• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Award: BDS
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Develop knowledge and skills across the full range of dental disciplines and gain experience treating patients in the University's own dental hospital.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

There are two ways to enter the BDS Dentistry course:

  • Apply directly to the BDS Dentistry course (UCAS Code A200). This is the route that the majority of applicants take and the standard BDS course takes five years to complete.
  • Apply to Gateway to Dentistry, formerly named pre-dental year (UCAS code A204). This one year course is a widening access route prior to the BDS Dentistry course for applicants with proven evidence of adverse circumstances leading to significant educational disadvantage. The course also accepts applications from candidates with a predominantly non-science background.



The Dundee Dental School was ranked top in UK by the Guardian University Guide 2018.

100% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after finishing the course (Unistats).

Students in the School of Dentistry

At Dundee you will be part of a small, friendly Dental School. You will develop clinical and interpersonal skills across the full range of dental disciplines and advance as a lifelong learner, able to interpret and use scientific evidence for your patients’ benefit. You will  learn alongside other members of the dental team and grow as a professional, becoming skilled at communicating with your patients and help them maintain their oral health. There are a variety of wider opportunities open to you: to participate in research alongside internationally known researchers through intercalated degrees and our summer internship programmes.

You will be based in the Dental Hospital and School on the main university campus with its state of the art teaching and clinical facilities. Components of the course are supported by different schools across the University (e.g. Medicine, Life Sciences and the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification) that work together to deliver an integrated and innovative curriculum. You will develop your clinical skills over the five years of the course supported by a strong scientific and evidence base.

The Dental Hospital and School forms a very important part of the local community and you will be involved in learning essential skills in a vibrant and enjoyable teaching hospital environment which provides a wide range of services and specialist care for referred patients. During the later years, time will be spent in Outreach Centres across Scotland. There is also an opportunity to undertake an elective period of study.

The BDS programme works towards early clinical patient contact and the longitudinal integration of scientific and clinical disciplines.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Take a virtual tour

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher AAAAB (minimum) at the same sitting of Highers, to include Chemistry and another science (from biology, physics or mathematics, and biology is recommended). The other three Highers can be your own choice, and this choice of subject will not influence the assessment.
We also require biology at least to grade A at National 5 and English and mathematics at least to Grade B at National 5, if not studied at Higher. Achievement at National 5 or equivalent will also be taken into account.
Offers will be conditional, based on three Advanced Highers/Highers taken in 6th year, normally at BBB grades.
Level 2 entry is not possible to this degree
GCE A-Level AAA, in one attempt at the first sitting of A-Levels (A2), to include chemistry and another science (biology is recommended). We also require biology, mathematics and English at least to GCSE Grade B / 6 if not studied at A-level. Achievement at GCSE and AS Level will also be taken into account. General Studies A-level is not accepted. Level 2 entry is not possible to this degree
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 37 points including 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level, with no retakes, to include chemistry and another science at Higher Level, plus three subjects (including biology) at Standard Level with average of grade 6. Applicants are advised to supply previously certified grades from nationally recognised exams if their application is to be competitive. Level 2 entry is not possible to this degree
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) Three Higher Level subjects at H1 including Chemistry and another Science (from Biology, Physics or Mathematics) and 3 Higher Level subjects at H2 to include Biology. We also require English and Mathematics to at least Grade O2 in the Irish Junior Certificate. Level 2 entry is not possible to this degree
Graduate Entry A minimum of an upper second class (2:1) Honours degree in a relevant life science subject. This should be the first degree obtained. Candidates with further or higher degrees must also meet this minimum requirement in their first degree. Previous academic attainment will also be taken into account. All offers to current PhD students will be conditional on the formal submission and written confirmation of the acceptance of their PhD dissertation. Up-to date study skills are required. Applicants must have undertaken academic study in the last 3 years prior to entry on the Dentistry programme. Acceptable academic study would include an undergraduate degree, a masters, PhD or any qualification to SCQF Level 6 (with a minimum of 24 credits). An Open University 30 credit module would also be acceptable.
Graduates with BSc in Oral Health Sciences will be considered for entry to the BDS course, with a maximum of 2 places available, and offers will be based on performance at MMI alongside other applicants. Oral Health Science graduates must have achieved either:
At least an upper second class honours degree in OHS
2. a) Gained distinction level in the final year of the OHS degree
b) Had no resits throughout the OHS degree
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND)
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate
Other Qualifications

 EU and International qualifications

The Physical and Mental Demands of the BDS Course

The Dental Course is long and demanding, both physically and mentally. You will, for example, require sufficient bi-manual dexterity to handle, simultaneously, the necessary equipment to treat patients and a dental mirror to allow you to see what you are doing. Dentistry can involve very detailed work under conditions that are often difficult, so you need a steady hand and good vision (with spectacles if need be).

