Existing postgraduate students and graduates of UCLan’s MSc in clinical implantology describe their experience of this two-year MSc programme.

Ajitroy Mom (Glasgow 2019-2021)

I opted to learn with VSSA as their curriculum offers time for the busy general dental practitioner to continue working at practice level.

The best thing about learning with VSSA has been meeting the teachers and the other students who are all enthusiastic about implants and very down to earth.

There are a variety of different teachers. This is nice because all have different experiences to share, which helped build further knowledge on potential situations.

The Academy team is very friendly and always want students to achieve their potential.

I found it challenging having to learn via Microsoft Teams because I do prefer learning on a hands-on basis. The pandemic limited hands-on learning. The Academy speakers and lecturers are very interactive, however.

Christopher Navarro (Birmingham 2020-2021)

I chose to study for my implant MSc via VSS Academy at UCLAN because two individuals that I respected and trusted recommended it. The format of a two-year course also attracted me.

The course is extremely organised. They use Microsoft Teams and ‘Blackboard’ – both online applications to aid online teaching – very effectively. All your lectures, reading material and assignments are there right from the off. You can work at your own speed when and where you want, which was very convenient.

The lecturers are all very approachable and keen to help. They are all very responsive to questions and emails regarding your assignments.

The VSSA/UCLAN team were amazing over lockdown. Their quick and effective response to bring all their lectures and exams online was amazing and must have taken a lot of effort. It really impressed me. I’m grateful that I completed the first year without any interruption.

Naveed Hussain (Birmingham 2018-2020)

Learning via VSS Academy was a very flexible way to obtain an MSc.

The online learning teaching was spaced well apart, meaning very little time away from practice and therefore very little loss of income.

The Academy provides an e-learning environment with videos, revision sessions and recorded feedback sessions. You have access to a great calibre of lecturers with vast experience, including Fadi Barrak who is a fountain of knowledge.

The Academy team is full of lovely people who are accessible, helpful and supportive.

If you’re looking for a flexible pathway to an MSc, with little time on campus and self-directed learning, this is a great option for you.

Nemariq Al Hinai (Glasgow 2020-2021)

Despite the interruptions with the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations on accessing real patients, I still enjoyed my first year of the VSS Academy MSc.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of work that has been put in to ensure we get the best theoretical knowledge in dental implants. I prefer the online lectures now. What I like is how I can watch the recordings, stop and rewatch when it is convenient to me, and still get the chance to ask questions on catch up webinars.

The critical appraisal course is also well put together and complements our learning needs for evidence-based practice.

Fadi and his team are all approachable. I can feel their efforts to make sure everyone is comfortable with the modules and any needs are addressed appropriately.

The course is consistent with ITI teachings and I feel it is a great way to start your dental implant learning, knowing that it fits in with a wider international peers consensus.

Grainne McCloskey (Glasgow 2019-2021)

I chose to study with the VSS Academy for a few reasons. It is a good mix of academic and clinical hands-on study. It’s easy for me to travel from Belfast to Glasgow in a day and back. With young kids it was important to be able to be at home as much as possible, and it used the Straumann implant system, a highly respected system.

I was a little scared at the start but I have a good group of people in my cohort and have formed some lovely friendships.

It has been great to see everyone pull together during the last year to support each other. Lockdown changed our mode of learning and it was impressive how quickly the Academy moved to online webinars and a new mode of teaching.

We had short, live lecture style webinars on Saturday mornings, based on recorded sessions, which we could do at our own pace and if we had any questions we could email them beforehand. I found this very useful as sometimes questions occur after a lecture when it’s too late to ask them in person or you forget to ask.

I have always found Fadi, Ann and Alan very approachable and supportive. They are willing to listen to any concerns and address any issues. Fadi, Ann and Alan are fantastic and lovely people. They are very informal and respectful.

Communication is great and the year is well laid out in advance so you can book your days out of practice and your travel arrangements in good time. I count myself very lucky to have met them.

To someone thinking of doing this, go ahead. It’s a relaxed, informal way of learning with a lot of support and people who want you to do well. The mentors are great – very experienced, knowledgeable and down to earth.

Having exams online was daunting but I’m glad to have done them.

Glad to have started this, now to finish it. Hopefully next year will be a quieter year!

Ashish Pandit (Birmingham 2019-2021)

The experience of learning with the Academy has been very good.

Just like an Academy suggests, there are specialists from different branches of dentistry so we are learning from the best.

During lockdown, the Academy faculty has been with us virtually at all times, providing the necessary support. They are extremely knowledgeable and supportive.

The Academy team is also very professional and prompt in responding.

Anyone considering beginning a course with VSS Academy should do so, without a second thought.

Radhika Baireddy (Birmingham 2020)

I previously completed first-year MSc implantology at UCLan, where Fadi Barrak was the head of implantology. Implantology being a challenging subject, I wanted to learn from the expert. Fadi is a skilful and knowledgeable tutor. He is approachable and a great guide. When I heard about his Academy, I was happy to continue my MSc with them.

My learning at VSSA has completely met my expectations. Manoj, my clinical tutor, was excellent and easy going. The online support was fantastic too, including presentations. They advised me to read the recommended articles. This came in handy as implants is a big topic. There is a vast amount of information available and it is easy to get lost.

The online support through Microsoft Teams during lockdown was helpful. The Academy team seemed well organised and responded to emails promptly.

The clinical guidance while placing implants was excellent. Also, the clinics are well organised with quality equipment provided.

During my preparation for the exams, Fadi was supportive and provided prompt guidance through email.

The Academy provides ongoing online support after the MSc is finished. This is useful for clinicians like me who have started their journey of placing patients’ implants.

UCLan and VSS Academy are now open for applications for the intake of this popular two-year part-time MSc course, commencing September 2021 in Glasgow. Interviews will commence in early 2021 on a first-come first-served basis.

If you or any of your colleagues would like more information on how to apply, please contact us direct on courses@vssacademy.co.uk or go to www.vssacademy.co.uk or www.uclan.ac.uk.