The Best Dentistry Universities in the UK

The Best Dentistry Universities in the UK: Explore Top 8 Dental Schools in 2023

Becoming a dentist in the UK is one of the most prospective jobs. Every year around 10k applicants try to get into Dentistry in the UK. However, applying right to dental school can be a real challenge. You will have available 16 dental schools at universities in the UK. 

What dental school to choose? What is the best university for dentistry? What teaching method is good? What is the easiest dental school to get into?

We will try to uncover the best dental schools in the UK for 2023. In our guide, you will find about their course and programmes, entry admission requirements and more. 

Dentistry Degrees in the UK

Dentistry is a prestigious and great career path for those looking to work in healthcare. Dentists play a vital role in maintaining oral health and hygiene. In the UK, you must complete a dental degree and register with the General Dental Council (GDC) to practice as a dentist.

There are currently 16 dental schools across the UK that the GDC approves.

Completing a dental degree in the UK typically requires 5 years of study, which includes classroom instruction, laboratory work, clinical skills training, and practical experience through internships.

After graduating, you must complete foundation training and demonstrate your skills and knowledge in a rigorous assessment set by the GDC before you can be fully licensed.

Competition for places at UK dental schools is fierce. In 2021, there were over 9,000 applications for only 1,000 places. Candidates are assessed on their academics, interview performance, admission tests like UCAT or BMAT, understanding of the profession, and commitment to dentistry as a career.

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Best 8 Dentistry Universities in the UK

If you want to study dentistry, you probably want to study at the best Dentistry university in the UK. Not only do you need to prepare your dental application to be great, but you also need to choose the best dentistry university. So, here is an overview of programmes and entry admission requirements of some of the top dental schools for studying dentistry in the UK.

University of Dundee

The University of Dundee School of Dentistry is one of the smallest dental schools in the UK, admitting only around 65 students per year. This intimate learning environment allows for close interaction with professors and extensive hands-on training. Dundee produces extremely competent clinicians thanks to its practical focus.

University of Dundee School of Dentistry

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Early clinical contact, with simulations and clinics from year 1
  • The optional intercalated degree to pursue research
  • Excellent facilities housed in a modern dental hospital

Entry Admission Requirements

  • AAA at A-Level, including Biology and Chemistry
  • UCAT score in at least the top 50th percentile
  • Interview to assess manual dexterity, communication skills and understanding of the profession
  • Personal Statement

Facilities and Resources

  • £19 million state-of-the-art dental hospital and school facilities
  • 280 dental chairs across primary and secondary care clinics
  • Technology resources like virtual reality simulation equipment
  • Close links to world-class research centres like the School of Medicine and School of Science and Engineering

King’s College London

The King’s College London Dental Institute is one of the most prestigious dental schools in the world. Located in central London, students have access to an abundance of learning resources and clinical training sites. King’s is recognized globally for its research output.

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Optional intercalated BSc degree after years 2 or 3
  • Early patient contact from the first term
  • Fixed-term student placements at over 50 leading dental practices

Entry Admission Requirements

  • A*AA at A-Level, including Chemistry and Biology
  • UCAT score in at least the top 20th percentile
  • Multi-mini interview with 4 assessment stations
  • Personal Statement

Facilities and Resources

  • Guy’s Hospital Dental School was voted among the top 5 dental schools worldwide
  • State-of-the-art simulation laboratory with phantom heads and virtual reality
  • Access to one of Europe’s largest dental libraries
  • Partnerships with 250 primary care clinics across London

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing enjoys an excellent reputation and is ranked 2nd in the UK for Dentistry. Students benefit from early patient interaction, innovative teaching methods and flexible study options.

