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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Selection criteria

Admission to the BDS (A200) degree programme at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London is highly competitive.

Over 870 applications for entry in 2022. Approximately 26% of applicants were interviewed and of those, 70% were offered a place. 

The number of places available for September 2023 to the five-year BDS (A200) degree programme is 67 Home students and up to 4 Overseas students.

A range of criteria is used to assess applicants in the first shortlisting:

  • Applied by the UCAS deadline of 15 October
  • Predicted or achieved the minimum academic entry requirements
  • Sit UCAT in the year of application
  • Achieve an overall score within the third decile range or above in the UCAT

Applications which do not meet these minimum requirements will be rejected at this point.

A range of criteria is used to assess applicants in the second shortlisting (selection for interview):

  • Met all first shortlisting criteria
  • Applicants will then be selected for interview on the basis of a weighted score compared to other applicants who apply in the same year, and may be comprised of UCAT score, UCAS tariff of qualifications predicted or achieved or weighted scoring of degree for graduates.

Applications which do not fall within the weighted score for interview will be rejected at this point.

A range of criteria is used to assess applicants in the third shortlisting (offers)

  • Selection after interview may consider all assessment factors: interview score, situational judgement test, UCAS tariff points from predicted or achieved qualifications or weighted scoring of degree for graduates and UCAT score.

UCAS Tariff

UCAS tariff is made up of a number of academic and non-academic qualifications. Applicants must ensure that all academic qualifications they have taken and/or are taking are listed on their UCAS application in order to be taken into consideration. 

How we UCAS Tariff

If applicable, you must be predicted to achieve a minimum UCAS Tariff of at least 152 (A*AA) from the academic qualifications and subjects we require for entry. You must take all exams you have listed on your UCAS application for which you have been provided predicted grades.

  • Applicants will be selected for interview on the basis of a weighted score compared to other applicants who apply in the same year, and may be comprised of UCAT score, UCAS tariff of qualifications predicted or achieved or weighted scoring of degree for graduates. Selection after interview may consider all assessment factors: interview score, situational judgement test, UCAS tariff points from predicted or achieved qualifications or weighted scoring of degree for graduates and UCAT score.

Undergraduate Medicine and Dentistry Admissions Policy 2022-23

University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is an admissions test, used by a consortium of UK Universities and non-UK associate member universities to help select applicants for their medical and dental degree programmes.

It is used in collaboration with other admissions processes such as the UCAS application and academic qualifications.

It is also your opportunity to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your aptitude for a demanding programme of study.

The UCAT is a computer-based test delivered in Pearson VUE test centres throughout the UK and worldwide.  More information on the UCAT and how to register can be found here

How we use UCAT

Applicants will be selected for interview on the basis of a weighted score compared to other applicants who apply in the same year, and may be comprised of UCAT score, UCAS tariff of qualifications predicted or achieved or weighted scoring of degrees for graduates. Selection after interview may consider all assessment factors: interview score, situational judgement test, UCAS tariff points from predicted or achieved qualifications or weighted score of degree for graduates, and UCAT score.

  • Your application will not be considered further if you obtained a total UCAT score below the third decile. Please note there is no guarantee that you will be offered an interview if you score above the third decile. 
  • It is not possible to predict what the thresholds will be in any individual year, nor to use data from previous years to predict subsequent years’ thresholds. 

UCAT Exemptions/Waiver

UCAT exemptions/waivers are not granted under any circumstances. If you are unable to take the UCAT for any reason, our advice will be to reapply for the following application cycle.

Work Experience 

Selectors will expect that candidates can demonstrate some knowledge about a career in dentistry and have gained (some) work experience in a relevant setting. However, while this may be a useful indicator of motivation, it must be seen in the light of opportunities available to the applicant. Occasionally, potentially good applicants apply with little or insufficient work experience. Exceptional applicants may be offered a place conditional on them completing relevant work experience and producing evidence of this to the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office. Such work experience will be assessed by the appropriate Academic Lead before the offer is confirmed. In general, all potential applicants are strongly advised to do sufficient work experience before applying.

Personal statement

The personal statement is not scored as part of the selection process prior, during or after interview.  However, it is considered an important part of your UCAS application.

  • Motivation to study dentistry and genuine interest in the dental profession
  • Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses
  • The ability to reflect on your own work
  • Personal organisation
  • Academic ability
  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with uncertainty
  • Manage risk and deal effectively with problems
  • Ability to take responsibility for your own actions
  • Conscientiousness
  • Insight into your own health
  • Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to treat people with respect
  • Resilience and the ability to deal with difficult situations
  • Empathy and the ability to care for others
  • Honesty
  • Manual dexterity

If shortlisted for interview, your interview panel will have access to your UCAS application and may ask you questions from the information you have provided.

Extenuating circumstances for Prospective Applicants

Applicants who have taken or will take an additional year (or more) to complete their qualifications and achieve the minimum academic entry requirements (e.g. A*AA or 2.1) can only be considered if their extenuating circumstances fall within the Equality and Diversity Act 2010. Extenuating circumstances can not be applied for with regards to a UCAT score. Extenuating circumstances that fall within this criteria must be approved by the EC panel prior to making a UCAS application. Further information on the process and deadline to be considered, please refer to Extenuating Circumstances for Prospective Applicants

Interviews

If shortlisted, you will be asked to attend an interview online. Interviews will take place in January and February.

