- Number of A levels required:
- Typical offer:
- Required subjects and grades:
- A levels must include Chemistry and Biology. These must be obtained in one sitting, in the same exam period of the same year. Human Biology may be offered, but not in addition to Biology. GCSE A*/8 in Biology and Chemistry and A/7 in Mathematics and English Language or Literature. You must also sit the UCAT.
- General Studies:
- Not accepted.
Please note, at both A Level and GCSE, resits are not considered.
For applications from those who finished year 13 in 2020 for 2021 entry to the BDS course, applicants may choose to take the Autumn examinations for one or more of their A level subjects if they have not achieved the minimum requirements for their course of choice by means of their summer calculated grades in 2020. We will accept applications from those who have achieved a minimum of ABB in their calculated grades, on the understanding that the applicant informs us on their UCAS form that they will be taking their exams for the lower grade subjects this Autumn. Their application will only be taken forward if they are to achieve AAA overall in a combination of their calculated and autumn examination grades.
We receive a high volume of applications for the BDS course compared to the number of places available. This means that spaces are extremely competitive and therefore the achievement of the minimum criteria for application does not guarantee an invitation to interview. During our selection for interview process we look at the following aspects of an application:
• Academic achievement
• Personal statement
• UCAT score
The exact mechanism by which we shortlist candidates may change annually based upon the number of applicants in a particular year and other external factors.
7 or above in Mathematics
7 or above in English Language OR Literature
8 or above in Biology
8 or above in Chemistry (or 2 grade 8 or above in double science or equivalent)
For applicants who took their GCSEs in 2020 and were unable to sit their examinations, we will accept up to 2 grade drops in one of the above subjects and grades, or one grade drop in two of the above subjects and grades.
BTEC: BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma are not accepted
Scottish applicants: Scottish Highers of AAAAA plus advanced Highers at AA in Chemistry and Biology with no need for a third advanced higher.
Graduates: Must have achieved 2:1 in a health sciences related degree (or 65% average if unclassified degree), and a minimum of ABB at A Level to include Chemistry and Biology plus one other.
Learn more about entry requirements.
Read our BDS Dental Surgery FAQ's
1. Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English. Please note that the university’s standard English language requirements are minimum standards, which maybe raised through competition. As a minimum, the English language IELTS must be 7.0 in each component.
2. We now require applicants to sit the UCAT. The scores are used in conjunction with details from the UCAS application forms to select candidates for interview.
3. In order to appreciate the career that a BDS degree will prepare you for, usually it is essential that all applicants carry out work shadowing within a dental practice setting and we would normally require at least 3 days work experience. For applicants applying for study in 2021 we are aware that work experience and voluntary placements have been cancelled.
We appreciate that volunteering within a community setting may have been impossible since March 23rd 2020, therefore this will no longer be a requirement for 2021 entry. However, if you have been able to complete any voluntary placements either before this, or have been able to volunteer remotely in any capacity since 23rd March 2020, please do detail this on your UCAS form.
We want to reassure you that if you are unable to gain experience of work in a healthcare setting because of the impacts of COVID-19 you will not be at a disadvantage in our selection processes. We're considering very carefully all of the implications of COVID-19 on our admissions processes and we will provide updated guidance as soon as we are able.
We recognise that experience in a healthcare setting can provide you with a great deal of insight into the profession you aspire to join. This can help you to decide if a career in a caring profession is right for you and also help you to identify the skills you need to develop. In the absence of face-to-face experiences, it is important that you use other means to gain an understanding of the work and challenges faced by healthcare staff. Reports on the present situation in the national media highlight that healthcare staff are working under great pressure. You must recognise, however, that this situation is unprecedented and an understanding of a more routine life in healthcare can be gained using on-line resources.
Some resources are listed on our 'Support for school and college students applying for healthcare degrees' webpage.
4. Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the course. You will recieve an email from our central admissions team regarding DBS checks approximately 2-3 weeks after you have firmly accepted your place on the course. This email will contain further instructions, next steps and advise of the deadline for submitting your DBS application. Please be sure to check your junk/spam folders for this email before contacting us.
5. All students will be required to sign the subject-specific Fitness to Practise Code of Conduct on entry, details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter.
6. The School of Dentistry has an overriding duty of care to the public with whom students come into close contact. In accordance with current Department of Health Guidelines (March 2007) all applicants who are made an offer of a place on the course will be required to complete a screening process for Blood Borne Viruses as a condition of their offer.
7. The nature of undergraduate dental training precludes entry of those who may pose a risk of blood-borne virus (BBV) infection to patients. Therefore all potential undergraduate dental students must undergo additional health clearance before acceptance onto the programme. You are required to be screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, to include HBV, HCV and HIV infectivity as part of the offer.
8. All successful applicants must produce satisfactory evidence of immunisation against Hepatitis B and evidence of non-infectivity for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C virus prior to confirmation of a place and becoming registered as a dental student. (The UK Government Department of Health now requires all potential undergraduate dental students to undergo additional health clearance before acceptance onto the course; additional health clearance stipulates that individuals must be non-infectious for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. For further information about these requirements, please see: Medical and Dental Students: Health clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis).
9. You must provide either evidence of having received two immunisations against Measles, Mumps and Rubella, or arrange for blood tests to be undertaken to determine your immune status to these viruses.
10. You should also provide evidence of either having received BCG immunisation against TB or a Heaf test grade 2-3 / Mantoux test 6 – 14mm and evidence of immunity to Varicella (Chickenpox) either by positive history of having the virus or by blood test.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check and the Excluded Students Database (ESD)
Students will be required to complete a successful Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before admission to the course.
Selection of Students
During our selection process for the BDS Dental Surgery course, academic excellence is only one criterion; it is also vital to show that you are highly motivated towards a career in dentistry and possess other qualities required of a dentist. You'll be required to declare your commitment, involvement and understanding of the need to work for the benefit of others in the wider community. You must also demonstrate an understanding of the empathy needed when dealing with different members of our society.
Our system is designed to find suitable and capable students keen to become future dentists. We look carefully not only at your academic record and potential, but consider fully your confidential report and non-academic interests and achievements.
It is essential that strong evidence of your commitment to Dentistry is provided in an application. Nevertheless, we do advise applicants to apply for an insurance course should their application for Dentistry be unsuccessful. It is important for the applicant to contact the admissions staff for the proposed insurance programme in advance of submitting an application to ensure that their application will be considered. Please note that we will not consider an application submitted to both Dentistry and a different healthcare professional programme, such as Medicine.
All applicants will be fairly considered, with strong candidates being called to interview. For 2021 intake, in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, all interviews will be undertaken in an online format. These will mimic our usual MMI format as closely as possible.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,6 at Higher Level (to include Chemistry and Biology) with a minimum of 32 points overall.
Applicants must have excellent written and spoken English. Please note that the university’s standard English language requirements are minimum standards, which maybe raised through competition. As a minimum, the English language IELTS must be 7.0 in each component.
Please contact our admissions team for more information on entry requirements for overseas applicants.