Dentistry in the UK

Study Dentistry in the UK

One of the most promising majors you can study in the field of medicine which also is a great source of income is dentistry. Of course, in addition to a decent income, studying dentistry is a little easier than other fields of medicine such as the heart or brain.

One of the most important advantages of dentistry is that students can enter the job market or set up their own office after graduation. Dentistry is an important and lucrative field not only in Iran but also in most countries of the world. Therefore, developed countries such as the United Kingdom have tried to provide the best and most up-to-date conditions and facilities for students to study dentistry.

Getting an undergraduate degree in dentistry in the UK generally takes five years (six years if you need to take the Foundation year course). Dentistry is taught in the UK at both the academic and technical levels. Students who study dentistry will learn about the cause, prevention, and treatment of oral and dental diseases. In the United Kingdom, health is based on prevention. On the other hand, dentistry has a preventive nature. As a result, it can be said that the United Kingdom regards this particular field of study highly and therefore is very strict in selecting students for admission. Therefore, studying dentistry in the UK requires high grades, commitment spirit, and necessary skills. A student who studies dentistry at UK universities will receive their BDS degree after graduating.

As mentioned, a dental graduate in the UK can find a job six months after graduation with an income of around £30,000. Students in the first year of studying dentistry will focus on basic medical and clinical knowledge such as anatomy, physiology, oral biology, and biochemistry. These subjects are theoretical and will continue throughout the course, but practical and laboratory projects will begin at the end of the first year under the supervision of the supervisor and professors. For these projects and practical units, artificial oral models and various simulators are used.


Conditions for studying dentistry in the UK

As mentioned before, ​​medicine and dentistry are highly regarded in the UK. The general conditions for studying dentistry in the United Kingdom for British students and foreign applicants (applicants outside the European Economic Area) or in other words international students are formulated and explained by the Council of Dental Schools of this country. Also, the maximum number of admissions to each faculty is determined by the UK government.

But universities can set their own conditions. Applicants who want to study dentistry in the UK generally need to have two A-grades in their A-Level degree, one for a chemistry course and the other for a biology course. It may sound a little strange, but for important majors like medicine, the overall GCSE score is also important. Therefore, applicants must have obtained a score of 2.1 in the Health Science GCSE course. English is one of the main requirements for studying at most universities in the world. Studying dentistry in the UK is no exception. The application process is done through UCAS and the deadline for those who want to study for the undergraduate degree in dentistry in the UK is October 15th each year.


Study Dentistry in the UK | Jobs and Income

A dental graduate in the UK must first work as an intern in a public health service organisation. Of course, starting an internship in dentistry is not like many other majors. The starting salary for someone who is just starting to work in this field is close to £31,000.

Most people call people who wear white robes and have masks and work in a dental office a dentist. But this is wrong. Because some of these people are working as an intern. An intern is a person who has the right to perform certain dental tasks, such as tooth extraction and filling.

There are a lot of jobs related to dentistry. This is one of the advantages of this particular field. Some of the professions in the field of dentistry include dental nursing, oral health professional, dental therapist, and dental technician. While these jobs are very popular in the world, they either do not exist in Iran or are very rare.


Study Dentistry in the UK | Work Experience

Dental universities expect applicants to have a complete understanding of this field. One way to ensure this is to provide universities with proof of work experience. Some UK universities specifically require applicants to have worked for a certain period of time. Of course, the type of work is not very important. For example, working with a dentist can be helpful. Your work experience is important to the university because it proves that you know what the characteristics and problems of working in a therapeutic position are.

 This way they will make sure that your choice to study dentistry in the UK is an informed one. One of the things you can do is volunteer work. This type of activity indicates that you are an ethical physician. Other useful activities may include reading dental journals or related news. These types of activities also prove the applicant’s interest in the dental profession.


Personal Statement for Studying Dentistry in the UK

To study dentistry in the UK, in addition to academic achievement and related work experience, you must have specific skills. But how do you bring your skills to the attention of university officials? The Personal Statement or PS is a letter that must be sent with the application when you apply to the University. This letter is similar to Statement of Purpose or SOP, but slightly different. Some medical schools have specific application forms but some require the PS. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your personal statement. These tips will add colour to your application and increase your chances of succeeding in studying dentistry in the UK.

Try to mention real examples from the past to make it feel real. Some of these are sufficient motivation to study dentistry and a real interest in the dental profession. Talk about your strengths, weaknesses, and the skills you have in performing tasks that require hand agility and non-vibration, scientific ability, problem-solving power, crisis management, the ability to take responsibility for one’s actions, and the ability to work in a team. Every dental school evaluates personal statements differently. Some grade these statements, while others use the statement for the interview and subsequent evaluations. So pay attention to the interview as well.


