Applicants who are from countries outside of the European Economic Area 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 ‘international/overseas’. The fees for home students also differ between universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, therefore specific requirements should be checked with the universities you are interested in applying to. Normally, home students are required to be both a national and resident (for a minimum of three consecutive years) of the European Economic Area countries. This includes all European Union countries and the UK. Swiss nationals and children of Turkish workers may also be eligible for home status, subject to fulfilling certain criteria. To find out the full criteria, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.
Following the EU exit in 2021 the criteria for home fee status will change. EU students starting degrees in the academic year 2020-2021 will continue to be eligible for the same fees as ‘Home’ students and these fees will remain throughout their degrees. However, EU students starting courses from August 2021 will not be eligible for home student status. These EU students will also not qualify for tuition fee loans from Student Finance England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet made announcements for the academic year 2021-22, but we will update this page when they do.
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. If you are from outside of the UK, and would like to know more about fees and funding, visit our international applicants page.
There are other criteria for an applicant to be considered a home student, but if you are unsure then it is always best to contact the dental schools in which you are interested. For further information on fee status, contact the UK Council for International Student Affairs.
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.