Postgraduate Studies in Oral Health Sciences

Course content

The Postgraduate Studies in Oral Health Sciencesis is a one year full-time programme, indented for international students. The curriculum is taught in English and is aimed to provide students with the fundamentals of evidenced based dentistry, research methodology including statistics, diagnostics and treatment planning. In addition to theoretical education, students are also trained in a wide range of preclinical skills and observe treatment procedures in multiple specialty clinics. The programme is available with a focus on endodontics, paediatric dentistry, periodontics, orthodontics or reconstructive dentistry.

Course structure

The curriculum amounts to 32 credits and has an equivalent of 865 study hours. The programme is structured in general courses (16 credits), major specific courses (13 credits) and an elective course (3 credits) in a topic related to specialised care dentistry. Teaching methods include lectures, computer exercises, case-based learning, preclinical skill training, clinical observations and the preparation of a research paper. The latter is supervised and reports about a topic related to the major of interest.

Career perspectives

In Belgium to receive a full license to practice dentistry, healthcare authorities require certification as a Master of Science in Dentistry (5 year undergraduate programme) in combination with a one-year postgraduate education in treatment planning in conjunction with vocational training under guidance of an accredited dentist. Dental degrees obtained outside Belgium are only eligible for access to the dental profession after validation of the original educational programme followed in the country of origin (NARIC). The outcome of this procedure often leads to the requirement of additional education at a dental school in Belgium. Completing the Postgraduate Studies in Oral Health Sciences does not influence the NARIC procedure and does not allow students to practice dentistry in Belgium.

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The programme is purposed to provide international students with the fundamentals of evidence based dentistry, research methodology and statistics in combination with the clinical orientated aspects of dentistry focused on endodontics, paediatric dentistry, periodontics, orthodontics or reconstructive dentistry. Furthermore this programme is also strongly recommended as a preparatory year for students seeking admission to the Master in Advanced Dentistry programmes (including endodontics, paediatric dentistry and special care, periodontics, orthodontics or reconstructive dentistry). Although the Master in Advanced Dentistry curriculum is taught in English, students are also required to obtain a sufficient proficiency in Dutch in order to communicate with their patients in the dental clinic. The Postgraduate Studies in Oral Health Sciences curriculum enables students to get familiar with the standards and procedures used at the Ghent University dental school and allows students to learn Dutch in preparation for the selection procedure for the Master in Advanced Dentistry Programmes. Nevertheless, due to the limited amount of available positions for students in that master programme each year, successfully completing the Postgraduate Studies in Oral Health Sciences and acquiring sufficient proficiency in Dutch does not automatically grant access to the Master in Advanced Dentistry programme.