The curriculum should be one which will provide adequate training for a dental graduate to practise sound general dentistry and to instil a commitment to learning throughout his/her professional life.
The dental graduate should possess:
A thorough understanding of the biological sciences to enable the integration and correlation of these basic sciences with clinical dental practice.
Competence in diagnosis of oral and dental diseases including and understanding of the relationship between general and oral diseases.
Skills to provide the preventive and treatment services commonly required in dental practice.
The ability to organise and administer a dental practice efficiently.
Ability to appraise and apply research findings and new technology.
A commitment towards continuing education.
A sense of professional, ethical and social
The new curriculum is competency-based, with emphasis in imparting basic skills essential to the practice of dentistry. The didactic programme will teach relevant knowledge and skills necessary to train a competent general dental practitioner. This will reduce excesses in the curriculum.
Clinical competency tests will replace the current schedule-based clinical assessment. A student will sign up for competency tests for different procedures after he or she has adequate exposure to basic clinical competency. This will allow the more clinically-competent students to progress at a faster rate. At the same time, students who may need remedial help can be identified.
Integration of courses
There is more integration and co-ordination between disciplines and departments. This will reduce duplication and increase multi-disciplinary teaching. The introduction of the Oral Biology module integrates oral physiology and oral biochemistry which were previously taught in different departments. Other integrated multi-disciplinary courses are Cariology, Occlusion, Radiology, Behavioural Science, Ethics and Jurisprudence and General Practice Management.
Development of analytical and problem solving
The new curriculum will aim at developing students' analytical and problem-solving skills. Problem-based learning (PBL) has been introduced. PBL involves the presentation of a clinical problem to the students and they will analyse and then look for the information themselves. This will train the students to be independent learners, an important trait to acquire for survival in the next millennium.
Research projects will be given more emphasis in the new curriculum.
The new curriculum will exploit information technology (IT). IT will be incorporated where applicable in the curriculum. Students will be able to plug-in at various locations in the Faculty, clinics, laboratories, tutorial rooms etc to be able to access information.
Broadening students' education
International student exchange programmes have also been introduced. Students can apply to visit dental schools in the US, Canada, Japan and Australia as an elective. This will broaden students' outlook and experience.
In tandem with the University's broad-based education, students will have to take a cross faculty module of their interest and choice.
With these changes, the Faculty hopes to nurture through the curriculum not only a knowledgeable graduate but one with a sense of confidence and pride in his profession and an independent learner with a commitment towards continuing education.