Dentistry is a vocational course, one in which the student is trained to perform a particular job (a dentist).
Training to be a dentist involves extensive and dedicated study, both as an undergraduate and life-long continuing professional development after qualification.
To avoid the disappointment of non-completion of a degree, or disillusionment with a subsequent career in dentistry once entered into the course, we need to ensure that applicants are entering this profession with their eyes open and understand the implications and commitments of such a career.
It is important to understand that there are Academic Requirements as well as Non-Academic Requirements for dentistry. In addition, all applicants must take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).
We expect candidates to have participated in appropriate work experience to find out what a career in dentistry entails. It is important for students to inform us of what they have learned from this research, rather than just list their experiences.
Dentistry is a career in which time-management, team working and decision-making are very important. We look for candidates who lead full and busy lives, as well as achieving academic success as this tends to reflect the lives they will lead after qualification.
Some students prefer to secure a place at university for a year ahead, allowing them to "take a year out" before entering dental school to start their studies. Some wish to undertake projects abroad with a voluntary organisation or to work to raise finance to support themselves through university. These are valid reasons to defer an application.
However, deferred entry will not be granted to applicants whose current courses of study will not be complete at the start of the 'deferred' year or those part way through an undergraduate degree programme.
We expect applicants to have a clear plan of activity for the year, preferably involving work of a caring nature. Admissions Selectors will certainly look favourably upon applications which include as much relevant experience in healthcare as possible.
The decision to apply for deferred entry should be noted on the UCAS form at the time of application. A request to defer once an offer of a place has been given for the current admissions cycle cannot normally be considered.
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Re-application to the BDS programme after an unsuccessful application. We are happy to consider an application from a candidate who has previously applied to our medical programme but was unsuccessful.
However, we recommend that candidates who have been unsuccessful in their first application ask for feedback from the admissions team to ensure that a second application addresses areas of weakness.
It should be noted that where a candidate is applying for a second or third time, the Admissions team will take into account information from earlier applications and any interview outcomes.
Where a candidate has applied to the Aberdeen BDS degree programme and been unsuccessful on three occasions, we are normally unable to consider any further applications.