Interview panels typically consist of two members of senior academic or clinical staff, a dental student and sometimes a lay selector. Interviews are designed to evaluate the following:

  • Motivation and reality of a career in dentistry
  • Initiative, resilience and maturity
  • Team work
  • Organisation and problem solving abilities
  • Contribution to university life
  • Communication skills

There will be three possible outcomes from the interview:

  • Offer – conditional upon obtaining relevant qualifications and/or non-academic clearance checks
  • Rejection
  • Waiting List – candidates who are unplaced elsewhere may be reconsidered after the summer examination results

Decisions will be communicated in March when all interviews have been completed. 

Candidates who are unsuccessful cannot be reconsidered for entry within the same cycle but may reapply the following year (if they obtain the relevant qualifications at the first attempt) without prejudice to the new application.

Disclosure and Barring Service - DBS 

All offers of a place on the dental course are subject to a satisfactory Enhanced DBS certificate. The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry implements strict deadlines for submission of this information. These deadlines are conditions of the offers we make, and students who fail to meet them will be rejected, even if they have fulfilled the academic conditions of their offer.

The cost of the Enhanced DBS check and registration process must be paid for by you. Once you have been offered a place, you will be sent further information on how to obtain an Enhanced DBS certificate.

DBS update service

As a dental student, it is extremely important to use the DBS update service to keep your DBS certificate up to date and to save you time and money of having to go through the process again during your studies. Once you have received your Enhanced DBS, you must register for the update service within 30 days of your certificate being issued. The cost for the DBS update service is £13 per year, payable by you.

Further details are available on the DBS website

UCAS application and criminal convictions

On your UCAS application, you will be asked to declare spent and unspent convictions that would appear on an enhanced DBS certificate. 

Occupational Health Checks

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes and accommodates people with health conditions and disabilities. However, dental students must be fit to practise and the safety of patients will always be the primary consideration. We have a strong system of student support and anyone with a health condition or disability will be offered the appropriate adjustments and support to help them succeed. However, in some cases, an impairment or health condition may make it impossible for a student to meet the outcomes required by the GDC at the point of graduation. Where all possible options to help the student have been explored and are still unsuccessful, the student may have to leave the course or be reviewed by the Professional Capability Committee.

If you are offered a place on the course, we will send information regarding the requirement for prior assessment. This will be in the form of a confidential health questionnaire which follows the HEOPS guidance, but also we will ask you to make contact with our Disability and Dyslexia Service. This is so that a discussion of reasonable adjustment or discussion of your assessment of needs report can be made prior to you starting the degree programme. We also have to be assured that we can help you practise safely in training and employment. The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry has implemented the guidance from the Department of Health on health clearance for new healthcare workers.

Exposure-prone procedures (EPP)

All students on the five-year BDS programme perform exposure-prone procedures as a routine part of their course. Exposure-prone procedures are those invasive procedures where there is a risk that injury to the worker may result in the exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the worker. Before admittance, you must be able to demonstrate that you are not chronically infected with a blood-borne virus (BBV)– hepatitis B, hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Hepatitis B status and vaccination

Immunising dental students against hepatitis B and testing their response protects both them and their patients against the risk of contracting hepatitis B in the healthcare setting. Formal offers are only made to suitable applicants for the dental programmes on receipt of a doctor’s declaration that the applicant has started an appropriate course of hepatitis B vaccinations. This is vitally important due to the early patient contact on the dental programme. As a course of hepatitis B vaccinations can take up to nine months to complete, we ask applicants to start appropriate vaccinations once a formal offer is made.

Carriers of blood-borne virus

If you are a known carrier of a blood-borne virus (BBV), you should contact the Occupational Health Service (OHS) for further advice. All dental students are offered BBV testing, and, if appropriate, hepatitis B vaccination, on entry to dental school. Students declining testing or found to test positive for a BBV are not cleared to undertake Exposure-Prone Procedures (EPPs). There may be additional requirements relating to other blood-borne viruses as advice is continuously updated and published by advisory bodies.

Should you have any queries about the health requirements for either the medical or dental programmes, please contact the university Occupational Health Service for advice.

Fitness to practise

Training to be a dentist, and practising dentistry, requires more than just the acquisition of knowledge and skills. As a dentistry student, you will have certain responsibilities that differ from those of other students. Consequently, we expect high standards of professional behaviour from you.

Graduates are entitled to provisional registration with the General Dental Council (GDC) with a licence to practise, subject to demonstrating to the GDC that their fitness to practise is not impaired.

The School is responsible for ensuring that students who graduate are fit to practise, according to principles laid down by the GDC. If the conduct of a dental student calls into question their fitness to practise, they may be required to appear before the Fitness to Practise Committee and could be removed from the course.

Students with disabilities and health problems

You should read the following paragraphs carefully with regard to personal circumstances that might make it difficult or impossible for you to practise.

Students with disabilities

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes applications from disabled students. We do, however, have a duty to ensure that candidates admitted to our programmes will be eligible for registration by the GDC on graduation. For this reason, students with disabilities should seek advice from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office before the deadline for UCAS applications so that each case can be given individual attention and consideration.

Advice should be sought well in advance of the UCAS deadline and no less than four weeks before the deadline to ensure time for a response.

Disability and Dyslexia Service

The Disability and Dyslexia Service can offer advice, guidance and practical support to students with specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. This support may include screening students for dyslexia and organising formal educational psychologists’ assessments, arranging individual tutorials from specialist dyslexia tutors, additional time in exams and assisting disabled and dyslexic students to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. More details are available from the Disability and Dyslexia Service. Students are encouraged to contact the Service before starting their programme to discuss any specific needs.

Equal opportunities

The school of Medicine and Dentistry firmly and actively supports an equal opportunities policy. In the case of a specific learning disorder or disability, we would assess any student meeting the required academic standard in accordance with the prescribed professional standards and the Equality Act (2010).

Admissions Statistics

Information from our most recent admissions cycle can be found here.

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