Dentistry (Graduate Entry)

Dentistry (Graduate Entry) BDS

Since 2011, every student who has graduated from this course has secured their first job as a dental foundation trainee - impressive, given places are limited and awarded following a national competitive selection process. There are only 29 places on the programme so it has a friendly, intimate feel and allows for more discursive, interactive learning. You will be based in our Dental Education Centres for the majority of the final three years - a very different model from a traditional dental school and one that we firmly believe prepares you better for life in practice. 

The General Dental Council states that UCLan are delivering ‘a particularly innovative dental degree programme’ with imaginative use of IT, e-learning and an emphasis on learning dentistry within the local community.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Five Years. NB, Applicants who meet the entry criteria (see below) and who are successful at interview will be eligible for direct entry to Year 2.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:


  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Dentistry at UCLan is 1st in the North West for both teaching quality and learning opportunities. We're also 3rd in the UK and 1st in the North West for assessment and feedback  - National Student Survey 2019.
  • Dentistry at UCLan is ranked in the UK's top 20 according to the Complete University Guide 2020
  • Small class sizes allow for a close and friendly atmosphere with interactive learning opportunities.
  • Since 2011, 100% of students who have graduated from our Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree have secured their first job as a Dental Foundation Trainee.
  • As a BDS student you will be based in one of our four local Dental Education Centres for the majority of the final three years.

Course Overview

Year 1

The dental course cannot be divided into discrete "self-existing" units because the development of clinical knowledge and skills is a continuous process. There are no optional subjects. The following gives a basic outline of the courses.


Knowledge and Understanding

  • Body cells and structure
  • Body systems and nutrition
  • Body locomotion and control


During your first year of the graduate entry pathway training at UCLan you will learn clinical skills in the phantom head room and practice procedures such as examination, scaling and impressions in the clinical training units. You will learn dental technology in the prosthetics teaching laboratory. Towards the end of the first year at UCLan (2nd BDS) you will go to your DEC for two days a week to begin your work on patients.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Oral science and medicine including anatomy (1)
  • Behavioural science
  • Communication skills
  • Basic radiology
  • Health education
  • Dental materials

Skill Development (on simulators)

  • Preventative techniques
  • Fillings
  • Oral examination
  • Injections
  • Extractions
  • Dental technology

Clinical Practice

  • Students treat their first patient towards the end of the year

Professional Awareness

Year 3

Now you are based in Dental Education Centres most of the time and really put into practice the skills you learned on the phantom heads in second BDS. You will return to Preston for a number of training days to learn about endodontics and crowns.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Oral science and medicine (2)
  • Restorative dentistry (1)
  • Paediatric dentistry
  • Introduction to orthodontics

Skill Development (on simulators)

  • Endodontics
  • Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Flap design
  • Suturing

Clinical Practice (treating patients)

  • Oral hygiene
  • Scaling
  • Routine fillings
  • Endodontics
  • Simple dentures
  • Paediatric cases

Professional Awareness

Year 4

So far all the work has been primary care dentistry, which all dentists provide themselves. By the third year (fourth BDS) you will be ready to learn about secondary care that is provided by consultants and specialists. It is very important for you to see and understand these aspects of dentistry so that, when you qualify, you will know which patients need to be referred. During your placement in NHS hospitals local to the DECs you also learn about the management of medical conditions that impact on dental care. You will return to Preston for a course on advanced restorative dentistry.

Year 4 (continued)

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Oral diseases and pathology
  • Oral medicine and surgery
  • Applied radiology
  • Restorative dentistry (2)
  • Scientific appraisal
  • Elective project
  • Law and ethics

Skill Development (on simulators)

  • Advanced restorative
  • Techniques (bridges and complex dentures)

Clinical Practice (treating patients)

  • As Year 1 and 2 plus
  • Orthodontics
  • Minor oral surgery
  • Oral medicine
  • Sedation
  • General anaesthesia

Professional Awareness

Year 5

This is mainly a consolidation year. In addition to working in the DEC and continuing placements in local hospitals you will work in an Enhanced Training Practice. You will provide routine treatment for patients in the practice. This is a final stepping stone before you graduate and enter the dental foundation training scheme.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Medical A&E
  • Craniofacial anomalies
  • Maxillo-facial surgery
  • Implantology
  • Dental public health

Clinical Practice (treating patients)

  • Consolidation of Years 2, 3 and 4

Professional Awareness

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

2:1 Degree in a Biomedical discipline, plus 3 A-Levels at grade C or above (at least 2 must be from Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) General Studies is not counted towards A Level entry
GCSE: Maths & English GCSE Grade B/5 or Equivalent.

The Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degrees in the UK are 5-year programmes. There is a standard entry pathway and a graduate entry pathway. Applicants to the graduate entry pathway must demonstrate that their prior formal qualifications have covered relevant biomedical subjects. This will also allow direct entry to Year 2 (2nd BDS).

For 2021 entry the University of Central Lancashire will offer 29 places on its graduate entry pathway with no standard entry places. All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their prior degree covered the biomedical subjects included in the attached learning outcomes. This course is only open to applicants from the UK and European Union.


UCAS application deadline date: 15 October 2020

Applicants must also download, complete in full and return the Verification of Prior Learning document to by the deadline of the 15th October 2020.

Students will be contacted by the NHS directly inviting them to apply for bursary support prior to enrolling on the 2nd year of the course.

Academic Requirements

  1. A minimum of an upper second class Honours degree in a biomedical discipline.
  2. Verification or prior learning (see below).
  3. A minimum of 3 A Levels at Grade C or above (at least two of which must be from Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics*).
  4. GCSE Mathematics (Grade B/5) and English Language (Grade B/5) or equivalent
  5. All students whose first language is not English must have IELTS – grade 7.0 or above in every category.
  6. An academic reference. This should be from the course leader, your personal tutor or project supervisor. If you do not already have your degree, the academic reference should include a predicted grade. If you have been in employment for a number of years and are unable to obtain a reference from your previous university degree, we would consider a reference that can evidence continuing professional development at degree level or beyond.

*Please note that only one Mathematics award will count as one of the two required subjects. General Studies is not counted as one of the A Levels.

We do not consider external admissions tests such as the UCAT or GAMSAT during any part of the admissions process.

It is helpful if you make the biological components of your degree clear on the UCAS form. Please refer to the frequently asked questions document if you hold non-UK qualifications for advice on how your qualifications are assessed.

Verification of Prior Learning

At the time of submitting their UCAS form applicants for the Graduate Entry pathway MUST complete the document Verification of Prior Learning to demonstrate that their first degree has satisfied the Learning Outcomes of Year 1. This should be emailed direct to the Admissions Tutor at If applicants are successful at interview the information provided will be verified before an offer is made.

Non-Academic Entry Requirements

  1. Home/EU students only. Currently, we are only funded to offer places to UK/EU candidates, hence we cannot accept international applicants to this course.
  2. A fully and accurately completed UCAS form, ensuring that all applicable sections contain the relevant information.
  3. Work experience within Dentistry; we recommend a minimum of two weeks shadowing experience in an NHS General Dental Practice. However, in general, the more dental work experience an applicant has the better their understanding is of dentistry as a career as well as broadening their knowledge of current dental issues.

    In response to the current Covid situation:
    We will take the current situation into account in regard to the dental work experience requirement. Please include within the UCAS form both an outline of any dental work experience plans you may be able to secure later on in the year if and when dental practices are able to accommodate students, as well as the plans that had to be cancelled due to Covid. In the absence of any dental work experience, please include other healthcare work experience that you may have been able to obtain.

