What are the Entry Requirements for Dentistry in the UK?

Dentistry is a highly sought-after profession, and dental students who wish to pursue this illustrious career should first identify the entry requirements needed to begin their journey into dentistry. There are several top dental institutes and universities right here in the UK, each offering a unique educational experience.

Dentistry requires excellent grades, an understanding personality, and an analytical mind. Reasoning and problem-solving are necessary skills, and admission boards will review your academic qualifications to make sure you possess these crucial attributes.

In the UK, A Level results are key to achieving the necessary requirements to begin a dentistry degree, but alternative qualifications and extenuating circumstances are considered by many schools.

Read on for further information about the entry requirements for dentists in the UK:

Dentistry Entry Requirements

The first step to gaining entry to a dental course are A Levels in biology or chemistry, which will stand you in good stead for understanding oral diseases and how to treat patients. When submitting a UCAS application, your personal statement should show commitment to your dental education and demonstrate critical thinking.

For a bachelor’s degree (also known as an undergraduate degree), dental students must graduate with a minimum requirement grade to move on to advanced higher education, including a master’s degree. Successful applicants will also have to pass a university clinical aptitude test to begin dental foundation training and access dental degree programmes.

Any given dental school will also require you to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure check before beginning your degree, where blood tests for blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV are carried out.

For example, Leeds Dental Institute requires AAA results at A level, including biology and chemistry, and a minimum of 6 GCSEs at Grade B or higher, including Biology, Chemistry (Dual Science), English and Maths Studies.

They also accept alternative qualifications such as international baccalaureate, where at least 35 points overall, including a score of 6 in higher level Chemistry and Biology, plus a further higher grade B/6 must be achieved. They also offer a pre-sessional English course to help international students improve their language skills. They also offer an equal opportunities policy and support widening participation.

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Contextual Admissions For Dentistry

Many dentistry courses use contextual information to advise their decisions on admissions to any degree programme. These include extenuating circumstances and personal circumstances that may affect a student’s ability when studying dentistry. An applicant’s academic potential is measured against the context of their socioeconomic and educational background by the dental school.

These factors are used to assess if an applicant should be invited to interview for a place at the school, allow less than excellent test scores based on their educational background, or provide an access route. Further information on your chosen course should show if they accept contextual admissions.

Alternate Academic Qualifications

Some dental schools will consider non-academic offers based on predicted grades or other qualifications that still equal the necessary academic criteria for a dental student to become a qualified dentist, such as BTEC results in lieu of an A Level in chemistry or biology or a special admissions test.

Irish Leaving Certificates and Scottish Highers are also considered, provided the applicant has achieved the necessary grades. Non-academic qualifications may result in deferred entry or entry to foundation programmes but will need to be discussed with the admissions team for your chosen dentistry course.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get into dentistry with low grades?

If you have a low score, you may be wondering if there are dentistry schools with low-grade requirements. In the UK, your total UCAT score and level grades for biology and chemistry may delay your dentistry application process and result in select applicants being asked to complete a foundation year before beginning a degree. Detailed information can be found on the UCAT website (University Clinical Aptitude Test). Many dental schools also accept BTEC- level grades.

Are there opportunities for candidates with disabilities?

UK students with disabilities and health conditions can still achieve a class honours degree and go on to work in a dental practice in many roles, such as dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental nurses, and general dental practitioners.

Occupational health clearance can be arranged to ensure students are getting all the help they need in their working environment. Candidates with disabilities can still access courses via their UCAS application with a diverse range of options. Further details of the course structure can be found on dental school websites, where candidates may be asked to provide evidence of their conditions.

Can I study dentistry abroad?

International students can study dentistry in the UK, as can domestic students looking to study abroad. Additional costs may apply for international applicants, but many of the same entry requirements exist. International baccalaureate and European baccalaureate alternative application methods are accepted by many universities, as long as the grades presented at A Level are in biology and chemistry. International students can apply through UCAS but should research visa and immigration information, as well as accommodation and general living expenses, as early as possible.

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