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University of Otago
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Master of Community Dentistry (MComDent)

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


2 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025


University of Otago


The Master of Community Dentistry (MComDent) degree is designed to be an appropriate programme of study for a person who wishes to pursue a specialist career in dental public health. It may be undertaken full-time over two academic years, or part-time over three years. The programme fosters the development of critical analysis and research competence, along with the advanced set of knowledge and skills in dental public health which is required by the specialist in that field.

Subject areas

Community Dentistry


Dentistry is a challenging profession that combines a high degree of manual dexterity and precision with a thorough understanding of craniofacial biology and pathology, and excellent communication skills.

The dentist is the leader of the oral health team and can diagnose and carry out treatment planned to each patient’s oral needs.

If you’re considering a career as a dentist, you should be prepared for lifelong learning to maintain your practising standards.

As a graduate, there are opportunities for full- or part-time work in New Zealand or overseas; and opportunities include private general or specialist practice, academic careers, or hospital- or defence-based practice.

Dentistry teaches you:

The scientific foundations in anatomy, physiology, and oral biology

About public health dentistry and how to develop your communication skills

Clinical skills, first in simulation classes in the Faculty of Dentistry’s cutting-edge simulation laboratory, and then in patient sessions

About a wide range of clinical dental disciplines including prosthodontics and clinical cariology, endodontics, periodontics, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral medicine, oral surgery, oral pathology, and special needs dentistry

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).

Candidates seeking admission to the 240-point programme of study comprising papers and a thesis will be selected on the basis of their previous academic record (a completed Bachelor of Dental Surgery or equivalent with a grade average of a B+ or greater), their graduate experience and academic achievements, evidence that they are committed to ongoing education in Public Health and Community Dentistry, reports from three referees, and postgraduate English requirements (where applicable).

  • Candidates seeking admission to the programme of study comprising the 120-point thesis must have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Dentistry or equivalent with a grade average of a B+ or greater.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

The due date for the submission of your application: 31 May

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