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BDS dentistry foundation year students
BDS Dentistry (pre-dental entry)
Train to be a dentist even if you don't have science qualifications through this course with a foundation year.

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This course is now full for our 2019 entry, but have a look at our clearing vacancies to see if a similar course has space.

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BDS Dentistry (pre-dental entry)

Year of entry: 2019

Overview

Degree awarded
BDS
Duration
6 years
Typical A-level offer

AAA (in non-science subjects)

Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
AAB (in non-science subjects)
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

36 points are required overall to include core points with at least 666 at Higher level.

If Maths and English Language are not offered as part of the Diploma, they should be offered at GCSE or IGCSE at grade B or above.

Higher level subjects should include either:

  • three arts/humanities subjects;
  • two arts/humanities subjects and one science subject.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
6/58
How to apply
Apply through UCAS .

Course overview

  • Spend an additional year preparing for the five-year BDS course if you do not have the appropriate science qualifications for direct entry.
  • Study at a university ranked 4th in the UK for dentistry, according to the QS World University Rankings 2017.
  • Have the option to study for an intercalated BDS degree , where you interrupt the course for a year to achieve a BSc award in a related subject.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our upcoming open days .

Fees

Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2019 will be £9,250.

Tuition fees for international students will be £23,000 for the foundation year and year 1.

Clinical tuition fees (years 2-5) are charged at the future rate which is applicable when you enter Year 2. Clinical fees for students entering Year 2 in 2019 will be £42,000.

For general information, please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Additional expenses

When on the clinics you will need to wear a tunic - which cost approximately £25 each - as well as black trousers or skirt and black leather duty shoes that are close fitting around the toes and heels.

There will be travel costs when attending community clinics in the Greater Manchester area from Year 4. There is no discounted parking on campus for students if you have a car.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Telephone
+44 (0)161 306 0211
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/dentistry/
School/Faculty overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

Our standard A-level offer is AAA including:

  • three arts/humanities subjects;
  • two arts/humanities subjects and one science subject.

Combinations of very similar subjects, for example, Biology and Human Biology or Maths and Further Maths together, are not acceptable. Two AS-levels in place of one A2-level will not be accepted.

Where any science offered includes a practical element, the practical element must also be passed.

Achieved A-level grades

If you are applying with known A-level grades that meet the above requirements, you may be considered even if your GCSE grades do not reach the required standard.

However, you must have a minimum of grade B in GCSE English Language and Mathematics. Dual Award Science must be offered at minimum BB or the sciences at minimum grade C at GCSE or AS.

AS-level

We have no specific requirements at AS-level. However, we would normally expect students to demonstrate a commitment towards achieving a broad and balanced education. Most applicants will therefore be studying beyond the 'bare minimum' in order to make the most competitive application possible.

You may wish to evidence this on your application in a number of ways, for example:

  • studying four A-level subjects;
  • studying for an additional AS level or BTEC qualification in addition to your three main subjects;
  • taking General Studies, Key Skills or the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in addition to your three main subjects.

We are aware that you may not be able to take the above qualifications at school or college and therefore we allow applicants to provide evidence of participating in other activities aimed at increasing social responsibility, for example, National Citizen Service (NCS) or the Duke of Edinburgh award in lieu of a formal qualification. A list of other suggested activities is provided on our FAQ page . If in doubt, please contact us.

Please note that if your school is unable to offer any of the above, they should state this in the UCAS reference and you will not be disadvantaged as a result.

Applicants with a WP/WP Plus flag are exempt.

Duration of A-level study

If you have studied an advanced curriculum, where the examinations are spread over three years, consideration for an offer will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor. We may also require further information, to make an informed judgment on your application.

GCSE

We require at least five GCSEs at grade A or A*, which need not be in the sciences.

English Language and Mathematics are required at GCSE minimum grade B. At least two science subjects are required at GCSE minimum grade C if not taken to AS/A2-level. If Dual Award Science or Core and Additional Science are offered, the minimum required is BB.

