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'Best in the West' for dental school

Students studying dentistry at Plymouth University are experiencing the best courses of their kind in the west

That's according to a national university league table published this week.

The Guardian University League Table 2014 ranks the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry degrees fourth in England (sixth and eighth respectively in the UK).

The rankings rate the courses above similar courses at other universities in the wider South West region.

The league table identified that the dentistry degree has performed well against established centres of dental excellence and is one of only two ‘new’ dental schools in the overall UK top 10 alongside for example Glasgow and King’s College London, with satisfaction rates at 93% for teaching. Employment statistics were not available at the time the Guardian University League Table was compiled, but subsequent figures indicate a post-graduation employment rate approaching 100%.

Professor Wendy Purcell, vice chancellor at Plymouth University, said: 'We are absolutely delighted that the performance of our schools of medicine and dentistry has been recognised by the Guardian University League Table. They are outstanding schools nationally distinguished by their focus on clinical education and developing doctors and dentists for a modern NHS. My congratulations go to everyone – staff, students, NHS partners and members of the general public – who have helped us achieve such strong rankings.'

She added: 'Our mission is to nurture exceptional doctors and dentists of the future: consummate professionals who are not only armed with first rate clinical skills and medical knowledge, but who also understand and empathise with their patients. The league tables reflect that our mission is clearly popular and valid not only to our students, but also to the organisations that go on to employ them. We are confident that the work we do with our medical and dental students in Plymouth will reap dividends not just for their professional futures, but also the future of patient care in the UK and further afield.'

Both medical and dental students interact with patients and the community from an early stage in their studies. Examples include the Dental Education Facilities in Devon, Plymouth and Cornwall, where dental students treat NHS patients under the supervision of qualified dental clinical supervisors, and which account for more than 10,000 people in Devon and Cornwall enjoying access to NHS dental treatment when they may not have done so before. 

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