Using your subject: Dentistry

Learn how to use a degree in Dentistry to enhance your career prospects

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I’m Sophie Morrison, the link Careers Adviser for the School of Dentistry.

I joined the University as a Trainee Careers Adviser in 2004.  Having previously gained a degree in Sociology, I then spent time working with international students, and lived and worked abroad before returning to Scotland to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance, allowing me to continue working with students in the way I enjoy the most – helping you to reach your full potential.

I’m now a Senior Careers Adviser and have enjoyed every varied minute of my time at Dundee, working with students from across the University, from Education to Fine Art, Dentistry to Environmental Science.

As the Careers Adviser for the School of Dentistry, I’m on hand to offer advice and guidance at key decision and transition points for you; from helping you think through dental career pathways to assistance when preparing CVs and applications; from practice interviews to help making decisions about further study pathways. I can help you think about how to get the most out of your time at University by accessing leadership and development opportunities and can also assist with things like looking for part-time work. I’m also here for anyone considering alternatives to dentistry or wishing to explore using your degree in different ways.

In this Dentistry area you’ll find careers information and signposts to relevant resources.  

Dentistry careers and alternatives

Studying for a degree in Dentistry usually means a career as a dentist will follow. Typically you’ll begin your career as a General Practice Dentist, and may choose to specialise in areas such as Community Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Restorative Dentistry or Dental Public Health. The British Dental Association (BDA) has detailed information about careers in General Practice and Salaried Services (which includes Hospital Dentistry and Armed Forces Dentistry).

Making a decision about your career pathway is not always straight forward. You’ll need to think about your preferences and interests, your skills and strengths and weigh up the pros and cons of each option. Read more about Dentistry Careers and Dental Roles. You may find it useful to talk to your lecturers, tutors and your careers adviser.

After completing your BDS, you’ll normally go on to complete your vocational training (VT) year in general practice. The BDA provides more details about VT. If you are a student member of the BDA, you can also access their Career Guide and Getting your First Job Guide.

If you’re not sure that you want to practice dentistry on completion of your degree, you can explore different types of dentistry career, other roles where your degree is useful or open up your careers options with the Career Planner Quiz.

CV advice

When applying for Vocational Training and beyond, you may be required to submit a CV. Even if you’re not asked for a CV when applying for a job, preparing and keeping a CV up-to-date is an excellent way of keeping track of your career and achievements. You may find it useful to have a CV when applying for work experiences, searching for part-time work, applying for electives or taking advantage of opportunities to shadow clinicians etc. The BDA has information about creating a Dental CV including an Example CV. You can also browse our CVs page.

Develop your skills

While you’re at university, you may want to think about ways to stand out from the crowd and give yourself an edge in future recruitment.

Joining relevant dental and non-dental societies can broaden your experiences, enhance your knowledge and develop your careers network. A good starting point to find out about clubs and societies is DUSA. Taking on roles of responsibility, e.g. Class Rep Committee, MSC roles etc., will further enhance your skills and experience.

Developing your entrepreneurial skills with a view to working as a self-employed general practitioner or running your own dental practice is one idea to explore. Find out about opportunities with the Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Networking with clinicians and academics with whom you come into contact throughout your studies is an excellent way to learn more about dental careers and can lead to research, shadowing or work experience opportunities. Read more about successful networking.

Opportunities to evidence your leadership skills are useful for your future career. The Careers Service offers a range of skills awards to help you showcase your abilities and experience in areas such as Leadership and Business as well as gaining recognition of your Global skills from time spent abroad (e.g. on elective).  Explore Dundee Plus

The Careers Service are here to support you with any aspect of your career planning. Get in touch to speak to your careers adviser.