If you are resitting any GCSE subjects, you must explain the circumstances that prompted this.

We do not currently accept short courses; however, Level 2 BTEC qualifications are acceptable (at distinction grade or above) in lieu of one GCSE.

Due to the phased introduction of GCSE reform in England, we will accept a mixture of GCSE grading scales. We can confirm our position in terms of equivalencies:

  • A* = 8
  • A = 7
  • B = 6
  • C = 4

International Baccalaureate

36 points are required overall to include core points with at least 666 at Higher level.

If Maths and English Language are not offered as part of the Diploma, they should be offered at GCSE or IGCSE at grade B or above.

Higher level subjects should include either:

  • three arts/humanities subjects;
  • two arts/humanities subjects and one science subject.

Scottish requirements

Scottish Highers

We require 4 Highers at grades AAAA by the end of Secondary 5. Grades should be achieved in the same sitting at first attempt. English language and Maths, if not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher, must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (National 5, Intermediate II or Standard Grade Credit level grade 2 or above).

Applicants also need Scottish Advanced Highers in addition to Scottish Highers, so please also check the entry requirements for those qualifications.

Scottish Advanced Highers

We require at least two Advanced Highers at grades AA by the end of Secondary 6. Any of the following combinations are acceptable:

  • three Advanced Highers;
  • two Advanced Highers, plus one A2-level subject at grade A;
  • two Advanced Highers, plus one new Higher at grade A.

Only one science subject would be permitted.

You will also need Scottish Highers in addition to Scottish Advanced Highers, so please also check the entry requirements for those qualifications.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this.

The minimum grade required will normally be the same as the lowest grade listed in the A-Level entry requirements.

European Baccalaureate

We welcome applications from those taking the European Baccalaureate.

You must offer Maths 5 and English Language. Only one science subject would be permitted.

We require an overall final result of 83%.

Other international entry requirements

There are no overseas places on this course.

We do not accept applications from individuals already holding a dental qualification awarded by another country. We are not able to accept applications from outside the EU for the Foundation Year. If you are uncertain about whether you qualify for entry, please contact us.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

We do not accept the following qualifications (individually or combined) for entry onto this course:

  • BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • BTEC National Diploma
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

We do not consider the following qualifications (individually or combined) for entry onto this course:

  • Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
  • Cambridge Technical Diploma
  • Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma
  • Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate

Access to HE Diploma

We do not accept Access courses for application to A204. Please see the details for A206 BDS 5-year programme.

Cambridge Pre-U

The Pre-U Diploma is acceptable for entry to Dentistry and Principal Subjects are accepted in place of A-levels. D3 equates to grade A at A-level. The same subject specifications as A-level apply.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS for further information: UCAS reference guidelines .

Non-standard educational routes

Graduates

We welcome applications from graduates or those in their final year of study towards an undergraduate degree. You should have achieved or be predicted a minimum of an upper second (2:1) honours degree and should have achieved a minimum of BBB at A-level (32 in IB) in your first sitting.

The Foundation Year is not appropriate for graduates with a science degree. Please see our FAQ page . Graduate applicants with two sciences at A-level are also not considered for the Foundation Year course. Applicants who fulfil either of those criteria should apply to the 5-year course instead. Please note that we do not accept ordinary or ungraded degrees.

We do not accept A-level re-sits for the purpose of improving grades from graduates. UKCAT, Maths at minimum Grade B in GCSE and English Language requirements also apply.

Graduates and final year undergraduates must offer an academic reference on their UCAS form.

English language

In most cases, we expect applicants to satisfy our English Language requirement by offering English language at GCSE grade B or above (or a score of 5 in the International Baccalaureate diploma).

Applicants from outside the UK (including non-native speakers) need to meet specific English language requirements to study at Manchester. We accept:

  • IGCSE English at grade B;
  • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): A minimum average score of 7.0 and with not less than 6.5 in any one component taken at the same sitting;
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: An overall score of 73 with no less than 73 in each of the communicative skills domains taken at the same sitting;
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): An overall score of 185 with no less than 185 in each of the scoring domains taken at the same sitting;
  • a score of 5 at Standard or Higher level as part of the International Baccalaureate diploma.

