Applicants who are from countries outside of the UK are defined as international students. The yearly intake of international students that a dental school can accept is capped by the government.
The application procedures for international students are the same as those described on the applications page. However, international students will have additional things to consider.
Non-UK entry requirements
Dental schools vary as to which non-UK qualifications they accept and what the requirements are. Normally this information will be listed on each individual university website but if you cannot see your qualifications you should contact the dental school directly. Most dental schools have a dedicated admissions email address or phone number to help with queries which can normally be found on their entry requirements pages. The UK National Recognition Information Centre (UKNARIC) can also help with comparing UK and international qualifications.
Publicly funded universities usually group the fee status of their students by two categories: ‘home’ and ‘overseas/international’. In order to be classed as a home (UK) student you normally need to meet all of the following criteria on the first day of the first academic year of the course:
- You are settled in the UK (this means there is no immigration restriction on the length of your stay)
- You are ordinarily resident in the UK, and have been for the full three years before the first day of the academic year (ordinarily resident means that your main home is in the UK, and you are choosing to live in the UK)
- The main reason for you being in the UK was not to receive full-time education.
There are other criteria for an applicant to be considered a home student, and applicants should refer to the full criteria on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website. If in doubt about your fee status, contact the universities you are thinking of applying to for help.
Students who do not meet the ‘Home’ criteria will be considered international students and pay international fees. These vary between dental schools but can be found on each individual university website. You should ensure that you are able to cover the cost of your tuition before beginning a degree programme.
Student support and scholarships
International students do not qualify for any UK government financial support. You should always check the fee levels at a university before accepting a place. You should also check with your university if you are eligible for any bursaries.
The British Council may be able to offer you funding and guidance can also be sought from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). Commonwealth citizens may be able to apply for grants from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.
Scholarships or bursaries available can vary between different dental schools, and they will post information on any funding they offer on their websites.
Visa and immigration
Gaining entry clearance is compulsory for everyone wishing to enter the UK as a student. Students require a Tier 4 visa. Information on applying for this on this can be found on UK Visas and Immigration website. For more information on visa and immigration issues, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs.
If you are applying from outside the UK and you do not speak English as your first language then you are required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency. This requirement applies to both international and EU/EEA students.
Many dental schools will prefer, or expect you to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). There are two versions of IELTS, the Academic test and the General Training test. You will need to complete the Academic test, which is for those who wish to study. Most dental schools will require a minimum score as part of their entry requirements. which will be listed on their websites.
The IELTS can be taken in over 500 locations worldwide and there is a set fee for sitting it. To find your nearest test centre, visit the IELTS website.