Dental Surgery BDS

2025-26 entry
School of Clinical Dentistry

Learn the theory of dental science and the value of evidence-based dentistry while acquiring the practical skills to apply that knowledge in a clinical setting.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Smiling dental students, mix of male and female

    Sheffield’s BDS Dental Surgery programme is designed to give you practical, hands-on experience in dentistry as early as possible.

    From the first year, you’ll visit dental clinics and start to learn about your role as a healthcare professional in the dental team. As you become more experienced, you'll sharpen your skills on placements in general dental practice.

    Our five-year course is divided into nine integrated themes, from fundamental human anatomy to intermediate oral and dental care. The first year introduces you to the structure and function of the human body and of a healthy mouth. Year two is about providing comprehensive care for both young and elderly patients. And your third year is about gaining the skills and knowledge to treat patients holistically, with great attention to detail.

    During the final two years, you will learn how to treat patients of all ages with increasingly complex care needs, and learn more about how to recognise, diagnose and prevent oral diseases. You'll also have the opportunity to undertake an elective placement which could take you anywhere in the world.

    Why study this course?

    • State-of-the-art training equipment - as part of the course you’ll undertake rigorous clinical skills training, including the use of ‘phantom heads’ as well as sessions in a simulation suite, to allow you to practise dentistry in a virtual reality environment.
    • A robust outreach programme - treating patients of all ages and backgrounds in real work environments will allow you to sharpen your skills. In your third year, you’ll even have the opportunity to take part in our peer-to-peer teaching scheme and tutor junior students in their pre-clinical training.
    • Collaborative teaching - we believe in training the whole dental team together. You’ll learn alongside dental hygiene and dental therapy students in a way that prepares you for the realities of working in a dental practice.

    The General Dental Council quality assures and approves qualifications for registration, for the following registrant groups: Dentists; dental hygienists; dental therapists; dental nurses; clinical dental technicians; dental technicians; and orthodontic therapists.

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Dental Surgery BDS course structure
    UCAS code: A200
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    The Human Body and The Oral Cavity in Health and Disease

    These themes introduce you to the structure and function of the human body and of a healthy mouth. You will learn about the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, the nervous and renal systems. You will be introduced to some of the common diseases affecting the head, neck, teeth and mouth. You will also visit dental clinics and start to learn about your role as a healthcare professional in the dental team.

    Core modules:

    The Human Body

    This theme aims to introduce you to the structure and function of the human body and how structure and function is integrated from molecules through tissues and organ systems to the whole organism.

    Please refer to the department for details of learning and teaching hours

    The Oral Cavity in Health and Disease

    This theme aims to introduce you to the structure and function of the healthy mouth and structures of the head and neck relevant to the practice of clinical dentistry. You will also be introduced to some of the common diseases affecting the head, neck, teeth and oral cavity.

    Please refer to the department for details of learning and teaching hours

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    Throughout the course we aim to teach you theory alongside clinical practice so you'll develop an understanding of dental science and its clinical application. You'll learn the value of evidence-based dentistry and how to apply it to clinical practice.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Assessment

    You will be assessed by exams, coursework and practical tasks.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    BDS Dental Surgery selection process

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAA
    including Chemistry and Biology + pass in the practical element of any science A Levels taken

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAB, including AA in Chemistry and Biology + B in Dentistry or health-related EPQ (EPQ and A Levels must be taken in the same sitting to receive the alternative offer)
    International Baccalaureate
    36, with 6 in Higher Level Chemistry and Biology
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    D*DD in Applied Science including Distinctions in Chemistry and Biology units
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Applied Science + A at A Level in either Chemistry or Biology (BTEC units must cover sufficient Chemistry or Biology, depending on the A Level subject taken)
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AAABB + AA in Chemistry and Biology
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    A + AA in Chemistry and Biology
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 39 at Distinction in Chemistry and Biology units, and 6 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Human Biology is acceptable in lieu of Biology

