About the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences

The Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences (FoDOCS) is at a very exciting point in its history, it is the largest dental faculty in Europe, and ranked in the top five in the world for dentistry (2021 QS World University Rankings). As part of King’s College London, it belongs to a vibrant multi-faculty university in the centre of one of the world’s great cities.

With over a thousand dental students, there is a critical mass that brings considerable benefits to everyone. More students means more staff, and more staff means there are more specialists and a greater diversity of research. The sheer depth and breadth of the faculty’s education and research underpin the mission to deliver the best possible oral health for society.

People and structure

Laboratory

The Faculty employs over approximately 400 staff (260 FTE), with just over 300 (185FTE) research, academic, and clinical staff supported by just under 80 (75 FTE) professional services staff.

The Faculty is configured into the Centre for Dental Education, three research centres and the Oral Clinical Research Unit:

The Faculty has held an Athena SWAN Silver award since 2015, which was re-awarded in 2018. FoDOCS is committed to the advancement of women in science, and through the Athena SWAN initiative, we are actively working to improve the representation of women in STEMM in Higher Education.

The Faculty is led by the Executive Dean, supported by the Faculty Leadership Team:

  • Professor Michael Escudier, Interim Executive Dean
  • Professor Jenny Gallagher, Dean for International Affairs
  • Professor Kim Piper, Dean for Education
  • Professor Abigail Tucker, Dean for Research
  • Ms Joanne Kirner, Director of Operations
  • Professor David Bartlett, Head of the Centre for Oral, Clinical & Translational Sciences
  • Professor Gordon Proctor, Head of the Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions
  • Professor Andrea Streit, Head of the Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology
  • Professor Jeremy Green, Head of International (Research)
  • Professor Nigel Potts, Academic Lead for Impact

Location

Guy's Tower

The Faculty is located primarily on the Guy’s Campus, with an important presence at the Denmark Hill campus, as well as outreach centres in West Norwood and Portsmouth.

The Faculty partners with Guy’s & St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital as well as King’s Health Partners. Partnerships with our NHS Trusts provide the Faculty with real strength in depth across clinical disciplines. This allows for an enviable range of postgraduate qualifications and enriches the undergraduate offering.

Education

Education

With a student body of around 1450, across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences is the largest dental faculty in the UK. With approximately 850 students across three undergraduate courses the Faculty strives to deliver research-enhanced and innovative training with a high level of clinical experience at Guy’s & St Thomas' and King’s College Hospitals. As well as focusing on clinical excellence, the Faculty aims to develop students into rounded practitioners, alert and sensitive to needs of patients and committed to their treatment and care.

Approximately 450PGT students are divided across 19 postgraduate taught (including distance and blended learning) options. The postgraduate research programmes serve a PGR community of around 145 students. King’s offers a range of high intensity programmes to take students to the forefront of their field. As a global centre of excellence for education, research and clinical care, the postgraduate programmes combine evidence-based teaching and learning, sophisticated patient care planning and research methodology.

The curriculum is developed and taught alongside internationally renowned researchers. There is an academic education pathway which recognises the importance of research in education and its role in developing curriculums. Science is embedded all the way through the curriculum, and students are taught by leading research academics.

As well as learning in the classroom and clinics, students can engage with the local community and see patients at our outreach centres. An innovative Clinical Humanities and Wellbeing programme currently being developed is a first in dentistry. Students also have opportunities to engage with vulnerable groups in the community as part of the Faculty’s service to society.

Research

King’s also recently entered into collaboration with three other global dental schools, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry, National University of Singapore Faculty of Dentistry, and Melbourne Dental School to form DentAlliance. The partners collaborate globally to transform education and curriculum development, to pursue new and transformative research and discovery initiatives. The four schools each bring their world-leading expertise to the collaboration and work together to enhance professional practice in dentistry, and the oral and craniofacial health sciences.

Innovation is at the core of delivering and constantly improving student experience and the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences is collaborating with other disciplines to conduct research on learning with the use of advanced technologies. Simulation in dental has always been a part of what we do and recently we invested in the latest High Fidelity Haptics which provide a virtual stimulation experience. We have refurbished the ‘physical’ phantom head dental simulations (clinical skills suite). Providing a world-class learning environment, state-of-the-art dental operating chairs at Guy’s Hospital have been connected with simulation facilities, blending virtual reality with training on real human teeth.

The physical ‘phantom head’ dental simulators allow practise of COVID secure dental surgery with plastic and human teeth and are connected via high resolution intra-oral scanners to virtual reality high-fidelity haptic simulators. This enables a seamless digital workflow from real patient scans into simulators, and then onto chairside dental CAD/CAM systems.

