Postgraduate research 

Dentistry (Community Oral Health & Oral Sciences) PhD/iPhD/MSc (Research)

all ages of people brushing teeth

The Glasgow Dental School Clinical Research Facility aims to improve oral and general health by advancing new and better ways of preventing and treating disease. We strive for our research to have a significant positive impact in the local community and the wider world.

  • PhD: 3-4 years full-time; 5 years part-time;
  • MSc (Research): 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time;
  • IPhD: 5 years full-time;

Research projects

IPhD self-funded projects (November-April)

Our Integrated PhD combines an MSc and PhD project in a 1+3+1 format.
You can select from the below projects and indentify your chosen MSc from the options listed on the project.

Please note that you can apply for the below PhD projects outwith the IPhD route.


Evaluating the reach and impact of the Childsmile programme: Scotland’s national child oral health improvement programme.

SupervisorsProfessor Andrea SherriffDr Marie KotzurProfessor David Conway

MSc choicePublic Health [MPH/PgDip/PgCert]

Background: Child oral health in Scotland has improved over the last two decades however inequalities remain large with 41.6% of children in the most deprived areas having tooth decay compared to 14.2% in the least deprived areas. In addition, children with educational additional support needs, those who have been care experienced and children from some minority ethnic groups experience greater levels of tooth decay than their peers.

The project: The Childsmile programme (, funded by the Scottish Government, aims to improve child oral health, and reduce inequalities through universal and targeted interventions within the home, educational settings, dental practices, and the wider community. Childsmile is a complex intervention and has been evaluated by the Childsmile Evaluation and Research Team within Glasgow University since it’s inception in 2006 and national roll out in 2011 ( The evaluation comprises both an outcome evaluation (Does it work?) and a process evaluation (For whom; Under what circumstances?) supported by a team of dental public health experts, statisticians, epidemiologists, and behavioural scientists. The outcome evaluation uses our Child Oral Health Data Lab which has linked health and education records of over 1 million children in Scotland to their Childsmile records and uses novel approaches to answer key research questions around the reach and impact of the programme. Findings from this work are fed back to the programme to adapt existing interventions or implement new interventions using novel methods from Implementation Science.

The scope of the Childsmile outcome evaluation is wide and there are many aspects of the programme that are still to be evaluated. We would welcome enquiries from individuals interested in public health improvement programmes, their evaluation and implementation, with a background in public health, statistics, epidemiology, or behavioural sciences to join our group of PhD students. Methods will include: Secondary Analysis of big data using natural experimental approaches; Qualitative Research methods and Mixed Methods.



Inequalities in head and neck cancer (epidemiology and qualitative/mixed-methods research)

SupervisorsProfessor David ConwayDr Marie KotzurProfessor Andrea Sherriff

MSc choicePublic Health [MPH/PgDip/PgCert]

Project description: The research focused on understanding and addressing inequalities in head and neck cancer across the cancer continuum. The research could involve descriptive/analytical epidemiological analyses exploring aspects of the disease burden and trends or risk factors or care pathways/outcomes for head and neck cancer and its subsites. Epidemiological methods would be employed on secondary analysis of a range of potential routine administrative datasets and observational studies from Scotland, UK, or globally. The project will be adapted to focus on a specific aspect of inequalities in head and neck cancer across the cancer continuum.

A mixed methods approach could also be undertaken. Complementary qualitative methods could be used to gain an in-depth understanding of the above data via with cancer patients and/or cancer survivors, and healthcare systems research. Current behavioural science/ health psychology theories of behaviour and/or of illness will be used to guide the analysis.

Via the Masters in Public Health, candidates will gain training in statistics/epidemiology, public health, and qualitative research – with the specific taught programme tailored to the specific nature of the PhD project(s) planned.


  1. Vaccarella S, Lortet-Tieulent J, Saracci R, Conway DI, Straif K, Wild CP. Reducing social inequalities in cancer: evidence and priorities for research. IARC Scientific Publication No.168. World Health Organisation, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon 2019.



The University of Glasgow has been ranked first in the UK for Dentistry in the Complete University Guide 2021.

Our School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing has a thriving community of postgraduate research students, from both the United Kingdom and overseas. The majority of our research students undertake PhD programmes within our two research groups:

  • Community Oral Health focuses on health inequalities research across the life course, concentrating particularly on oral health in children, the elderly and adults with head and neck cancer. This is done through developing a better understanding of biological, social and behavioural determinants, in order to design, develop and evaluate appropriate interventions from bench to population level.
  • Oral Sciences focuses on the role of micro-organisms in the immune-pathogenesis of oral disease and it’s impact on systemic health, with particular reference to the biofilm lifestyle.

