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Best Dental Schools in the UK

SKShishant KumarJun 23, 2022

Dental Schools and Universities in the UK for International Students

Because of the limited number of colleges, the competition to study dentistry in the UK is very high. The entry-level degree to get into a dental school in the UK is a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS or BChD) degree. Let us learn more about the best dental schools in the UK from the perspective of an international student.  

Highlights

Before reading the entire article, go through the following highlights of the top dental schools in the UK. 

Entry-level degree BDS
Duration of BDS 4 to 5 years 
Specializations  Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Fixed, and Removable Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, and Orthodontics 
Duration of specialization 1 to 4 years 
Application portal  UCAS
Application deadline  15 October 2022
Number of standard entry colleges  14
Number of graduate-entry colleges 3
Entrance exams UCAT/BMAT
English proficiency tests  IELTS/TOEFL
Average BDS tuition fees 24,209 to 57,958 USD*/year

Best Dental Schools in the UK

Dental schools in the UK need to follow the standards laid down by the General Dental Council (GDC) to receive accreditation. Only those students who have a dental degree from GDC accredited universities are eligible to sit for the licensure exam. Therefore, students should consider this criterion before applying to any dental college in the UK. The following is a list of all the accredited dental schools in the UK along with their rankings. 

University Name Complete University Guide Ranking  Guardian University Guide Ranking
Queen’s University Belfast 1 3
Newcastle University 2 7
University of Bristol 3 9
University of Glasgow 4 2
University of Manchester 5 15
University of Leeds 6 11
King’s College London 7 12
University of Dundee 8 5
University of Sheffield 9 10
Cardiff University 10 13
University of Liverpool 11 6
University of Birmingham 12 14
Queen Mary University of London 13 8
University of Plymouth 14 1
University of Central Lancashire 15 NA
University of Aberdeen  NA 4
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry NA NA

 

Let’s look at the top three dental schools in the UK, as well as their courses, admissions requirements, and application dates.

Queen’s University Belfast

The Dental School at Queen’s University Belfast has been delivering dental education in the UK since the year 1920. The Complete University Guide has it ranked #1 in the Subject League Table 2023. Queen’s University Belfast is also a member of the Russell Group, a group of 24 outstanding public research universities in the UK. This makes it an excellent choice for students interested in studying dentistry in the UK. The BDS program at Queen’s is designed in a way that students are given the opportunity to do clinical work from year 1 of the course.

Admission requirements: 

  • Secondary school education (GCSE equivalent) with a grade C and above in biology, chemistry, and mathematics
  • Academic transcripts (UK equivalency) 
  • Valid passport
  • Strong UCAT score
  • Personal statement 
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Letter of recommendations
  • Personal interview
  • A copy of bank statement showing adequate funds for at least one academic year of tuition
  • An IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in speaking and listening 

Queen’s University also accepts applications from the graduates or those in the final year of their degree (with an appropriate science background). 

Application deadline: The UCAS applications to the Dental School at Queen’s University Belfast are open currently and will close by 15 October 2022. 

Queen’s University Belfast has officially partnered with Gyanberry, and hence students can now apply through Gyanberry’s admission services to ensure a seamless admission process.

Newcastle University

The School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University is well-known for its world-class facilities, which include a high-tech Clinical Simulation Unit. Its BDS course involves a high level of clinical practice and research plus theoretical concepts. The entire course is divided into 5 stages (5 years), where each stage is worth 120 credits.

Admission requirements: 

  • Secondary school education (GCSE equivalent) with AAA in biology, chemistry, and mathematics
  • Academic transcripts (UK equivalency) 
  • Valid passport
  • Strong UCAT score
  • Personal statement 
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Letter of recommendations
  • Personal interview
  • A copy of bank statement showing adequate funds for at least one academic year of tuition
  • An IELTS score of 7.0 

Newcastle University also accepts graduates with a 2:1 or higher degree for its 5-year-long standard BDS program. 

Application deadline: The School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University is currently accepting applications through UCAS services with a deadline of 15 October 2022.

University of Bristol

The University of Bristol Dental School is relocating to a new facility that will have cutting-edge technology designed with input from current students and faculty. It is expected to be finished in 2023. Its 5-year BDS regular entrance program is helical in structure and has four key development themes: practitioner, scholar, and scientist; professional and agent of change; and person and citizen. Additionally, students get to crosslink another science field to earn an honors BA or BSc with their BDS degree.

Admission requirements: 

  • Secondary school education (GCSE equivalent) with AAA in biology, chemistry, and mathematics
  • Academic transcripts (UK equivalency) 
  • Valid passport
  • Strong UCAT score
  • Personal statement 
  • Passport photographs
  • Completed visa application
  • Letter of recommendations
  • Personal interview
  • A copy of the bank statement showing adequate funds for at least one academic year of tuition
  • An IELTS score of 7.5 overall with 7.0 in all other aspects 

The university also accepts graduates with 60-70% aggregate for its 5-year-long entry-level BDS program. 

Application deadline:  The University of Bristol Dental School is presently accepting applications through UCAS services with a deadline of 15 October 2022.

