RCSI dental school visit
Staff from Peninsula Dental School and Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise visit RCSI (photo credit Maxwell Photography) 

The University of Plymouth’s Peninsula Dental School prides itself on its award-winning community-based model – the first in the UK. 
Now its impact is set to extend to Ireland, with a long-term collaborative agreement signed with RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The partnership will support RCSI in delivering a new undergraduate Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree programme. This will be the first community-based undergraduate dentistry degree programme in Ireland.  
RCSI dental school visit
RCSI dental school visit
RCSI dental school visit
RCSI dental school visit
RCSI dental school visit
Peninsula Dental School’s award-winning programme, established over many years, offers an innovative approach to dentistry education, combining first-rate dental training with outstanding community dental care. It was recognised by the Times Higher Education Awards 2023, ranking first in the “Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category”, and the Guardian in 2024 as the top ranked Dental School in the UK. 
Focusing training solely in primary care, Peninsula was the first dental school to bring meaningful NHS patient contact to students from the earliest months of their course, as well as embedding community engagement within the curriculum. It was also the first to train a variety of dental care professionals side by side, reflecting the reality of dental practice.
The partnership will enable RCSI to adopt a community-based approach to dental education. The partnership’s modern, comprehensive and bespoke curriculum is designed to equip graduates to deliver excellence in dental care for patients in a primary care setting, improving their oral and general health near where they live.  
This community-based approach has particular benefits for people in underprivileged communities who often struggle to access dental care. It provides a holistic and rich learning experience for students and perhaps instill a desire to practice in the community following their graduation.
The five-year programme will increase the number of dentists that qualify in Ireland each year. RCSI will welcome the first student in take in September 2025 (subject to regulatory approvals) and will qualify the first cohort of dentists in the summer of 2030. 
Professor Dafydd Moore, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, who signed the curriculum agreement on behalf of the University of Plymouth, said:
“We at Plymouth are very proud of our dental school and the impact it has had not only on the learning outcomes for our students, but the healthcare it has provided for our local community. 
"We are pleased and humbled now to see this impact extend to the new course at RCSI and hope that staff, students and the local community here will benefit from its success.”
Professor Dafydd Moore at the RCSI signing event
Professor Dafydd Moore at the RCSI signing event 

The RCSI mission “to educate, nurture and discover for the benefit of human health” informs and guides our strategic vision.

Our commitment to launching a Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme, and re-opening our School of Dentistry, reflects the importance of dentistry to human health and the key imperative of increasing access to dental care for communities across Ireland. 
Professor Cathal Kelly, Vice-Chancellor, RCSI 

Since Peninsula Dental School was established, more than 600 graduates have taken their learning and applied it to their careers, making enormous differences to patients and dental care delivery where they work.

The creation of Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise, which sees students treat NHS patients under supervision and address oral health inequalities, has seen over half a million treatments delivered to people who might not otherwise have been able to access them. 
Access to dental care is a huge issue in the UK and Ireland, so to be able to work with and support RCSI to have an impact in their community is a huge next step, and we look forward to accompanying them on their journey.

Ewen McCollEwen McColl
Head of Peninsula Dental School

Faculty of Health

Exceptional clinical and academic learning, social engagement and research in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology and health professions.
A healthy eating and cookery demonstration by dental students at Sure Start