Conscious Sedation for Dentistry PgCert
PgCert Conscious Sedation for Dentistry
If you are an experienced dentist looking to expand your clinical expertise, a qualification in conscious sedation should be top of your list.
On this 1-year part-time course, you'll gain the practical and theoretical knowledge you need to carry out conscious sedation in your practice, which is a highly sought-after dental skill.
You'll learn practical skills at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy – a training provider accredited by the Sedation Training Accreditation Committee (STAC) – and at the clinical facilities of our partner provider, Solent NHS Trust Special Care Dental Services. Both training centres feature the latest specialist equipment to help you explore dental sedation techniques safely under expert supervision.
When you complete the course, you'll be able to offer conscious sedation as an alternative route to treatment for your dental patients, progress to a career in special care dentistry, or pursue further study in this specialised field.
Please note that you'll need to provide your NHS Performer Number as part of the application process.
Qualifications or experience
- Bachelor degree dentistry. Successful applicants must hold full registration with the General Dental Council and have appropriate professional indemnity in place.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
- The post is subject to an enhanced DBS check and occupational health clearance.
All our courses go through a rigorous approval process to make sure they’re of the highest quality. This includes a review by a panel of experts, made up of academic staff and an external academic or professional with specialist knowledge.
This course is in the final stages of this process and is open for applications. If any details of the course or its approval status change after you apply, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and will be here to discuss your options with you.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Learn how to provide safe and effective conscious sedation across many dental settings, including primary care, secondary care, and special care services
- Explore the practical and theoretical sides of a range of conscious sedation techniques
- Experience a mix of supervised clinical practice sessions, distance learning and face-to-face learning
- Be taught by expert clinical supervisors and guest lecturers with postgraduate qualifications in conscious sedation
- Use specialist sedation equipment at our STAC-accredited Dental Academy and Solent NHS Trust Special Care Dental Services
- Gain valuable skills applicable to many healthcare settings, including airway assessment and management, IV cannulation, patient monitoring, and recognition of complications
Careers and opportunities
Many patients are anxious or even phobic about receiving dental treatment.
Conscious sedation techniques, such as inhalation or intravenous therapies, enable these patients to get the treatment they need safely, with confidence and without the need for general anaesthesia.
Despite this, there are relatively few dentists qualified to carry out conscious sedation, making this a valuable skill to add to your clinical expertise.
Once you graduate, you'll be able to expand your practice to patients needing extra reassurance before treatment, or to pursue a career in special care dentistry.
You could also go on to further study at Master's, DClinDent or PhD level.
What you'll study
- Medical Sciences Relating to Conscious Sedation
- Conscious Sedation Techniques
- Supervised Clinical Experience
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Teaching on this course includes:
- supervised clinical practice
- clinical skills teaching
- small group tutorials
- online tutorials
All teachers and clinical supervisors on the course have a postgraduate qualification in conscious sedation, as well as extensive clinical and teaching experience.
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- short note questions
- single best answer (SBA) papers
- observation of procedural skills
- records of experience
- reflective logs
- set exercises
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Teaching staff profiles
Dr David Craig, Course Leader
As a consultant, Senior Lecturer and Head of Special Care Dentistry at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Craig is a visiting Professor at the University of Portsmouth. He has over 30 years’ experience teaching dentists, doctors and nurses to use conscious sedation techniques at King's College London and Guy’s Hospital.
He's designed and implemented both undergraduate and postgraduate (Certificate, Diploma, MSc) programmes in conscious sedation and been an external assessor/examiner at 4 UK dental schools. Dr Craig was also National Course Director at the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD) from 2001 – 2010.
Caroline is a Clinical Director and Specialist in Special Care Dentistry, responsible for Clinical and Strategic Leadership of a Special Care Dental Service covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
She is experienced in delivering hands on training in conscious sedation for all members of the dental team. Her areas of interest include improving access to conscious sedation in primary care for people with dental anxiety and treatment for people with disabilities who are unable to have routine dental care.
How you'll spend your time
A typical week
We recommend you spend at least 10-15 hours a week studying for your PgCert, including scheduled and independent study time.
Most timetabled teaching will take place at the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy during the day, on a Friday or Saturday.
Clinical placements will take place at one of Solent NHS Trust's facilities from Monday to Friday. Guest lectures may be scheduled outside normal teaching hours.
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks:
- September/October to December/January – teaching block 1
- January/February to May – teaching block 2
Supporting your learning
Your personal tutor gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- Academic writing
- Note taking
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2022 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £7,600 (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £7,600 (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Transport to attend taught sessions, including the supervised clinical experience sessions delivered by our collaborative partners.
Start your application by following the links below. Please note that you'll need to provide your NHS Performer Number as part of the application process.
September 2022 start
- Part-time study September 2022 start (1 year)
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.