Professor Coulthard – Head of School

The School was already strong when Professor Paul Coulthard (1981) became the new Head of School on 1st August 2013, his appointment as an internal candidate for the Head of School position followed an extensive international search.

Alongside surgical training, Professor Coulthard undertook research leading to the award of an MDS in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a PhD in Neuroscience. He is a BAOS Council Member and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Oral Surgery’, an Editor with the Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group and is on the Editorial Board of the ‘International Journal of Surgery’ and ‘Chinese Journal for Clinicians’. He has a special interest in the Control of Pain and Anxiety, Dental Implantology and has published over 160 scientific papers. A new edition of his popular textbook ‘Master Dentistry’ was published in May 2013.

He sees his role as ensuring that Manchester maintains its premier position in the UK and to develop its global position. The University of Manchester aims to be one of the top 25 research universities in the world by 2020 and be known worldwide as a place where educational innovation is cherished, where research prospers and makes a real difference and where the fruits of scholarship resonate throughout society.

The strategic vision of the School of Dentistry is to develop its global position and reputation in line with this university aim.

Manchester’s reputation

Manchester was ranked 1st of all UK Dental Schools in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and following the recent assessment, now known as the Research Exercise Framework (REF), the results are due in December 2014 and the school expects to have done well again. Prof Coulthard plans to increase the number of research active staff by both coaching junior researchers and clinical academics and attracting world leading researchers; all research papers appear on the School website research page as they are published. Some very large grants have been awarded to School researchers to investigate referral systems, water fluoridation efficacy, workforce planning and skill mix, and cleft lip and palate management, amongst other projects.

The School has, along with all other Schools in England and Wales, had a 10% cut in undergraduate numbers imposed on it and so to compensate for the cut in income is admitting a larger number of international students.

The BSc Oral Health Science programme continues to be successful and opportunities for students to intercalate for a BSc are being opened up and encouraged, as are overseas electives.


Dr Craig Barclay has been promoted to a Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) Honorary Clinical Chair, Neil Patel (pictured), Academic Clinical Fellow in Oral Surgery is, ‘Young Dentist of the Year; Katherine Moshkun won Bronze at the British Ice Skating Championships just two weeks after her Final BDS examinations

Elite athlete rower Zac Lee-Green raced last year despite it being the final year of his BDS course and at the British Universities Regatta he won each round of the Championship Lightweight Single Sculls to come away with the gold medal, earning the university valuable BUCS ranking points. This resulted in Zac winning the award of University of Manchester Sportsman of the Year. He has just graduated and has been selected as part of the GB squad for the World Championships. The School of Dentistry helped him buy a new boat for his training and racing.

It would appear from every aspect, teaching, research, administration and students extracurricular activity our Alma Mater is a very vigorous institution with a world wide reputation of which we can all be proud to be or to have been part.

Pip Thomas

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