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Wednesday 21 July 2021

UCLan dentistry student is ranked highest in the country

Matthew Davies finishes top in test for newly qualified dentists

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) dentistry student is not only top of the class but top in the country after coming first in a nationwide test taken by newly qualified dentists.

Matthew Davies, who will graduate from UCLan in September, was ranked first in a list of more than 1,200 dentistry students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who took the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), a mandatory exam for all newly qualified dentists.

The SJT is designed to assess each student’s decision-making ability, ethical judgement and professionalism through questions based on scenarios they may come across during their career.

"I was absolutely over the moon when the results came out and I had to keep looking at the list to be sure it really was my name at the top."

UCLan dentistry student Matthew Davies, who is ranked first in the 2021 Situational Judgement Test

Matthew’s success means he will have first choice on where he can complete his year-long Dental Foundation Training (DFT), which is the NHS training scheme for graduates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Matthew was treating patients at the Carlisle Dental Education Centre (DEC), where he has been based for the last three years as part of his degree training, when he received the good news.

The 27-year-old from Colchester said: “I was absolutely over the moon when the results came out and I had to keep looking at the list to be sure it really was my name at the top.”

Matthew has dreamed of becoming a dentist since he was 14-years-old. Despite missing out on dental school after his A-levels, he was determined to fulfil his ambition and, following a degree in biomedical material science at the University of Birmingham and taking a diploma in dental hygiene, Matthew joined the Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at UCLan in 2017.

"Training at the Carlisle DEC for the last three years has fully prepared me for the next stage of my career. I’ve been immersed in a general practice treating patients with a variety of different needs so it’s been a varied, hands-on experience.”"

UCLan dentistry student Matthew Davies, who is ranked first in the 2021 Situational Judgement Test

"Training at the Carlisle DEC for the last three years has fully prepared me for the next stage of my career” he said. “I’ve been immersed in a general practice treating patients with a variety of different needs so it’s been a varied, hands-on experience.”

Yvonne Halliwell, Senior Clinical Teacher at the Carlisle DEC, said: “All of the staff at Carlisle DEC are proud of all of our students’ achievements each year. Matthew has always demonstrated an excellent work and study ethic and fully deserves the accolade he has received. We all wish him well as he enters this next phase of his dental journey.”

Matthew is now hoping he will be offered his first-choice dental practice in Newcastle to complete his Dental Foundation Training.

He added: “I’ve applied to a practice that will help me grow in my profession and is eager to train newly qualified dentists to a high level. I can’t wait to get started.”

UCLan dentistry student Matthew Davies01 / 03