Please note that some scores only remain valid for two years. If you apply using a certificate gained over two years ago, at the point that you start your course, you will need to retake the test.

If you hold English as a second language qualification, we will also require you to offer one of the Secure English Language Tests listed above.

Please contact us prior to application if you are unsure how to satisfy these language requirements.

Graduates: Graduates who have completed a degree conducted entirely in English at a UK institution may be exempt from the English language requirements. Please contact us if you are unsure.

At interview, if we have any concerns about your English language capability regardless of your origin, country of upbringing or existing qualifications, we may require you to take an additional English language test as a condition of any offer we make to you.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Relevant work experience

We require applicants to undertake some relevant work experience prior to application in order that they can gain some insight into what the role of a dentist involves.

Work experience may be paid or voluntary and should include some time spent in a dental setting but can also include examples from other healthcare and related environments.

As important as the detail of the work experience is the applicant¿s capacity to reflect on what they have gained from their experiences and the quality of that reflection will be reviewed as part of the selection process. A key element we are looking for is for applicants to be able to demonstrate some understanding of the qualities and attributes required to become a healthcare professional.

Applicants should be aware that we may request confirmation of their work experience.

Please see our FAQ and Non-Academic Information Form pages for more information on work experience.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

Please refer to the application process page for further guidance on:

  • how to apply
  • how your application is considered
  • personal statement guidance
  • interview requirements
  • aptitude test requirements.

You should also refer to the General Dental Council's Student professionalism and fitness to practise guidance .

How your application is considered

See the application process page for information on how we consider your application.

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

When we read a UCAS form, we want to develop some insight into what has attracted you to career in dentistry, and what has confirmed this choice.

See our page on completing your UCAS form for more information on what you should address in your personal statement.

Interview requirements

No offer is made without a successful interview. We run a multiple mini interview format at Manchester and interviews will be held in February of the current admissions cycle.

See our interviews page for more information.

Returning to education

We are pleased to consider applications from non-traditional applicants but would ask that you contact the Admissions Office for advice on suitability for a potential application.

Aptitude test requirement

Applicants are required to sit the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). Please note that the result is valid for one application cycle only. If applicants are reapplying, they must re-sit UKCAT.

Further information specific to The University of Manchester is detailed on our UKCAT page.

Please note that we do not consider applicants who achieve Band 4 in the Situational Judgement Test element of the UKCAT.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening. The health screening is based upon the Higher Education Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS) standards of medical fitness to train for dental students [PDF, 71KB].

A potential student may be concerned that their health or disability may affect their ability to fulfil the competency standards of the course. Any such applicants are encouraged to contact the Occupational Health Service and/or The Disability Advisory and Support Service at an early stage in order to explore the situation in depth and consider the feasibility of making reasonable adjustments. Hopefully the process will prove helpful to the student in deciding whether to pursue an application.

In Manchester, you will be introduced to the clinic in the first term. Therefore, you will have to produce satisfactory evidence on non-infectivity with respect to the blood-borne viruses HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Tuberculosis. In addition, you must pass a health screening in Student Occupational Health prior to entry to ensure you are fit to practice.

The health screening requires the completion of a detailed health questionnaire by the applicant and their General Practitioner and also an appointment with the University's Occupational Health Department. In order to be admitted and continue on the programme, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department.

General enquiries about health screening should be addressed to Student Occupational Health, Tel +44 (0)161 275 2858, Fax +44 (0)161 275 3137.

Please see also the Procedure for Admission to Courses Requiring Medical Fitness Assessment [Word 59KB].

Disclosure and Barring Service check

You will be required, as part of the non-academic conditions of your offer, to provide a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In the UK, this takes the form of an Enhanced Level search by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and will reveal any criminal convictions, spent or unspent, as well as any police cautions, warnings or reprimands.

