King’s College London (University of London) Dental Institute

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


UCAS course code A205, institution code K60

5 year (1st year entry) full time course integrating early clinical exposure and practice with clinical teaching underpinned by scientific understanding.


The Kings dental degree programme incorporates early clinical exposure, en emphasis on ideas as well as facts, integrated teaching with emphasis on a systems approach, with choice of special subjects by the student. The programme places strong emphasis on whole patient care, where the patient’s total dental and medical needs are considered as part of treatment. Most of the teaching at Kings Dental Institute is carried out in small groups.

Course topics

The BDS programme has three main components which are vertically integrated throughout the five years.

The first component consists of subjects common to both medicine and dentistry, with biomedical sciences, behavioural sciences, epidemiology, pathology and microbiology, and human disease.

The second component focuses on the oral and dental aspects of the biological sciences leading to the understanding of the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of oral and dental diseases and disorders, and the effects of systemic disease on the oral and dental tissues.

The final component consists of the clinical and technical aspects of dentistry with the provision of comprehensive oral and dental health for patients of all ages.

A greater proportion of the basic sciences are taught at the beginning of the BDS programme, with a larger clinical component towards the end of the course.

As well as being taught these components and practical skills, students will also acquire the necessary communication skills, personal management skills, information technology skills and an appreciation of ethical and legal issues in dentistry throughout the five years of BDS programme.

Clinical experience

Students will be introduced in the second year to the new state-of-the-art clinical skills facility where they will develop basic clinical skills in a safe and non-threatening environment. Students will begin to treat patients with minor gum problems in the first term of year two, and from the second term, students will begin to take responsibility for patients and provide restorative care.

As part of the Human Disease module in year three, students will spend one week at a peripheral general hospital developing the applied aspects of the learning in this subject. Another major subject area is the fixed and removable prosthodontics, and students will undertake a technical course in this area to develop greater understanding in how they are constructed and associated problems with fit and function. Students spend a considerable amount of time in the third year is devoted to the clinical treatment of patients in restorative dentistry, as well beginning the extraction of teeth and minor oral surgery.

In year four, most of the week will be spent providing dental care for patients. A major course in periodontology is started, as well an introduction to the operative procedures involved in implant dentistry. Students will also treat patients requiring extractions under conscious sedation, and begin to treat patients with complex medical problems under the guidance of specialist teachers as well as beginning the provision of dental care for child patients, which also includes learning about orthodontics.

In the final year, students will continue to provide comprehensive dental care for both adult and child patients, in which there is the opportunity to work on a regular basis at purpose built clinics with trained dental nurses and hygienists. Each week, students have the opportunity to study a topic of choice in any area of dentistry, or even learn a new language through the Modern Language Centre at King’s. They will also experience various specialist areas of dentistry.


Examinations are held at the end of each year, with a percentage of the marks for each examination derived from in-course assessment, which may take the form of essays, practical tests or project work.

Special features

At the end of year three of the BDS programme, students will have the opportunity to study in greater depth a subject of choice in greater depth as part of an intercalated Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Modules can be taken in a wide variety of subjects; students may wish to study clinically relevant subjects and related topics such as health services management or psychology, as well as more traditional subjects, such as neuroscience and biochemistry. Students may also wish to include a foreign language module.


Academic entry requirements

GCSEs: Grade B in English Language and Mathematics unless offered at A / AS level.

A levels / AS levels: AABb grades. Biology or Chemistry is essential at A2 Level, with the other subject being offered at AS level with a minimum of Grade B being achieved. Further Maths is only acceptable at AS level. General Studies and Critical Thinking are excluded.

Scottish Qualifications: AA grades at Advanced Higher Level including Biology or Chemistry plus three further Higher Levels at BBB grades from three different subjects to the two offered at Advanced Higher Level. Chemistry and Biology are required, one at Advanced Higher Level.

International Baccalaureate: A minimum of 36 points overall with 6,6,5 at Higher Level including Chemistry and Biology, at least one at Higher Level.

Degree: Graduates with at least an Upper Second Class (2:1) honours degree in a biomedically related or health professional subject or a Lower Second Class (2:2) honours degree in a biomedically related or health professional subject with a postgraduate degree (with at least a merit) may apply for the four year full-time graduate / professional entry BDS programme (A202). For more details, please see the institution website or refer to UCAS:

For medical graduates wishing to pursue a career in either oral and maxillofacial surgery or oral medicine / pathology, there is a three year full time programme (A204). Graduates must be a fully qualified doctor registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). For more details on the dentistry entry programme for medical graduates, please refer to the institution website:

UKCAT: All applicants (excluding medical graduates) must successfully sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test before applying for the BDS programme.

For more details on other accepted entry qualifications, including access applications, please see the institution website or refer to UCAS:

General entry requirements

Work experience: Candidates need to have undertaken some work shadowing either with a General Dental Practitioner or Community Dentist. There is no minimum time period required for this, however candidates must be able to talk about their experiences in the personal statement.

Personal qualities: Dentistry requires empathy and a desire to help people and communities. It is a demanding course and students will need to be conscientious and work hard to acquire the necessary depth of knowledge and be able to apply this throughout the long course. Excellent communication skills are necessary as is the ability to work well in a team.

Manual dexterity: Students will need to work with their hands and will be required to show a high degree of manual dexterity. Students must also be reasonably fit as a degree of mental and physical stamina is required to complete the course.

Non-academic interests: The personal statement should show some evidence of non-academic interests such as a sporting, musical or community involvement

Health screening: All potential dental students must undergo screening for blood borne viruses (BBVs) in particular Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV) prior to confirmation of their place at the Dental School. A full course of immunisation against Hepatitis B is required.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) enhanced disclosure: In accordance with the General Dental Council (GDC) guidelines on Fitness to Practice, all dental students are required to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check at enhanced level. Applications will not be processed further in the event that students choose not to give permission for this disclosure.


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.

Candidates may defer entry, and a gap year is encouraged, however evidence of how it will spent should be stated in the application. All candidates are required to sit the UKCAT aptitude test prior to application.

King’s Dental Institute screens UCAS forms for the most able and appropriate students not only in terms of academic ability, but also other contributing interests and talents. Approximately 30% of applicants will be invited for interview. About 170 offers are made each year, which accounts to roughly six applicants to every offer of a place.


Dental Institute
King’s College London
Hodgkin Building
Guy’s Campus
London SE1 1UL
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)207 848 6512
Fax: +44 (0)207 848 6510


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