The Peninsula experience


This is embodied in the educational approaches used and our responsiveness to student learning needs. Our student-centred educational approaches develop leadership and team‑working skills, confidence and self-motivation, adaptability and tolerance of change, and a holistic understanding of the patient experience.


Our teaching and learning activities are patient-centred. This means that patients are at the core of all learning opportunities, through extensive use of real-life situations involving patients, authentic or context-sensitive simulation and simulated patients. Medical and healthcare science students begin to learn from patient experiences from the first weeks of the course, dental students begin patient treatment in the third term of the first year and all courses continue this throughout.

Integrated, experiential and spiral learning

You will acquire science and clinical knowledge, practical and professional skills, in an integrated way across the whole five years, medicine and dentistry, or three years human health programmes from relevant, patient-centred perspectives. The curricula are designed to spiral, revisit, and build upon earlier knowledge and skills as you progress through the programme.


Partnerships underpin our curricula in many ways. You will benefit from partnerships of scientists and clinicians delivering some aspects of the curriculum, from partnerships in supervision and mentoring with your academic tutor, from teaching and learning partnerships with fellow students, and in partnerships between the University, NHS, social enterprises and third sector organisations.

Authentic, relevant and contextual learning

Throughout your chosen course you will undertake authentic tasks, and be offered real-life opportunities for clinical care, and participation in meaningful work-based learning. This provides opportunities for practising your clinical and communication skills, to build your confidence, and to learn from the diversity of role models in healthcare and related disciplines. The many authentic clinical experiences you will have really help with your understanding the context for learning medicine, dentistry or healthcare science, incorporating the multi-professional nature of healthcare, and the importance of teams in healthcare provision.

Socially accountable and “Making a Difference” ethos

The Schools make a significant difference to the health and well-being of our population. Every student will be able to make a difference during their time with us. Students are encouraged to participate in projects in primary or secondary care, as well as community groups, which are opportunities to “give-back” and to make a difference to the lives of our population.

Research-informed teaching

Our research within the Schools is applied and translational, and supports our teaching, learning and innovative curricula. Our internationally renowned clinical education research and pedagogy ensure that our teaching methods are contemporary, innovative and effective. Our NHS colleagues and healthcare researchers undertake basic and translational research to improve patient and population care and this ensures that their teaching on the medical, dental and human health programmes is current and at the forefront of healthcare.

Preparedness for clinical practice

On the medical and healthcare science courses you will be exposed to the uniquely broad range of clinical environments across Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall. We have NHS partners and provide clinical placements in a wide variety of areas to help develop your professional and experiential learning skills. On the dental course you will work in purpose built state-of-the-art primary dental care clinical facilities. These facilities are complemented by our Simulated Dental Learning Environment.

Innovation and quality improvements

You will experience innovation and quality improvements throughout the programmes. We actively encourage student feedback at all levels of the learning experience, and student engagement with staff to ensure your programme best suits your learning needs. Embedded in the programmes are opportunities for learning the approaches and ways to think about quality improvement and patient safety within current medical, dental and human health settings, which are necessary skills for all healthcare practitioners working in modern healthcare services.

Improving employability in a changing healthcare environment

Over ninety-nine percent of our medical and ninety-nine percent of our dental graduates found employment in the last academic year. We will work closely with you throughout your time at the Schools to ensure that you are properly advised on career development. Through close links with the South West Peninsula Deanery for Medicine, which is situated adjacent to the our Headquarters and the Dental Deanery based in Bristol, we endeavour to ensure that your self-selected learning experiences reflect your ambitions.

While our core commitment is to produce outstanding, well-prepared and highly competent doctors and dentists for the NHS, we recognise that some students will seek opportunities in the independent health sectors and overseas. We will ensure that your learning experiences enable you to be competitive in any clinical employment market.

Typically, human health graduates find employment in a diverse range of science related roles. Graduates from our programmes: continue with full-time higher research degrees and academia; gain entry onto post-graduate medical and dental programmes; pursue post-graduate teaching qualifications; work within the science media; work within an industrial setting; work within clinical diagnostic laboratories, or use their graduate skills to obtain work in non-science related fields.