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School Selection Procedures - Dentistry

At the beginning of each admissions cycle, the Admissions Sub-Committee reviews the previous cycle and recommends to the Learning Teaching and Quality Committee any changes in policy or the selection criteria. This policy and the selection criteria will not normally be changed during an admissions cycle.

Method of Application

All applications must be made through the UCAS scheme, details of which can be found at Applications can be made either in the English or the Welsh language. Applicants for the BDS degree are advised that no more than four choices from the possible five can be used for BDS programmes. Applications received after the UCAS deadlines will not be considered unless reasonable and documented extenuating circumstances can be presented to account for the delay.


Applicants will be advised of decisions by UCAS, and also in writing by the School Academic Office outlining both academic and non-academic conditions.

Confirmation of a Place

The examination results of applicants taking standard qualifications, who are holding conditional offers, are transmitted electronically by UCAS to Cardiff University; the School of Dentistry will review grades obtained. Applicants with non-standard qualifications such as graduates and overseas students will be contacted directly for confirmation of their results.

Applicants who have met the terms of their offer will be notified on results day by UCAS, and later in writing by Cardiff University. Those who have failed narrowly to meet the terms of their offer are referred to the Admissions Tutor for review. All information available relating to the application, including documented extenuating circumstances if appropriate, will be taken into account before making a decision as to whether the student should be offered a place. UCAS and the Academic Office will notify the applicant of the decision. The decision is final.

Further information relating to your confirmation of a place

School Selection Criteria

In order to achieve the aims of the BDS programme the School of Dentistry seeks to admit students from all backgrounds who can demonstrate the following aptitudes and qualities:

  • evidence of potential for high academic achievement
  • an understanding of the demands of Dental training and practice
  • a caring and committed attitude towards people
  • the ability to communicate effectively
  • a willingness to accept responsibility
  • non-academic interests and personal achievements.

The selection policy for prospective Dental students also involves a judgement about the individuals ability to meet the academic, physical and emotional demands of healthcare training.

Attitudes and Values

The School of Dentistry expects and seeks to admit students who will show exemplary behaviour and courtesy towards patients, teaching staff, other members of the healthcare team and members of the general public. The School of Dentistry also places particular emphasis on the duties and responsibilities students will have as a future dentist.

Initial Academic Assessment

In order to establish an applicant’s potential to cope with the academic requirements of the programme, the initial assessment consists of prioritising applications based on meeting the following minimum academic criteria shown below:

GCSEs - to include

Science Grade A, Additional Science A, English/Welsh Language A, Mathematics A. (from 2015)


Current or predicted grades AAA, to include Biology A, Chemistry A.

Academic criteria for other qualifications and categories of applicants are described in the Academic Entry Section. Documented extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration at the time of application and information regarding the difficulties experienced should be sent direct to the School of Dentistry Admissions Officer. Applicants who do not quite meet the above academic criteria may also be eligible for interview, depending on the strengths of their Personal Statement and Referee’s report.

Selection for Interview

Applicants will demonstrate the necessary academic potential including UKCAT.

The academic score and referee report, together with information relating to non-academic criteria including work experience, charity, voluntary, positions of responsibility and other interests are all taken into account when selected for interview. No offers are made to applicants without an interview.

Use of Contextual Data

We give consideration to Contextual Data in our selection processes. For details of University policy, please click here.

Admissions Tests

Cardiff School of Dentistry expects all applicants applying for A200 and A204 programmes to undertake the UK Clinical Aptitude Test, which forms part of the selection process, in the year of application.

Selection Interviews

The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

The interviews at Cardiff University School of Dentistry involve the use of a Multi Mini Interview procedure which is based on the Objective Structured Clinical Examination format that is commonly used by Health Sciences programmes to evaluate clinical competence.

The interview process is an opportunity to assess interviewees in person and assess information such as personal qualities, that is not readily forthcoming from traditional application processes. MMIs are offered to applicants reaching sufficiently high academic performance together with excellent supporting evidence.

The MMIs are made up of a series of short, carefully timed interview stations which provide information about applicants' ability to think on their feet, critically appraise information, communicate ideas, and demonstrate that they have thought about some of the issues that are important to the dental profession. There are ten stations on total. Each mini interview lasts a maximum of 5 minutes.

The School assesses the ability to apply general knowledge to issues relevant to the culture and society in which students will be practicing should they be successful in gaining admission to (and ultimately graduating from) the School of Dentistry. Equally important will be an assessment of the ability to communicate and defend personal opinions. It is important to know that there are no right answers for many of the scenarios.

The results of all assessments will be used to determine which applicants receive an offer. Two important points to remember:

  • there are no absolutely correct answers for any of the stations;
  • the MMI is not intended to test the amount of prior knowledge in these domains.

Back to Dentistry Admissions Criteria


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