Welcome to Dentistry

Professor Helen Whelton, Dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of Leeds, extends a warm welcome to all new students arriving in 2018. Professor Whelton explains some of the learning experiences you will encounter, including early clinical experiences and the use of simulation technology. She also describes your first few weeks here, including the social opportunities and academic support. You can read more about the Dentistry, Dental Hygiene and Therapy, Dental Technology and Dental Nursing programmes on the main website.

The Leeds University Dental Society, also known as DentSoc, welcomes you to Leeds. DentSoc is there to provide support and social opportunities for new students on Dentistry programmes in Leeds. DentSoc runs the ‘Dental Parent Scheme’ where Dental ‘children’ - new first years - are adopted by Dental ‘parents’ - experienced students - who support them during their first year of study. You will hear more about social events and the Dental Parents Scheme when you arrive in Leeds. In the meantime, we invite you to follow the Leeds DentSoc Facebook page.

To find out about School of Dentistry news and events, you may also like to follow the School's Facebook page.

Welcome from the Leeds University Dental Society.

Independent learning

Here at the School of Dentistry, you will learn in various formats: through lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work, clinical or lab-based practicals, project work and computer-aided learning. The style of learning and teaching you’ll experience at University is different to how you’ll have learnt at school. At school, you’re taught pretty much all you are expected to know. Being at University is about becoming an independent learner, so what you cover in lectures will be the main points, but you are expected to read around the topic in more depth. There will be reading lists and directed reading to help you. This might seem daunting at first, but there is support on hand to help you with the transition.

Denstudy supports School of Dentistry students to achieve their potential by providing free, confidential appointments to help you develop study skills, such as how to manage your time well, revise for your exams and write your assignments. We also offer ‘Bite-Sized’ workshops which you can attend with your friends. You will hear more about Denstudy during your first weeks at University.

Dentistry students Jessica, Emily, Tom, Laura and Katherine explain how the expectations at university are different to school, particularly in terms of independent learning, using resources selectively and managing the workload.

Making the grade


Teamworking is a very important part of your programme, as you’ll be part of a dental team throughout your career. In your first weeks at the university you’ll join other first years from the Dental Hygiene and Therapy and Dental Surgery programmes to participate in ‘team days’. These events are packed with fun activities, and are designed to help you make friends and learn about working with others.

Dental Hygiene and Therapy students Ella, Jess, Sati, Mariam, Ruth and Emma talk about the benefits of working together. Learning together is one of the best ways to learn well. Listening to other students explain concepts can help you to understand, and explaining concepts to others can help you to remember things well for your exams.

Working on clinics

Clinical sessions may seem daunting – especially if a patient is involved – but don’t worry, your tutors will be on hand to guide you, observe you, and give feedback on how you are doing. First, you’ll gain experience in the clinical skills laboratories, where you’ll be able to develop your skills using 3D simulation technology – computerised dentistry with the feel of a real dental mirror and drill. You’ll also get to work on ‘phantom heads’: specially designed rubber mouths which are fitted with plastic teeth.

Jessica, Emily, Tom, Laura and Katherine talk about how they felt during their first clinical experiences.


The University of Leeds is a research intensive university. This means that during your time here you will be educated by research leaders in the fields of dental education, clinical dentistry, oral biology and dental public health. You will be encouraged to develop skills that enable you to carry out self-directed research activities, and you will complete an independent research project during your programme.

Reem El-Gendy, a research fellow in the School of Dentistry, describes her research in stem cell based therapies and discusses her involvement in the Research Mobility Programme which has led to successful international research collaborations.