This one year full-time programme is designed as an introduction to the principles of experimental pathology applied to oral disease. It is principally intended to provide a grounding in experimental method for dental graduates who plan to follow either a career in academic dentistry or one of the clinical specialities. It also provides an opportunity for science graduates to learn about oral disease, in preparation for a career in dental research. The programme offers a fundamental training in the principles of laboratory research methods and the range of techniques used to study the behaviour of oral tissues in health and disease.
The programme is divided into three modules: The first two modules focus on the taught elements of the programme, providing the basic understanding to help with the research component. There is a structured course of seminars with associated practical work. The curriculum is designed around a core dealing with the structure and behaviour of cells and tissues in health and disease. This core begins with fundamental and general concepts of cell biology and continues with the application of these concepts to a consideration of oral and dental disease. Related disciplines such as oral microbiology and immunology are also covered.
Throughout the programme, emphasis is placed on the evidence upon which the concepts are based and the way in which such evidence is obtained by observation and experiment. Particular value is placed on the format of the seminars in which students, are encouraged to actively participate.
Running in parallel with appropriate parts of the core programme are several related series of seminars dealing with research methods and statistics and with techniques of fundamental importance to experimental pathology such as tissue culture, molecular biological techniques, immunocytochemistry, light and electron microscopy.
Students undertake a laboratory-based research project in the final module of the programme, exploring any aspect of oral disease.
The programme is assessed by two written papers, the submission of a project report and an oral examination.