Entry Requirements and Selection Procedure

Selection Procedure

Academic Criteria

Clinical requirements

Career Exploration

Personal Qualities



Applications for Deferred Entry


The School receives approximately 800 applications each year for the 71 places available on the BDS programme. Assessment of applications takes place from October with invitations for interview being sent out in January.

Applicants are initially assessed using information provided through your UCAS application and UKCAT. Academic qualifications, evidence of career exploration, personal qualities and values demonstrated in your personal statement and academic reference are used to select applicants for interview.

Competition for places is extremely high and therefore you should consider the following criteria when making an application:

Academic Criteria

    GCSE: Most applicants who secure an interview have  a minimum of 6 A grades or Grade 7's in the new GCSE grading structure or equivalent at GCSE Level which include Maths, English Language and Science subjects.

    AS: We do not take into account AS grades when assessing the academic criteria. We use A2 achieved grades or predicted grades where applicable.

    A-levels: The minimum requirement for entry onto the programme is
    AAA, which must include Chemistry and Biology.

    The third A-level may be in any subject and we do not give preference to any particular subject for this third A-level choice. Similarly preference is not given to applicants who are taking 4 A-levels or additional AS levels.

    UKCAT: All applicants applying to study Dentistry at the University of Sheffield will need to take the UKCAT in order to be eligible for admission.

    The UKCAT test must be taken prior to your application, please note that test results are only valid for the current admissions cycle, if you re-apply to this Dental School you will need to sit the test again. Details of test dates and how to register for the test can be found on the UKCAT website http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/ 

    The cognitive components are used in conjunction with your academic qualifications, and therefore a high overall score may support an applicant who does not fully fulfil the GCSE requirements.

    Further, when selecting for interview the UKCAT score may also be employed to differentiate between applicants who are considered equal in all other assessment criteria.

    As part of our assessment of values, we will be considering the Situation Judgement Test (SJT) component of the UKCAT, only Bands 1, 2 and 3 are considered. We do not consider Band 4. 

    Retake Applicants: Applications are considered from applicants who are retaking their A-Levels. However, all other circumstances being equal, applicants completing in one sitting may be given preference over applicants who are taking longer than the normal two years to complete their A-levels. Those applicants retaking modules within the normal two years will not be considered as retake applicants

    International Applicants: We welcome applications from International students who can demonstrate a proficiency in English Language. An IELTS score of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each section is required. For all other International qualifications please contact dental.admissions@sheffield.ac.uk

All applicants should be aware of the School's clinical requirements. All students are expected to comply with these requirements.

  • Applicants are expected to demonstrate knowledge of the dental profession. As part of this you should be able to explain what has attracted you to the profession and have explored the possible career opportunities. Applicants should have work experience in health care environments, including a placement within a general dental practice. Applicants should understand the qualities required to be a health care professional.

We look for those applicants who can demonstrate the qualities and values necessary to become a healthcare professional. In particular within your personal statement you should demonstrate teamwork, self-motivation and leadership skills. This may be through voluntary or part time work or on-going commitment to another activity, hobby or interest. Evidence of an awareness of the manual dexterity required for dentistry is also ideal. These qualities are desirable because:

Dentists, like all healthcare professionals, constantly work as part of a team and as such applicants need to demonstrate their potential to work effectively in this environment. We seek to select dental students with values and behaviours which align with the values of the NHS Constitution. These are:

  • Working together for patients

  • Respect and dignity

  • Commitment to quality of care

  • Compassion

  • Improving lives

  • Everyone counts

  • You can find out more about the NHS Constitution here

The dental course and career is demanding, requiring people who are self-motivated, committed and who have good time management skills. Applicants should be aware of these demands and be able to provide examples of self motivation and good time management.

Dental students and practicing dentists routinely perform small intricate tasks. Applicants who are considering making a career in this field should be aware of the difficult manual tasks that they will be undertaking and be confident that they will enjoy working with their hands.

We also look for students who will make a positive contribution to our School, University and community. As such we look for applicants who have made significant contributions to their school or community.


Interviews for the 2019 intake will take place on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 27th February 2019
  • Thursday 28th February 2019
  • Friday 1st March 2019


The School interviews 200-250 applicants each year over three selection days. Successful applicants will be notified of selection for interview by the end of January with interviews being held on the dates above. Applicants will be given an opportunity on the day to tour the Dental School and adjoining Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, and discuss the course with current students.

Interview panels comprise of two members of academic staff and a senior dental student. Interviews last up to 15 minutes and investigate:

  • Career Exploration
  • Values and Personal Qualities
  • Commitment to Sheffield
  • Communication Skills

Communication Station

As part of the interview there will be a Communication Station. This will be held separately to the interview. Applicants will have approximately 15 minutes between the end of their interview and the beginning of the Communication Station. In this station applicants will be presented with a scenario and this station aims to assess

  • Communication Skills

  • Empathy

  • Compassion

Applicants will receive the outcome of their interview by the end of March. The School makes more offers than it has places available in order to compensate for those applicants who do not select Sheffield as their first choice or who do not meet the conditions of their offer.

Following interview each successful applicant will receive a comparable offer and this is typically AAA at A-level or equivalent.

The School welcomes applications from applicants who wish to defer entry to the following year. Applications for deferred entry will be assessed in competition with all other applicants using the same selection process.

For enquiries regarding your UCAS application please refer to the University’s Applicant Information Desk (AID) www.sheffield.ac.uk/aid the information desk will provide information to those who have applied to the University, offering:

  • Information on the application process
  • Confirmation of the status of applications
  • Information regarding offers
  • Confirmation of receipt of supporting documents
  • Referral of enquiries to Admissions Teams, Academic Departments and other services.

Requests for feedback must be made in writing (not email) from March by writing to

Mrs Amanda Okrasa
Dental School Office
School of Clinical Dentistry
Claremont Crescent
S10 2TA