Required Language Degree to Study Dentistry in the UK

One of the requirements for studying dentistry in the UK for applicants whose mother tongue is not English is to prove their ability to use the language in a variety of situations, including academic and work situations. There are several tests to evaluate language proficiency, with TOEFL and IELTS being two of the most valid. Dental schools in the UK mainly use the IELTS test to determine the student’s level of proficiency. There are two types of IELTS, general and academic. Most dental schools in the country consider an academic IELTS degree with a minimum grade point average of 7 and a score of 6.5 per skill as an English language requirement to study dentistry in the UK.


Do I Have to Take an Entrance Exam to Study Dentistry in the UK?

Dental universities have entrance exams as part of their entry requirements. Unlike medicine, where there are three types of tests, there are only two entrance tests for dentistry. Some universities, such as the UCLan University of Central Lancashire, has a special entrance exam in addition to the general entrance exam. UCAT and BMAT are two examples of special entrance exams.

  • UCAT Entrance Test
  • BMAT Entrance Test


UCAT entrance Test

Almost all UK universities use the UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) as their entrance test. It is important that applicants who want to study dentistry in the UK register and take the test before applying to UCAS.  This is because applicants must state their UCAT test score in their application. This test is taken every year from July to October. Therefore, you will have enough time to prepare your application for studying dentistry before the deadline which is October 15 and send it to UCAS. It is best to consult with an expert to know the exact schedule, test date, registration process, and how to submit a UCAS application.


BMAT Entrance Test

Currently, the University of Leeds Dental School is the only institution that uses the BMAT test, which emphasizes on academic aptitude. Applicants for this test, like the UCAT test, must register before submitting the UCAS application, but unlike UCAT, they must take the test after submitting their application. Thus, the exam will be held in the last months of the year after October 15th. It is obvious that there is no need to enter the BMAT score in the UCAS application. The test organisation will send your score directly and automatically to the relevant faculty. Registration starts in September and ends in October. The BMAT test is usually held in November.


Dental Courses in the UK

Those who want to study dentistry in the UK at the undergraduate level must study at one of the prestigious colleges in the UK. At the end of this course, which usually lasts 5 and in some cases 6 years, the student receives a BDS or BChD. Some UK colleges may not offer a bachelor’s degree in dentistry but instead, focus on a master’s degree. Dental degrees have different titles, but they all fall into four general categories.

  • Standard Degree Course
  • Graduate Entry Degree
  • Dentistry Course with a Preliminary Year
  • Gateway to Dentistry Course


Standard Degree Course

The Standard degree course, which can be referred to as a standard undergraduate course, typically lasts 5 years. However, under certain circumstances, this period may last up to 6 years. At the end of this course, the student will be given a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery.


Graduate Entry Degree

This course, which is similar to the standard course, is for people who now have an Honours degree in one of the science majors. Also, people who have worked in the field of health care experimentally can study for a bachelor’s degree in dentistry and a get a BDS degree after finishing this course. A graduate entry degree is often intensive and ends in four years.


Dentistry Course with a Preliminary Year

One way to study dentistry in the UK is to enter the dentistry course with a preliminary year. This course is similar to the standard course, except that at the beginning of this course, the applicant must obtain certain skills for one year through special training in this field. Therefore, the dentistry course with a preliminary year lasts 6 years. This course is suitable for people who have achieved a high grade point average in the A-Level course or equivalent but have not passed the prerequisite courses in high school. Some may mistakenly think that by participating in this course, they can raise their grades to qualify for dental education in the UK. The fact is however, the first year of this course is for learning the subjects they did not study in high school. It is noteworthy that some of these courses are only open to EU students.


Gateway to Dentistry Course

This course is suitable for students who have excellent skills and want a bright future in the dental profession but are not eligible to study dentistry in the UK due to circumstances, environmental, or personal reasons. It can be said that the admission requirements for this course are flexible and change at the discretion of the relevant authorities based on the applicant’s circumstances. Unfortunately, this course is only open to UK students.


UK universities to study Dentistry

The number of universities with dentistry courses in the UK is considerable. Below, we name the top ten ranking Dentistry universities in the Guardian University Guide 2020:

  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


Frequently asked questions about studying dentistry in the UK

What is the required language degree to study dentistry in the UK?

Academic ITLs with a minimum overall score of 7 and a score of 6.5 per skill

Do I have to take an entrance exam to study dentistry in the UK?

UCAT and BMAT are two exams that must be taken to enter the dental field in the UK.

How much does it cost to study dentistry in the UK?

It costs at least £20,000 a year to study dentistry in the UK.

Is it possible to get a scholarship for studying dentistry in the UK?

For getting a dental scholarship in the UK, your resume (language certificate, grade point average, work experience) must be evaluated.

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