If you have a disability which you feel might impact on your ability to meet these demands, you are urged to consult the School as soon as possible in the application process so that we can discuss the implications with you, including any adjustments that can be made to meet your needs. Please contact the School's Disability Support Officer (DSO) - Lorraine Robertson, as a preliminary step. Further information on the University's provision for disabled students is available at:

Patient safety is paramount and it is particularly important to consider any difficulties that would compromise this so that we can ascertain what arrangements can be put in place to assist you while guaranteeing that safety. In order to register with the General Dental Council (GDC), dental students must also be capable of "independent dental practice" by graduation. Dentists thus require to be able, to a sufficient extent and without assistance, to write or type prescriptions accurately, to understand written and spoken reports on patients and to communicate information to others by the same means. This process includes the use of dental and medical terminology, some of which can involve words that are superficially similar, and students likely to encounter difficulties in these areas are strongly encouraged to discuss the matter as early in the course as possible with the Teaching Subdean or Dean of Dentistry.

Further information about dental courses and requirements are available on the General Dental Council web pages. In particular, please read: Standards for Dental Professionals and the First Five Years. Before practising dentistry in the United Kingdom, BDS graduates must register with the General Dental Council. The registration process involves health screening and such other checks as the GDC decide to make.

Special Requirements

  • All potential dental students are required to undergo screening for blood borne viruses (Hepatitis B and C, and HIV) prior to their place at the Dental School being confirmed. Details regarding testing will be sent to you when you apply.
  • A full course of immunisation against Hepatitis B will be required.
  • A Disclosure for Criminal Convictions will also be required. You are at liberty not to give permission for this but in that event we will be unable to process your application further.
  • Sufficient bi-manual dexterity to handle simultaneously the necessary equipment to treat patients is required. Please consult the School as soon as possible if you have a disability that might impact on your ability to meet these demands.
  • Sufficient English language proficiency to be capable of 'independent dental practice' (a requirement of the General Dental Council for registration as a dentist). This means being able - without assistance - to write or type prescriptions accurately, to understand written and spoken reports on patients and to communicate information to others by the same means.

Selection for Dentistry

Gaining a place at dental school is competitive and we have more applicants than places. We are looking for candidates who are enthusiastic about becoming dentists and who display commitment. Ideally candidates should have undertaken some work shadowing. Selection for interview is based on academic qualifications, UCAT performance and your referee's report.

  1. All Highers and A-Levels must have been obtained at one sitting at the first opportunity applicants have to sit these examinations. That is in S5 one year after National 5 for Highers and two years after GCSE for A-Levels. Re-take Highers or A-Levels are not normally considered.
  2. Whichever of the named SQA or GCE subjects has not been passed at Higher Grade or Advanced Level must normally have been passed at National 5 or GCSE respectively. A pass in Combined or Dual Science at GCSE may be acceptable instead of a single GCSE pass in Physics. Grade B in National 5 or GCSE Mathematics is also normally required.
  3. An Advanced Level in Physical Science will satisfy the requirements of both Chemistry and Physics but will count as only one pass.
  4. Exceptionally, for first year entry, a non-Science subject may be accepted as a third Advanced Level along with Chemistry and Biology.
  5. The predental year is designed for very able applicants who have a predominantly non-Science background (ie. have studied insufficient science subjects or have not studied the compulsory Chemistry qualification).
  6. All applicants will be expected to undertake the UCAT test. Information on this test can be found at the UCAT website. Excellent performance in Higher or A-Levels, and at interview, remain the key parameters used in the admissions process.


English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS, TOEFL, Pearsons and Cambridge Advanced English equivalent to the European Framework C1 level in each component and overall score are accepted.

Only the above Certificates are acceptable English language tests for this course

IELTS Overall7.0
Listening 7.0
Reading 7.0
Writing 7.0
Speaking 7.0

 English Language Requirements

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the dental curriculum, reflecting the breadth of knowledge and skills you must develop as a dental student. These methods will include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practical
  • classes
  • clinical skills classes

The Dental School also makes increasing use of 'My Dundee', the University's virtual learning environment, to support teaching. From Year 3 onwards, you will begin the clinical care of patients and a large proportion of your timetable will be dedicated to clinical sessions across the full range of dental disciplines.

