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Investigating the impact of digital media and social media on the dental profession and dental education

*Please note, this project is self-funded*

Project details

Supervisor: Dr Jonathan San Diego

Duration: 3 years full-time / 4 years full-time (with MRes option) / 7 years part-time

Mode of study: Full-time (preferable) or part-time

Funding: Self-funded

Eligibility: Open to all

Application deadline: Open until a suitable candidate is found

Reference number: 2017/DI/23 

Project description

Dental professionals and students have a responsibility to behave professionally both online and offline. However, guidance given by professional bodies focuses only on using social media. Digital media is changing the way dental care and dental education are provided. It is also raising concerns about the protection of dental professionals' identity and privacy as well as that of their patients.  Some of the key aspects that are influencing the dental and healthcare professions include: social media practice; digital marketing and advertising; digital patient data protection; and, the management and policies surrounding these.

This project will identify the key issues, challenges and pitfalls of digital media in dentistry. A large scale survey will be conducted and complemented with observational studies and interviews to examine the perceptions of dental professionals and students regarding the ethical, professional and legal implications of their behaviour in using digital media. The survey will also identify the differences of perception between students and dental professionals on their awareness of risks associated with digital media usage, the differences in taking precautions while using them, the frequency and applications they use.

This project will produce a comprehensive guidance on the management of digital media that must be considered by dental professionals in practice and in education of trainee professionals. 
Research training can be provided through Research Methods degree.

Person specification

Any applicants with interest in Dental Education and Learning Technology research.

To view entry requirements and further course information, see the Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD. 

Next steps

How to apply

Please apply online at following these steps:

  1. Register a new account/login
  2. Once logged in, select Create a new application
  3. Enter ‘Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time/Part-time)' under Choose a programme. Please ensure you select the correct mode of study
  4. Select a start date from the list under Entry requirements on this webpage.

Please note: Applicants must include the project reference number in the 'Research proposal' section of the application.

Contact for further information

Dr Jonathan San Diego (

For further information on education research, see Centre for Dental Education.

Back to Research Projects main page.

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