BDS Dental Surgery FAQ's

Entry requirements

The information listed on this page are applicable to 2022 entry for the BDS Dental Surgery programme.

All applicants must:

  • Apply through UCAS prior to the 15th October deadline 
  • Offer acceptable academic qualifications
  • Sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) in year of application
  • Attend an interview if invited

All applicants who meet the academic and non-academic conditions of an offer will be offered a place on the course.

For a full list of entry requirements please visit the Dental Surgery course page


The UCAT is required for all applications and must have been completed during the year of application prior to the UCAS deadline of 15th October. The way we take the UCAT into account changes and is under constant review. Currently the process is as follows, however this may change for subsequent admissions cycles: We will look at academic criteria first, and then the total UCAT score will be used in the process to shortlist candidates for interview.  Please visit the UCAT website where interim scores are released – this will help you see how your score compares to others who have taken the exam this year. We are unable to advise on individual scores and the likelihood of an interview being given for individual cases.

No further information on how we use the UCAT will be released if you contact us.

What happens if I do not meet your GCSE requirements? Can I still apply?

All applications must meet our minimum academic requirements as listed. 

If a candidate applies with a GCSE profile which does not meet our requirements along with their predicted A levels, their application will be rejected. However, if a candidate were to apply once their A levels have been achieved (take a year out between School and University and apply during a gap year) then we would not look at their GCSE profile but only their A level attainment, so provided they have achieved the A level grades and subjects we are asking for then this would be acceptable. We would not want a candidate to waste a UCAS space, but we also would not want a candidate to discount Birmingham on the strength of a GCSE grade without knowing the options which are still available to them.

How much work experience do I need? Can I apply if I don’t have work experience?

We encourage all applicants to gain a minimum of 3 days work experience in an NHS or NHS and private mixed practice setting. Work experience can be difficult to get in practices, but is essential to gain insight into the career of being a Dentist. Often practices cite issues such as insurance or confidentiality as issues, however the linked toolkit from Health Education England can help practices realise their duty to help prospective professionals.

Purely private or other hospital based work experience is not a substitution for NHS or mixed practice work experience. If you do not have the required work experience you may still apply but your application is less likely to be shortlisted for interview than if 3 or more days have been completed. The interview may also have a work experience element incorporated to not completing work experience could also adversely affect interview performance.

Do you offer any reduced or contextual offers, or do you offer widening participation programmes?

The University of Birmingham is committed to providing students from all backgrounds with the opportunity to discover education and research in biomedical sciences and healthcare. Please visit the College of Medical and Dental Sciences website for information on the range of activities offered.

If you are a Pathways to Birmingham applicant who applied before the deadline and have not received an update on your application by 1st January, please contact

What is your standard offer? How do you decide who to offer to?

Our standard offer is AAA at A level including Chemistry and Biology plus one other subject as detailed above. Offers are all conditional and subject to satisfactory DBS and health declarations. Offers are made to candidates who performed best in our interview process. 

International applicants

We have up to 3 places on the BDS course for overseas candidates. If you have any further questions relating to overseas qualifications, please see our international pages.

How to contact us and further information

Please be aware that no further information on the subjects above can be released by our admissions team. Feedback on individual applications or UCAT scores cannot be given. If you have a query which has not been answered by the above questions and answers, please contact our dental admissions team via email at or by telephone on (0)121 466 5472.