Dentistry in Aberdeen is designed specifically for graduates, capitalising on the knowledge and skills you already have to ensure you become a first-class dental professional.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

Our programme has been designed with graduates in mind, enabling you to capitalise on the existing knowledge and transferable skills from your previous degree. From day one, you will be preparing to be a dental professional, benefiting from early clinical problem solving and patient contact, and an integrated approach to learning.

The dental curriculum uses a variety of teaching methods including case based learning. The curriculum aims to:

  • build on the transferrable skills that you bring
  • encourage independence of learning and thinking using enquiry based learning methods
  • centre on the clinical, social and emotional needs of the patient
  • have patient contact early in Year 1 of the programme
  • fully integrate the non-clinical sciences within the clinical curriculum

You will be engaged in reflective practice from an early stage in your clinical experience.

During the course, you will be taught by and observe a wide range of dental professionals from both primary and secondary care services. NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the dental protection organisations and the GDC are also engaged in many of the learning opportunities.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

In year 1 you will develop a sound understanding of the oral environment, basic aspects of dental health and disease, together with an appreciation of the principles of patient management, communication and ethical practice. You will begin practical training in the clinical skills lab and have direct patient contact in your second term.

Year 2

Year 2

In year 2 you will have clear understanding of the clinical relevance of the subjects you are learning. You will develop reflective skills in relation to your learning and further develop your clinical and communication skills in the restorative clinics. This regular patient contact is supported by training in the clinical skills lab and will develop your clinical experience in a variety of settings.

Year 3

Year 3

In year 3 you will continue to develop the ability to apply your knowledge to clinical situations. You will be able to assess the needs of patients and tailor your knowledge to match these. You will be introduced to working within the paediatric, emergency and special care clinics. You will have the opportunity to enhance your clinical skills and patient management in outreach placements and with a number of visits to observe clinicians working in specialist areas of dentistry.

Year 4

Year 4

In year 4 you will hone and apply diverse and multiple areas of knowledge within integrated oral care. This will include team working, ethical applications and management skills. You will be expected to complete and present several full and complex cases to demonstrate a high level of clinical skill and understanding.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The course has been designed specifically for graduates and encompasses a variety of modern educational methods for teaching and learning. There is a focus on independent and reflective learning whilst clinical work is introduced from year 1 to maximise clinical experience.

Teaching and learning strategies have been designed to meet the needs of a more mature student group with previous experience of university education and appropriate transferable skills.

A range of assessment methods are used including written examinations, such as single best answer questions and clinical scenario papers, and other practical exams. Objective clinical assessment of your clinical skills will be carried out by means of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and Structured Clinical Objective Testing (SCOT) at appropriate stages. In your final year more amalgamated assessments will be used to assess your clinical skills by means of an Integrated Structured Clinical Examination (ISCE) and an assessment of some cases that you would have treated during your four years at the Institute of Dentistry.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

A range of assessment methods are used including:

  • Written examinations, such as single best answer questions and clinical scenario papers.
  • Objective Structured Practical examinations (OSPE) to assess anatomy knowledge.
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) (ISCES for final years) and Structured Clinical Objective Testing (SCOT) will provide clinical assessment of your skills.

The exact mix of assessment methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Why Study Dentistry?

  • The University of Aberdeen Institute of Dentistry offers the only graduate entry, four year, BDS programme in Scotland.
  • The programme has been designed specifically for graduates and encompasses a variety of modern educational methods for teaching and learning. There is a focus on more independent and reflective learning, and clinical work is introduced from year 1 to maximise clinical experience.
  • The Institute of Dentistry is a modern purpose-built facility with state-of-the-art equipment and teaching facilities.
  • With only 80 BDS students in the whole Institute you will benefit from an excellent student:clinician ratio and numerous opportunities for 1:1 teaching time. 
  • You will be part of a wider community of students who study on the Foresterhill Health Campus, including medical and science students; undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • You will have excellent student support systems and access to other shared facilities such as the medical/dental library and the Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare.
  • The University and NHS Grampian continue to invest in new facilities on the Foresterhill campus demonstrating the commitment to the training and education of healthcare professionals.
  • All students also spend some time in purpose built outreach facilities in Elgin (NHS Grampian) and in Stornoway (NHS Western Isles) which provide our senior dental students with excellent real-life experience in the community dental setting.
  • The University of Aberdeen is ranked 1st in the UK for Dentistry (Guardian League Tables 2021).

Entry Requirements

Training to become 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).


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

General Entry Requirements

2020 Entry

The entry requirement for admission is a good Honours degree (First or Upper Second-Class) in a medical or health-related science degree (e.g. biomedical science, anatomy, pharmacy). Candidates with a first degree in medicine will also be considered.

The admissions process also involves suitably qualified applicants sitting an entrance test (UCAT) and the scores obtained are used with other criteria to select for interview. All applicants must complete this test in the year prior to entry. For more information on the UCAT test, including registration dates, please refer to the UCAT website.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Dentistry degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 7.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 7.0; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 100 with: Listening - 21; Reading - 22; Speaking - 28; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 70 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 70; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 185 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 185; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fitness to Practice Guidelines

Students undertaking Education, Medicine or Dentistry programmes must comply with the University's fitness to practise guidelines.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship


Our programme will lead to full GDC registration. The majority of new dental graduates move straight into a one year period of Foundation Training (Vocational Training) in NHS general practice. Successful completion leads to the award of a Vocational Training Number – an essential pre-requisite for taking up a contract with a Health Board to provide NHS dentistry in General Dental Practice or in the Salaried Dental Service. A minority of dentists will complete a second year of Foundation Training – generally in two hospital posts – or will have been employed in a two year post blending primary and secondary care experience. Completion of two years of Foundation Training and attaining Membership of one of the Royal Colleges is the usual route into Specialty Training, leading ultimately to employment as a NHS Consultant.

Following vocational training, a dentist may work as an associate, partner or principal in general practice, join the community dental service, the armed forces dental service, work in a hospital with a view to becoming a consultant, or become a clinical academic contributing to the training of the next generation of dental graduates.

Professional Links

Within the Institute of Dentistry we work side by side with NHS Grampian Dental professionals, including the Restorative & Orthodontic Consultant teams, the Dental Nursing team and NHS Laboratory Staff. As well as this we have local General Dental Practitioners supervising within our student restorative clinics. You will also spend time during the later years of the course with members of the Oral & Maxillio-facial Department and colleagues at Aberdeen Health Village.

Institute of Dentistry

Staff and students from the Institute of Dentistry give an overview of the teaching and research in the institute.

Watch Now

No 1 in the UK for Dentistry

We are ranked 1st in the UK for Dentistry (Guardian League Tables 2021)

What our Alumni Say

Alan Purves

Alan Purves

Alan Purves

Graduated 2015

It has been great. The course is really hands-on, so it's the fact that when you're going in you are learning a new technique almost every other week.

Find out more

Jasmin Dingri

Jasmin Dingri

Jasmin Dingri

Graduated 2015

It has been fantastic and I've met some of my best friends here. I most enjoyed all the clinical aspects of our course. We got a lot of clinical experience and we have brand new facilities.

Find out more

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


The Institute of Dentistry is based in a purpose built facility on the Foresterhill Health Campus. The complex features facilities for oral surgery, dental accident and emergency, restorative dentistry, integrated oral care, orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, dental imaging as well as dental laboratories and office accommodation.

Image for Foresterhill Health Campus
Foresterhill Health Campus

Foresterhill Health Campus

The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Image for Library facilities
Library facilities

Library facilities

A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition
University of Aberdeen
Polwarth Building
AB25 2ZD