Dentistry BDS

Dental students

Glasgow Dental Hospital & School is located in the city centre with facilities for patient care, student clinical practice and training, and education and research in dental and oral diseases and disorders.

Dentistry at Glasgow is ranked top in the UK (Complete University Guide 2022 and The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022).

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Dentistry BDS: A200 5 year degree

Programme structure

Year 1

You will be introduced to all aspects of clinical dentistry, supported by the teaching of clinical medicine, patient management and health promotion, and biomedical sciences such as anatomy, physiology and microbiology.

Year 2

You will be introduced to the theory and practice of the subjects that form the clinical basis of dentistry: operative dentistry, prosthodontics and periodontics. As part of the introduction to operative dentistry you will learn about the treatment of dental caries, carried out in a simulated clinical setting.

Knowledge from year 1 of the programme is built upon by further study of biomedical sciences, clinical medical sciences and patient management/health promotion. You will also begin the management and treatment of patients.

Year 3

You will expand your skills in all aspects of restorative dentistry and will also carry out your first extraction. You will attend outreach placements in paediatric dentistry. Other teaching includes a comprehensive head and neck anatomy course, the dentist’s role in providing smoking and alcohol advice, initial preparation for the provision of sedation, and self-directed work within various subject areas on computer.

During year 3 you are required to undertake a period of elective study. You will work towards this during the year and there will be a dedicated period of time situated after your year 3 exams to finalise and present your project. You will be assigned a supervisor to help you plan your study. This is an opportunity for personal and professional development. Possible elective study options include:

  • an audit project
  • an educational comparison
  • a research project (quantitative or qualitative)
  • a healthcare project in a remote or low-income country.

Year 4

You will continue to work in the Dental School and in the community and will have an opportunity to develop your clinical skills through exposure to patients in all the dental disciplines. Teaching includes oral medicine, sedation, orthodontics fixed appliance course, and further aspects of patient management/health promotion.

Year 5

You will spend half your time in the Dental School and half working in a community outreach centre. There will be no lectures; instead you will attend eight sessions in each of the following core units:

  • Crown and bridge
  • Minor oral surgery
  • Endodontics
  • Paediatric dentistry
  • Prosthodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Consultant clinics (1)
  • Consultant clinics (2)

You will be allocated to one residential and one non-residential outreach centre.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

During the elective period in year 3, you will choose a topic to study in greater depth, either in Glasgow or elsewhere. Many students take the opportunity to travel abroad and the University provides organisational and limited financial support.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2024

Summary of entry requirements for Dentistry

SQA Higher entry requirements (by end of S6)

  • AAAAB Higher + B Advanced Higher (AABB S5 minimum for consideration to include Biology or Chemistry at Grade A)
  • Additional requirements: Biology and Chemistry at grade A, Maths/Physics and English/ESOL at grade C. Advanced Higher in Biology or Chemistry at grade B. UCAT (www.ucat.ac.uk for more information). Interview.

SQA Higher adjusted entry requirements* (by end of S6)

  • AAABB Higher + B Advanced Higher (AABB S5 minimum for consideration to include Biology or Chemistry at Grade A)
  • Additional requirements: Biology and Chemistry at grade A, Maths/Physics and English/ESOL at grade C. Advanced Higher in Biology or Chemistry at grade B. UCAT (www.ucat.ac.uk for more information). Interview. Successful completion of Reach.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level standard entry requirements

  • AAA
  • Additional requirements: Chemistry and Biology at grade A. 6 GCSE subjects at Grade A/7. Maths/Physics and English language/literature (English accepted at grade B/6 provided all other GCSEs are attained at grade A/7). UCAT (www.ucat.ac.uk for more information). Interview.

IB standard entry requirements

  • 36 (6,6,6 HL)
  • Additional requirements: Chemistry and Biology at HL, Maths/Physics at HL (if HL not possible then SL6 will be considered). UCAT (www.ucat.ac.uk for more information). Interview.

Interviews: We will invite selected applicants to interview in late January/early February.

Work shadowing experience

We recognise that obtaining work shadowing in a dental setting is becoming increasingly difficult, however, applicants may still be able to secure alternative forms of shadowing or voluntary work which involves caring for and interacting with different people or develops the skills you will need as a dental professional. Applicants are also encouraged to investigate studying dentistry through e-Learning resources offered by dental schools such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Our BDS person specification contains a list of the attributes we look for at interview and we hope that the majority of applicants will have alternative experiences that they can draw on to demonstrate these attributes.

We would also recommend that applicants take a look at our Be a Dentist app, which is available for iPhone and Android which contains some excellent videos from dentists in a variety of career tracks to gain some additional information on the profession.

Important characteristics

Applicants also need to demonstrate characteristics which are important for the dental profession, including being able to:

  • Be diligent and ethical
  • Demonstrate having a caring nature, being empathetic and respectful of the views of others
  • Demonstrate good communication skills
  • Work in a team and have the capacity
  • to act as a leader
  • Be self-critical and self-motivating
  • Be capable of independent thinking
  • Plan and think on the spot, enjoy problem solving and analysing information
  • Show strong evidence of manual dexterity, creativity and spatial awareness.


Important information

Disclosure Scotland: Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme

If you are admitted to the BDS programme you will be required to undertake a Criminal Convictions check prior to registration. We require full declaration of convictions, including anything deemed ‘spent’. It is your responsibility to pay for the check.

International applicants

Please be aware that the University is neither responsible for, nor in a position to offer, entry in to the Scottish dental workforce following successful completion of the BDS programme.

