5th April 13
Dentistry at university is essentially a medical course, so it should come as no surprise that to go to the best institutions, you will need the best A Level grades.
There are also only sixteen Dental Schools or Schools of Medicine and Dentistry in the entire UK, so competition is going to be fierce. At most universities, Dentistry is a 5 year course resulting in you graduating with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree.
Most universities require that you have As in A Level Biology and Chemistry, and most also have certain requirements for your GCSEs as well. So do your research before you apply. Some universities require you to take the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). The UKCAT tests mental aptitude and ability, made up of five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantative Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Decision Analysis and a Situational Judgement Test. It’s not a knowledge test, so you can’t revise for it, and only certain universities require it, they are: Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Cardiff, Dundee, Glasgow, King’s College London, Manchester, Newcastle, Queen’s University in Belfast, and Sheffield.
Finally, work experience is a very important part of your application. You should try and get as much and as varied experience in the industry as possible. You should try and get experience in orthodontics and hospital dentistry, as well as in a general practise, especially if you are applying for one of the top universities. You need to make as much of this work experience as you can on your personal statement. A personal statement is very important to any university application, but there is a great deal of emphasis placed on it when you apply for Dentistry at university, so don’t leave it until the last minute, get on the internet and do your research into what it is they want to hear from you, and practise practise practise!
Before you are offered a place, you most likely have to be interviewed as well. We told you competition was fierce! You are likely to be asked questions like your reasons why you want to study dentistry, and why you want to go to that particular university. You will also be asked about any work experience and quizzed on some dentistry related news items, so you’ll need to swat up on that.