Student support

Female dental student looking away from the camera

At the School of Dentistry we take supporting our students very seriously. During your studies you may face times when you require additional support and we have a broad range of support and services available to you.

Student Support in the College of Medical and Dental Science

As a student studying at the School of Dentistry, you will benefit from having access to a number of support services including a Wellbeing team based in the Dental Hospital as well as the College of Medica and Dental Sciences dedicated Student Service Centre. The Student Services Centre is open to all students studying a healthcare related subject and offers you support to help you settle into university life and supports you to deal with any problems that arise along the way.

Located in the Medical School, just one mile from Birmingham Dental Hospital and School of Dentistry, The Student Services Centre is easily accessible for you and boasts a number of experienced staff. The Student Services Centre offers many services, from drop in sessions for advice and guidance, referral to internal and external services, and support regarding extenuating circumstances. Staff are on hand to lend an ear and advise with personal problems and can deal with a wide range of issues.

Student Services Centre 

The Student Services Centre offers three layers of support for all students which are delivered through numerous different University services. The three layers are:

  • Initial – Information, advice and guidance
  • Advanced – Advice and detailed guidance
  • Specialist – Skilled professional assessment, judgement and interventions

Our highly trained and competent Wellbeing Officers will work across the Initial and Advanced layers with onward referral for the Specialist layer whether that be academic or personal in nature. This is complementary to academic colleagues’ work as Personal Academic Tutors in areas of specialist academic judgement.

We have a great deal of experience in successfully supporting students with mental health problems. We encourage students to talk to us so we can support them to be happy and healthy students, and ultimately successful dentists of the future. 

Student support is always available during working hours and offers a drop in service to all students for advice and guidance, referrals to internal and external support services and support regarding extenuating circumstances.

The Student Services Centre (SSC) is located in the Medical School building and is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, where students can be seen by a Wellbeing Assistant, and if needed a follow up appointment with a Wellbeing Officer or Year Tutor will be made. Appointments can also be requested by emailing or calling. For problems that fall outside working hours and weekends all students are provided with dedicated phone line numbers to call.

Most students refer themselves for student support however members of staff may suggest that you see us if they have concerns about you. Occasionally a senior member of staff will recommend that a student sees someone from the Wellbeing Team to make sure that they are receiving the help that they need at a difficult time. Very occasionally students may let us know that they are worried about a fellow student. In these instances we would ask the student to come and speak to a member of the Welfare Team so that we can put in place any help and support that is needed.

You can also book a telephone appointment to have a conversation with a member of the team. We prefer students to have a face-to-face conversation if at all possible, but there are times when a phone conversation might be easier, such as when you are away on placement.

Our support sessions are all geared towards identifying a plan to help you move forward. This plan will be agreed between you and the team member who meets with you, actions could include;

  • Suggesting you seek help from the University Counselling Service
  • Referring you to Disability or Mental Health Advisory Service
  • Referring you to academic support services
  • Suggesting you see your GP
  • Referring you to Occupational Health Services

Simply talking through your issues can often be a great help but staff will not necessarily be able to solve the problems you face; they will, however, provide you with support in deciding how best to deal with things, and they will support you while you access help from other places.

You may find that all you need is a one-off appointment, or you may need several visits. We welcome approaches from all students irrespective of how small or large they feel their problem is. 

Find out more about university student support