How you will be assessed

Assessment in each year of the curriculum combines continuous assessment and an end-of-year examination.

Years 1 and 2

  • In Years 1 and 2, your continuous assessment grade is derived from integrated class examinations at the end of each semester and contributes 30% towards your overall grade for the year.
  • The end-of-year examination is also integrated, with written and practical elements, and contributes 70%.

Years 3 and 4

From Year 3, continuous assessment has academic and clinical components. You will continue to be assessed academically by examinations and your clinical activity will be graded at each clinical session. This helps us identify students who may require extra support and put such help in place for them.

In Years 3 and 4, continuous assessment forms 25% and 20% respectively of your overall grade.

Year 5

In year 5, continuous assessment contributes 30% to the assessment of knowledge component of the final examination.

In addition

In addition, the Dental School is keen that you develop the attributes of a professional practitioner from the outset, therefore your professionalism will be monitored at every compulsory teaching and/or clinical activity throughout the curriculum.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

2nd year University of Dundee dental students revisit anatomy using face painting.

What you will study

The dental curriculum is under continuing development and review. Therefore, although all the content indicated below will be covered, how this is arranged across the years may be subject to change by 2014/5. This page will be updated to reflect any changes.

Year 1

  • The early years focus on the pre- and para-clinical sciences, knowledge of which is vital for a full understanding of your patients' problems and the reasoning behind the treatments you will provide.
  • In Year 1, the focus is on the basic biomedical sciences of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, with the addition of the para-clinical dental sciences of oral biology, cell biology, microbiology, pathology and dental materials science.
  • The clinical relevance of these subjects is highlighted in integrated clinically relevant activities (ICRAs).
  • You will also undertake a basic emergency care module and basic clinical infection control measures will be introduced in the Cleanliness Champion programme.

Year 2

  • Year 2 is a continuation of your studies from Year 1 but with the emphasis moving to the dental and para-clinical sciences. There will be further ICRAs and you will complete the Cleanliness Champion programme.
  • You will also begin to develop your clinical skills, with introductory skills courses in periodontology and the management of dental caries.
  • At the end of Year 2, you will undertake the Introduction to Clinical Skills course, where you will learn a range of basic clinical skills in preparation for entering the clinical phase of the curriculum.
  • These skills will be assessed in a degree examination to ensure that you are ready to go on to provide dental care for patients in Year 3.

Year 3

  • You will begin your clinical attachments in Year 3, providing care for patients in a range of dental disciplines within the Dental Hospital.
  • You will also study the theoretical background of these different disciplines and will continue to develop your skills with further clinical skills courses.
  • In Year 3 you will also study human disease, in order to appreciate the potential impact of a patient's general health on their dental treatment.
  • This teaching takes place at Ninewells Hospital and there is a separate degree examination in this subject.

Year 4

  • In Year 4 you will continue your clinical attachments with the addition of further disciplines such as orthodontics, oral medicine and treatment of the dentally-anxious.
  • You will continue to build your theoretical knowledge and undertake advanced clinical skills courses
  • At the end of Year 4 you will have your first outreach attachments, at centres both local and distant from Dundee
  • You will also undertake your period of elective study.

Year 5

  • The emphasis in Year 5 is on holistic patient care.
  • You will have sessions in the Integrated Oral Care clinic in the Dental Hospital, providing total dental care for your patients.
  • You will also have attachments to a range of specialist consultant clinics.
  • A significant proportion of your time will be spent in outreach clinics, both longitudinal attachments to local clinics and week-long attachments at distant centres in Aberdeen and Inverness.
Sarah Falconer

I love the course, and would encourage anyone thinking of studying dentistry to go for it and strongly consider Dundee. From the practical sessions in anatomy, OpTech, and treating patients, the School of Dentistry gives you all the tools you need to become a first class dentist.

Sarah Falconer

Kelsey Shortiss

The dental school is a very close-knit family, which offers lots of exciting opportunities. What attracted me the most to the Dentistry course at Dundee was the scale and quality of dissection of cadavers they offered from day one, which has aided in our anatomy teaching greatly. The facilities within the Dental School are very up-to-date and the friendly staff are always there to offer help and advice.

