Work placements

At Leeds, we think it's really important our students get as much hands-on clinical experience as possible. This not only builds understanding, but also helps develops key skills and confidence for those soon entering the competative world of modern dentistry. 

To give you this essential clinical experience, all our undergraduate courses emphasise real life workplace experience alongside your teaching. Designed to complement the diverse range of topics covered in your course, our placements have been very carefully chosen with your ongoing development in mind. 

Through your placements, you'll develop not only practical clinical skills, but also strengthen your ability to communicate effectively with both your patients and your colleagues. These qualities will be essential when applying for your first positions following graduation.

This commitment to clinical experience is one of the reasons our Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy course has seen 99% of students in work within 6 months of graduation. It's also why 100% of those roles were within professional or managerial roles.

How your clinical placements work

All clinical placements are integrated into the Dental Surgery and the Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy curriculum.

Your clinical experience in the Dental Hospital will cover specialist areas including: 

  • restorative dentistry
  • paediatric dentistry
  • orthodontics
  • oral medicine
  • oral surgery
  • pathology
  • radiology

You'll also gain key experience working across external outreach centres and hospital placements.

Where do work placements take place?

Dental Hospital clinics

For both dental surgery and dental hygiene and dental therapy courses.

Dental Hospital clinics are arranged for Dental Surgery from year 1- 5 and Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy years 1-3. 

These are based at the Leeds Dental Institute throughout your time on the course. All students are scheduled for these clinics and can be timetabled to treat a patient or assist a fellow colleague. At Leeds, we think it's crucial you get hands on experience as soon as possible. This is why our students begin to treat patients early in their studies.  

Outreach placements

For both dental surgery and dental hygiene and dental therapy courses.

Outreach placements are arranged for Dental Surgery from year 4-5 and Dental Hygiene & Dental Therapy from year 2-3. 

Placements are located in Bradford, Hull and Leeds (Beeston) and are allocated to these locations on a termly basis. These placements are designed to provide all our dental surgery students will experience across all locations. 

Dental hygiene and dental therapy students will attend their outreach placements across Leeds and Bradford. These placements are designed to offer experience of dentistry in alternative settings giving students a greater variety of work. 

Year 1 observational placement

For both dental surgery and dental hygiene and dental therapy courses.

You will attend a General Dental Practice placement to observe for 1 day early in Year 1. This placement gives you an insight into the work of the general dental practitioner. 

Year 4 orthodontics placement

For Dental Surgery

You will attend an Orthodontic Practice placement to observe in for 1 full day or 2 half days in Year 4. This is to give you an insight into the work of specialist orthodontic practitioners. 

Year 4 oral surgery placement

For Dental Surgery

You will attend an Oral Surgery placement with a host hospital for 2 weeks in Year 4. You will be on call throughout this time including the middle weekend of your placement. You will gain hands-on experience of oral surgery in a hospital setting during this placement.  

Year 5 oral medicine placement

For Dental Surgery

You will attend an Oral Medicine placement with a host hospital for 1 week in Year 5. You will be on call throughout this time. You will gain hands-on experience of oral medicine in a hospital setting during this placement.  

Elective placements

You can apply to undertake the professional development elective placement which takes place at the end of Year 4, if you are studying on our dental surgery course. A briefing session explaining this process is held early in Year 4 so that you can gain more information and decide whether you would like to apply.  This is an optional placement in an observational setting. Please note places are limited.  

Study abroad

If you're studying on our Dental Surgery course, you can also apply for the Study Abroad programme during Year 3 (and if successful) to attend in Year 4. A briefing session explaining this process is held early in Year 3 so that you can gain more information and decide whether you would like to apply. 

This optional element of your course gives you experience of studying dentistry in an alternative country and you will receive the award of Dental Surgery MChD/BChD, Oral Science BSc (International). Again, places are limited. 

Hassan Asad Dental Surgery MChD/BChD, Oral Science BSc

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For me, the clinical opportunities at the Leeds Dental Hospital are the most exciting part of my degree. Not only does being on clinic give you a chance to put the theoretical principles of dentistry into practice, it also allows you to be in the driving seat of being a real dentist.
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