Queen’s University Belfast School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) Honours 5 year course (1st year entry)


UCAS course code A200, institution code Q75

5 year full time course (1st year entry)

Programme structure

During the first two years of the BDS programme, dental students will share some of the pre-clinical teaching with medical students, developing the scientific knowledge and understanding necessary before treating patients.

Phase 1 during the first semester of year one introduces core vocabulary, concepts, facts and generic skills. Phase 2 during the second semester of year one and year two provides students the necessary attitudes, core knowledge and skills essential for the clinical phase of the programme.

In year three, learning topics include medicine and surgery relevant to dentistry, pathology, microbiology and pharmacology, which is taught alongside clinical teaching. Years three to five are largely clinical based.

Clinical experience

From year one, students will be introduced to patients during their attachments to dental clinics. During years one and two, the Introduction to Clinical Dentistry course and Generic Clinical Skills course will be undertaken which will teach the principles of dental patient management, dental health promotion and core dental clinical skills.

In year three, students will be introduced to the various dental clinical specialties, and in years four and five, students will be taught advanced clinical skills within these clinical specialties. Students will provide a full range of dental treatment for their own adult and child patients. Most of the paediatric dentistry course will be carried out in outreach clinics.

Special features

During the 5 year programme, students have the opportunity to study for an intercalated research degree in a chosen subject.


Academic entry requirements

A levels: AAAa grades including Chemistry at grade A and either Biology, Mathematics, or Physics at grade A. General Studies and Critical thinking are excluded. If not offered at A2 level, then AS level Biology or Human Biology at grade B is required. Not more one A level and one AS level in Mathematical subjects may be counted.

There are a limited number of places available for students resitting A-levels. These applicants are expected to have only missed the grades required by one grade and must have previously accepted an offer at Queens Belfast as their Conditional Firm Choice and achieved a minimum of AAB+a pr ABB+a.

GCSEs: GCSE Physics or Double Award Science, and GCSE Mathematics and English Language are required.

International Baccalaureate: A minimum of 36 points with 6,6,6 at Higher Level including Higher Level Chemistry and Biology. If Physics is not offered, then a pass in GCSE Physics or Double Award Science, or equivalent, is required.

UKCAT: All applicants will be required to sit the UKCAT test prior to application.

For other accepted entry requirements or routes to entry please see the institution website or refer to UCAS.

General entry requirements

Work experience: Applicants should be able to show commitment to and an understanding of a career in dentistry; this may be through work experience or work-shadowing at a General Dental Practice, attending relevant careers conferences or undertaking voluntary work in a care setting.

Personal qualities: Candidates should show a genuine interest in improving the health and well being of others

Non-academic interests: Students should be able to demonstrate leadership, teamwork and communication skills through participation in activities either within or outside school.

Health screening: In accordance with the Department of Health guidance, all dental students must be screened and provide evidence of non-infectivity of Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV before final acceptance onto the course.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) enhanced disclosure: In accordance with the General Dental Council (GDC) guidelines on Fitness to Practice, all students offered a place on the BDS programme will be required to undergo a police check through the Criminal Records Bureau at enhanced level.


Only applicants from the EU may apply for the BDS programme at Queens Belfast.

Applicants must apply via UCAS by 15 October. Applications will not normally be considered after this date. Candidates may apply for a maximum of four dentistry courses on the UCAS form, and may apply for additional non-health programmes.

The UCAS application must include a personal statement, which should show evidence of motivation and commitment to dentistry, as well as any hobbies, interests and extra-curricular activities that may support the application. Students wishing to defer entry should detail how they plan to spend their Gap Year in the personal statement, and should also include details of any extentuating circumstances if applicable. The application must also include a referee’s statement, which should provide predictions of examination marks as well an overall assessment of the candidate and their suitability for their chosen course, as well as details of any exceptional circumstances.

Applicants will be short-listed for suitability taking into consideration GCSE performance and UKCAT results. The best 9 subjects at GCSE are scored with 4 points awarded for an A* and 3 points for an A grade. A point is either added or deducted for performance in each element of the UKCAT to give an overall score. Additional As at GCSE and AS performance may also be taken into account. The point threshold varies from year to year depending on competition for places; the majority of candidates with a score of 34 points out of a maximum of 40 were made conditional offers for 2009 entry.

For 2010 entry, interviews will be introduced as a standard part of the selection process, which will be offered to selected candidates who score well from the UCAS application. The final decision will be based on the overall interview score.

Successful applicants will be made an offer based on three A levels and a fourth AS level.


Admissions and Access Service
Queen’s University Belfast
University Road
Email: admissions@qub.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)289 097 2757




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