clinical hours) (60 credits)

DSUR5063M Service-related research (10 credits)

DSUR5055M Transferable Skills 1 (10 credits)

Year 2-3

DSUR5126M Paediatric Dentistry 2 (648 clinical hours) (50 credits)

DSUR5064M Clinical case study research (10 credits)

DSUR5056M Transferable skills II (10 credits)


Candidates will be initially accepted as provisional DPaedDent candidates. By the end of the first 18 months for full-time study and 30 months for part-time study, candidates are required to prepare a report and undergo an assessment for transfer to the specific doctoral degree category of DPaedDent. An assessment panel will be established, in accordance with the University’s Code of Practice for Research Degree Candidatures and Faculty Protocol for the implementation of the University Code, to assess each candidate for transfer to full DPaedDent registration. All candidates will be interviewed by an assessment panel and this will take the form of a viva voce examination.

A successful transfer is dependent upon the candidate having passed (i.e. achieved a mark of 50% or above) all taught modules which have been delivered and examined up to the point of transfer.

A candidate who is initially unsuccessful in the transfer assessment may be given, at the discretion of the assessment panel, one further opportunity for review normally within a period of three months (six months at the maximum) ) for full-time candidates and within six months (eight months at the maximum) for part-time candidates.

A candidate who is not recommended for transfer to full doctoral registration may be given the opportunity to complete the academic year and submit a dissertation that would form part of the requirements for the award of a Masters degree (see 18 (iii)).

Examination and assessment

Research Project

The normal expectation is that candidates will successfully complete modules, accruing no less than 240 credits for the taught component, by the end of Year 3 for full-time study (or by the end of Year 5 for part-time study) and submit their theses for examination, at the latest, by the end of Year 4 for full-time study (or by the end of Year 7 for part-time study.

Candidates are required to submit a thesis for examination of up to 50,000 words in length in the area of their specialist field of study and satisfy the examiners as specified in Ordinance X and its associated Regulations.

Except with the special permission of the relevant committee, every candidate is required to submit their thesis for examination for the degree of Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry by no later than:

  • the end of the fourth year after their entry upon the approved course of full-time study and research

If the thesis is not considered to be of sufficiently high standard to recommend the award of the degree but there is evidence of the potential of a successful DPaedDent submission, then on the recommendation of the examiners the candidate will be granted permission to resubmit the work in a revised form for the degree of DPaedDent within a period of eighteen months, on one occasion only and on payment of an additional fee.

The recommendation of the examiners is subject to confirmation by the Graduate Board’s Examinations Group which will consider the examiners’ report.

The Learning Outcomes for the degree of Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry are published in a later section.

Exit points

Candidates who leave without completion of the research thesis element of the programme may, providing that they have satisfied the relevant regulations for the award of these qualifications:

  • elect to graduate with the Postgraduate Certificate;
  • elect to graduate with the Postgraduate Diploma;
  • transfer to registration for the degree of Master of Science in Paediatric Dentistry (MSc)

In the event that a transfer assessment panel does not recommend that a candidate be transferred to DPaedDent (see section 8) those candidates who have accrued sufficient credits but are not recommended for transfer to full degree registration (i.e. DPaedDent) may be permitted to complete Year 2 (full-time) and submit a dissertation that would form part of the requirements for the award of a Masters degree as an exit qualification after 24 months for full­time study.

Learning outcomes / Transferable key skills / Learning context / Assessment for the degree of DPaedDent

Learning outcomes

On completion of the programme candidates should have shown evidence of being able to:

  • Meet the Learning Outcomes as defined by the University of Leeds Graduate Board. Through a combination of taught components, transferable skills training and research components the student will:
  • interpret and communicate knowledge through an extensive piece of original research and scholarship of publishable quality that would satisfy peer review;
  • present and defend research outcomes which extend the forefront of Paediatric Dentistry; demonstrate the ability to synthesise and interpret relevant clinical information to provide possible solutions to clinical problems in Paediatric Dentistry;
  • demonstrate in-depth, specialist knowledge and mastery of contemporary techniques relevant to Paediatric Dentistry and to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the concepts and information at the forefront of Paedodontics, including clinical governance: ;
  • be able to undertake decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, including diagnosis and treatment planning (together with the limitations of treatment), evaluation and prediction of outcomes and management of the child patient;
  • be able to underpin clinical practice in Paedodontics with in-depth theoretical knowledge;
  • take a proactive and self-reflective role in working, and develop professional relationships with others, particularly in relation to functioning within a multi-disciplinary team providing paedodontic treatment; be able to articulate complex ideas and discuss them with peers and other professionals;
  • critically evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in Paedodontics and the wider dental field;
  • understand relevant ethical and legal issues and be able to apply them in their research;
  • understand relevant health and safety issues;
  • demonstrate responsible working practice.

Transferable (key) skills

Candidates will have had the opportunity to acquire the following abilities through the research training and research specified for the programme

  • 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;
  • 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 which ensures continuing professional development;

Learning context

The learning context will include the critical analysis of, and decision making in, complex and unpredictable professional and/or clinical situations. The structure of the programme will provide research and/or professional training, breadth and depth of study and opportunities for drawing upon appropriate resources and techniques. This will include clinical skills development. Opportunities will be provided for candidates to:

  • develop to a high level interests and informed opinions
  • develop to a high level their design and management of their learning activities
  • develop to a high level their communication of their conclusions;
  • make an original contribution to the field

Candidates will be expected to engage in the exercise of autonomous initiative in their study and work in professional environments.


Achievement will be assessed by the examination of the candidate’s thesis and performance under oral examination. During the course of the programme there will also be assessment of achievement by a variety of methods in accordance with the learning outcomes of any taught modules specified for the programme. Final assessment will involve the achievement of the candidate in:

  • evidencing an ability to conduct original and independent broad and in-depth enquiry within the discipline or within different aspects of the area of professional/clinical practice normally leading to published work;
  • drawing on and/or developing a range of research techniques and methodologies appropriate to enquiries into the discipline/area of professional practice;
  • demonstrating independent critical ability in the application of breadth and depth of knowledge to complex issues within the discipline or specialist area of professional/clinical practice;
  • drawing on a range of perspectives on the area of study;
  • evaluating and criticising received opinion;
  • making reasoned and well-informed judgements on complex issues within the specialism whilst understanding the limitations on judgements made in the absence of complete data
  • the written style and overall presentation of the thesis.