Undergraduates form the largest single group of students in our friendly and welcoming School.
We integrate teaching for both courses. There is a focus on practical work, initially using a phantom head with natural teeth.
Then you will treat patients at Newcastle Dental Hospital and clinics in the district.
We recommend you gain some work experience if you are applying to study dentistry. We may be able to help find you a placement.
Intercalated and elective study
Our students also have the opportunity to enrich their development with an intercalated degree.
The majority of our students choose some elective study. They've experienced everything from observing top cosmetic practice in New York to performing basic dental care in the Amazon basin.
The BDS degree is recognised across Europe and countries including Australia and New Zealand.
It gives you the flexibility to take your skills worldwide.
You will spend time in patient clinics during the first two stages of your degree.
You will observe treatments provided by senior students. You'll also conduct simple examinations on student colleagues.
Key clinical skills
At the end of Stage 2, you'll learn practical skills and fine motor control for the exacting work of a dentist.
Our Clinical Skills Unit delivers this key training. You will also learn about dental materials and the principles of disease management.
You will not take responsibility for treating your own patients until Stage 3. By then you'll have:
- strong foundations in the relevant science
- shown your competence
- completed key clinical skills training
Advanced practical training
As you progress, you'll return to the unit for more advanced practical skills, including:
- endodontics (root canal treatment)
- crown and bridgework
- removable prosthodontics (denture work)
- aspects of implantology
You'll then exercise these skills in the clinics. Every qualified dentist remembers their first days in a clinic. We'll help smooth your transition from clinical simulation to patient care.
The responsibilities are considerable, but the rewards of clinical service are great.
Work experience will help you decide if dentistry is for you. It will give you valuable first-hand insight.
We strongly recommended this if you are applying to study dentistry.
Help with placements
The School may be able to help find a suitable placement if you are having difficulty organising one.
We have contacts with dentist throughout the UK. These are through the Newcastle University Dental Graduates Association and links with training practices.
Please email your details including a contact address, email and telephone number to Michelle.Smith@newcastle.ac.uk
If you would like to arrange a week of work experience at the Dental Hospital in Newcastle, please write to:
Mrs Lynn Nichol
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Newcastle upon Tyne
Include your contact details and the dates you would hope to visit.
You can also get help in securing work experience through the Connexions service in your area.
Our dental students have the opportunity to enrich their personal and professional development further.
They can take time out of their dental studies to pursue an intercalated degree. Intercalation allows students to do a separate but related research degree (one year) and then return to their main degree.
Intercalation provides an opportunity to study a subject that interests and excites you. It can help you develop new perspectives on healthcare delivery, research and education.
We offer several Biomedical Science BSc degrees covering aspects of medical and dental practice.
We encourage you to develop skills that will be useful throughout your future career. We also offer options to undertake your own research project.
We want our students to enrich their professional and personal lives with elective study.
Opportunities for student exchange are available through the ERASMUS scheme. Our students have enjoyed time with the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Greifswald, Germany.
Typically, students transfer for three months at the start of Stage 4. They have the opportunity to experience different educational and clinical environments. They also gain valuable cultural insights.
At the end of Stage 4, our students have up to eight weeks to:
- attend clinics at home or overseas
- undertake some research
We have a vast network of dental contacts around the world. Recent students have engaged in a variety of activities.
Some observed top-level research in leading European universities. Some provided simple dental care in Latin America or tropical Pacific communities. Others engaged in meaningful projects far closer to home.
Policy and application
Day in the Life
With 09.00 lectures commonplace, a day in the life of a dental student starts earlier than most. Read a typical day in the life of a fourth year student.
James McKenzie, fourth year BDS
I live with friends in Jesmond. The morning begins with a short 20-minute walk with my housemates to the Dental School. In fourth year, lectures from enthusiastic course leaders fill the mornings.
While not compulsory, the lectures are well attended. They are on the internet though - useful for the days the alarm doesn’t go off. The lectures are on a wide range of subjects from anatomy and physiology to dental materials.
Some mornings are spent melting wax and making dentures in the lab. You learn the role of the dental technician first hand.
After a quick lunch, it is time for clinics. The year split into small groups who you work with from third year through to final year. The groups become close-knit and are friendly and reassuring. This is great for the daunting experience of seeing your first patients in third year.
Every afternoon you work on a different clinic, which provides a nice variety to the week. Students control booking patients and arranging appointments. The patients are a diverse, interesting and tolerant group.
You often get to know them well after several appointments. Staff supervise the clinics assisted by nurses who are friendly and helpful. You have some independence but help is never too far away.
Although it can be hard work, it's balanced out by the fun and games organised by Dentsoc. Dentistry has one of the friendliest and best organised social scenes in the University.
Every Friday my friends and I head to the Crown and Bridge, operated by the fourth year. It has a range of free refreshments available to all. Social highlights include the dental ball, mystery tour and ski trip.
As you can see, a day in the life of a dental student is a unique, exhausting but also rewarding experience.
Other student experiences
You can find out more about student life from our student profiles.