  4. Personal Statement; applicants must demonstrate their motivation for a career in dentistry.
  5. If the main academic qualifications were gained many years previously there should be evidence of recent academic endeavour i.e. in the last five years.
  6. DBS; all potential students must undergo an enhanced DBS check prior to admittance to the programme.
  7. Occupational Health Clearance; all prospective students must complete an occupational health screening. Students are advised to be protected against chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis C and TB. All offers are conditional on completion of a health questionnaire and satisfactory assessment of fitness to train from the Occupational Health Service. In line with the document for ‘New healthcare workers’ (Department of Health, 2007) all students must demonstrate that they are free from TB, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV prior to final acceptance on to the course. Students must also demonstrate that they have sufficient Hepatitis B antibody levels prior to commencing ‘exposure prone procedures’ and so are encouraged to start an appropriate course of Hepatitis B vaccinations as soon as possible (i.e. by the time an offer is made).
  8. It is also beneficial for you to have had at least a year's general work experience.
  9. We are unable to accept applications from individuals who are enrolled on another university course unless that course will be completed, and the results known, by the end of August prior to the start of the dental course.
  10. The School of Dentistry tries to accommodate students with disability or learning support needs, but it can only accept students who would be able to practise dentistry without detriment to patients. Students who have a disability that is likely to significantly affect their ability to practise dentistry, or who will need significant support to enable them to do so, are encouraged to discuss this informally with the Admissions Tutor at the School of Dentistry at UCLan. Please contact the Admissions Tutor at

If you have any further questions that you would like to ask the Admissions Tutor please email

Selection Procedure

Entrance exam and interviews will be held on one date only. All applicants that are invited to sit the entrance assessment examination must do so at the Preston campus and unfortunately, we are unable to hold the examination at any other centre.

Applicants who perform well at the entrance assessment exam which will be held on Thursday 27th November 2020 at 12.30pm (no other date will be available) and who have demonstrated that their degree has contained the necessary relevant subjects will be invited for interview between 14th to 18th December 2020 (no other interview dates will be available).

Entrance Assessment Exam

This multiple choice exam to be held on Thursday 27th November at 12.30pm (no other date will be available) is designed to ensure that all applicants have the necessary level of knowledge in order to allow them to enter Year 2 of the 5-year programme. The exam will cover all topics listed in the attached Verification of Prior Learning Document. The exam will be held online.

Interview Format

Applicants who perform well at the entrance assessment exam, who have demonstrated that their degree has contained the necessary relevant subjects and who have produced all required certificates will be invited for interview between 14th to 18th December 2020 (no other interview dates will be available).

The interviews will be held online and will consist of:

  • An interview panel
  • Checking of ID - passport
  • A series of Multi Mini Interviews and will include topics such as communication skills, knowledge of dentistry, ethics and professionalism and team working.
  • The interview will last approximately 40 minutes

View Frequently Asked Questions (.pdf 203KB)

Decisions and Feedback

All applicants will be notified of our decision as soon as possible; however, this may not be until the end of March. Normally, brief feedback is provided to unsuccessful applicants through UCAS at the time of rejection. Requests for additional feedback should be made in writing to the Admissions Tutor at . She will endeavour to respond within one month of receipt of the request but may not be in a position to provide any detailed feedback until after the end of March.

Student Finance England

To apply for Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan assistance, and for further eligibility information, please visit

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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Advice & Guidance

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DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Further Information

Dentistry students

Dentistry students

Dentistry (Graduate Entry) BDS

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

As a UCLan Dentistry student you will learn clinical skills in one of the most modern phantom head rooms in Europe, equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

Four Dental Education Centres (DECs) based locally within the community have been equipped with brand new surgeries, tutorial and study facilities dedicated for student teaching.

UCLan and the DECs are linked via IT for learning and teaching, with individual student access to the relevant intranets.

A Varied Approach
We employ a number of teaching methods to teach you the various aspects of dentistry. There is a great emphasis on clinical experience to develop clinical skills, initially by working on simulators in phantom head. Working with actors assists in the development of communication skills. Knowledge is developed by traditional lectures and tutorials as well as Problem Based Learning (PBL) where you work together to develop an integrated knowledge of how the body functions in Health and Disease. We use a variety of methods for assessment such as short answer, single best item and short note questions.

Human Anatomy and Resource Learning Centre (HARLC)
An understanding of anatomy is essential for any surgical discipline. HARLC is the focus for you to learn about the workings of the human body, particularly the head and neck region. The resources in the centre include anatomical models, guides and videos of professional dissections. You will have access to the centre from 7.30am until 8.00pm. You will be taught by dedicated anatomy staff. By using the resources in the HARLC we aim to give you the ability to learn anatomy, which you can apply to your clinical practice.

