To study dentistry you will need to complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at dental school. This course can be abbreviated as BDS or BChD but both result in the same dentistry degree. Some dental schools may not offer the undergraduate dentistry degree but instead focus on postgraduate training. Read more about this in the after graduation section.
Dentistry degrees can have different names, but they fit into four types:
A five-year programme resulting in a dentistry degree.
Graduate entry degree
These courses are designed to enable graduates with honours degrees in science subjects, and healthcare professionals with a degree, to study for a BDS. These courses are often accelerated by a year to be four years long.
Dentistry with a preliminary year
This course takes the form of a five-year standard degree with an additional year at the start, making a six-year course.
This course is designed for those who achieved highly at A level, or equivalent, but who did not take the required science subjects. The grade requirements tend to be three As at A level, achieved in one sitting. This extra year gives students the necessary science training to catch up. It is not a means of boosting the grades of those who do not meet the entry requirements of standard entry dentistry. Please note that some of these courses are open only to UK and European Union students.
Gateway to Dentistry
These dental degrees are designed for students who are of high ability but who may have had barriers to their learning due to their circumstances. The courses can take this into account in different ways, for instance by using ‘adjusted criteria’ to change the entry requirements for some applicants. Please note that these courses are open to UK students only.