Cardiff Dentistry Entry Requirements

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Why study Dentistry at Cardiff University?

You will be taught by a dedicated team of dental, therapy and hygiene staff with further interactions under the supervision and support from consultants and primary care supervisors. Many are internationally renowned in their areas of expertise, as reflected in the School’s recent performance in the Research Excellence Framework, ranking first in the UK in its Unit of Assessment. This means that you know you are being taught essential skills that will directly benefit you when you are working in practice.

On qualification, clinicians who register with the General Dental Council and are able to work in various areas of the dental sector; general dental care, community dental care, dental public health, hospital dental care​ and within the armed forces. Cardiff University’s students have one of the best employability records amongst the UK dental schools, in 2019, 100% of its undergraduate students secured a UK Dental Foundation Training (DFT) placement.

Overview of Cardiff University

Cardiff University was established in 1883 and now has 31,935 students enrolled.

The University has two campuses: Cathays Park and Heath Park.

The School of Medicine is located on the Heath Park campus which shares the site with University Hospital Wales. The School of Dentistry is also located on the Heath Park campus.


Cardiff University offers a range of accommodation to suit individual preferences and budgets. There are 17 halls of residence on campus. The halls within walking distance to the Heath Park campus include:

Cardiff has over 200 sports clubs and societies (including a baking society, Disney and musical theatre society, and Jazz society), 16 libraries, and a range of sporting facilities (including Sports Fields, Studio 49, and Fitness and Conditioning Centre).

University Rankings

Times Higher Ed RankQS rankingsAcademic Ranking of World Universities

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Cardiff University Medical Courses offered that require UCAT

Cardiff University has two Medical courses requiring UCAT:

Let’s take a look at their requirements:

Bachelor of Medicine

Course CodeLengthCampus
A1005 Years Full TimeHeath Park Campus

Academic requirements

ATAR (for NSW):

  • AAA grades convert to an ATAR of a minimum of 90.
  • A*A*A* equivalent is an ATAR of 97

A-level Standard offer:

  • AAA

IB (International Baccalaureate for International students):

  • At least 36 points overall (19 at HL).


For A-level standard offer:

  • Biology (A)
  • Chemistry (A)
  • Another subject (A)

For IB:

  • Minimum of 19 at Higher Level, including:
    • Grade 6 in Biology
    • Grade 6 in Chemistry
  • Note: Grade 7 SL Biology or Chemistry can be taken in place of Grade 6 HL Biology or Chemistry, IF you have grade 6 in HL Maths, Physics, or Statistics
  • Note: Excluding Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay

Entry Requirements

Acceptance is based on student’s meeting the minimum academic results, UCAT results, Personal Statement, and their interview.


There is no minimum threshold mark required for the UCAT.


Applicants must achieve the minimum requirements at GCSE (or equivalent qualifications)

9 GCSEs at Grade B/6, including:

  • English/Welsh
  • Biology;
  • Chemistry; and
  • Maths

Note: For Australian applicants, a Year 10 certificate is comparable to the GCSE. (A* – C = 9 – 4). A subject studied in Year 12 is also equivalent to a GCSE grade

Personal Statement:

Students need to write a personal statement which will be addressed based on the following criteria:

  • Insight into a career in Medicine
  • Evidence of experience relating to the field of Medicine through work experience or volunteering
  • Evidence and reflection of personal responsibility
  • Evidence of a balanced approach
  • Evidence of self-directed learning.

Application Process:

  • Students are required to apply through UCAS.
  • Students are required to achieve the minimum academic standards covered above
  • Students also need to sit the UCAT exam and score a high mark
  • Students need to write a Personal Statement.
  • If selected, students will need to attend an interview between December and January.


Most of the teaching students will receive in the first year will be based at the Cardiff School of Biosciences at the Cathays Park Campus. The foundation theme of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry will be taught via a series of lectures, seminars and practicals.

From year two, students will be based mainly in the School of Dentistry at the Heath Park Campus. During the second year, study will focus on several main themes: the oral ecosystems theme covering topics such as the development, physiology and biochemistry of oral and dental tissues; the human diseases theme covering dentally-related aspects of medicine, pharmacology, and surgery; the clinical dentistry theme covering radiology, dental pathology, periodontology, dental materials, cariology, paediatric dentistry and orthodontics; and dentistry in the wider community theme, which covers behavioural sciences and ethics .

In years three and four, students will continue the clinical dentistry, human diseases and dentistry in the wider community themes and cover topics such as integrated restorative dental care, endodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics, statistics, oral surgery, medicine and pathology, and dental public health.

Final year students are required to undertake a final year project that contributes to their overall degree classification, which will provide valuable experience in research methodology, critical appraisal of literature and scholarship.

Clinical experience

From year one, students will spend up to two afternoons a week at the University Dental Hospital where they will have the opportunity to observe clinic activity, learn about clinical procedures, and professionalism, as well as learning about the role and responsibilities of the dental team.

