image of banner


Access to Dental Occupations - Practice and Tutoring

ADOPT is a two-year pathway starting in Year 12 for students who are interested and have the potential to progress into a career in the field of dentistry, as a dentist, hygienist or therapist. Students will need to meet specific Academic and Widening Participation (WP) criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region. See 'How to apply' section below for more information.

During this pathway you will observe what it's like to study and work in the field of dentistry, with the emphasis on hands-on activities and student interaction. Students will work with staff and students in the Dental School, staff from the Post-16 Outreach Team, and receive support and advice about a career in dentistry

Guaranteed interview and adjusted offer

Students who complete the pathway are guaranteed an interview for an offer of a place to study a Dentistry degree or allied courses at the University of Sheffield. To benefit from this guaranteed interview, you must have completed all the ADOPT activities and must meet minimum academic criteria upon application.

Students that pass their interview will be made a conditional adjusted offer to study Dentistry or an allied course at Sheffield.

What's involved?
Year 12 Year 13

Welcome Session

This is the chance for you to meet the other ADOPT students and find out more about the pathway. You will also be introduced to the e-mentoring programme, which allows you to communicate with a current medical student online, who can support you as you progress through ADOPT.

UCAS Guidance and Interview Techniques

We help you to ensure you prepare a strong UCAS application, including focused work on your personal statement. You will participate in a fun interactive session to help you get the best out of the Dental School interview.

Team-building Day

This day is designed to boost confidence and continue to build new friendships, as well as being a chance for ADOPT students to have fun together as you complete team building tasks, take on the high wires and have a choice of either abseiling or mountain biking to finish off the day.

Year 13 Biology and Chemistry Revision

This session will help you prepare for your A Level Biology and Chemistry exams with support from lecturers in our Biology and Chemistry Departments.

Dentistry Speed Dating event

This event gives you the opportunity to find out about the whole range of specialities that you can go into after a Dentistry degree.

You will work with dental students to put together questions for nine people, thinking about their career, what a day is like for them, how the specialities differ and what route you need to take to get there.

You will then ‘speed date’ each dental professional to get your answers. You are expected to know about dentistry in a wider sense so this is a real insight into what opportunities are available once qualified.

Guest speakers from Paediatrics, Oral Surgery, Pathology, and Research are among those who attend.

One to One Session

You will be given the opportunity to take part in a mock dental school interview prior to the real thing.

Year 12 Study Skills, Biology and Chemistry Revision

These events are designed to support you in your preparation for your AS Level exams.

Academic Study Skills

This session will introduce you to academic study skills that will benefit you during your A Levels and during future studies at university.

Taste of Dentistry Day

A really hands on and practical day aimed at giving you a real taste of what its like to study dentistry at Sheffield. You will participate in the following activities; Pathology, SIM suit, Dental technology, Oral surgery and tooth extraction. You will also spend time on the Phantom Heads, drilling and filling, with the equipment undergraduates use.

Awards Evening

Congratulations! You and your parents/carers and teachers will be invited to the ADOPT awards evening, when students who have successfully completed both phases of ADOPT receive certificates of achievement.

Residential Summer School

This four-day residential summer school will give you a taste of life as a Dental Student.

During the week you will take part in a range of interactive sessions including ethics research and debates, tooth anatomy, anatomy masterclass in the Medical Teaching Unit, Clinical skills and 1st year lab practical and a mock interview session.

You will also take part in social activities, including bowling, sports evening, a joint Summer Social BBQ with students on SOAMS and STEM, you will stay in our award winning student accommodation.


During Year 12 and Year 13 you will receive one-to-one guidance from a current dental student using a secure online platform. You'll be able to message your mentor at any time from your mobile or computer to ensure any questions you may have are answered.

1 x day dental placement

All ADOPT students will attend a 1 x day placement, at Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, shadowing dental professionals, and will get an insight into the working day of a dentist.

Who can participate?

This pathway is for students who meet specific Academic and Widening Participation (WP) criteria from state schools within South Yorkshire and the surrounding region.

Academic criteria WP Criteria (meet both) WP Criteria (additional - between one and all of the following)

A Level (or equivalent) requirements:

  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) route:
    Min. 3 A Levels in Year 12 including both Biology & Chemistry.

  • Dental Hygiene/Dental Therapy (H&T) route:
    Min. 2 A Levels in Year 12 including at least one science A Level subject (preferably Biology). (If other qualifications are being studied please refer to the outreach pathway contact to discuss).
  • Attend a State School
  • Are in the first generation of their family to enter HE (other than siblings, or parents who attended HE as a mature student)
  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability

GCSE requirements:

  • Min. 5 A*-B (or 9-6), plus a minimum of C (4) in English, Maths & Science subjects if not already included.

Pupils who meet the academic criteria and one or more of the following criteria will be prioritised for participation on this pathway:

  • Are from a low progression to HE area and the lowest socio-economic groups
  • Are a Looked After Child/Young Adult Carer/Estranged student
  • Are a student with a declared disability
  • Have individual circumstances that mean they will need to overcome other barriers to learning/progression. (We will assess this element on an individual basis, based on the information provided by the school)
How to apply

If you have the potential to achieve good grades at A Level or equivalent and would either be in the first generation of your family to go into Higher Education, or you are a Looked after Child, look after someone in your family or have a declared disability you may qualify to apply.

Talk to the head of your sixth form or your course leader to find out, they will tell you if you are eligible based upon the criteria and information we have provided for them.

You and your parents or carers will then need to complete the online application form, via your registered school/college coordinator.

Note: Taking part in ADOPT shows commitment and could enhance your university application. However, it does not guarantee you a place at university. Places are subject to availability and you can only be registered on one sustained Outreach programmme at the University of Sheffield at any one time.