Dentistry Course in the UK
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UK Dentistry Courses

Introduction to Bachelor of Dental Surgery in the UK

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.

The most common type of dental qualification is the BDS degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), whilst students who wish to focus on a particular area of expertise can choose to then study a master of dental surgery.

A dentistry degree in the UK is one of the most competitive courses 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 only subject in which graduates are paid more than £30,000 in professional jobs six months after finishing university.

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The first year of study on a dentistry course 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. Year 2 will see students build upon their knowledge of year 1, with an increased focus on the wider context of dentistry and patient behaviour on oral hygiene.

Graduate Dentistry Careers

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.

Dentistry Entry Requirements

Please note that entry requirements vary for each UK university.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) 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 UKCAT website. The UKCAT can be taken by applicants at the following universities:

Please note that entry requirements vary for each UK university.

Where can I study Dentistry in the UK?

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 2023 below:

  1. University of Glasgow
  2. Plymouth University
  3. Queen’s University Belfast
  4. University of Dundee
  5. University of Liverpool
  6. University of Bristol
  7. Newcastle University
  8. University of Aberdeen
  9. Queen Mary, University of London
  10. University of Leeds

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If you are interested in studying Dentistry in the UK, arrange your free consultation today.

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