Information Technology
Within the School there is a wireless networking facility for you to access DVD and computer based learning resources. You will have access to online dental e-resources through the library and our e-learning platform (Blackboard). Chair-side computers in the phantom head room at UCLan and the DECs support clinical teaching, allowing procedures to be viewed and revisited.

Academic knowledge is assessed by formal exams at the end of Years 2, 3 and 4 BDS, and in the final exam at the end of Year 5 BDS. The development of clinical skill is assessed by a continuous record of grades for work, together with a reflective logbook.

Check out our Facilities


Dental Clinic X-ray Room

Phantom Head Training Area

Dental Clinic Treatment Room

Dentistry (Graduate Entry), BDS - Learning Environment


You will spend Year 2 BDS studying on campus in the new purpose-built Dental School at UCLan, before relocating for three years’ clinical training at our newly-established DECs in Accrington, Blackpool, Carlisle and Morecambe Bay.

During your 3-year placement at our local community Dental Education Centres (DECs), you’ll gain experience of secondary care maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and advanced restorative dentistry. The DECs are clinical training centres where you will treat patients, under supervision, and gain first-hand experience within the communities you are most likely to serve after graduation.

By placing you at the heart of community dental services within Cumbria and Lancashire, we aim not only to attract local candidates, but also foster long-standing relationships with those communities, leading ultimately to an increase in the numbers of newly qualified dentists who will remain in the area to continue their professional career.

In Year 3 BDS you will begin your placements at local hospitals where you will gain experience of secondary care maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and advanced restorative dentistry. During your training you will have seen more than 5,000 patients, undertaken nearly 9,500 fillings and provided treatment ranging from preventative advice to advanced procedures.

Dental Foundation Training
Your first job will be as a dental foundation trainee (DF1). Places as a dental foundation trainee are awarded after a national competitive selection process. 100% of UCLan graduates have gained places since this process was implemented in 2011. As a dental foundation trainee you are responsible for the treatment, but there is a recognised trainer at the practice who you can turn to for help and advice, and who will monitor your development as you gain the confidence of an independent dentist.

The majority of dentists work in a high street practice or community dental clinics. If you want to work in a hospital environment and specialise, you can undergo further specialist training in orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry and surgical dentistry.

Continual Professional Development
When you qualify it’s the end of the beginning. It’s like passing your driving test – you can get around safely but you need to gain more experience to become proficient and, eventually, an expert. Dentistry changes all the time and postgraduate education is the only way to keep up with these developments and ensure that you maintain and develop the skills of your chosen profession.

Clinical Training

  • Year 1 BDS
  • Year 2 BDS: UCLan and Dental Education Centre
  • Year 3 BDS: UCLan and Dental Education Centre
  • Year 4 BDS: UCLan, Dental Education Centre and Placement in NHS Hospitals
  • Year 5 BDS: UCLan, Dental Education Centre, Placement in NHS Hospitals and Enhanced Practice Training

Further Information

In the first year of the graduate entry pathway (2nd BDS) students are based in the Dental School at Preston. The course focuses on developing clinical skills and supporting knowledge as well as an understanding of how the human body works in health and disease. In Years 2, 3 & 4 (3rd, 4th & 5th BDS) students are based within our Dental Education Centres; located in Accrington, Blackpool, Carlisle and Morecambe Bay. Here they put their skills into practice by treating patients, returning to Preston for short courses to learn more complex procedures. In the third year (4th BDS) students start to attend clinics in the local hospitals to understand the various specialities in dentistry. In their final years, students work in enhanced training practices where they have their own surgery and nurse.

Entering Year 2 (2nd BDS) of the course, you will practice routine clinical procedures in the phantom head room and learn about the clinical and technical procedures involved in making dentures. During this time you will begin to expand your biomedical knowledge to embrace the principles of disease and medical knowledge that must underpin dental practice. In subsequent years you will learn the knowledge and practice of specific branches of dentistry.

During your 3-year placement within the local community Dental Education Centres (DECs), you will gain experience of secondary care maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and advanced restorative dentistry. The DECs are clinical training centres where you will treat patients, under supervision, and gain first-hand experience within the communities you are most likely to serve after graduation.

School of Dentistry dress code policy


This course is recognised by The General Dental Council.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
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Important Information

This course is based in the School of Dentistry

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.