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Unit information: Personal and Professional Development Year 4 in 2020/21

Unit name Personal and Professional Development Year 4
Unit code ORDS30007
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Waylen
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Dental School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


Dentistry requires clinical skill and expertise; it is also involves building rapport and communicating effectively with patients and colleagues and acting in an ethical and professional manner. In order to practice evidence-based dentistry, all dentists need to understand the principles of good research.

The unit is comprised of the following 3 elements:

  1. The Dentist in Society Year 4
  2. Evidence Summary
  3. Portfolio Year 4

The Unit aims to build on the previous years’ Dentist in Society teaching and support students in devising, planning and undertaking a research project either independently or with a partner.

Intended learning outcomes

The Dentist in Society

At the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. describe the dental and wider healthcare systems dental professionals work within including health policy and organization, delivery of healthcare and equity
  2. explain the principles of planning oral healthcare to meet needs and demands
  3. explain the importance of and demonstrate appropriate record keeping skills
  4. demonstrate the ability to gain consent and communicate risk appropriately; to apply suitable interpersonal skills in the breaking of bad news and dealing with complaints

Evidence Summary

At the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. Devise a clinical question using the PICO tool
  2. Develop and plan a search strategy and apply inclusion and exclusion criteria
  3. Critically evaluate peer-reviewed literature to address a clinical question and identify best evidence
  4. Evaluate evidence from different sources to make effective judgements regarding the extent of published knowledge on a specific subject
  5. Present written work clearly and concisely in a systematic review format and demonstrate consistent and accurate referencing
  6. Discuss the extent to which a clinical question can be answered, given the published evidence available


By the end of the Portfolio element students will:

  1. Be able to explain the different methods of learning and teaching available for reflective practice
  2. Appreciate the importance of assessment, feedback and critical reflection in dental practice
  3. Identify their learning needs and the role of appraisal in personal development planning

This unit contributes to delivery and assessment of the following General Dental Council learning outcomes as specified in Preparing for Practice:

Q1 / Q2 / Q6 / Q7

1: 1.1.1 / 1.5.3 / 1.5.4 / 1.7.1

5: 5.1 / 5.2 / 5.4 / 5.5

6: 6.1 / 6.2 / 6.3 / 6.4

7: 7.1 / 7.2 / 7.3 / 7.5

8: 8.2

9: 9.1 / 9.3 / 9.4 / 9.6 / 9.7

10: 10.1 / 10.2 / 10.3 / 10.4 / 10.5 / 10.6 / 10.7 / 10.8

11: 11.2 / 11.3 / 11.4 / 11.5 / 11.7 / 11.8 / 11.9

12: 12.1 / 12.3 / 12.4 / 12.5

Teaching details

Teaching will use a blended learning approach delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Students will be expected to engage with all learning.

1. The Dentist in Society

  • Seven lectures
  • One 3-hour symposium on ethics and Law teaching
  • One Flipped classroom/small group discussion session
  • Two communication skills role play sessions (breaking bad news)

2. Evidence Summary

  • See separate specification for this element

3. Portfolio:

  • No contact time required. e-resources are provided.

Assessment Details

Assessment Information

The final Unit mark is an aggregate of the following assessments:


Dentist in Society assessment: online self- assessment (required reading) and self-assessment questions at the end of lectures


Dentist in Society coursework assignment (50% of the final unit mark)

A piece of coursework (1000-1500 words) answering questions about a case study. The questions will be based around the learning within the different components of Dentist in Society. The pass mark for this criteria-based assignment is 50%. Students who fail this assignment will be asked to resubmit, taking into consideration the markers feedback. Resubmitted Dentist in Society assignment will be capped at 50%

Evidence Summary (50% of the final unit mark)

This assessment is a coursework assignment with a word limit of 4000 words.

Reflective portfolio (must pass)

The portfolio is a reflective account. Students who fail will be required to resubmit until the work is deemed to be of a pass standard.

Communication skills:

These will be tested in the Year 4 PCD OSCE

Reading and References

  1. Daly B, Batchelor P, Treasure E, Watt RG. Essential Dental Public Health. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press; 2013. ISBN:9780199679379.
  2. Pine C. Community Oral Health. Butterworth Heinemann; 1996. ISBN:9780192632791.
  3. Patel M, Patel N. Dental Public Health: A Primer. Radcliffe Publishing Ltd; 2006. ISBN:9781857756470.
  4. Chestnutt IG, Davies L, Thomas DR. Practitioner’s perspectives and experiences of the new National Health Service dental contract. BDJ 2009; 206(9):E18; discussion :476-7.
  5. Sheiham A, Watt RG. The common risk factor approach: a rational basis for promoting oral health. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2000; 28(6):399-406.
  6. Tickle M, Milsom K. The whole population approach to caries prevention in general dental practice. BDJ 2008; 205: 521.
  7. Macintyre S, Macdonald L,Ellaway A. Do poorer people have poorer access to local resources and facilities? The distribution of local resources by area deprivation in Glasgow, Scotland. Soc Sci Med. 2008; 67 (6):900-14.
  8. Assael, L.A. Disclosing risk: a potential path to inaction in surgical practice. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2006; 64:1575-6.
  9. Brennan M, Oliver R, Harvey B, Jones G. Ethics and Law for the Dental Team. Knutsford : PasTest; 2006. ISBN:9781904627418.
  10. Scambler S, Scott SE, Asimakopoulou K. Sociology & Psychology for the Dental Team. Bristol: Polity Press. 2016.