Regulations and record systems in other countries vary. Overseas applicants are encouraged to contact our Admissions Team.

Anyone who considers it possible that a criminal record or other disclosure may reveal any offence must contact the Admissions Team before applying.

Deferrals

We welcome applications from students who wish to defer their entry to the following year, but we prefer this to be indicated at the point of application.

It may not be possible to defer entry once an offer has been made and we are unlikely to be able to consider any requests after the release of A-level results.

We do not have any specific requirements for how you use your gap year, but we would expect it to have been used constructively.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

We welcome applications from those re-sitting their A-levels, though applicants may only re-sit one of either Year 12 or Year 13.

Where A-levels have been attempted in Year 13, applicants are expected to have obtained a minimum of grade B in each subject at the first sitting for the re-sit grades to be considered.

All re-sitting applicants are required to achieve Grades A*AA in the A-level subjects specified above.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful we may permit one further application. Please contact us in advance to determine the suitability of a re-application. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

We would require re-applicants to continue with their work experience in their year out and would also expect to see a material difference in their application from the previous year. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

All re-applicants must retake UKCAT and provide updated information that refers to the initial application and chronicles subsequent events.

Applicants applying with achieved qualifications must explain in their personal statement what they are doing during the gap year.

Transfers

Due to the highly integrated structure of the degree course, we do not grant exemptions from subjects. Transfers from other institutions are not considered. If you feel that you have embarked on the wrong course elsewhere, and who wish to be considered for entry to study dentistry and The University of Manchester, you should first complete your current programme of study, or be in the final year before you apply to us.

We do not consider applications from students who have started a clinical programme elsewhere.

Course details

Course description

Our pre-dental entry course in Dentistry (foundation year) is aimed at students who have proven academic ability but not the necessary science qualifications to apply directly to the five-year BDS .

Automatic entry to the standard five-year BDS course is granted upon satisfactory completion of the foundation year.

The five-year course will prepare you for a dentistry career through a combination of clinical study and basic and advanced dental sciences.

Once you have mastered basic competencies in the University's skills facilities , you will move on to treating patients in both the University Dental Hospital of Manchester and local outreach clinics early in the course.

You will learn to work within a dental team to take a patient-centred approach to clinical care, practicing in a professional, safe and ethical manner.

Our students are also trained to become reflective practitioners who are committed to lifelong learning.

Aims

The course is specifically constructed to prepare you for the first year of the standard five-year BDS course . All topics have a medical or dental orientation, many using clinical material, although you will not have direct contact with patients.

Part of the foundation year is taught at Xaverian College , with access to all its facilities and support systems.

Special features

Early clinical experience

You will be introduced to the clinical environment in the first semester of Year 1, enabling you to integrate theory and practice early on in the course.

Interdisciplinary learning

Learn alongside students and professionals from a range of backgrounds, including those training in complementary professions such as dental nursing and therapy.

Intercalation opportunities

You can study another subject to achieve a BSc award over one year between Years 2 and 3 of the BDS course.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods on the course.

Enquiry-based learning (EBL)

The tutor establishes the task and helps the process, but you will pursue your own lines of enquiry, drawing on existing knowledge and identifying your own learning needs.

You will participate in a wide range of different learning activities including problem-based learning (PBL) sessions, small-group seminars, themed theatre events, case-based activities, computer-assisted learning (CAL), the use of web-based resources and project work.

The emphasis on EBL means that traditional lectures do not form a major part of the course.

Critically Appraised Topics

There is an emphasis on research throughout the course. Of particular note is the use of Critically Appraised Topics (CAT), in which students pose a clinical question, eg 'Is water fluoridation an effective means of preventing tooth decay?', and assess the existing published literature to draw conclusions.

These might include suggestions for further research to add to the existing evidence base or a strategy for implementing treatments where the existing research evidence is strong.

