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.

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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. 

Pathway structure

Year 12
  • Welcome Session - This is the chance for you to meet the other programme 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 Discover Dental Professions.
  • Team-building Day - This day is designed to boost confidence and continue to build new friendships, as well as being a chance for Discover Dental Professions 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.
  • 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. Guest speakers from Paediatrics, Oral Surgery, Pathology, and Research are among those who attend.
  • Year 12 Study Skills - These events are designed to support you in your preparation for your AS Level exams.
  • 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.
  • 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 Discover Medicine and STEM, you will stay in our award winning student accommodation.
Year 13
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Awards Evening - Congratulations! You and your parents/carers and teachers will be invited to the Discover awards evening, when students who have successfully completed both phases of Discover Dental Professions receive certificates of achievement.
  • 1 x day dental placement - All Discover Dental Professions 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.

Programme outcomes

Adjusted offer

Students who successfully complete the pathway will be eligible for a conditional offer for degrees at the University of Sheffield, with the exception of degrees in Medicine.

To qualify for an adjusted offer for Medicine you must have completed the Discover Medicine pathway.

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 in Discover you will have free access to an online tutoring platform, where you will be able to work through challenging revision questions, seek support on a particular aspect of a subject, or submit written pieces of work for feedback, working with tutors who have already received qualifications in a range of subjects.

You will receive guidance on how to use the secure platform, which can be accessed from your mobile phone or computer and you’ll be able to book sessions with the tutors at times which are convenient for you, including evening and weekends.

Engaging with the tutoring opportunity is a compulsory part of the Discover programme, designed to support you in achieving the highest grades possible.


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 for the programme.

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 Outreach 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 participation criteria (meet both)

  • Attend a State School
  • Are in the first generation of their family to enter Higher Education (HE) (other than siblings, or parents who attended HE as a mature student)

Widening participation criteria (additional - between one and all of the following)

  • 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.

Contact us

Email: discoverdentalprofessions@sheffield.ac.uk

Phone: +44 114 222 9875

Access Sheffield

Depending on circumstances, we may be able to give undergraduate applications additional consideration when we receive them.