Kelsey Shortiss

Nadia Cassee

As dentistry has a small year group of around 60 students, it is a very sociable degree as it allows you to get to know your fellow students, building a sense of comradery. The highlight for me so far has definitely been spending time on the different clinics treating patients and helping them with any problems they may have. From simple fillings to root canal treatment, it is always exciting!

Nadia Cassee

Dundee's BDS is registrable with the General Dental Council (GDC) and a wide range of opportunities is available. Graduates normally complete a vocational or foundation training programme and can then choose to work as an associate partner or principal in a general practice, in the community dental service, or in a hospital with a view to becoming a consultant.

Other career opportunities include:

  • University teaching and research is another attractive avenue for the outstanding graduate.
  • Dental surgeons can join the armed forces as commissioned officers.
  • Several large companies employ their own dentists to provide dental treatment for their staff.

A dentist, therefore, in addition to enjoying high community standing and an above-average income, has an excellent range of working environments.

Professional Accreditation

This programme is registrable with the professional governing body for dentistry in the UK, the General Dental Council (GDC).

Furthering your career opportunities

The Dental School has a strong record of offering selected students the opportunity to undertake an Intercalated Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) degree. This one-year programme, taken following Year 2 of the BDS, provides an opportunity for the in-depth study of one of a range of disciplines and will help you develop study and research skills useful to both your dental studies and your career opportunities beyond graduation.

A three-year programme of study has also been devised to allow BDS students to undertake a part time integrated Masters (MDSc) degree over their 3rd, 4th and 5th year with sufficient time and adequate flexibility in the BDS programme for the students to pursue research.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students Fees for September 2019 entry will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.
Rest of UK students Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Government and will be published when confirmed.
Overseas students (non-EU) £32,365 for Level 1, then £44,650 per year for each of the remaining four years.
The ACT levy (£10K) is included in the fee.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

All Dentistry Applicants

All applicants will be expected to undertake the UCAT test before they apply. Your UCAT score will be factored into the pre-interview rank. There is no specific cut off applied but obviously a high score is advantageous.

What skills, qualities and experience do I need?

Our analysis of the 2015 applicants revealed that the average for those attending interview was 2590. However, since the Decision Making section has been revised for 2017, average scores in the current cycle may vary from those in the past. Applications without UCAT will be rejected. Please visit the UCAT website for information about the test, including three complete practice tests and numerous question banks, important dates and information about bursaries. 

Applications without UCAT will be rejected. Please visit the UCAT website for information about the test, two complete practice tests, important dates and information about bursaries available.

  • Dentistry is a course that enables you to care for the patient's oral health. It requires an empathetic spirit and a desire to help people and communities.
  • You will have to work very hard and acquire a great deal of knowledge and apply this throughout a long course.
  • You will need to have first rate communication skills and enjoy working as part of a team.
  • You will need to work with your hands and will have to acquire a high degree of manual dexterity.
  • You will have to be reasonably fit, as completing the dental course requires a degree of mental and physical stamina. If you have a health concern you need to tell us about this so we can see if the course can be modified to take account of this.
  • All potential dental students are required to undergo screening for blood borne viruses (Hepatitis B and C, and HIV) prior to their place at the Dental School being confirmed. Details regarding testing will be sent to you when you apply.
  • A full course of immunisation against Hepatitis B will be required.
  • A PVG check with Disclosure Scotland will also be required.

Tips for your application

  • You need to have carefully investigated dentistry as a career and have undertaken some work shadowing with a general dental practitioner or community dentist. There is no prescribed length of time for this, but you should be able to tell us about your experiences in your personal statement.
  • You will need to meet the high academic standards required for the course.
  • Your personal statement should show some evidence of other interests. (e.g. sporting, musical, community involvement etc).

The UCAS Reference should indicate your referee’s judgement on:

  • The applicant’s preparedness for a degree in Dentistry.
  • Any adverse factors that the referee believes have impacted on your academic performance up to this point.
  • School policies on Senior Phase Curricula (for example the number of Highers available in one exam diet).

Dentistry Interview

Dentistry will adopt the method of interviewing known as Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs).

This will be a series of 10 seven-minute interviews. You can expect the usual topics to be covered in these interviews, e.g. why do you want to study Dentistry, what makes Dentistry at Dundee unique.  You will also be asked to expand on some aspects of your UCAS personal statement. 

We will be assessing your communication skills at most stations and also teamworking through a series of interactive interview stations, where you may have a task to complete or an actor to talk to.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowDentistry BDSA200