Dental Hygienists Helen Kirkwood and Isobell Linnane are studying on our distance-learning MSc programme. Most teaching is delivered online with two or three hands-on weeks at the Institute each year.
Helen Kirkwood, second year student, Dental Hygiene MSc:
I was attracted to UCL Eastman not only for its prestigious reputation for high academic teaching, but also because the course allowed me to facilitate study, clinical and home commitments with a degree of flexibility. The course content included a combination of online, research, clinical skills and a residential component which I felt would enhance my professional knowledge.
I had considered a postgraduate study programme for a while to embrace the exciting research into oral and systemic health. This course encompassed teaching in current disease management and provided deeper theoretical awareness which ultimately benefits patients.
I have found the experience of studying at UCL Eastman both enjoyable and inspiring. The course content covers aspects of clinical practice to a greater degree and has reinforced knowledge in all aspects of patient management. I have enjoyed modules on the immune response in periodontal management, discussions related to evidence- based studies and learnt new technical I.T., research and clinical skills.
I have greater confidence in managing complex patient cases and the process of presenting a patient case.
The residential weeks in particular have also allowed us to build on our communication skills through group work on behaviour change and we have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with other postgraduate students, who have shown enthusiasm, support and encouragement for each other.
The teaching experience and knowledge of the tutors is extensive and they are both supportive and inspirational in their encouragement to students.
The main benefit to distance learning is flexibility, allowing individuals to study at their own pace around other commitments. It incorporates different platforms to deliver education modules and includes online lectures from world renowned clinicians. There is extensive online library and electronic resources available to students at UCL.
The experience of studying this course at UCL will provide me with skills which I may pursue in a teaching or research capacity.
At present I am utilising my new knowledge for the benefit of my patients in clinical practice.
Isobell Linnane, second year student, Dental Hygiene MSc:
I applied because the course modules are very interesting, and UCL Eastman has such a good international reputation.
The tutors are excellent and inspiring, we have a a wonderful supportive group and I have learned so much and gained in confidence.
We can work through the course in our own time, and as we learn we can apply our new skills to practice. The coursework is set up in a way that is in a logical sequence and helps with learning the material.
As it has been a good few years since I have studied (over 15 years) I thought I would find it difficult, but it has been such an easy transition. It is delving deeper into a subject we are familiar with and as a result it is truly enjoyable but obviously challenging and rewarding.
I would be interested in a teaching or research post in the future, but even if I didn’t achieve these, both myself and my patients will have gained immeasurably from this course.