Research

Research

The Faculty is recognised globally as having major strength in a wide range of research areas relevant to dentistry, oral & craniofacial sciences across clinical and basic science disciplines.

The Faculty boasts a range of networks including with health such as King’s Health Partners, Dental Clinical Academic Group (CAG), and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Biomedical Research centre (BRC). There is also a network of industry partnerships including with Unilever, Colgate, GlaxoSmithKline, and Wrigley Oral Healthcare.

In 2014 the REF results confirmed the faculty’s position at the forefront of dental and oral research. As one of the leading dental schools in the UK, returning the largest number of researchers, the faculty was pleased to see 90% of its overall performance deemed to be of high quality, rated 4* or 3*. This outcome reflects the strategy to promote high quality research across a range of fields from basic craniofacial biology to tissue engineering and translational research.

The Faculty anticipates an equally positive outcome in the upcoming REF results. Despite the change in eligibility for REF 2021 submissions, we expect to maintain our high proportion of 3 and 4* papers highlighting the quality of research across the board in the faculty. With 75 PIs, we are also likely to have the largest number of PIs submitted of any dental school in the UK, which offers a significant power advantage.

Research income in the last academic year totalled approx. £4m, and the value of new awards won is approx. £6.6m. The proportion of research grant income is consistently around 40% of total research grants and contract income.

Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology

With a team of more than 100 (circa 50 staff and 50 PGR students), this centre is driven by a diverse range of interests – from tissue engineering to techniques that have the potential to restore hearing loss. Working together, they take their research beyond the lab with clinical trials, screenings to spot abnormalities earlier, and information for parents of children with birth defects.

Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions

In this Centre academic researchers have come together from different disciplines including microbiology, immunology, data science and epidemiology. They examine the mechanisms of diseases caused by specific microorganisms or linked with an altered microbiome composition and the burden of disease in human populations. Their research can have far-reaching impact, identifying potential new ways in which to treat a range of diseases and uncover preventative measures that keep us and our microbiomes healthy.

Centre for Oral, Clinical & Translational Sciences

This centre has particular strengths in prosthodontics and endodontics research, and work in this field feeds into postgraduate programmes. There is also a team of psychologists, who add an extra dimension to research. They work directly with dental patients and clinicians to explore ways to cope with dentophobia, communicate about oral cancer, and analyse orofacial pain.

What truly sets this Centre apart is the close working relationship between scientists and clinicians. Many staff are leaders in their field and carry out research that hits headlines globally. In 2018, a paper on consumption of acidic food and tooth erosion was the most viewed article in the British Dental Journal.

The Oral Clinical Research Unit (OCRU) collaborates with industry on trials. One challenge being tackled is facial reconstruction – researchers are using the latest technology, including 3D printers, to boost their expertise and develop treatments.

About King’s College London

Hodgkin Building, Guy's Campus

King’s College London offers an intellectually stimulating environment in which to work, where staff are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and learning in the service of society. We are a multi-Faculty institution, providing high-quality education, research and innovation across the sciences, humanities, medicine, law, dentistry, and social sciences. As a member of the Russell Group, an association of leading UK research-intensive universities, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards in research and education. King's is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres spread across its three teaching hospitals.

King’s is one of the top 10 UK universities, ranked 31st in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2021) and the fourth oldest university in England, based in the heart of London. King's has over 31,000 students from some 150 countries, and over 8,500 employees. King’s is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of about £1BN (2020/21).

King’s Strategic Vision looks forward to our 200th anniversary in 2029. It shows how King’s will make the world a better place by focusing on five key strategic priorities: educate to inspire and improve; research to inform and innovate; serve to shape and transform; a civic university at the heart of London; an international community that serves the world.

Leadership and structure

The Executive Team comprises:

  • Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal
  • Professor Mike Curtis, Interim Senior Vice President (Academic)
  • Professor Evelyn Welch, Senior Vice President (Service, People & Planning)
  • Professor Richard Trembath, Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences)
  • Mr Stephen Large, Senior Vice President (Operations)
  • Professor Adam Fagan, Interim Vice President (Education)
  • Professor Reza Razavi, Vice President (Research)
  • Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice President (International)
  • Baroness Bull (Deborah Bull), Vice President (Communities & National Engagement)
  • Annie Kent, Vice President (Finance)/Chief Financial Officer

King’s comprises nine faculties, each with an academic leader and professional services lead: Executive Dean of Faculty and Director of Operations. Professional Services are provided in every Faculty as well as centrally to deliver support for students and staff.