Fitness to Practise

Where a programme of study requires the student to act in the course of practical training in a quasi-professional role in relation to patients, children, clients or service-users or where the qualification provides a direct licence to practise, the University has a duty to ensure that the student is fit to practise. Fitness to Practise is assessed not only in terms of academic attainment but also in accordance with relevant professional concerns and expectations. Students registered to study dentistry are subject to separate Fitness to Practise procedures. A copy of the Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise will be made available to BDS students.

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.


Admissions guidance

English language

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 7.0 with no sub-test under 7.0
  • This must be a recent test: the required score must have been achieved within the last two years at the point we consider your complete application (NMC, 2020)
  • IELTS One Skill Retake accepted.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-sessional courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

Further information about English language: School of Modern Languages & Cultures: English for Academic Study

Career prospects

Most dental graduates become general dental practitioners. Other possible careers lie in the hospital service or the community dental service.

Choosing a career in NHS general dental practice requires you to undertake a period of vocational training designed to ease the transition between dental school and general dental practice.

This vocational training period lasts one year. However, in some parts of the country, it has been voluntarily extended to a two-year period of general professional training, to provide experience in the provision of dental care in both primary and secondary settings.


The BDS is recognised by the General Dental Council for the purpose of membership. 

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:


Dentistry: A200 (5 years)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.


The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

RUK Access Bursary

The bursary supports talented students who may not be able to take their place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for the up coming academic session, ordinarily domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

James McCune Smith Undergraduate Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has up to 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the university. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for year one of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the university for 2024 entry. Current students who have previously been in receipt of the award may reapply, however, preference will be given to applicants entering their first year of study.

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is awarding c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University for 2024 entry. The value of each scholarship is typically £1,500 p.a. for each year of the degree programme, subject to satisfactory progress. Talent Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University's Colleges.

Dental School students are eligible for a Talent Scholarship in their first year of study only. They are eligible for the NHS Dental Student Support Grant in the following years.

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Access Bursary

Glasgow has a long and proud tradition of providing financial support to talented students who, for reasons of financial hardship, might not be able to take a place at university. Our RoI Access Bursary is part of our commitment to continue to attract and support students from a diverse range of backgrounds. For 2023 entry, the RoI bursary will be up to £2,000 for your first year of study and £1,000 for continuing years.

Payments of the RoI Access Bursary will be detailed in your Award Letter.

  • The RoI Access Bursary will be awarded as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Access Bursary will be paid in 10 instalments from October until July; this award is based on household income
  • The RoI Access Bursary will only be awarded in years where tuition fees of £9,250 apply 

Please see here for up to date information and criteria for 2024 entry. 

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Excellence Scholarship

The RoI Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained at Irish Higher grades H1, H1, H1, H2, H2 from the Irish Leaving Certificate for 2023 entry. Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine applicants are not eligible for this award.


  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be processed as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be paid in 2 instalments.
  • The first payment will be in October and the second payment will be in February.

These payments will be credited to the UK bank account held on your MyCampus profile; therefore, it is vital that this is up to date at the start of the session. By submitting your bank details on the MyCampus system, you are confirming that you agree with the terms and conditions of the award.

Please see here for further information and eligibility criteria for 2024 entry.

Cowrie Foundation Scholarship

The University of Glasgow and The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will offer a scholarship to support Black African and Caribbean heritage applicants from socio-economically challenged backgrounds.  Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK and commencing an undergraduate study in the academic year 2024-25

The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation wants to fund 100 Black British students through UK universities in the next decade. More information on the Foundation can be found here.

Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 20 Sanctuary Scholarships for applicants to the University, who have been forced to travel to the UK for humanitarian reasons and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University of Glasgow applying for entry in September 2024/25. Please note that you must have applied to the University before submitting an application for this scholarship.

The scholarship will meet the cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme, for applicants who are unable to access mainstream funding through Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) or Student Finance. The Sanctuary Scholarship also provides a £5,000 per year stipend, to assist with study costs. In addition, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met, this will also be provided for the duration of your degree, if required. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

Undergraduate students with refugee status (or equivalent) and access to funding, are eligible to apply for the scholarship and would receive the £5,000 stipend towards study costs only, if successful.

Postgraduate Taught Masters students with refugee status (or equivalent) and access to funding, are eligible to apply for the scholarship and would receive the £5,000 stipend towards study costs and a partial tuition fee waiver, to cover any shortfall not met by your Postgraduate Masters tuition fee loan.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society is offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate applicants for 2024 entry.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students: Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 16 October. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 31 January.

The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

  • 16 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

How soon will I receive a decision?

We will usually respond before the end of March.

If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

Is deferred entry available?

For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. 

University Transfers

Home Transfers

Dental Schools do not accept transfers of students from other schools. This is because the requirements for graduation defined by the GDC are not taught and assessed in a similar order. Government capped places would also be disrupted by student transfers.

Schools may consider transfers for students in unforeseen exceptional circumstances with approval of both the sending and receiving programmes. In most cases the student would need to re-start from year one for the reasons described previously.

DSC encourages prospective students to consider the intensity of oral healthcare courses and their potential geographical distance from their support networks, when applying for dental school.

International transfers

Students from a dental school outside the UK are unable to transfer into a programme in a UK dental school. This is because international programmes follow their local regulatory requirements which are likely to differ from those in the UK.

  • Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college. 
  • Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

All applications must be received by UCAS by 16 October. If applying for Dentistry (A200) you must limit your choice to four dental schools only.

Apply via UCAS

Times Good university guide
2nd in UK

Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [Dentistry]

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