Course Structure and Curriculum

Pre-Clinical Phase:

First Stage of Study: 1st and 2nd Semester

The first stage of study consists of two semesters with a total of 1,660 semester periods (semester period = 45 minutes), equivalent to 83 semester credit hours (SCH). The workload is 1,500 hours and equivalent to 60 ECTS credit points.

In contrast to the programmes at many other universities, the Diploma Programme in Dental Medicine (Dr. med. dent.) at the DPU starts with a broad introduction to dental and oral medicine, followed by a practicum in the dental laboratory. In addition, the students are introduced to the natural sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) with lectures, seminars and practicums. In order to demonstrate the broad spectrum of the dental practitioner profession, second-semester students complete introductory courses in “Occupational Field Familiarization” (Berufsfeldkennung), “Dental Practice Hygiene” and “Materials”, followed by a two-week work shadowing internship, where the students come into contact with patients for the first time. In addition, they are also taught “Medical Ethics” in relation to their overall responsibilities towards the patient as dentists. An emphasis is already placed on “Academic Methodology” during the first stage of study. Besides completing an introductory course and additional exercises in biostatistical methods, students also learn how to work in libraries, research literature and compile their own scientific texts. The controlled self-study of students is followed up by regular coaching sessions and tutorials to assess the transfer of knowledge and prepare them for examinations.

At the end of the first stage of study, students sit the First Diploma Examination (Summative Integrated Examination – SIP I), the passing of which is the prerequisite for starting the second pre-clinical stage of study.

Second Stage of Study: 3rd to 6th Semester

The second stage of study consists of four semesters with a total of 3,390 semester periods (semester period = 45 minutes), equivalent to 169.5 semester credit hours (SCH). The workload is 3,000 hours and equivalent to 120 ECTS credit points. Students from other universities, who would like to enrol in the DPU’s second stage of study, must show that they have completed the First Diploma Examination (Summative Integrated Examination - SIP I) or an equivalent exam elsewhere. The decision with regard to the equivalency of the exam shall be made by the Divisional Head in the Faculty of Medicine/Dentistry taking into consideration and subject to the statutory regulations (and ENIC-NARIC).  

The second stage of study starts with specific training in the fields of dental and oral medicine, the phantom courses on “Conservative Dentistry”, “Dental Prosthetics” and “Digital Technologies in Dentistry (CAD/CAM )” and the out-patient practicum to familiarize students with patients. In addition, the life science subjects are treated (also with a practical orientation) and students complete an introduction to the dentistry-relevant fields of medicine.

At the end of the second stage of study, students sit the Second Diploma Examination (Summative Integrated Examination – SIP II), the passing of which is the prerequisite for starting the third clinical stage of study.

Clinical Phase:

Third Stage of Study: 7th to 12th Semester

The third stage of study consists of six semesters with a total of 3,620 semester periods (2,715 hours), equivalent to 181 semester credit hours (SCH).

The workload is 4,500 hours and equivalent to 180 ECTS credit points. This is mainly due to the diploma thesis, practicum reports with case documentations and examinations preparations that occur in the sixth year of study. The emphasis during the third stage of study is on the clinical practicums with patients under the corresponding guidance and supervision, the preceding introductory lectures for the respective fields and the completion of all compulsory components of the programme (“Pflichtenheft”). The clinical practicums consist of a total of 72 weeks with 30 semester periods each. The 72-week practicum is conducted as an integrated clinical course, the compulsory components of the programme (“Pflichtenheft”) in the individual treatment areas is completed based on a catalogue of minimum requirements and a total points score. Lectures and seminars for the treatment courses are staged for the departments separately. In order to ensure better international equivalence and comparability, the treatment courses are also listed separately, according to their value, in the organization of the third stage of study. In addition, there is also a reference to the holistic treatment of patients at the DPU Clinic.

Aside from the dentistry and medical practicums, the compulsory elective is also of major significance in the third stage of study. In the compulsory elective, students may acquire knowledge, skills and proficiency in a speciality field of dentistry in accordance with their personal preference and interests, or enrol in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Medical Journalism and Public Relations, subject to the recognition of their prior medical-scientific qualifications.

Upon successfully completing the Third Diploma Examination (Summative Integrated Examination – SIP III) and successfully demonstrating that they have acquired and mastered all knowledge, skills and proficiency required to exercise the profession of dentist, students may graduate from the Diploma Programme in Dental Medicine with a Dr. med. dent. degree.