Health Screening

If you are offered a place on the BDS programme, you will be required to complete a Health Assessment questionnaire. As part of this you will be required to disclose information about any impairments or health conditions which could affect you in your training so that, where appropriate, support needs can be identified. Applicants will also be asked about conditions which could pose a risk to patients so that we can assess these and consider how any risk can be avoided, whilst assisting you to successfully complete your programme. Most health problems and impairments, even if substantial, should not impede you from being accepted to BDS but we are required to ensure that you are capable, with support if needed, of acquiring the core clinical skills and competences to qualify and that you are able to work safely with patients.

The University of Glasgow is committed to providing equality of opportunity for students with impairments and health conditions to complete their studies. Appropriate support can be provided for almost all circumstances even if the effects of impairment or ill-health are substantial. However, because of a requirement to ensure patients are not harmed through involvement in dental training, if you have a condition which would make it impossible for you to complete training, even with adjustments and support, then you cannot be accepted onto the undergraduate dental course. In this circumstance, the University of Glasgow will endeavour to offer you a place on an alternative programme.  You should not assume that your impairment or health condition will prevent you taking up a place and we would be pleased to discuss with you at the earliest opportunity any concerns you may have.

Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV are chronic viral infections that can be transmitted to patients if the patient is accidentally exposed to an infected health care worker’s blood during surgery or other exposure prone procedure (EPP). To prevent any risk to patients and comply with NHS safety policies, dental students must be tested for signs of these infections before joining the programme. Testing will be carried out by the University’s Occupational Health Department prior to students commencing the programme. Please be aware that anyone who declines to be tested will not be allowed to enter the Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious blood-borne virus (BBV). This can be passed between a dentist and patient. Healthcare workers must ensure that they do everything possible to protect themselves and their patients from this infection.

Students must complete a full course of immunisation against the Hepatitis B virus. The immunisation process can take up to nine months and applicants are therefore advised to commence this process at the earliest possible opportunity. However, it is not a requirement for students to have completed the immunisation process prior to registration. Please also note that your GP is NOT under obligation to immunise you.

Confirmation of a student’s Hepatitis B Surface Antigen status is identified by the University’s Occupational Health Unit’s screening programme, prior to registration in September. No student will be registered without having this blood test.

Carriers of Hepatitis B may be precluded from registration to Dentistry because of the nature of the clinical procedures undertaken during training.

If you are concerned you may be at risk of being a carrier of the Hepatitis B virus or any other BBV you should have this checked immediately, and if positive, you must contact the Dental School as soon as possible so that discussion can take place on whether reasonable modifications would be required to be made within the undergraduate programme.

Hepatitis C

Guidelines from the Department of Health recommend that those embarking on training in certain healthcare professions in which invasive procedures are undertaken (including dentistry) must be screened for Hepatitis C prior to registration. Applicants who are carriers of this infection will not be allowed to enter training unless they respond to treatment. All new dental students will be screened for Hepatitis C. The University undertakes this during pre-entry health screening in September. 


Guidance from the Department of Health requires all dental students to be screened for HIV prior to entry. Further information will be provided to applicants at the appropriate time.