Research degrees

You may study for an MSc by Research or PhD degree in a stimulating and well-equipped research environment. Our research teams bring together both clinical and non-clinical researchers in partnerships that provide the opportunity to link together a range of multidisciplinary expertise. This approach allows a particularly strong and supportive environment in which you can undertake your training and benefit from interaction with leading researchers.

You undertake formal training to develop the skills required within your research. While at the School you have at least two supervisors with whom you have regular contact, and who provide guidance in your learning and research. During this time, you are encouraged to present work in seminars and at conferences, both to develop your presentation skills and network with other researchers.

The three main areas of research in our School are: Biomaterials, Primary Dental Care and Tissue Injury and Repair. Our research has a strong translational focus, being driven by clinical questions, and aims to provide novel diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to the most common oral and general health problems. Fundamental to the delivery of high-quality research is the range of world-class research and clinical facilities, including state-of-the-art laboratories, which our researchers and students have access to. Recent investment in these facilities, through an equipment grant from the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, ensures that our staff and students have access to the latest technology and equipment and maximises our opportunities for accelerating research innovation for patient care and well-being.

For further information on research opportunities in Dentistry please contact us at:


A number of PhD projects are currently available at the School of Dentistry . To view these, please visit:

Examples of our research include:

  • Demonstrating the importance of growth factors and other bioactive molecules sequestered within dental tissues in driving tissue responses to disease and clinical outcomes for the tooth.
  • The development of novel treatments for dental and oral tissue repair based on stem cell and biomaterial tissue regenerative technologies.
  • Leading research into the redox biology of oral diseases and how micronutritional strategies can regulate oral inflammation.
  • Pioneering the development of assays for biomarkers of periodontitis, leading to the development of diagnostic technologies in routine clinical use.
  • Epidemiological research on the links between chronic periodontitis and systemic disease, in particular rheumatoid arthritis and chronic kidney disease.
  • Pioneering involvement in the National Dental Health Surveys (Office of National Statistics) for children and adults leading to the unravelling of major trends in oral disease patterns over 30 years. This is crucial to informing future oral health care policy and directing NHS resources to those in most need.
  • The development of novel digital image processing/analysis techniques in oral pathology to provide accurate, evidence-based diagnostic decisions and reliable prognostic tools for oral cancer.
  • The epigenetics of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and the role of chronic inflammation in the origins of OSCC.
  • Development of novel dental and orthopaedic materials to improve the longevity of dental restorations and the outcome of many orthopaedic procedures.
  • Investigations into the vibration characteristics of dental ultrasonic instruments and powered toothbrushes,which aimto influence the design and development of ultrasound dental instruments and improve patient care.
  • Prevalence studies in children and adolescents on dental erosion and tooth wear and their causes, underpinned by laboratory mechanistic studies on both erosion and toothpaste abrasivity.
  • Research on the nature and role of education in dentistry, particularly the role and impact of e-learning.