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Undergraduate study

Our students

Emily Twentyman

BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy

Teesside was the only uni to offer the Advance Scheme - where eligible first-year students receive an Apple iPad, the Future Facing Learning toolkit, a keyboard case and up to £300 credit for learning resources.’

Emily Twentyman

Why Teesside?

Teesside is one of the only universities in the North to run my course, so after attending an open day and seeing all the facilities on offer I knew it was the place for me.

I attended an interview where all the staff were brilliant, supportive, and friendly and helped to get rid of my nerves. Teesside was the only uni to offer the Advance Scheme - where eligible first-year students receive an Apple iPad, the Future Facing Learning toolkit, a keyboard case and up to £300 credit for learning resources. This has been a lifesaver because I have been able to access all the books I need to aid my learning.

I moved away from home at 18 to come to uni and lived in university-owned accommodation in first year. I could not fault this as it is priced fairly and close to the uni. I had a brilliant experience living in halls because the university aims to place students studying similar courses together, so I lived in a house full of health care students. We bonded straight away and I was able to make lifelong friends. There are on-site wardens also which meant my family weren't worried about leaving me on my own.

Why Dental Hygiene and Therapy?

I have always dreamed of studying dentistry since a young age after receiving a lot of dental care myself. Having a caring nature meant that after careful research I chose hygiene and therapy since you get a very hands-on experience.

Some patients have ongoing treatments, so you can build a rapport with them and I also liked the idea of never having two days the same.

Best thing about your course?

The clinical aspect is my favourite part. We see real patients who are referred to us from nearby dental practices. The course is structured 50/50 theory and practical, which means that throughout the week one day we can be in lectures and the next we are treating patients at the student dental facility where we can put our theory into practice.

I love learning about the aetiology and causes of oral manifestations in the mouth. We are very lucky and have service users and external speakers come into lectures to provide real-life experiences.

The structure of the course allows us to focus on one module at a time so that we can achieve the best marks and keep our stress levels down. I love that class sizes are small as it allows us to have one-on-one time with the supervisor and we can ask questions.

What do you think about the campus?

It has a real community feel to it. There is always an event on and somewhere you can go in-between lectures. There are brilliant cafes which are all very reasonably priced.

The Library is great. There are a variety of floors to work on depending on how you like studying, and its online services mean you can access all the resources it has to offer from home.
The Students’ Union caters for everyone and offers lots of support from emergency loans to accommodation. It also holds events throughout the year and Freshers Week is fab - they plan nights out and freebie days. At the end of the year, we end with Final Fling which is a great way to be able to celebrate all the hard work you have done through the year.

What do you think about Middlesbrough?

Middlesbrough is a diverse area and very different from what I am used to at home in Cumbria. I was worried about moving away from home at 18, but I have settled in well.

I enjoy living here because everything is compact and close to each other, so you can easily walk everywhere if you wanted to.

The town centre is full of shops and cafes that you can spend your days off in with friends. At night there are many different types of restaurants and takeaways that you can meet up in. I’d advise you to try a ‘Parmo’ if you haven't had one yet. I feel Middlesbrough is a very cheap place to live, which is brilliant for students who don't have a large budget.

Also, the countryside is only a few short miles away which is brilliant to go and explore.

Any extra-curricular activities?

I have been a student ambassador since September 2019 and have participated in open days, school talks and met lots of new people. Being able to provide student insight into university life is very rewarding and can help students who are unsure.

The role allows you to work when its suits you, the flexibility is brilliant. It has helped me gain confidence, make friends and is a positive attribute that I can add to my CV.

Worked on any projects or been on a placement?

I am looking forward to my radiography placement at Newcastle Dental Hospital.

Seeing real-life patients at the student dental facility has improved my confidence. Helping people is one of the reasons that I chose to study dental therapy and when I got to start seeing and helping patients, it felt rewarding. The facility is run just like a dental practice, and I’ve learnt to remain professional and uphold confidentiality and hygiene procedures. This project helps to give us a real insight into how life will be once we qualify. After each patient we get a grade and written feedback which means that we can reflect upon performance everyday helping grow confidence.

What are your future ambitions?

I want to stay and live in the North East after graduating. The university offers a lot of help and advice about life after uni including applying for jobs, so I feel fully prepared.

I would love to do a vocational training year to gain even more experience. After this, it would be good to work in a practice doing both hygiene and therapy treatments. I plan to partake in additional training courses in areas such as teeth whitening and facial aesthetics.

Would you recommend Teesside University and your course?

I would recommend Teesside University because of the high levels of support and opportunities that are on offer. Working in a small cohort makes it feel like a small family and I know that I have made lifelong friends.

The facilities and placement are brilliant and there is lots of clinical time on offer. The university pushes you to become the best you can be, and this is very important.

What advice would you give?

I would advise dental therapy students to do as much work experience as possible in different fields of dentistry. Start to learn some of the basics and terminology used.

I would also urge you to get involved with as much as possible because the university experience does fly by and you should make the most of every opportunity.

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