Dentistry in the UK

UK Dental schools

All dental programs require satisfactory Enhanced DBS Check or a Certificate of Good Conduct (if appropriate) and completion of an Occupational Health check (which may include vaccinations). See he General Dental Council’s guidelines on student professionalism and fitness to practise .


University Selection and interviews International Baccalaureate Sciences required Home Seats Int. seats 2020 Int. Seats 2017
Queen’s University Belfast


See: 2020 entry and How we choose our students.

All offers are made on the basis of interviews. All candidates will be ranked and a proportion selected for interview. Offers will be made on the results of the interview. There are 15 international places available on the BDS degree and interviews for these students take place online.

36 points

to include 666 at Higher Level, with Biology and Chemistry.

Chemistry and Biology. 5 15 55


See: 2020 entry and admission criteria

MMIs, There are ten stations in total. Each mini interview lasts a maximum of 5 minutes.

36 points

with 6 in HL Biology and Chemistry.

Chemistry and Biology. 80 5


See 2020 entry

The duration of work experience is not specified, but it is hoped that candidates will make every effort to observe for some time.

MMIs. This will be a series of 10 seven-minute interviews. You can expect the usual topics to be covered in these interviews, e.g. why do you want to study Dentistry, what makes Dentistry at Dundee unique. You will also be asked to expand on some aspects of your UCAS personal statement.

37 points

including 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level, with no retakes, to include Chemistry and another science at Higher Level, plus three subjects (including Biology) at Standard Level with average of grade 6

Chemistry and another science, Biology is recommended. 45 10


See 2020 entry and Person specification

All applicants must have undertaken a minimum of 3 days work shadowing experience, preferably within a General Dental Practice setting, it should also include time with other members of the dental team as it is equally important to understand their roles.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview. This will consist of a series of mini interviews which have been designed to assess the applicant’s non-cognitive skills.

36 points

Applicants must have Chemistry HL6 AND Biology HL6, AND Mathematics OR Physics at HL. If it is not possible to sit Mathematics or Physics at HL then SL6 will be considered.

Chemistry and Biology 60 15


See: 2020 Entry

Work experience (minimum 10 working days) in a general NHS dental practice is required before completing the UCAS form.

MMI interviews. The session will be approximately 1 hour in duration and consist of a circuit of approximately 10-12 interview stations.

32 points

6,6,6 at Higher Level to include Chemistry and Biology

Chemistry and Biology. 67 3 0


See: 2020 entry and Dentistry Admissions Statement

Multiple Mini Interviews which will take approximately 90 minutes. Interviewees will be assessed at ten different ‘stations’ covering different aspects of the skills and knowledge required to be a successful dental student and dentist.

36 points overall with 18 at Higher Level, including 6, 6 at Higher Level in Chemistry and either Biology, Physics or Mathematics Chemistry and either Biology, Physics or Maths 67 4 5
University of Central Lancashire


New program-not yet accepting overseas students. 28 0
King’s College London


Read 2020 entry

Any voluntary contribution to your community is taken into account, eg volunteer in a care home. We look for evidence that you have worked in a setting where you can interact with the general public eg in a pharmacy, check-out or restaurant.

Normally, a multiple mini interview, usually 40- 50 minutes, with at least four interviewers.

35 points

And 766 in three HL subjects to include Chemistry and Biology plus grade 5 SL in both English and Mathematics, if not offered at HL

Chemistry and Biology 141 7 10


Read 2020 entry and more about applying

The MMI last for approximately half a day. It is used to assess your attitudes, communication skills, empathy, analytic skills and ethical reasoning, attributes that are in accordance with the NHS Constitution values- based recruitment. Some stations are held in clinics, so you also see our working environment. Most applicants tell us they find the MMI a positive experience.


35 points

including a score of 6 in HL Chemistry and Biology, plus a further HL 6.

English must be offered at HL or SL

Chemistry and Biology 72 4 5


Read 2020 entry and the admissions statement.

Evidence required of work experience.

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) are held in February and March.


36 points

with 6 in Chemistry and Biology at HL


Chemistry and Biology


68 4 5


Read 2020 entry and Application process.

Students are expected to be studying beyond the ‘bare minimum’ in order to make the most competitive application possible. See website for examples of acceptable activities and qualifications.

We expect all applicants to have spent a minimum period of two weeks work shadowing a General Dental Practitioner prior to submitting your application. We do not necessarily require a two-week block, but the equivalent of two weeks built up over a period of time ie during Year 11 and Year 12.

The interview format includes participation in a group discussion and an assessment of your professionalism.

37 points including:

· 7,6,6 at the Higher Level subjects

  • 5,5,5 at the Standard Level including 7 and 6 in Biology and Chemistry
  • At least 1 core point.



Chemistry and Biology.


67 4 10


Read 2020 entry

All applicants are required to have undertaken a minimum of two weeks’ dental work experience prior to submitting their UCAS application. This should be carried out in a General Dental Practice, but other types of dental work experience may be considered.

The interview will be conducted by two selectors and will last approximately 20 minutes.

37 points with Chemistry and Biology at Grade 6 or above at Higher level.


Chemistry and Biology.