Through the review process, you will acquire skills that will equip you to assess, in a meaningful way, new developments in dentistry throughout their lifetime in practice. The reviews are added to our database of critically appraised topics and published on our website.

Projects

Throughout the course, you will complete a research project and a clinical case presentation.

Lecture/symposium

These are interdisciplinary-themed theatre events combining presentations, clinical case presentations and interactive exercises.

Technical/laboratory

Classes in laboratories, the anatomy dissection room and our clinical/technical skills facilities are timed to complement the knowledge you acquire through EBL.

These are designed to equip you with the competencies you will need to treat patients during each stage of their development as student dentists.

Clinic

You will undertake clinical experience in a range of environments (dental hospital, outreach community clinics), working in a dental team.

Coursework and assessment

The course has been carefully designed to ensure that assessment is appropriate in terms of both timing and quantity, and that there is consistency of assessment methods throughout the course. These include:

  • multiple choice questions
  • short answer written papers
  • assessed projects
  • presentation of completed cases with companion oral examinations (sometimes known as vivas)
  • objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) incorporating clinical competency tests
  • peer assessment
  • reflective journal writing.

A 100% attendance record is expected for all teaching elements unless there are valid reasons for absence. If you have poor attendance records, you may not be signed up to sit the end of year exams in any year of the course.

Integration and early clinical experience

The integration of non-clinical and clinical aspects of the course means that the relationship of science subjects to the treatment of patients and disease elimination is immediately apparent.

This philosophy allows for the rapid transfer of relevant research findings to the clinics. You will be introduced to the clinical environment in the first semester of Year 1.

Outreach clinics

This course emphasises exposing you to dentistry outside the confines of the University and Dental Hospital through custom-built community clinics.

Treatment needs are high, there is no shortage of patients and you will gain valuable experience of working as part of a team including dentists, dental nurses, hygienists, therapists and receptionists.

Teamwork

The importance of teamwork is emphasised on the course. Alongside the BDS course, we provide a course in BSc Oral Health Science , which trains dental hygienists/therapists.

We also have close links with nearby Manchester Metropolitan University's long-standing course in Dental Technology.

Students drawn from different years of the course and from dental care professions, such as student dental therapists and student dental technicians, work as a team to meet the treatment needs of shared patients.

This helps you to experience true teamwork in a dental context throughout your time at Manchester.

Course unit details

The essential components of the foundation year include:

  • units covering the core syllabus using problem-based learning (PBL) concepts;
  • formal academic teaching sessions covering some aspects of the relevant basic sciences;
  • special study units with a clinical orientation;
  • guest lectures by clinicians.

Entry to the five-year BDS course is automatic on satisfactory completion of the foundation year.

See the five-year BDS page for details of course content after the foundation year.

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Facilities

You will have access to a range of clinical facilities , as well as our dedicated learning resource centre with a multimedia cluster.

University facilities

The University of Manchester offers extensive teaching and learning facilities and library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Office .

Careers

Career opportunities

Almost invariably, dental graduates apply for one year Dental Foundation 1 training posts when they graduate. These are salaried posts in NHS general dental practices, comprising four/five days per week of clinical work and 30 days of professional study over the year.

Each DFY1 is mentored by a Dental Trainer in the same practice. All training practices are inspected to ensure they are of a required standard.

Many graduates decide to specialise in a particular branch of dentistry such as orthodontics or endodontics. Specialist training courses are available in all dental specialties and are highly competitive.

Some general experience in dentistry is required prior to entry to a specialist training programme, as is either the MJDF or MFDS examinations run by the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England, Edinburgh or Ireland and Glasgow.

We offer careers advice throughout the BDS course, with much of this help concentrated in Year 5 as graduation approaches. Specific help and guidance is given in your final year to help you prepare for the Foundation Dentistry selection process, which is done on a national basis.

Read our graduate profiles to find out what previous BDS students have gone on to do.

Accrediting organisations

This Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree is accredited as a qualification registerable with the General Dental Council .