University of Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry

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


UCAS course code A200, institution code S18

5 year (1st year entry) full time course integrating biological principles with early clinical teaching


The pre-clinical component mainly takes place during year one and is taught in a series of lectures, practicals and small-group tutorial classes.

Most of the teaching on the programme is by academic staff supported by specialist colleagues in the Dental Hospital, General Dental Practitioners, and members of the Community Dental Service.

Course topics

Pre-clinical course topics in year one include biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and oral anatomy, which will allow for an appreciation and understanding of the scientific principles necessary to provide dental care for patients.

From year two, teaching begins to concentrate on the clinical dental subjects and related medical disciplines, with the study of dental pathology and dental materials.

Clinical experience

From year one, students will be introduced to the clinical aspects of preventative dentistry through a series of structured visits to the Dental Hospital.

In year two, students will begin to learn a wide variety of operative procedures using extracted teeth set in phantom heads before progressing to treat patients under close supervision.

As clinical experience increases, students will begin to be taught more complex and specialised methods of dental treatment and will be expected to provide continuity of dental care for patients.

Towards the end of the programme, the importance of the inter-relationship between the different dental specialities is emphasised, with focus on diagnostic and treatment planning skills.

Students will gain experience working in various hospitals and clinical departments, and will also have the opportunity to visit community dental clinics, as well as spending a two-week residency at a District General Hospital. Outreach placements have recently been introduced to the BDS programme at the University of Sheffield, where students will have the opportunity to treat a greater range of patients in a community dental clinic.

During the final year of the course, students will spend half a day each week treating patients in a specially created dental unit designed to simulate a modern dental practice.


All students will be assigned to a personal tutor for the duration of the course, with whom they will meet with regularly to discuss progress and who will provide advice and guidance with any academic of other difficulties.

Before commencing the clinical course, students must pass the First BDS Examination at the end of the pre-clinical course. The Final BDS Examination at the end of the five year course is made up of written, practical and clinical components covering all aspects of dentistry studied. A significant proportion of the Final BDS Examination is made up of the continuous assessment component in which each student must present a patient for whom he or she has provided comprehensive dental care.

Special features

Students will have the opportunity to carry out study of a topic of choice during the elective period, which may be carried out abroad, after which students will complete an elective project based on research undertaken or experiences gained whilst on the elective period.

There is also a Socrates exchange programme, whereby a small number of students have the opportunity to spend time studying at a Dental School in Dublin, Madrid, Oslo or Stockholm.

Students who achieve a high academic standard may take a one year intercalated course in which to undertake scientific research and which will lead to an honours degree in basic dental science (BMedSci).


Academic entry requirements

A levels: AAB grades at A Level including A grades in Chemistry and one other Science subject from Biology, Human Biology, Social Biology, Zoology, Physics, Physics and Mathematics, Mathematics (Pure and Applied), Mathematics with Statistics. The third A level may be in any subject.

Candidates who are resitting A Levels who have previously been offered a place at the Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry will receive a minimum offer of AAA. Only in exceptional cases, will the School consider applications from candidates from candidates resitting A Levels who have not previously applied to study Dentistry in Sheffield.

GCSEs: English, Mathematics and Chemistry at a minimum of grade C is required

International Baccalaureate: Minimum of 35 points overall with two Science subjects at Higher Level, including Grade 6 in Chemistry and 5 other subjects at Higher Level.

UKCAT: All applicants must sit the UKCAT test before the 15 October of the year of application. UKCAT tests cognitive ability and is used as an additional screening tool for the suitability of each candidate prior to interview.

For other accepted entry requirements, please see the institution website or refer to UCAS:

General entry requirements

Work experience: All applicants should have undertaken extensive work experience and have gained an insight into what a career in dentistry entails.

Personal qualities: Candidates should have genuine motivation and commitment to a career in dentistry. Excellent communication skills are important as are a caring and conscientious attitude.

Manual dexterity: Candidates should have a natural ability to work with their hands and are encouraged to show evidence of this either through the personal statement or at interview.

Health screening: All students must provide evidence of non-infectivity to Hepatitis C, HIV and Hepatitis B, as well as immunity to Hepatitis B. All students will be screened for Hepatitis C and HIV on commencement of the course. Immunisation against Hepatitis B may take up to nine months, and potential applicants should consult their General Practitioner as early as possible.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) enhanced disclosure: All dental students are required to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check at enhanced level prior to admission onto the course. Acceptance on to the course is subject to receipt of a satisfactory report.


There are 75 places available on the BDS programme, with approximately 1000 applications each year.

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.

UCAS forms will initially be assessed between October and January using information provided on the UCAS application. Applications are ranked taking into account various factors: candidates who have secured an interview typically have achieved 8 GCSEs at grade A or above; candidates who meet the minimum A level grade requirements will only be invited for interview if they satisfy the remaining criteria; well-written personal statements should show evidence of motivation, interpersonal skills and research into the course; UKCAT scores are also considered, however there is no minimum set score that applicants are required to score in any of the components of the UKCAT.

Invitations for interviews are sent out to between 300 and 350 candidates between October and January, which will be held during a 2 week period in December and a week at the end of January. Candidates will have the opportunity to visit the University, tour the Dental School and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, and also talk to current students. The interview panel consists of at least two members of academic staff and a senior dental student. The interview normally lasts for 15 minutes and aims to investigate the candidate’s motivation, communication skills, manual dexterity, and potential.

Between 200 and 220 offers will be made to successful candidates during the first two weeks of February.


The School of Clinical Dentistry
The University of Sheffield
Claremont Crescent
S10 2TA
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)114 271 7801 / 7807 / 7808
Fax: +44 (0)114 279 7050


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