Dental education research

Lecturer teaching a class at the School of Healthcare

Research in dental education is growing strategically, with much to learn and share on the many educational innovations being driven by the School of Dentistry. This group aims to promote and encourage a scholarly, academic and reflective approach to dental education with a focus on: 

  • curriculum development
  • how best to assess and provide feedback for students (at various stages of their undergraduate and postgraduate careers)
  • professionalism and what it means in the 21st century for dental professionals
  • team working and its benefits
  • admissions processes and the parameters that define a successful dentist

Key Research Themes

Postgraduate participation in the group

A number of postgraduate students have worked as part of the group as part of their research degree courses. We’ve also seen undergraduate students participating in research (with consent and ethical approval). These students have come both from the School of Dentistry and from the School of Psychology. Current postgraduate projects include research into:

  • communication
  • haptic technology
  • management and leadership within dental education.


Led by Mr James Carey

Patients understanding of their dental health and how to improve it is essential to good dental care. This work is exploring the relationship between dental students and their patients by examining the interaction, first with simulated patients and subsequently with real patients, to discover what makes communication between clinician and patient most effective.

The research will include the use of video reviewing and evaluation of a communication skills checklist to qualitatively explore the interaction and to involve the patient in the decision as to what constitutes good communication by students and, ultimately, the graduate dentist.

Management and leadership

Led by Miss Margaret Jane Wardman

Management and leadership is a key requirement of the educational experience of dental students, as defined by the General Dental Council. This work will explore the relationship between the experience of colleagues working in Primary Dental Care and their undergraduate experience with the aim of developing curricular change to accommodate the learning of identified management and leadership attributes.  The impact of such interventional learning will be followed longitudinally.

Haptic Technology

Led by Professor Michael Manogue

This is an exciting area of research and a current PhD student is investigating the relationship between virtual operative skill practice and student learning as well as exploring the predictive relationship between performance on virtual reality systems and fine motor skills.

We will also compare traditional methods of training and skill acquisition (phantom head) and modern virtual reality systems, aiming to discover novel methods by which simulation can aid, improve and advance the way dentistry is taught for future generations.

Group members

Dental Education Research and Scholarship Group membership includes: