These pages are currently under review and will be updated shortly. Please contact the admissions tutor for more detailed information.
This policy supports the aim of our undergraduate curriculum.
The curriculum's aim is ‘to educate individuals to safely practice dentistry in a training environment appropriate to their professional aspirations. They should be able to combine and use knowledge, skills and judgement and have appropriate attitudes to deliver a high standard of professional care’.
The admissions policy of the School of Dentistry intends to ensure that the process of student selection is objective, transparent, open, fair and free from discrimination. It is reviewed and revised annually by the Admissions and Monitoring Committee (Taught Courses) of the School of Dentistry at the commencement of the admissions cycle; it is not normally modified thereafter during that cycle.
This policy has been written with reference to the General Dental Council’s ‘First Five Years’ (2002) and the QAA Code of Practice: Admissions to higher education (2006). It has been approved by the Board of Studies (Undergraduate & Diploma) and the School Board.
Below is a summary of the information contained in the admissions criteria, please refer to the downloadable PDF document for the comprehensive criteria.
In order to achieve the aims of the undergraduate programmes 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 dental professionals.
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 in our entry requirements (see "Entry requirements" section below).
Selection for interview
Applicants will demonstrate the necessary 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.
A level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate
A level, Welsh Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate requirements can be found in Course Finder.
Detailed entry requirements
Details of the minimum academic requirements (for all qualifications) for consideration for entry to the courses are tabulated in the comprehensive PDF document for download and detailed under each specific course description.
Applicants under the age of 18
The School of Dentistry is committed to safeguarding both its students and the patients with whom they come into contact as part of our dental programmes. Cardiff University’s Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy (2010), and the Children Act (1989) legally defines a child as a person under the age of 18. As part of the existing curriculum early clinical experience occurs with potential of “Children being exposed to the Clinical Environment”. Therefore Cardiff Dental School requires all applicants to be 18 years or older by the beginning of the academic year, which is normally around the 20th of September each year.
Cardiff University's School of Dentistry is committed to ensuring that applicants are admitted on the basis of fair admissions practices. Applications that are suspected to contain false, plagiarised, incorrect, or misleading information will be investigated. The University reserves the right to cancel an application and withdraw any offer if it is found that the application contains false or misleading information.
English language requirements
All applicants must have an acceptable English language qualification and these are detailed in each programmes entry requirements.
Applicants who have been dismissed or suspended from a dental degree programme, at another University, will not be considered.
It is expected that exceptional extenuating circumstances relating to performance in examinations will already have been raised with the relevant Examinations Board, and that the classification of the relevant award will already have been moderated accordingly. Therefore details of exceptional extenuating circumstances need not be documented nor submitted at the time of applying via UCAS.
Extenuating circumstances will only be considered by the School if there was a direct impact on examination results affecting a successful applicant failing to meet the terms of their offer.
Applicants with disability
Applications from individuals with a disability are welcome but such individuals are strongly advised to contact the School for guidance prior to submitting an application if an applicant believes their disability could affect the ability to practise safely. Please refer to the PDF download for full details and information for applicants with disability.
Mature applicants, graduates and access qualifications
Applications from mature students through UCAS are welcome. The attention of mature applicants is drawn to the duration of training programmes. All applicants will need to assess their financial situation very carefully, and mature applicants are advised to seek guidance from their Local Education Authority. A Financial Guarantee Form will be sent to graduate applicants at the time that an offer is given. Graduate applicants are welcome to apply for admission to either the 5-year (A200) or the 6-year (A204) programmes, according to their previous academic experience in the sciences. Applicants must have completed their degree or must be in the final year of their current degree programme in order for their application to be considered. They will be expected to have, or to achieve, at least an Upper Second class Honours classification in the first degree that they have taken. Academic qualifications obtained before entering university will also be taken into account. Graduate applicants will need to meet the minimum entry requirements as stated in the appropriate appendix. All graduate applicants for the BDS programmes will be required to sit the UKCAT examination prior to applying, in order for their application to be considered. Graduate applicants for B750 and B752 (Dental Hygiene/Dental Therapy and Hygiene programmes) please review appendices 3B and 4B for further information.
Mature students who are pursuing an Access to Science Diploma or Access to Medicine / Dentistry Diploma that is recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (www.accesstohe.ac.uk) will be considered on an individual basis for entry to the Preliminary Year (six year) scheme of study (A204). This entry qualification is considered acceptable for those applicants who were unable to continue their formal education at school or college post-16 (e.g. for personal reasons). Preference is given to applicants who have been out of full-time education for at least four years before their Access course. It is not an acceptable qualification for applicants who have sat, but failed to achieve, the necessary grades at GCE A2 Level, degrees, etc. For Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy and Hygiene see Appendices 3B and 4B.
International Applicants (A200 and A204 ONLY)
Applications through UCAS from international students are welcome to the BDS programmes in common with all UK dental schools, the number of places available for international (non-EC) students is limited.
While the majority of international applicants offer International Baccalaureate or GCE A2 Level subjects, some other international qualifications are acceptable and these will be detailed in the entry requirements for each programme. International applicants are required to offer a recognised English Language qualification which must include reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Again acceptable qualifications are detailed in the specific requirements for each programme. All international category applicants who are being considered for programmes of study leading to the BDS degree will be required to complete a telephone interview.
International applicants should ensure they have adequate financial resources to support them throughout the dental course. The University will require a financial guarantee that all fees can be met. It is unable to offer any scholarship to help students meet these costs. As part of the admissions process, a survey is sent to all applicants with a Fees status of "O” for Overseas. The purpose of this survey is to ensure all overseas applicants are fully aware of their funding arrangements, and to draw attention to the potential consequences related to funding that may arise if the course is failed or if the individual must leave the course for any reason. If an individual receives the survey; completion is mandatory. Completion of this survey will not affect an application. Applicants from non-European Union (non EU) or European Economic Areas EEA must satisfy the requirements of Tier 4 of the Points-based Immigration System of the UK Border Agency.
Health and criminal record checks
Criminal record check
Admission to the undergraduate dental programmes is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4 (2) (exemption) Order 1975 and DHSS Circular HC (88) 9 guidelines regarding child protection and police checks. It is also considered important to ensure that applicant’s attitudes and values are such that they can reasonably be admitted to the Dental Profession. All offers given to applicants will, therefore, include a condition relating to a satisfactory criminal record check. This condition must be satisfied before commencement of the course. Detailed information will be given to successful applicants with letters offering places. Information on the Disclosure process can be found on the Gov.UK website:
All information is treated in absolute confidence and applicants with convictions to declare are assessed individually as to their suitability. For further information on Applicants Declaring a Criminal Conviction can be found at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/regis/ifs/handbooks/ugatguide/cricon/index.html
All offers given by the School of Dentistry will be conditional upon a satisfactory health check. Health questionnaires are sent to applicants after offers are made. Applicants are required to return their completed questionnaires to the Health Centre before commencement of the course. The late return of this information may mean that a place will be withdrawn from the applicant
Successful applicants who accept an offer for entry to the undergraduate programmes must ensure that they have an up-to-date Tetanus vaccination (i.e. within the last 10 years). Students who do require a vaccination must ensure that vaccination occurs at least six weeks before commencing the programme.
The UK Health Departments have defined those procedures where the potential exists for an infected healthcare professional to transmit a blood borne virus to a patient. These procedures have been termed exposure-prone procedures. It is not possible to train in dentistry without performing many exposure-prone procedures. For this reason all dental students must be tested for the blood borne viruses’ hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the first 2 weeks of the course. Only blood samples taken in the Occupational Health Department are acceptable. You will be asked to produce photographic proof of identity such as a Page 13 of 21 passport, driver’s licence, or university identity badge when having your blood taken. Infection with blood borne viruses in the UK is uncommon but is more common in other parts of the world. If you have any reason to think that you may have been exposed to hepatitis in the past you should discuss this with your doctor or contact the Health Centre at Cardiff University for advice (see http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/osheu/healthcentre ). For further
information regarding Health Clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis please click on the following link: http://www.medschools.ac.uk/publications. Please note that this screening forms part of the conditions of entry to the course and there is a possibility that students will not be able to undertake the course depending on the results of the screening.
Other immunisations and health checks
The UK health departments issue guidance from time to time concerning the health checks the government requires of new recruits to the NHS and healthcare students. Present practice includes checks for rubella, chickenpox and tuberculosis. In certain cases vaccination of non- immune individuals is recommended.
All applications must be made through UCAS. Applications should be made in either English although applicants can request to receive correspondence in Welsh; if and where possible the school will endeavour to accommodate such requests but cannot guarantee such. Applicants for the BDS course are advised that no more than four choices from the possible five can be used for dental programmes. Cardiff University is not made aware of applicants' other chosen universities, but is aware of an individual's application for other courses at Cardiff University. Application for other courses at Cardiff University will not affect the manner in which an application for Dentistry is considered. All applications are subjected to verification procedures for fraud and plagiarism.Information relating to the closing date for applications are detailed in the sections relating to each course. Applications received after the specified closing dates will not usually be considered.
N.B. Cardiff University School of Dentistry does not enter Clearing or UCAS Extra for its undergraduate courses.
The selection process
The selection policy for prospective students also involves a judgement about the individual’s ability to meet the academic, physical and emotional demands of healthcare training. However, there are generally three stages to the selection process. Members of the Dental School's Admissions Committee are involved at all stages.
Basic necessary academic requirements
In order to establish an applicant’s potential to cope with the academic requirements of the programme, the initial assessment consists of screening applications according to whether they meet the specified minimum academic requirements shown in the appropriate appendices. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will be rejected and will be notified of this decision through UCAS.
Academic requirements and ranking
The remaining applications will be ranked according to their overall prior certificated academic qualifications, usually GCSE and GCE A2 Level grades (or predictions), Baccalaureate points, degree classifications, etc. From this ranking, students will be identified for assessment of non-academic attributes and for interview. This means that not all applicants who have met the minimum academic requirements will proceed to the next stage of the selection process; it will depend on their ranking, and consequently, the competition. As a guide applicants in the last three cycles for BDS degree entry have achieved 5 A* grades in their GCSEs to meet the minimum threshold which is set each year once all applications have been scored.
Applicants with other qualifications, whether from within the UK, the European Community or elsewhere will be considered on an individual basis but will be expected to have achieved a comparable high level of achievement within their own education systems.
Programmes also use the results from other non-academic requirements or aptitude tests (UKCAT) to assist in the ranking of applications and the specific programme information will detail what is required.
For Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy and Hygiene see PDF.
Applicants who meet the minimum academic requirements and are sufficiently highly ranked academically are assessed on non-academic criteria according to the information in their personal statement and the referee’s report given on the UCAS Application Form. Non-academic requirements will be assessed in the personal statement and at interview.
The School recognises that opportunities for certain types of work experience and participation in some non-academic activities will vary according to individual circumstances, including an applicant's cultural or socio-economic background, or the activities available in their local area. Therefore, selectors are not prescriptive about the ways in which the non-academic selection criteria may be demonstrated but, where asked for, it is expected to be shown and documented as necessary.
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 dental professional (http://www.gdc-uk.org/Our+work/Standards).
All applicants are expected to have an appreciation of the length of the training programme and the career structure, and how this relates to their own situation and circumstances.
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.
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the Dental School during the Cardiff University Visit Day and on the annual Open Day.
Please note that the University Dental Hospital is not open on weekends. As a result, the School of Dentistry will not be open to visitors attending the University’s Saturday Open Days.
All applicants for the BDS programme (A200 / A204), other than those resident in exempt countries are required to take the national UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT). Test results obtained in previous years are not accepted. Comprehensive information on this, including specimen test questions, can be found on the UKCAT website (www.ukcat.ac.uk).
Cardiff University School of Dentistry does not have a minimum threshold score for the UKCAT and utilises all sections of the UKCAT examination to rank and select students both for interview and subsequent making of offers.
No offers are made without interview. Interviews are offered to applicants who achieve the highest positions according to their academic and non-academic rankings. Interviews take place during set times and no significance should be attached to the day and time you are allocated. Those who are not invited for interview will be informed, through UCAS, that their application has been unsuccessful.
Cardiff University School of Dentistry generally employs the process of the multiple mini interview.
Interviewers receive specific training and guidance on the form and conduct of the interview, including issues relating to equal opportunities and the benefits of diversity.
Individual interviewers assess each applicant’s performance and the interview panel outcome is dependent on the aggregate score.
The multiple mini interviews are conducted in English. It may be possible for some stations to be conducted in Welsh, any applicant wishing to have part of their interview conducted in Welsh must contact the Undergraduate Student Centre (Admissions), who will try to accommodate such requests. The tight and restricted nature of the multiple mini interviews generally means that there is not scope to offer alternative dates and applicants need to be made aware that you cannot normally change your interview date or time. However on rare occasions it may be possible to accommodate a request to change an interview date and again the Undergraduate Student Centre (Admissions) should be contacted at least 2 weeks in advance of the interview dates if an applicant would like to explore such a request.
It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure they are physically and mentally fit for the interview. Retrospective adjustment for a weak interview performance will not be made.
Extenuating circumstances at interview
Any extenuating circumstances that may affect an applicant’s performance at interview must be stated in the interview special requirements form or emailed to Admissions at dentalUGadmissions@cardiff.ac.uk before the interview. Any aspects of the interview that an applicant feels may have not been fairly or properly applied must be brought to the attention of the Admissions team on the day of interview and not retrospectively.
Failure to attend an interview
Failure to attend without good cause will be seen as an application being withdrawn. Please note that we may not be able to offer an alternative date if you do not attend for an interview
Cardiff University School of Dentistry is committed to widening access and welcomes applications from students of all backgrounds. For 2017 Entry, the School will continue its use of contextual data. The academic and non-academic attainment of a candidate will be reviewed against educational performance data and socio-economic background to provide admissions tutors with a more complete overview of an applicant’s attainment and potential. The School will consider this information when deciding whether to call a candidate for interview.
It will not use this information to make lower or differential offers to any particular group of students. For further information about contextual data and its use please see our web pages.
Applicants for A200 and A204 who re-sit A-levels will not be considered. Those whose under-achievement was due to exceptional extenuating circumstances must follow the procedures as detailed in PDF section 1.6. For Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy and Hygiene see Appendices 3B and 4B in PDF.
Cardiff University School of Dentistry will consider applicants seeking deferred entry and this should be stated at the time of application. Applications are made through UCAS in the usual way. The UCAS form should be amended clearly to show the intention to defer at the point of application. The individual’s personal statement should include an indication of the reasons for deferred entry. Deferment of entry for a period longer than 12 months is not permitted.
Applicants accepting deferred places are expected to make arrangements for contact with the Dental School to be maintained if they are travelling overseas. Deferment requests post-application will not normally be considered unless there are significant changes in an applicant’s situation, these must be made at least 2 weeks before any examination results day and are at the sole discretion of the Dean of the Dental School.
We do not consider transfers at the School of Dentistry.