Best Dental programs in the UK

Dental colleges in the UK offer two kinds of entry-level dental degrees: the standard entry BDS course (5 years duration) or the graduate entry BDS course (4 years duration). Standard course admits students after completing their secondary or high school education. A graduate-entry course is for students who already have completed their undergraduate degree in science subjects like biomedical science. 

Note: Some universities allow graduate students to take standard-level courses, although the course length remains at five years and is not shortened to four, like graduate-entry courses.

Few dental schools require pre-foundation coursework before admitting students to their standard entry BDS programs. If a student has a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than science, they may need to take a one-year foundation course before enrolling in a graduate-level BDS program. This table shows which dental schools accept an ordinary entry and which only accept graduate students. It also includes a list of specializations offered by these colleges, if any are available.

Note: The University of Manchester School of Dentistry and Cardiff University School of Dentistry offer pre-foundation dental courses. 

The University of Bristol Dental School and the King’s College London Dental Institute also provide a special gateway to dentistry courses. These courses are for individuals who have had challenges in their studies owing to socioeconomic or educational factors. Unfortunately, they are only available to students from the UK. 

University Name Standard Entry (5 years)/Graduate Entry (4 years) Specializations Offered
Queen’s University Belfast Standard entry BDS NA
Newcastle University Standard entry BDS NA
University of Bristol Standard entry BDS Intercalated BDS/BSc
University of Glasgow Standard entry BDS Community Oral Health and Oral Sciences (PhD/iPhD/MSc)
University of Manchester Standard entry BDS Intercalated BDS/BSc, Advanced Restorative Dentistry, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Fixed, and Removable Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology and Orthodontics (MSc/MRes)
University of Leeds Standard entry MChD/BChD, BSc** Dental Materials, Dental Public Health, Oral Surgery, and 

Paediatric Dentistry (MSc)

King’s College London Standard entry BDS and Graduate-entry BDS Advanced Minimum Intervention Restorative Dentistry,  Aesthetic Dentistry, Conscious Sedation for Dentistry, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Fixed & Removable Prosthodontics, Maxillofacial & Craniofacial Technology,  Maxillofacial Prosthetic Rehabilitation, Microbiome in Health & Disease, Operative Dentistry, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, Prosthodontics, Regenerative Dentistry and Tissue Engineering & Innovation Technology
University of Dundee Standard entry BDS Dental Public Health and Dentistry (Professional Doctorate) 
University of Sheffield Standard entry BDS Dental Public Health, Dental Materials Science, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Periodontics, and Dental Technology
Cardiff University Standard entry BDS Oral Biology, Implantology, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Orthodontics, Endodontology, and Prosthodontics
University of Liverpool Standard entry BDS Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Endodontics, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, and Global Medical Ethics
University of Birmingham Standard entry BDS Restorative Dentistry, Dental Materials Science, and Endodontics
Queen Mary University of London Standard entry BDS Minimally Invasive Dentistry, Dental Science for Clinical Practice, Endodontics, Dental Materials, Paediatric Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Oral Biology, Orthodontics, and Dental Materials
University of Plymouth Standard entry BDS Restorative Dentistry, Periodontology, Endodontics, and Oral Surgery
University of Central Lancashire Graduate-entry BDS Endodontology, Oral Surgery, Clinical Implantology, Clinical Periodontology, Dental Education, Advanced Restorative & Periodontal Practice, Prosthodontics, Periodontology, and Dental Implantology
University of Aberdeen  Graduate-entry BDS Special Care Dentistry and Advanced Restorative Dental Practice
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Standard entry BDS Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, Prosthodontics, Orthodontics, Oral Medicine, Oral Surgery, Endodontics, Minimally Invasive Dentistry, and Clinical Oral Microbiology

**The MChD/BChD, BSc (Master and Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Science) degree by the University of Leeds is a unique joint master’s and bachelor’s degree program in the UK. 

Fees for Dental schools in the UK

The cost of dental school tuition is mostly determined by the type of university and the length and type of course. For example, BDS programs are also slightly more expensive than graduate-entry BDS programs. For comparison, below is a list of tuition fees for students who wish to study in the UK.

University Name University type BDS Tuition Fees (USD*/year)
Queen’s University Belfast Public  41,277
Newcastle University Public  47,572
University of Bristol Public  48,298
University of Glasgow Public  56,832
University of Manchester Public  35,104
University of Leeds Public  To be confirmed for international students 
King’s College London Public  57,958
University of Dundee Public 43,154
University of Sheffield Public 49,303
Cardiff University Public 25,359
University of Liverpool Public 41,822
University of Birmingham Public 29,778
Queen Mary University of London Public 51,446
University of Plymouth Public 26,751
University of Central Lancashire Public 24,209
University of Aberdeen  Public 57,498
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Public 51,446

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are around 17 GDC accredited dental schools in the UK.

The average tuition fees for international students range from 24,209 to 57,958 USD*/year.

The University of Central Lancashire is the cheapest university to pursue a BDS course in the UK with an average cost of 24,209 USD*/year.

The King’s College London is the most expensive dental school in the UK with an average tuition fee of 57,958 USD*/year.

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