Our PhD students come from a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical backgrounds including:

  • microbiology
  • immunology
  • dental public health
  • epidemiology
  • statistical modeling
  • psychology and behavioural sciences.

We engage in knowledge exchange with policymakers, practitioners, researchers, industry and the public to ensure that policies and practices are based on evidence, and effectively translated into practice.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • candidosis
  • child oral health
  • comparative oral disease
  • decontamination Sciences
  • endodontic disease
  • head and neck cancer
  • oral health of older adults
  • periodontitis.

Study options


  • Duration: 3/4 years full-time; 5 years part-time

Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators.

Integrated PhD programmes (5 years)

Our Integrated PhD allows you to combine masters level teaching with your chosen research direction in a 1+3+1 format. 

International students with MSc and PhD scholarships/funding do not have to apply for 2 visas or exit and re-enter the country between programmes. International and UK/EU students may apply.

Year 1

Taught masters level modules are taken alongside students on our masters programmes. Our research-led teaching supports you to fine tune your research ideas and discuss these with potential PhD supervisors. You will gain a valuable introduction to academic topics, research methods, laboratory skills and the critical evaluation of research data. Your grades must meet our requirements in order to gain entry on to your pre-selected PhD research project. If not, you will have the options to pay outstanding MSc fees and complete with masters degree only.

Years 2, 3 and 4

PhD programme with research/lab work, completing an examinable piece of independent research in year 4.

Year 5

Thesis write up.

MSc (Research)

  • Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test
  • IELTS One Skill Retake accepted.

Common equivalent English language qualifications accepted for entry to this programme:

TOEFL (ibt, my best or athome)

  • 79; with Reading 13; Listening 12; Speaking 18;Writing 21
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements , this includes TOEFL mybest.

Pearsons PTE Academic

  • 59 with minimum 59 in all subtests
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Oxford English Test

  • Oxford ELLT 7
  • R&L: OIDI level no less than 6 with Reading: 21-24 Listening: 15-17
  • W&S: OIDI level no less than 6

Trinity College Tests

Integrated Skills in English II & III & IV: ISEII Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

Fees and funding



  • UK: £4,786
  • International & EU: £30,240

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Irish nationals who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status, and Internationals with Indefinite Leave to remain status can also qualify for home fee status.

Alumni discount

We offer a 20% discount to our alumni on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School with us. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Possible additional fees

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.


The iPhD  is not supported by University of Glasgow Scholarship/Funding


The College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences Graduate School provides a vibrant, supportive and stimulating environment for all our postgraduate students. We aim to provide excellent support for our postgraduates through dedicated postgraduate convenors, highly trained supervisors and pastoral support for each student.
Our overarching aim is to provide a research training environment that includes:

  • provision of excellent facilities and cutting edge techniques
  • training in essential research and generic skills
  • excellence in supervision and mentoring
  • interactive discussion groups and seminars
  • an atmosphere that fosters critical cultural policy and research analysis
  • synergy between research groups and areas
  • extensive multidisciplinary and collaborative research
  • extensive external collaborations both within and beyond the UK 
  • a robust generic skills programme including opportunities in social and commercial training

Our excellent facilities and dedicated staff will equip you with training complementary to a range of career options, and you can tailor your study pathway to the precise aspects that suit your objectives. 

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.

IPhD applicants do not need to contact a supervisor, as you will choose from a list of IPhD projects. Each project has named supervisors.

Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
  3. Two references on headed paper and signed by the referee. One must be academic, the other can be academic or professional [except iPhD applicants, where only one academic or professional reference is required]. References may be uploaded as part of the application form or you may enter your referees contact details on the application form. We will then email your referee and notify you when we receive the reference.  We can also accept confidential references direct to, from the referee’s university or business email account.
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area. iPhD applicants do not need to submit any of these as you will start your programme by choosing a masters.
  5. Completed College of MVLS Postgraduate Research Cover Letter

Notes for iPhD applicants

  • add 'I wish to study the MSc in (select MSc from IPhD project choices) as the masters taught component of the IPhD' in the research proposal box
  • For supervisor name, please ensure you write the named supervisors from your chosen IPhD project.
Apply now

Contact us

Before you apply

PhD/MSc/MD: email

iPhD: email

After you have submitted your application

PhD/MSc/MD/iPhD: contact our Admissions team

Any references may be submitted by email to: