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Diploma in Special Care Dentistry - Part A

Exam overview

Part A of the Diploma in Special Care Dentistry (DSCD) is assessed by written assignments based on a syllabus divided into seven modules. Candidates may apply for the DSCD Part A all year round. The fee for Part A is £310 

DSCD is changing from 1 July 2019. If you are interested in sitting DSCD Part A or Part B please ensure you have read DCSD - Changes to Part A and Part B.


Education and training requirements

To be eligible for the award of the diploma all candidates must: 

  • demonstrate that they are working in the field of Special Care Dentistry;
  • possess a primary dental qualification that is acceptable to the Council of The Royal College of Surgeons of England;
  • have complied with all the regulations, and have signed, in the presence of an officer of the College, a declaration of compliance with the ordinances of the College.


Exemptions from Module 1 
  • holders of Part I MCCD
  • holders of Part A old style MFDS or Part 1 old style MFGDP (UK)
  • holders of Part 1 of new MFDS offered by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh or The Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow
  • holders of MJDF Part 1
  • holders of Primary FDS
  • holders of Part 1 MFD of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • those who have received exemption from Part 1 Diploma in GDP
  • those who have completed Part 1 of the MGDS exam

Exam format

A self-directed learning programme from a set syllabus divided into seven modules.

One assignment must be completed from each of the seven modules and it is advised that they are submitted in numerical order (note exemptions from Module 1).

Each assignment must achieve a pass mark before the next assignment is submitted. Every assignment involves a topic report which answers specific questions and should be 2000 - 2,500 words. (Each module will offer a choice of two questions).

All assignments must be submitted within a five-year time period starting from when candidates register for Part A. Part A must be passed before sitting Part B.


  • Module 1: Oral Sciences of Relevance
  • Module 2: Knowledge & Understanding of Conditions leading to Impairment & Disabilities
  • Module 3: Behavioural Sciences & Sociology of Health, Impairment & Disability
  • Module 4: Law, Ethics and Health & Safety
  • Module 5: Provision of Comprehensive Oral Care
  • Module 6: Developing Services in a Community Setting
  • Module 7: Clinical Effectiveness

More information

Candidates must pass Part B to complete the Diploma in Special Care Dentistry. Find out more about the Part B exam


Contact the exams department



For general exam queries please call 020 7405 3474

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