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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

DSUR3210 Illness and Well-being

20 creditsClass Size: 96

Module manager: Dr. Gordon Hutchins

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications



DSUR2122Social Sciences Related to Dentistry
DSUR2200Clinical Skills A
DSUR2220Introduction to Biomedical Sciences
DSUR2240Clinical Practice 2


DSUR3014Undergraduate Projects
DSUR3015Clinical Skills B
DSUR3019Child Centred Dentistry 1
DSUR3250Personal Professional Development 3

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In this module you will develop your knowledge of basic pathological processes (general pathology) which are essential to the understanding of the principles of disease relating to the major organ systems (systematic pathology). Systematic pathological processes involving the major body systems, including neoplastic disease, will be studied with an emphasis on relevance to dental practice. You will also study the roles of bacteria and viruses, the transmission of disease and immunisation. You will be introduced to diagnostic microbiology and will develop deeper insight into the science behind infection control. You will combine learning the theories about tobacco and alcohol use with practical application of knowledge and communication of brief health interventions. You will develop an insight into the physiology of stress and its consequences.


This module is intended to develop a multidisciplinary understanding of general health and the principles of clinically relevant disease with emphasis on disease pathogenesis, diagnosis and intervention. Care provided by dental professionals must be delivered in the context of a robust understanding of the scientific and clinical context relating to the patient's overall individual circumstances and health. This module emphasises the concepts of 'illness' and 'well-being' and the spectrum of, and responses to, systematic disease. The course will build on the biomedical, psychological and sociological concepts studied in year 2 with the aim of consolidating understanding of the multi-dimensional patient, but with a strong scientific and clinical emphasis.

Learning outcomes
At the end of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the micro-organisms of medical importance, principles of microbial pathogenicity and related immune responses.

2. Demonstrate knowledge of the epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis (with emphasis on the application of general pathological principals), key clinical features, investigations and management of disorders (including neoplasia) affecting the major organ systems with relevance to dental practice (e.g. relevant oral manifestations)

3. Understand and explain impacts and management of substance abuse, addiction, smoking, mental health issues and stress on general and oral health.

4. Categorise relevant precautions and procedures in a clinical context for the selection of appropriate interventions, taking in account the medical history and diverse contexts of the patient.

Skills outcomes
Theoretical clinical decision making.
Problem solving.


The module is divided into 3 components or ‘strands’. Upon completion of the module, students should be able to describe:

The microbiology component:
- Functions of the normal human commensal microbiota in health and disease and colonisation and carriage of microorganisms;
- How bacteria and viruses cause disease;
- Methods for destroying microorganisms and deeper understanding of infection control in the health care setting;
- Further principles of the immune responses to infection;
- antimicrobial agents, antibiotic therapy and the mechanisms and relevance of antimicrobial resistance;
- Systemic effects of disease as well as changes seen at the ultrastructural, cellular and tissue levels.

The pathology component:
-The epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis (with an emphasis on underlying general pathological principals), key clinical features, investigations and management (including selected drugs, where relevant) of commonly encountered and / or clinically important diseases across major body systems including:

Cardiovascular system (heart & circulatory systems)
Haematopoietic / lymphatic systems
Respiratory system
Hepatobiliary system (selected concepts where relevant)
Endocrine system
Musculoskeletal system

- The mechanistic principals of neoplasia and how such principals correlate with the pathological and clinical features of pre-malignant and malignant disease within the major organ systems.
- Important oral manifestations of systemic disease.

General health & interventions component:
- Substance abuse and addiction;
- Smoking and the risks to general and oral health;
- Models of change and their utility for smoking cessation;
- Psychiatric disorders relevant to dentistry;
- Physiology of stress and its effect on general and oral health.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning21.002.00
Revision Class31.002.00
Class tests, exams and assessment80.504.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

The lectures represent a comprehensive introduction to the subject areas within the listed syllabus. Students should use the lecture materials as a basis for further reading and study with the aim of consolidating learning during private study periods. The majority of the module credits are derived from private study.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There are several opportunities for formative feedback throughout the delivery of the module with examples including:

- Regular seminars linked to either live interactive quizzes or post-lecture formative knowledge tests.
- Live interactive quizzes will be provided during some synchronous teaching activities using platforms such as Socrative ( or Mentimeter ( with the purposes of providing instant feedback on the students’ understanding of difficult concepts. The questions are then made available on the Minerva, for students to re-examine and practice in their own time.
- For some lectures, post-lecture formative knowledge tests mapped to syllabus themes will provide regular opportunities for assessment for learning (formative assessment) with regular feedback in order to build student confidence and monitor progress.
- Feedback for in-course formative knowledge tests will be delivered via theme-matched seminar sessions which will review the post-lecture quiz responses as well as other learning activities.
- The end-of-course revision tutorials will take the form of ‘mock exam’ interactive sessions involving simulated exam style questions to provide feedback on knowledge towards the end of the module.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentFormative0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)0.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 30 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The assessment will be composed of a combination of MCQ and /or SAQ style questions.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:21:04


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