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS or 6-year MBChB Bachelor of Dental Surgery/Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery
  • Option of intercalated degrees in a speciality like Oral Health Sciences
  • Fixed-term outreach clinics provide practical experience across Scotland
  • Clinical skills training from year 1 in the Glasgow Dental Hospital

Entry Admission Requirements

  • AAA or AAB at A-Level, including Chemistry and one other science
  • UCAT score in at least the top 20th percentile
  • Interview testing communication skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Personal Statement

Facilities and Resources

  • £30 million Glasgow Dental Hospital and School
  • 280-seat lecture theatre with live-streaming capabilities
  • Partnerships with over 100 dental practices across Scotland
  • Access to the advanced research resources of a leading Russell Group university

University of Manchester

The University of Manchester Dentistry Programme is relatively new, being established in 2008, but has already built a reputation for innovation. As the UK’s largest single-site dental Programme, Manchester offers diverse learning opportunities.

The University of Manchester Dentistry

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Fixed-term placements at 80+ regional dental practices
  • Inter-professional education alongside students from other healthcare fields
  • Option to pursue research through an intercalated BSc or MSc Programme

Entry Admission Requirements

  • AAA at A-Level, including Chemistry and one other science
  • UCAT score in at least the top 50th percentile
  • Multi-station interview assessing manual dexterity and communication
  • Personal Statement

Facilities and Resources

  • State-of-the-art dental hospital and school completed in 2013
  • £2 million clinical simulation laboratory using augmented reality and haptic technology
  • On-campus Dental Skills Center and virtual reality simulation tools
  • Access to the advanced research resources of the UK’s largest university

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham School of Dentistry has a strong reputation spanning over 100 years. As one of the larger UK dental schools, Birmingham offers students extensive clinical practice and patient contact from day one.

University of Birmingham School of Dentistry

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Observation in clinics and nurse training from the first term
  • Inter-professional patient care alongside medical students
  • Option of an intercalated BMedSc for research experience

Entry Admission Requirements

  • AAA at A-Level including Chemistry and Biology
  • UCAT score in at least the top 20th percentile
  • Multi-mini interview testing dexterity, perception and teamwork
  • Personal Statement

Facilities and Resources

  • New £50 million dental hospital and school facilities opened in 2015
  • On-campus clinical simulation laboratory using phantom heads
  • Outreach clinics provide practical experience across the Midlands
  • Access to leading research centres like the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences

University of Bristol

The Bristol Dental School offers one of the most clinically intensive dental Programmes in the UK. With a focus on early patient interaction and hands-on skills, Bristol produces confident and competent clinicians.

The Bristol Dental School

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Fixed-term placements at 90+ regional dental practices
  • Observation in clinics from semester 1 and direct patient care from year 2
  • Option to take an intercalated BSc specialized in dental research

Entry Admission Requirements

  • A*AA at A-Level, including Chemistry and one other science
  • UCAT score in at least the top 10th percentile
  • The three-stage interview process, tests manual dexterity and communication skills
  • Dental personal statement

Facilities and Resources

  • £52 million state-of-the-art teaching and dental hospital opened in 2014
  • Clinical Skills Resource Centre with phantom heads and simulation tools
  • Satellite clinics across South West England and South Wales
  • Access to the advanced research resources of a highly ranked Russell Group university

Queen’s University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast provides intimate class sizes, early patient interaction, and affordable fees at just £3,950 per year for Northern Ireland residents. Graduates benefit from high employment rates.

Queen’s University Belfast Dental School

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Fixed-term outreach clinics across Northern Ireland
  • Classes and clinics held on-site at the Royal Victoria Hospital
  • Can complete optional intercalated research-focused degree

Entry Admission Requirements

  • AAB at A-Level, including Chemistry and preferably Biology
  • UCAT score in at least the top 50th percentile
  • Interview testing vocational commitment and manual dexterity
  • Dentistry personal statement

Facilities and Resources

  • £17 million dental hospital and school located on the main campus
  • Teaching facilities like clinical skills labs and a simulation ward
  • Partnerships with 20 teaching practices across Northern Ireland
  • Access to acclaimed research facilities like the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute

Newcastle Dental School

Based at Newcastle University, this dental Programme benefits from innovative teaching methods and advanced simulation tools for hands-on learning. Graduates are highly sought after.

