Professional Doctorate in Paediatric Dentistry

Clinical skills

Programme of study for the degree of Doctor of Paediatric Dentistry

The Professional Doctorate in Paediatric Dentistry is for dental graduates wanting to pursue a career in paediatric dentistry in a primary or secondary care setting or in academia.

Paediatric dentistry encompasses many aspects of general dentistry and specialist skills in the care of infants, children and adolescents. The broad nature of the work requires a combination of medical, dental and communications skills.

As part of the clinical training, you will be treating patients in personal treatment, consultant, trauma, and sedation clinics. You will plan care for children with multiple oral health needs within the context of their social and medical background. You will deliver treatment under local anaesthetic, sedation and general anaesthesia. You will liaise with a wide range of other dental and medical specialities in determining and delivering the best treatment options.

At the School of Dentistry, we have an international reputation for our specialist areas of postgraduate study. As a result, our Paediatric Dentistry postgraduate courses attract high-quality home and overseas applicants, including large numbers of non-publicly funded overseas students.

The professional doctorate programme encompasses high quality clinical training with an in depth research thesis. The standard period of study for the full-time programme is 3 years.

Providing all necessary requirements are met, such individuals are then eligible to sit the relevant Royal College Memberships.


The School has some of the most up to date clinical and teaching facilities in the country and an excellent health sciences library. The dental hospital provides outstanding facilities for education and patient care.


The European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (EAPD) aims to maintain and improve the quality of advanced education of Paediatric Dentistry in Europe. It has developed standards for educational institutions to evaluate against. EAPD endorsement of this course testifies to the standard of training we provide. The latest report in 2023 concluded that the programme “remains the gold standard for all EU and UK programmes”.

Course content

You’ll study modules totalling 240 credits. Modules cover paediatric-specific, general and research topics, reflecting the range of skills and knowledge the speciality demands. In addition, you will carry out a substantial piece of research.

Year 1:

  • DSUR5022 Research Methods Ethics and Statistics (30 Credits)
  • DSUR5068M Medical Emergencies (10 credits)
  • DSUR5069M Dental Radiology (10 credits)
  • DSUR5125M Paediatric Dentistry 1 (60 credits)
  • DSUR5055M Transferable Skills 1 (10 credits)

Year 2:

  • DSUR5126M Paediatric Dentistry 2 (50 credits)
  • DSUR5056M Transferable skills II (10 credits)

Year 3:

  • DSUR5128M Paediatric Dentistry Clinical cases (20 Credits)
  • Paediatric dentistry 3 (40 Credits)

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.

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered as a series of modules containing a blend of clinics, lectures, seminars, workshops and practicals; complemented by e-learning and case based discussion.

Learning on the course enables you to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth and specialist knowledge of concepts and information, and master techniques relevant to clinical paediatric dentistry
  • Exhibit a mastery in the exercise of generic dental and paediatrics-specific intellectual abilities
  • Apply a comprehensive understanding of techniques to your research or advanced scholarship
  • Proactively formulate, develop, implement and evaluate ideas and hypotheses
  • Evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in dentistry with an emphasis on paediatric dentistry

On this course, you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Lecture Theatre

Research project year 1 – 3

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.

Candidates will be initially accepted as provisional DPaedDent candidates. By the end of the first 18 months of full-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) in all taught modules which have been delivered and examined, up to the point of transfer and satisfactory performance in the viva voce examination.

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).

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)).

Final submission of research project

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.

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.

Academic entry requirements

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

  • Recognised Bachelor Dentistry Degree (BChD or BDS) equivalent to a UK Bachelor Honours degree with an overall score of 2:1 or above. Candidates with qualifications that do not meet this standard will not normally be considered.
  • Postgraduate experience equivalent to at least two years full-time clinical practice for all new graduates, and at least 1 year immediately prior to the commencement of the course for graduates of 3 years or more. Ideally, experience also working with children in a dentistry context.
  • 2 x written academic or employer references.

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

Health and disclosure barring screening

All successful applicants will also need to pass health and disclosure and barring screening.

The University has a policy statement on students with criminal records. For the vast majority of students who are residents in the UK the record will be checked via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

For international students: The DBS check can only include background checks on your time in the UK. If you have been resident in the UK for less than 3 years, then a criminal record check from your home country is required in addition to the UK DBS check. This may be referred to as a "Certificate of Good Conduct" (CoGC), but the name varies.

To ensure a safe and professional environment for patients, you’ll also need to meet other requirements, including screening for communicable disease - read the Professional requirements section below.

Professional requirements

Hepatitis B and health screening

Entry to the course depends on satisfactory health screening.

It is a Department of Health requirement that all healthcare workers who come into contact with patients should not be infectious carriers of Hepatitis B, C or HIV viruses and should accept vaccination against Hepatitis B.

We advise all candidates to seek vaccination with their medical practitioner against Hepatitis B viruses before starting the course because they will have early contact with patients.

The School can try to organise an immunisation schedule for students who have not already completed a successful course of vaccination before enrolment. We would need to know this information well ahead of you starting the course.

Applicants who have been immunised by their medical practitioner will be required to provide documentary proof of immunisation on registration. Simple blood tests will be required to confirm that students are not a carrier of the Hepatitis B or C viruses.

English language requirements

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).

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online. Please state clearly the research area you are interested in.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements. 

Contact details

For further information please contact the Faculty Graduate School.

To apply for our part time or full time option click here.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the Faculty Graduate School.

Applications are complete for September 2023 but are now open for September 2024. The deadline for applications for September 2024 is Tuesday 31st October 2023.

We will aim to hold interviews for shortlisted candidates the week beginning Monday 27th November.  

We strongly encourage applicants to ensure they have met all the entry requirements, including English language, prior to submitting their application for this programme.

Interviews for this course are panel interviews which are conducted by video call.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


For fee information please contact the Faculty Graduate School.

Admissions policy

School of Dentistry Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2021

Additional cost information

Students may incur a direct cost for the following items:

Padlock for locker (deposit)
£25 payable at registration (deposit will be returned to you on completion of your degree)

Student Uniforms
If you lose or damage an item of uniform you will be charged for a replacement £10 per item.

Student name badges
If you lose your name badge you will be charged £5 for a replacement.

Occupational Health Checks
Non-attendance at an occupational health appointment - £50 per missed appointment.

Loss or damage to clinical skills models
Costs will vary, students will be informed of replacement costs for any items damaged through negligence or lost.

Clinical skills locker key
You will not be charged for a key but if you fail to return the key to the clinical skills department you will be charged £10.

Disclosure and Barring Service
You will be charged if you lose your DBS certificate and you require a replacement.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may also be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs


Visit our Brexit page for the latest information on the effect of the UK's exit from the EU on current students and applicants to the University.

Part-time fees

Fees for part time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. 

Career opportunities

Our graduates go on to pursue a career in paediatric dentistry in a primary or secondary care setting or in academia. Find out more about potential career opportunities.

Postgraduate Study Room