67 4 10
Plymouth University, Peninsula School of Dentistry


See 2020 entry and selection and admissions process

The interviews follow a structured and formal process in order to ensure that every student applying to a particular programme, is asked the same questions and receives the same prompts. The interview should take approximately 20 minutes. It is not a test of medical or scientific knowledge, but aims to explore your attitudes, outlook and way of thinking.

36-38 points

including six in Biology and one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and Psychology at the Higher Level..

Biology. 55 3 5
Queen Mary University of London


See 2020 Entry

Interviews take place in London between January and March. We also hold interviews in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Interview panels consist of two members of senior academic or clinical staff, a dental student and sometimes a lay selector. The interview is not intended to be an intimidating experience and staff will try to put you at ease while evaluating:

·       your motivation and realistic approach to dentistry as a career

·       whether you show initiative, resilience and maturity

·       whether you work well as part of a team

·       your organisational and problem-solving abilities

·       your ability to communicate effectively.

Personal statements

Interviewers will also consider your interests, talents, and the contribution you can make to the university. Your personal statement will help us to ask you relevant questions. We look for applicants who have participated as fully as possible in school or college life, and who have also contributed in some way to the outside community.

Work experience

Selectors will expect you to demonstrate some knowledge about a career in dentistry and to have gained experience in a relevant setting. However, we recognise the challenge of obtaining relevant work experience.

38 points overall with 666 in Higher Level subjects

Must include Biology or Chemistry and a second science subject or Mathematics

Biology 67 4


Applicants should have work experience in health care environments, including a placement within a general dental practice. Applicants should understand the qualities required to be a health care professional.

Interview panels comprise two members of academic staff, a senior dental student and a patient interviewer. Interviews last up to 20 minutes

36 points

6 in Higher Level Chemistry and Biology.

Chemistry and Biology. 67 4 0


PDF: Dental School Entry requirements

Competition is fierce: Ranging from 8 applicants for every seat to 15.


Bonus: Some universities, like Queen Mary’s at University of London, offer you the opportunity to earn both a Dental degree and Bachelor of Science; Intercalated BSc

Take a year off from your dental studies to earn a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. You might choose this route to gain a deeper understanding of the scientific basis of dentistry, demonstrate your commitment to a particular area, or simply broaden your career options.


You can apply for an intercalated BSc to start after your second, third or fourth years. Selection is based on your exam results and performance at interview. Browse our intercalated degrees.


A small number of students also take intercalated degrees at other institutions.


Dentistry Work Experience

See Dental work experience toolkit.

(Source: Student Room)

Also have a look at the Dentistry Work Experience wiki page which has some information which you might find useful!


  1. How do I get work experience?

This is one of the most common questions. The first place I suggest you start is by speaking to your own dentist, see if you can observe them. If they say you can’t, ask them if they know of any dental practices in the area that allow work experience.

Still not got anything? Print off your CV and take it to the dental practices in your area (be prepared, you may have to travel quite away to secure work experience), go in and ask to speak to the practice manager. By going into the practices you’re more likely to be successful than just sending e-mails/letters.

Still struggling to get work experience? Speak to teachers/career advisors in school and see if your school can put you in contact with any dentists.


If you live near a dental hospital, see if you can get work experience there. Generally, you apply for a set placement time. Have a look at the university websites for the specific dental schools as they will give you more information.

Don’t forget you can also do work experience in other settings not just GDP, there are orthodontists, hospitals, dental labs etc….


  1. How much is enough work experience?

There is no such thing as enough really. Do as much as you can. Most dental schools want a minimum of 2 weeks in an NHS GDP. Remember quality is more important than quantity, it’s much better if you can reflect and say what you’ve learnt during a 1 week placement at one practice than if you’ve sat for months and not learnt anything! However, if you do have a long term work experience placement be sure to mention how long you’ve done it for as it shows commitment.


  1. Questions to ask during work experience?

This really is up to you, it depends what you’re interested in and what you want to find out about. You could ask about some of the treatments the dentist is carrying out.

If the patient has been given different options to choose from, after the patient has gone you could ask more information about some of the alternatives. Remember though dental schools don’t expect you to know everything – otherwise they wouldn’t need to teach you, so don’t worry about all the technical details!


Other types of questions could relate to the patient/dentist relationship. You may also want to find out more about the dentist you’re observing experiences at university, applying, the course etc.


If you can’t think of a question to ask don’t worry. Try to work out what you want to gain from the work experience and see what questions you can come up with! Before you start work experience try and write a list of questions you’d like to ask!


  1. When’s the best time to ask questions?

Most dentists will tell you when you start work experience what their preference is to you asking questions, whether that’s during the treatment, or after the patient has left. If you’re unsure whether it’s suitable to ask your question during a patient’s treatment, wait until the patients left.


Don’t forget the dental nurses are also happy to answer any questions you have. You could ask them what they like about the job, how important teamwork is etc…


  1. Should I take notes during work experience?

It’s completely up to you whether you take notes while observing. You could just have a notepad at home that you jot down a few ideas each night about what you’ve seen etc. That way when it comes to writing your personal statement/preparing for interview you’ve got something to look over to help you prepare.