Discover Dental Professions

This 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.


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 Access Service Team, and receive support and advice about a career in dentistry. 

Pathway structure

Year 12
  • Welcome and team building day - This is the chance to meet the other Discover Dental Professions students and take part in a number of team building and dentistry related activities.
  • Dentistry Careers Conference - This half-day conference gives an insight into the career options open to dentists. Run in a carousel style format, students will get to ask questions to, and hear from, a number of dental professionals and find out about their chosen specialty. Guest speakers include dental professionals working in Pathology, Research, Dental Technology, Paediatrics and Surgery, among others.
  • Open Day - Discover Dental Profession students are given information on the Undergraduate open days.
  • 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 and Dental technology. You will also spend time on the Phantom Heads, drilling and filling, with the equipment undergraduates use.
  • Residential Summer School - This three-day residential summer school will showcase life as a Dental Student. During the week students 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. Students will also take part in social activities, sports evening, a joint Summer Social with students on Discover Medicine and STEM, you will stay in our award winning student accommodation.
Year 13
  • UCAS Guidance and Personal Statements - We help students prepare a strong UCAS application, including focused work on personal statements. We also offer students bespoke 1-2-1 personal statement help
    from our current dental students.
  • Dental School Lecture - The opportunity to sit in on a real Dental School lecture, experience the teaching and meet the lecturer.
  • One to One Session - You will be given the opportunity to take part in a mock dental school interview prior to the real thing.
  • Celebration Evening - Students who have successfully completed both phases of Discover Medicine will be invited to a Celebration Evening, along with their parents and supporters, to celebrate their involvement and success with other Discover students from across all five pathways. There will also be tailored sessions for the parents/supporters to engage with.
  • 1 x day dental placement - Discover Dental Professions students will have the opportunity (subject to covid restrictions) to 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.

Programme outcomes

Adjusted offer

Students who successfully complete the pathway will be eligible for a conditional offer for degrees at the University of Sheffield subject to prerequisites being met including passing an interview. This excludes Medicine.

To qualify for an adjusted offer for Medicine you must have completed the Discover Medicine pathway and met prerequisites, including passing an interview.

If you wanted to take a 1 x year gap break before applying to The University of Sheffield, or need to resit A Levels to achieve a higher grade, the adjusted offer would be made available in the following year only.

Support with exam revision

To be successful on the degree course you eventually choose, you will be required to meet certain entry requirements, which are set to reflect the academic level of course content and to ensure that you can be comfortable in achieving a good standard in your degree.

As a participant of the Discover programme you will have the opportunity to participate in activities and events that are designed to help you to achieve the grades that you need to get into university including study skills workshops and revision sessions.

How 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.

Taking part in the Discover programme 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 Widening Access pathway at the University of Sheffield at any one time.

Eligibility requirements

Academic criteria

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)
  • Biodental Science and Technology: Min. 3 A Levels in Year 12 including two sciences

GCSE requirements:

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


  • Meet academic criteria as per pathway

Meet at least one of the following:

  • Live in an area of Low Participation in Higher Education (measured by POLAR4 data)
  • Live in an area of high deprivation signalled by IMD Q1 & Q2
  • Looked After Child / Young Adult Carers
  • Have a declared a disability
  • In receipt of free school meals
  • Is experiencing estrangement

Other criteria considered where capacity permits or considered in combination with above criteria:

  • Students from ethnic/gender/socio-economic groups which are currently under-represented within HE*

Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any exceptional circumstances stated by the student and/or the school, such as family upheaval or disrupted schooling, will provide additional context to applications.

Contact us


Phone: 0114 222 1027 

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