Students award dental school top marks

Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry is the most popular new dental school for student satisfaction, the top school in England and the second of all dental schools in the UK, according to the National Student Survey (NSS).

Dental students gave their experience an overall score of 96.71%, making the school top of all the new dental schools and second only to the University of Glasgow UK-wide.

The dental course in Plymouth received full marks for:

  • The enthusiasm of teaching staff
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Resources and specialised IT and facilities
  • Improvement in personal communication skills
  • Confidence in tackling unfamiliar problems.

The result stands testament to the innovative and ground breaking way in which dentistry is taught at Plymouth University.

It was the first dental school in the UK to train its students in a primary care environment – others train in a hospital setting. It has built four dental education facilities (DEFs) across the region (in Exeter, Derriford, Devonport and Truro). There, students treat NHS patients under the supervision of qualified dental professionals as part of their training. As well as giving students vital experience of treating and interacting with real patients, the DEF scheme has also contributed greatly to improving dental oral health across the region. Thanks to the DEF scheme more than 15,000 people in Devon and Cornwall have received access to NHS dental care where they may not have received it before.

Alongside the DEF scheme is an equally effective community engagement programme. Here, students run projects with various groups within the community, from primary schools to care homes for the elderly, people with special educational needs, substance abusers, homeless people and those with particular medical conditions, such as dry mouth syndrome.

Community engagement projects mean that students interact with society in its broadest sense, contribute to oral health awareness and encourage dental treatment via the DEF scheme.

Speaking of the school’s success in the NSS, Professor Christopher Tredwin, head of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted with this result. To be the top new dental school, and the top dental school in England, for student satisfaction is a superb achievement and my congratulations and thanks go to our students and members of staff for making it happen. This is great news for the school and for Plymouth and its university.’

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