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Application Process

Your application is an important part of getting into dental school. Find out how to write an application that stands out.

Applying for dental school

Dental school is highly competitive to get into. Our guide will help you understand the application process.

Applications for undergraduate degrees in dentistry are administered by UCAS. See the UCAS Dentistry Subject Guide for more information.

Applications for dentistry should be submitted to UCAS by 15 October 2023 18:00 (UK time).


Becoming a dentist requires completing a General Dental Council (GDC) approved dental course.

The courses available are:

  • Four year Graduate entry course. Graduate entry to dentistry is extremely competitive. Most schools prefer graduates with a 2:1 or above in a biomedical or healthcare related degree.
  • Five year standard course. Some dental schools offering five year undergraduate courses will consider graduates of other disciplines.
  • Six year pre-dental course. Some dental schools offer a six year course. This includes a foundation one year pre-dental course. This is for applicants who do not meet the entry requirements to apply for the five year course.

We suggest using the Dental Schools Council Course Types guide for a breakdown of the 16 UK Dental Schools and the types of approved courses they provide.

The DSC also produces an annual guide to entry requirements for UK dental schools, where you can find a more detailed breakdown of each programme including the qualifications, aptitude test and interview type required.

Search and apply for all dentistry courses on the UCAS website.

Transferring to dentistry after your first year at Newcastle

Stage One Newcastle University students on selected Biomedical Sciences courses can apply to transfer to stage one of Newcastle University’s Dental Surgery course.

There are a limited number of places available, which varies each year. Students are selected on the basis of their academic performance in stage one, UCAT score, personal statement and panel interview performance.

The School of Biomedical Science hosts talks on the transfer process. Dates/times will be advertised in the school in stage one.

The application process

The majority of dental schools require a 2:1 for graduates entering their undergraduate dentistry course. The University of Plymouth is the exception to this who rank graduates on GAMSAT performance over degree outcome.

Most dental schools will require your undergraduate degree to be in a course that has a large amount of biology and chemistry. Some dental schools require this to be a life science. All applicants to dentistry need specific health and background checks for clinical courses.

Find out more for specific dental schools one the Dental School Council website.

Applying for dentistry without a science degree/A-levels

Some schools do not allow you to apply for dentistry without science A-Levels. It depends on the course and course provider.

If science A-levels are necessary for your course, you could consider taking a year out after your degree to study them. Check the entry requirements for your chosen courses. These are updated regularly.

International students applying to study dentistry in the UK

Many universities have places specifically for international students, so check with individual institutions. Most universities don't publish a full list of international qualifications accepted for entry onto a UK dentistry degree.

If your qualification is not listed, contact the individual institution directly to see if it is suitable.

Additional considerations include your entry qualifications and English language skills.

Most clinical courses have patient contact quite early on so require a higher level of English language than many other degrees. Most dental degrees require an IELTS of above 7.

Full details of all entry requirements for dentistry will be on each dental school website.

Completing the application form

After applying

Replying to offers

With UCAS applications, universities don't know where else you have applied. The form that each university receives only includes information about that course at that university.

If you have applied for two courses at the same university then they will know which two courses. They won't know where else you have applied unless you have included the information in your personal statement or reference.

If you’ve had an offer, but are still waiting to hear back from your first choice, you will need to continue to wait. You can only reply once you've received all your decisions. See UCAS' advice on replying to your offers for more.

What to do if your application was unsuccessful and you want to reapply

You will need to wait until the following year to reapply. Reflect on your last application and consider how to develop your skills. Use this analysis to inform your choices.

Consider applying for related jobs. This could be working as an administration assistant in a dental practice or as a healthcare assistant.

You could also apply for jobs outside healthcare and continue with voluntary work or shadowing in your spare time. Visit us if you need support with this.