Dentistry Subject Guide

Dentistry in the UK

Career options, entry requirements and rankings for Dentistry.

UK Dentistry Courses

Introduction to Dentistry

Dentistry courses in the UK generally last five years (six if a foundation year is required) and are demanding at both an academic and technical level. Dentistry students will study the cause, prevention, management and treatment of oral and dental disease.

Dentistry is one of the most competitive courses in the UK to apply for and successful applicants will require strong academic grades, the commitment to complete a long degree and the practical and mental skills needed to concentrate over long periods of time. Dentistry graduates will complete their course with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) award. Dentistry is the oly subject in which graduates are paid more than £30,000 in professional jobs six months after finishing university.

Applying for a Dentistry course?

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The first year of study will concentrate on basic medical and clinical knowledge in the areas of anatomy, physiology, oral biology and biochemistry. These academic studies will continue throughout the degree, but practical work under supervision will begin to be carried out towards the end of the first year. State of the art simulation dummies are provided to practice practical work.

Careers in Dentistry

Dentistry graduates initially begin employment as trainees in the NHS or the private sector. Because of the highly specialised skill set that Dentistry graduates have, they can choose to specialise in a particular area early in their career, before making changes later on.

Careers include dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental technicians and dental support, whilst becoming a Dental teacher is also hugely rewarding.

What do Dentistry Graduates earn?

  • Average starting professional salary: £31,000

Source: The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

Dentistry Entry Requirements

  • Typical International Baccalaureate requirements: 37 points.
  • Typical A-levels requirements: AAA including Chemistry and Biology.
  • Typical IELTS requirements: 7.0 overall, with no lower than 6.5 in any one component.
IELTS Preparation Classes

If you need to improve your IELTS score ahead of beginning a Dentistry degree, sign up for flexible part-time IELTS classes in central London today.

Please note that entry requirements vary for each UK university.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is part of the selection process of some UK medical and dental schools. It is an online test designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. There are four reasoning tests and a situational judgement test.

- Verbal reasoning. Assesses ability to think logically about written information and arrive at a reasoned conclusion: 21 minutes, with 11 passages to read and 44 questions.

- Quantitative reasoning. Assesses ability to solve numerical problems: 24 minutes, 9 tables, charts, graphs etc. as information and 36 questions.

- Abstract reasoning. Assesses ability to infer relationships from information by convergent and divergent thinking: 13 minutes and 55 questions.

- Decision analysis. Assesses ability to deal with various forms of information to infer relationships, make informed judgements, and decide on an appropriate response: 32 minutes, 1 scenario full of information and 28 questions (basic calculator provided)

- Situational judgement. Measures your responses in situations, and your grasp of medical ethics: 27 minutes and 67 questions on 20 scenarios.

The test is taken at your local test centre, with each subtest in a multiple choice format. Past papers are not available but there are specimen questions on the UCAT website. The UCAT can be taken by applicants at the following universities:

Please note that entry requirements vary for each UK university.

Where can I study Dentistry?

To learn more about the best Dentistry courses in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking Dentistry universities in the Guardian University Guide 2020 below:

  1. University of Aberdeen
  2. Plymouth University
  3. University of Dundee
  4. Queen’s University Belfast
  5. Cardiff University
  6. University of Glasgow
  7. University of Leeds
  8. King's College London
  9. University of Sheffield
  10. Newcastle University

Do you need assistance in applying to a Dentistry course in the UK? The Medicine Service can fully prepare you in your application to a UK Dentistry School with interview practice and personal statement assistance.

Study Dentistry in the UK

If you are interested in studying Dentistry in the UK, arrange your free consultation with SI-UK in London or Manchester today.

SI-UK's service is fast, reliable and efficient. Their consultants are specialists, working closely with all UK universities and, through my consultants' advice and application assistance, I was able to receive offers from my favoured universities.

Carla Termini King's College London, Accounting and Finance

  • Study at University of Glasgow
  • Study at University of Kent
  • Study at University of Oxford
  • Study at University of East Anglia
  • Study at London School of Economics
  • Study at University of Liverpool