    • 6 GCSEs at grade 7/A including English, Maths and Science

    • UCAT Pre-admissions test: All applicants must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). The test is used in conjunction with our existing selection procedure to identify candidates with potential for success at undergraduate level

    • Graduate student requirements: 2.1 in a bachelor's degree in a related or core science subject

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB
    including Chemistry and Biology + pass in the practical element of any science A Levels taken

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAB, including AA in Chemistry and Biology + B in Dentistry or health-related EPQ (EPQ and A Levels must be taken in the same sitting to receive the alternative offer)
    International Baccalaureate
    34, with 6,5 (in any order) in Higher Level Chemistry and Biology
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Applied Science including Distinctions in Chemistry and Biology units
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Applied Science + A at A Level in either Chemistry or Biology (BTEC units must cover sufficient Chemistry or Biology, depending on the A Level subject taken)
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AABBB + AB in Chemistry and Biology
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA in Chemistry and Biology
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction in Chemistry and Biology units, and 9 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Human Biology is acceptable in lieu of Biology

    • 6 GCSEs at grade 7/A including English, Maths and Science

    • UCAT Pre-admissions test: All applicants must take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). The test is used in conjunction with our existing selection procedure to identify candidates with potential for success at undergraduate level

    • Graduate student requirements: 2.1 in a bachelor's degree in a related or core science subject

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course, we require: GCSE English Language at grade 7/A; IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Health clearance

    All new students must obtain occupational health clearance, which may require an individual assessment. This is to ensure that you meet the fitness to practice standards detailed on the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners (HEOPS) guidance.

    We offer support to students with additional needs, for example, through the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service or Student Support Services. You can find out more about the network of support services we provide. A very small number of conditions might, on health and safety grounds, affect your registration with the appropriate regulatory body and your ability to practise in certain clinical situations.

    If you're offered a place, you'll need to comply with the Department of Health and Social Care mandatory immunisation requirements.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Graduate careers

    Most graduates apply for a one-year Dental Foundation (DF) training programme. This provides you with a supportive environment where you can continue to develop your skills and experience to the point where you become an independent practitioner.

    Once you successfully complete the DF year, you’ll be able to work in an NHS practice. Most of our eligible graduates go on to complete Dental Foundation Training which enables them to work in the NHS.

    After their DF year, most graduates find work in general dental practices, in the community dental service or sometimes in the armed forces.

    Some choose to undertake further specialist training to enable them to become speciality dentists, hospital or academic consultants or to become researchers.

    A number of our graduates choose to return to the School of Clinical Dentistry later in their careers to teach.

    School of Clinical Dentistry

    School of Clinical Dentistry building

    Our teaching is driven by world-class research. You'll learn about the new techniques and advances that are rapidly taking place in the field of dentistry.

    We believe in training the whole team together. Our dentistry and dental hygiene and therapy students learn alongside each other in a way that helps to prepare them for practice. Our combination of integrated teaching and practical experience produces caring, confident professionals.

    Our students find that our courses provide them with opportunities to explore ideas, apply what they have learnt and achieve their best. This is reflected in the National Student Survey where we consistently achieve high scores for overall student satisfaction.

    We're committed to delivering an exceptional student experience. Our staff are involved in the quality assurance of teaching in Sheffield and other universities. Many have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to learning and teaching and commitment to professional development through professional bodies such as the Association for Dental Education in Europe and the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and some have gained national recognition, such as the ADEE Excellence in Dental Education Award, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and National Teaching Fellow. 

    Many of our staff are also internationally respected for their research. Some are general dental practitioners with years of clinical experience.

    Our placement programme for students is outstanding. You'll learn the value of evidence-based dentistry and how to apply it to clinical practice.

    We also have links with the Medical School and the local community.

    Dentistry students are based at the School of Clinical Dentistry, situated within the University campus to the west of Sheffield. The school has a very close working relationship with the adjacent Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, a specialist facility offering dental services to people in Sheffield and surrounding areas. This is where most of our teaching takes place.