Programme Details

  • 5-year BDS Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Outreach clinics provide practical experience across Northern England
  • Inter-professional education in clinics alongside medical students
  • Can complete optional research-focused intercalated degree

Entry Admission Requirements

  • AAA at A-Level, including Chemistry and Biology
  • UCAT score in at least the top 50th percentile
  • Interview assessing communication skills and professionalism
  • Dental personal statement

Facilities and Resources

  • £8 million Simulation Suite provides immersive virtual reality training
  • Dental Academy with phantom heads and simulation equipment
  • Based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, part of Newcastle’s world-class Medical School
  • Access to cutting-edge research resources like the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre

Choosing the Right Dentistry University for You

With 16 excellent dental schools across the UK, it can be difficult to decide where to apply to dentistry. Below are a few key factors to consider when selecting dental course and university:

Location – Being located close to home can help reduce costs. But a new city also offers independence.

Teaching Style – Look for hands-on clinical training and patient interaction from early on.

Facilities – State-of-the-art dental hospitals and simulation labs allow ample practice.

Fees – English schools can charge up to £65,000 for a 5-year degree. Scottish universities average £27,000 while Northern Irish schools cost only £12,000 for residents.

Competition – Acceptance rates vary significantly so check you meet or exceed the entry requirements.

Graduate Prospects – Research career success rates and employment levels to ascertain the school’s reputation with employers.

What is the easiest dental school to get into the UK?

Competition is very high for all UK dental schools, with average acceptance rates of only around 15%

However, certain universities like Plymouth, Aberdeen, and Queen’s Belfast tend to be slightly less competitive, with acceptance rates closer to 20%. They have lower academic and UCAT score requirements. 

Meeting the minimum is no guarantee, so you still need to demonstrate your suitability. Scottish schools also receive fewer applications on average, as their much lower fees deter English students.

How hard is it to get into a dental university?

Gaining admission to study dentistry in the UK is highly challenging. Dental schools receive an average of 9-10 applications per place available, meaning acceptance rates are typically under 20%. You’ll need near-perfect exam results of AAA or A*AA at A-Level, plus a high UCAT score

Excellent interview performance is critical to demonstrate the necessary manual dexterity, communication skills and professional drive. Competition is so fierce, around 40% of applicants who meet the academic requirements are still rejected following the interview stage

The goal is to stand out as a truly exceptional candidate across all assessment criteria.

Course Structure and Teaching Methods

UK dental courses involve intensive study and hands-on training. The first years focus on biomedical sciences, building knowledge in fields like anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and pathology. Later years shift to clinical skills development, patient interaction and practical training within dental hospitals and clinics. 

Programmes utilise a range of teaching methods like case-based learning, simulations, problem-based learning, and inter-professional education. Many universities emphasise early patient contact, allowing students to observe clinics from the first year before moving on to hands-on patient care later in the degree.

Research Opportunities and Specialisations

Most of UK dental schools offer intercalated degree programmes, where students take a year out to pursue research and specialise in a field like oral health sciences. 

These provide the opportunity to get involved with the best research and publish papers under the guidance of professors. Some students opt to undertake an intercalated Master’s degree for even deeper research experience. 

Later in their degree, students can tailor rotations to focus on areas of interest like restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics, or oral surgery.

Tuition Fees and Funding Options

For English universities, international student fees are typically around £65,000 for the 5-year programme. 

Home students are eligible for loans to cover the £9,250 annual tuition. Scottish universities charge £27,000-£36,000 for Scottish/EU citizens who are eligible for free tuition. International fees at Scottish schools are around £58,000-£64,000. 

Northern Ireland has by far the most affordable options at only £3,950 per year for residents.

Scholarships, grants and bursaries can provide financial support. Students from low backgrounds receiving top exam results may qualify for programmes like the UK Government’s NHS Bursary. 

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FAQ

How many years is a dentistry degree UK?

The BDS Dentistry Bachelor course is 5 years in the UK.

How much does it cost to study dentistry in the UK?

Home student need to pay around £9k, but for international students is more expensive around £9k.

How much do dentists make in the UK?

The average salary for a graduate student dentist in the UK is around £50k.