Preparatory Course for Diploma in Dental Surgery Assistance

Preparatory Course for Diploma in Dental Surgery Assistance

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Course information

Course title Preparatory Course for Diploma in Dental Surgery Assistance
Course code UPRCDSAFT
Level of qualification Short Cycle Qualification
National Qualifications Framework level NA
Duration 1 Year
Mode of attendance Full-time
Total ECTS credits 60
Coordinator Gabriella Gatt
Delivered by Faculty of Dental Surgery
The programme for this course consists of two parts each of a year’s duration. During the first part of this programme - the Preparatory Course – students will receive the foundation knowledge on the normal functioning and general pathology of the human body, introductory knowledge of behavioural sciences, basic dental information, principles of sterilization and disinfection techniques, knowledge of dental instrumentation and equipment commonly found in a dental clinic set-up, as well as elements of public health and clinical ethics. The public health study-unit will include basic nutritional and oral hygiene counselling and community dental health program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Students who successfully complete all study-units covered in the Preparatory Course would be eligible to proceed to the Diploma Course which spans over two semesters of full-time study and includes also a practice placement to be undertaken during the summer period. During the Diploma Course, students will further develop intellectually by receiving knowledge focused on oral and dental disease.The various disciplines in dentistry will therefore be discussed in detail.
On the practical front, the students will learn and consolidate their clinical skills by being exposed to a number of clinics under the remit of the various specialties, as well as in the dental laboratory. The Diploma Course will enable students to attain and refine their intellectual and clinical proficiency so as to allow them to seek direct employment or further studies, after completion of the course.

Course Objectives:

The primary objectives of the proposed course are to deliver the necessary training for candidates interested in the vocation of dental assistance and to advance the standards of this vocation. More specifically the course will provide a sufficient body of knowledge to enable dental assistants to undertake their prescribed work with care, safety and responsibility and to recognise the full scope of their remit.

Therefore the objectives of the dental assistants course are to familiarise students with:

1. Basic concepts of oral and general health and disease.
2. Basic notions of public health and oral health education.
3. Legal and ethical rights of patients.
4. Health and safety precautions in the clinical environment.
5. Clinical procedures in the management of dental disease.
6. Techniques of sterilization within a dental clinic environment.
7. Basic skills, including patient education, in the field of oral care.
8. Clinical indices used in treatment records in the field of oral health.
9. Concepts of practice management in a dental practice.
10. Modes of gathering and maintaining clinical records in the clinical environment.

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1. In order to be admitted into the Course applicants are required to be in possession of:

(a) passes in the Secondary Education Certificate Examination at Grade 5 or better in six subjects which shall include: English Language, Maltese, Mathematics, and Biology or Chemistry or

(b) the MCAST Diploma in Applied Science or

(c) the MCAST-BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care.

2. (1) Applicants admitted in terms of paragraph (c) of regulation 6 of the Admissions Regulations must have a minimum of 4 years of clinical practice experience supported by appropriate documentation and must satisfy the Faculty Admissions Committee that they have reached the academic standard required to follow the Course with profit. Such applicants shall be required to submit with their application:

(i) a letter written in English giving their motivation for applying for the Course
(ii) a copy of their Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
(iii) a letter of recommendation from a registered dental surgeon in support of their application.

(2) The eligibility of applicants referred to in sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 2 shall be decided by the University Admissions Board, on the recommendation of the Faculty Admissions Committee, following an interview conducted by an interviewing board appointed for the purpose.

(3) The interviewing board appointed by the Board shall be composed of at least three members.

3. Prior to enrolling for the Preparatory Course, accepted applicants are also required to undergo an occupational health assessment as detailed in the Occupational Health Protocol approved by the Board, so as to ascertain that they are fit for the duties related to their proposed studies. Students who do not fulfil this requirement shall be barred from attending the clinical placements indicated in the programme of study for the Preparatory Course.

4. The maximum number of students that can be admitted into the course is 10 students. The selection criteria can be found here.

5. Prospective applicants who are eligible and short-listed will be called for an interview scheduled to be held on the 12 September 2019.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2019.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: No fees apply

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Fee per academic year: Eur 10,800
By the end of the programme of study, the student will be able to:

1. Describe the basic principles of oral and general health and disease.
2. Demonstrate the importance of public health and oral health education.
3. Safeguard patients' legal and ethical rights in a clinical and community based
setting, using legal and ethically acceptable policies.
4. Ensure health and safety precautions of patients in clinical settings using
clinically acceptable policies.
5. Assist as part of a dental team in clinical procedures associated with treatment of
dental disease.
6. Perform instrument/equipment sterilization techniques.
7. Educate patients on basic oral prophylaxis techniques.
8. Report basic clinical data of patients in treatment records, as instructed by dental
clinicians, by using clinically acceptable indices.
9. Perform simple tasks in dental practice management, such as stock keeping and
communication with patients.
10. Perform record keeping, as instructed by a dental clinician.
The course is intended for local and foreign students who are interested in the dental profession. Students applying for this course should be capable of combining skills, understanding and professional values especially in clinical settings.
Career opportunities exist within the private sector and in the government health services.

Students in possession of a Diploma in Dental Surgery Assistance (Second Class or better) will be able to progress to the Bachelor courses offered by the Faculty of Dental Surgery.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2019/0.

Last Updated: 7 October 2019

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

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