    Facilities

    We aim to provide a stimulating interdisciplinary environment, with access to some excellent facilities. In our virtual simulation suite you can practice dentistry in a virtual reality environment.

    We have dedicated research facilities and laboratories for tissue culture, molecular biology, materials science, histology-microscopy and electrophysiology, all with dedicated technical support.

    We continually seek to improve our range of facilities to meet the needs of our student and research community.

    School of Clinical Dentistry

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report


    School of Clinical Dentistry

    Top 10 in the UK for dentistry

    The Times Good University Guide 2024
    The Complete University Guide 2024

    The University of Sheffield is within the top 100 in the world for clinical and health subjects

    Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings 2021

    Student profiles

    Alice Rigby, dentistry student

    Sheffield is also a great city to live in, especially with the Peak District nearby

    Alice Rigby BDS Dental Surgery

    Alice has always been interested in dentistry, but sport has also been an integral part of her university experience.

    Sunil Heer, dentistry student

    My advice to anyone wanting to study dentistry? Try to do work experience in as many places and fields as you can

    Sunil Heer BDS Dental Surgery

    Sunil was surprised to realise that dentistry isn't all about teeth. He chose Sheffield for its balance of lectures and practical clinical work.

    Emma Kempton, dentistry student

    The patients who I get to treat make my course worthwhile

    Emma Kempton BDS Dental Surgery

    Originally from Warwickshire, Emma came to Sheffield for the course but ended up falling in love with the city.

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Further information

    Placements and practice

    As you become more experienced, you'll spend some time away from the Dental School and the Dental Hospital. You may treat patients in our Dental Practice Unit, have an opportunity to visit a district general hospital, and complete an elective period which enables you to explore an area of dentistry you are interested in.

    You'll undertake clinical training in NHS hospitals so you must adhere to local NHS policies including guidelines on behaviour and dress and the need to be 'bare below the elbow'.

    Outreach programme

    You'll complete clinical outreach work placements in your fourth and fifth years. These placements give you the chance to treat an extended range of patients in Sheffield and the surrounding area.

    Most of the placements are in general dental practice with a few in community dental clinics so they provide you with real work environments to sharpen your skills. You’ll work alongside dental hygiene and therapy students, giving you experience of working as part of a dental team.

    Disclosure and Barring Service

    All applicants are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure check.

    UCAT

    All applicants will need to sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). This is used in conjunction with our existing selection procedure to identify candidates with the potential to succeed at undergraduate level.

    International students

    Immigration regulations are constantly being reviewed by the UK Border Agency (UKBA). At the present time, non-UK students are able to apply for dental foundation training after graduating and have been able to secure employment in postgraduate training schemes and hospital posts.

    However, we can't give any guarantee that this will always be the case. For further information, visit UK government visa information and the UK Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors.

    Clinical requirements

    Our School also has a series of clinical requirements for clinical students. Before accepting an offer of a place, you must confirm you will comply with these requirements.

    Transfers

    Dental schools do not accept transfers of students from other schools. This is because the requirements for graduation defined by the General Dental Council (GDC) are not taught and assessed in a similar order. Government capped places would also be disrupted by student transfers.

    Schools may consider transfers for students in unforeseen exceptional circumstances with approval of both the sending and receiving programmes. In most cases the student would need to restart from first year, for the reasons described above.

    The Dental Schools Council (DSC) encourages prospective students to consider the intensity of oral healthcare courses, and their potential geographical distance from their support networks, when applying for dental school.

    International transfers

    Students from a dental school outside the UK are unable to transfer into a programme in a UK dental school. This is because international programmes follow their local regulatory requirements which are likely to differ from those in the UK.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've made an application to study with us, we may invite you for an interview. If you are then successful in receiving an offer, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2025-2026

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    Learn the theory of dental science and the value of evidence-based dentistry while acquiring the practical skills to apply that knowledge in a clinical setting.