From year two, students will be introduced to clinical dentistry with the commencement of the pre-operative techniques course in the pre-clinical laboratory, before beginning treatment on patients at the end of the year.

In years three and four, students will greatly increase the amount of time spent in the clinics treating patients to further develop interpersonal and clinical skills. This will be supported by the integrated teaching.

The final year of the BDS program will see students spending a substantial amount of time outside the University Dental School, with students being based at various dental units of district general hospitals, and local and outreach community dental clinics. Students will also have the opportunity to treat patients under the close supervision of a Community Dental Officer in Community Dental Clinics located locally in South Wales, and also at the Dental Clinic in Wrexham in North Wales..


Students are required to keep a reflective portfolio which records procedures observed, assisted with or undertaken. This will also give students the opportunity to reflect on the upon procedures thought to gone well or those that could be improved upon.

Other details

Cardiff School of Dentistry has formal links with various dental institutions across Europe including Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, and students are encouraged to take part in the SOCRATES-ERASMUS programme. The 3 month exchange programme takes place during the final year of the BDS (Hons) programme.

Course Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements

GCSEs: Minimum grade B in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (or double award Science), and grade B in English Language.

A levels: AAB grades including AA grades in two of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics or Statistics (one being Chemistry or Biology). General Studies is not accepted as the third A level. Preference is not be given to applicants whose third A level subject is a science.

AS levels: Chemistry or Biology are required to be taken at AS level if not offered at A2 level.

Please note, UCAS applications from students who are resitting A levels will be considered, however the places available for these applicants are fairly limited. The standard entry requirement rises to three A grades at A level, and preference is given to students who had originally applied to Cardiff Dental School.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: A minimum overall score of 34 points, with a minimum score of 5 at Higher Level in Chemistry and Biology.

Degree: Upper Second Class (2:1) Honours degree is the standard requirement. A shorted course for graduates is not offered. Candidates with a minimum of three B grades at A Level are preferred.

Scottish Qualifications: A minimum of grade B in both Chemistry and Biology at Advanced Higher level.

Welsh Baccalaureate diploma: A minimum of 360 points with two A grades achieved in both Chemistry and Biology A Levels.

UKCAT: All applicants must successfully sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) in the year of application. This test is taken in additional to A Levels and is an additional selection tool for screening UCAS applicants.

English Language: International English Language Testing (IELTS) score with a minimum overall grade of 6.5 (or equivalent).

General entry requirements

Work experience: All applicants to the BDS course must have undertaken dental work experience at a General Dental Practice prior to submission of their UCAS application.

Health screening: All successful candidates will be sent a Health questionnaire when offers are made, which needs to be returned to Cardiff University Occupational Health Department. All students must provide evidence of non-infectivity for both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. On registration, students will be required to provide a blood sample for testing.

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) enhanced disclosure: All applicants will be required to complete the University’s own Criminal Record Disclaimer. In addition students at dental schools will have a high level of unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults and must therefore undergo a CRB check at enhanced level.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

  • UCAS Tariff – Not accepted
  • A level – AAA
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – Not accepted
  • Access to HE Diploma – Not accepted
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – 36 points
  • Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
  • Extended Project – Not accepted
  • GCSE/National 4/National 5

You must have sat the UCAT prior to submitting your application. We won’t make an offer without an interview. All applicants must meet the minimum requirements at Level 2 (typically GCSE) and Level 3 (typically A-level) in order to be eligible for consideration for interview. When selecting applicants for interview, preference will be given to applicants that have a grade A/7 in GCSE English language (or equivalent). Our interview process We use the multiple mini interview (MMI) format, which is a series of short, carefully timed interview stations that you will rotate around in turn. The MMIs help us to determine if you: – can think on your feet – have thought about some of the issues that are important to the profession – can critically appraise information – can communicate ideas effectively. They also focus on exploring the personal qualities and attributes that are important to your future career development. These interviews allow us to meet you in person and assess information that isn’t always readily forthcoming in the application process—they aren’t intended to test the amount of prior knowledge you have about the subject or the profession. We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects. We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements. ENROLMENT CONDITIONS Before you start your course, you will need to undergo a health check—including screening for blood-borne viruses—by our Occupational Health Service. If you are non-immune to Hepatitis B, you will need to complete a full immunisation programme before taking part in clinical procedures. You will also need to have had a Tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years. Having a blood-borne virus or other infectious diseases won’t prevent you from completing this course and obtaining General Dental Council registration, but some specialties won’t be open to you during training or in your career. If you have a health issue that you think might have an impact on your ability to study or practice, please contact us before submitting an application.

Additional entry requirements

Admission tests

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

Health checks


University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)

Must be sat in the year of application and before the programme commences.

English language requirements

All applicants are expected to have demonstrable English language skills. Most courses ask for GCSE English grade C/4 or equivalent, but some courses ask for GCSE English grade B/6 or equivalent.

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