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Diploma in Dental Public Health (DDPH)

Exam overview

This Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) diploma is designed to assess dental public health knowledge and application at sub-specialist level required to promote population health and wellbeing.

The exam is in two parts which are outlined below. 

Part 1 

Part 1 of the DDPH exam consists of two written papers. 


All candidates must have satisfactorily completed a course of training at an institution recognised by the Faculty of Dental Surgery in the UK and have held a primary dental qualification for at least one year, which is registrable with the General Dental Council.


Paper 1 is an essay paper of three hours duration. Four of the six questions are to be answered. The questions represent a range of subject areas from the syllabus, with relevance to both overseas and UK-resident candidates.

Paper 2 is a short answers paper of three hours duration, normally held on the same day as Paper 1. The paper consists of 30 short notes and statistics questions. Candidates are expected to choose 24 of the questions.


The following synopsis is intended to indicate the general scope of the exam only. 

a.) the organisation of health services; medical and dental services in the UK and other countries; principles of planning and management

  • policy development; legislation; control; social welfare
  • public finance; hospital and community services
  • health economic analysis; evidence-based care and health gain
  • dental jurisprudence;
  • consent, negligence, records
  • skill mix and training of personnel
  • communicable disease
  • dentistry in industry and other groups
  • occupational and radiation hazards
  • research and development
  • critical appraisal of sources of evidence

b.) oral health needs and demands: their relative importance and priority 

  • dental caries, gingival and periodontal disease , dento-facial deformity and malocclusion.
  • oral cancer, oral manifestation of systemic disease
  • oral hygiene
  • management of special categories of patients: pre-school and school children; expectant and nursing mothers: those with mental, physical, medical, social or emotional impairments, elderly people, minority ethnic groups.
  • social and behavioural science in oral and general health

c.) epidemiology of dental and oral diseases; survey methods and techniques

  • vital statistics
  • morbidity and mortality
  • sampling
  • measures of incidence, prevalence, central tendency, variability
  • standard deviation; correlation analysis of data
  • interpretation, presentation and application of results
  • Sources of error
  • uses of indices in the measurement of dento-facial deformity and dental disease

d.) oral health promotion

  • the principles and models of health promotion
  • the influence of lifestyle on oral and general health
  • health protection
  • settings for oral health promotion
  • use of the media
  • oral health education, resource materials and visual aids
  • oral health campaigns, evaluation
  • the role of national and local groups

e.) preventative dentistry

available measures and techniques

Part 2

Part 2 of the DDPH is a viva voce exam. 

Exam format

The oral examination is of 20 minutes duration and is held with two examiners for about 10 minutes each. 


Candidates may be asked questions on any part of the syllabus.

Documents for download

Exam dates

All applications must be received by 5pm on the closing date. Please read the exam guidance page before applying for any exam.

Title Applications and fees due Written  papers Orals Exam fees Completion fee
DDPH 14 April 2017 3 July 2017 5 July 2017 £560 £230

Completion fee

There is a £230 completion fee for those completing an FDS Royal College of Surgeons of England diploma. This fee will be collected once you have passed the exam.