Gaining in a place in dental school requires more than good academic ability. Competition for places is fierce, so we look for the very best applicants who can demonstrate that whilst they are academically able, they are also able to live a full and active life.
In order for you to demonstrate this to us and set yourself apart from all other applicants, you need to submit an excellent personal statement.
Once we receive your UCAS form, we carefully considers all aspects of the remaining application and score your form objectively, based upon three categories:
- Practical experience and knowledge of career implications
- Knowledge of core qualities required of a dentist and candidates’ personal qualities relating to this including team work
- Practical skills
Prepare a draft of your personal statement before completing the UCAS form:
- Tell us all about yourself, why you want to study dentistry; your hopes for your career and a summary of the points discussed above.
- Rather than just list all the work experience that has been undertaken, it is more revealing if you can inform us of what you have now learned about a dental career and its implications.
- If you have had difficulty in undertaking research, then you should inform us of these difficulties and concentrate on researching your careers in other ways.
The following are suggestions on how you might address these non-academic requirements for dentistry and thus develop a good and full application.
Consider a career in dentistry:
- Research to confirm your ideas
Get a feel for life as a dentist:
- Undertake as much work experience/shadowing as possible
- Talk with dentists about their careers
- Speak to dental students about their experiences
- Choose your schools for positive reasons, having found out as much about different schools' curricula, facilities, patient availability, location etc. as possible. You may be asked to justify your choice at interview. Your research should include use of university websites, prospectuses and leaflets; discussions with dental students and dentists.
- Contact Dental Admissions departments, as criteria for admission may vary between schools, as might individual admissions processes.
- Visit the dental school to ensure you are making a suitable choice. The appeal of chosen institutions may well be confirmed or dismissed by the student who has spent some time exploring the Dental School site and facilities, and questioning staff and undergraduate students.
Gain an appreciation of the concerns of patients, the disabled, the elderly etc.
- Undertake work of a caring nature
- Work with people in any capacity
- Be involved in caring/charity groups
Show you are an all-rounder:
- Dentists lives are busy and challenging, and time management is very important
- Work hard at your first degree
- Enjoy your free time to the full
Demonstrate you are able to work in teams, communicate effectively, and are able to assume different roles within the team
- Undertake leisure, sporting, and creative activities
Complete the online UCAS application...
- In good time. The deadline for applications to reach UCAS is 16 October of the year prior to entry.
- If you are in a position to choose your referee, select someone who knows about you as a person as well as perhaps your academic achievements. Your referee should also indicate the predicted grades for your forth-coming examinations. These will be needed to score your application before it can be processed further. Ensure your referee knows about the 16 October deadline.
- Additional documentation that is sent directly to the Dental Admissions Office in support of an application can only be considered if it is received by the UCAS deadline of 16 October.