Admission to dentistry at Barts and The London is highly competitive. We receive well over 700 applications for entry and interview about 250 candidates. Approximately 150 offers are made, and 67 home students and up to 8 overseas students will be admitted in September.
A range of criteria is used to assess candidates in order to be considered for an interview:-
Applications are firstly reviewed within the Admissions Office to check that they meet the minimum academic requirements. Any applications which do not meet the minimum academic requirements will be rejected at this point.
A200 applicants who achieve an overall score within the third decile range or above in the UCAT and meet our minimum academic entry criteria will be given a score for their UCAS tariff based on achieved/predicted grades for all ‘tariffable’ criteria or a weighted score for graduates based on degree classification. Candidates will be expected to have achieved or be predicted a UCAS tariff of 152 or more. 152 points must be achieved from the main scoring academic acceptable criteria. 50% of the weighting will be on Tariff and 50% on the UCAT score.
We aim to interview approximately 150 applicants on the basis of UCAT score and predicted UCAS tariff. 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, since it is essentially competitive and depends on who applies. Hence we do not plan to make this information public.
UCAS tariff is made up of a number of academic and non-academic qualifications. Applicants are encouraged to review the list of ‘tariffable’ qualifications and must ensure that all qualifications they have taken and/or are taking are listed on their UCAS application in order to be taken into consideration. As well as AS and A2 Levels, other examples of academic tariffable qualifications include the Cambridge Pre-U, the International Baccalaureate, the Irish Leaving Certificate, and the non-academic qualifications Extended Project, BTEC level 3, Music Examinations. We will calculate your tariff for all tariffable qualifications you list on your UCAS application including those that are not taken into consideration for meeting our minimum academic requirements e.g. An AS or A Level in General Studies or Critical Thinking.
An overview of tariff scores can be found on the UCAS website.
How we use the UCAS Tariff
For school-leavers/gap year students, you must be predicted to achieve a UCAS Tariff of at least 152 from the minimum academic subjects we allow. We expect you to take all exams for which we have been given a predicted result.
- We are not able to give you advice on the minimum score we require to be shortlisted for interview, since it varies from year to year. The tariff score makes up 50% of the weighting and the other 50% is from the UCAT score. You are advised to check last years before applying.
- UCAS Tariff is not relevant for graduates who apply for either the 5 year or 4 year programme. Instead, an academic pointing system will be used to take into consideration the undergraduate classification of your first degree, and whether you have a masters of PhD in order to assess the academic strength of your application.
In summary, the School of Dentistry has a comprehensive admissions policy that ensures that all applications are dealt with in the same way. When applications are received, they are assessed to make sure that candidates fulfil the minimum requirements. Candidates must:
- have obtained or be predicted to obtain grades in GCSE and A/AS Levels, International or European Baccalaureate, or other acceptable qualifications that satisfy the School’s academic criteria (see Entry Requirements section)
- sit the UKCAT examination each year of the application
- apply by the deadline
Candidates who do not fulfil the above requirements will be rejected without interview.
The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) helps universities to make more informed choices from the many highly-qualified applicants who apply for their medical and dental degree programmes. It is also intended that using the results of UCAT will widen participation and increase the diversity of successful applicants. The test contains neither any curriculum nor science content, nor can it be revised for. It will focus on exploring the cognitive powers of candidates, and other attributes considered to be valuable for healthcare professionals. The UCAT lasts two hours and consists of four assessed cognitive sub-sections:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Decision Making
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Abstract Reasoning
All candidates will also take a Situational Judgement Test (SJT). The SJT measures perspective taking, integrity and team involvement and was introduced as part of the UCAT test in 2013. This section score may form part of the assessment at the interview.
All candidates applying to the five-year course must take the UCAT in the year of application in order to be considered for interview. You are required to register with the UCAT assessment centres prior to the test. Bursaries are available under which the UCAT test fee is waived. Candidates must prove eligibility and apply online for a bursary before registering for the UCAT. Please refer to the UCAT website for key dates and additional information.
How we use the UCAT
For school-leavers/gap-year students and graduates, applicants will be ranked according to a 50:50 weighting applied to the UCAT score and academic ability as measured by UCAS tariff or academic ability for graduates (based on a weighting of degree classification or postgraduate degrees) compared to other applicants who apply in that same year.
- You will not be offered an interview 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. We will not know what the third decile is until the UCAT Consortium release their decile ranges in November.
Requests for UCAT Exemptions are considered by Barts and The London, rather than by the UCAT Consortium.
In order to apply for a UCAT Exemption, please email us with the reasons for your request and appropriate evidence. In most cases our advice will be to defer your application until the next application cycle.
Requests should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, applicant ID (if already applied), and course you wish to be considered for. We strongly advise candidates to make their request as early as possible.
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.
If selected, you will be required to attend a short interview. Interviews normally take place at the Whitechapel campus between January and March, however, for 2021 entry these will be held online.
We also normally hold interviews overseas in Malaysia and Singapore and these will also be online for 2021.
Normally, interview panels consist of two members of senior academic or clinical staff, a dentistry student and sometimes a lay selector. The interview is not intended to be an intimidating experience and staff will try to put candidates at ease while evaluating the following:
- Motivation and realistic approach to dentistry as a career
- Show initiative, resilience and maturity
- Work well as part of a team
- Be well organised and demonstrate problem solving abilities
- Likely contribution to university life
- Communicate effectively in a wide range of situations
The personal statement does not form part of the assessment to reach interview and is there to support the candidate during the interview process. The personal statement does not form part of the scoring at interview, however, in addition to your academic ability, your interviewers will consider your interests, talents, and the contribution you can make to our School. They will also bear in mind your suitability as a future member of the dental profession. We look for applicants who have participated as fully as possible in school or college life, and who have also contributed in some way to the outside community - so we will take into account all your achievements in both academic and other activities.
After your interview, you will have a chance to take a tour of the Whitechapel campus organised by dental students.
There will be three possible outcomes from the interview:
- An offer – conditional upon obtaining relevant qualifications and/or non-academic clearance checks
- Waiting list – candidates who are unplaced elsewhere may be reconsidered after the summer examination results
Decisions are made when all the interviews have been completed. The formal notification of the decision will be communicated to UCAS at the same time.
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.
Selection to our courses follows the principles of values-based recruitment and the core values of the NHS.
Non-academic Entry Requirements - BDS (5 years)
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.
Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB)
All offers of a place on the dental course are made subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring and health checks. The School implements strict deadlines for the 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 Disclosure and Barring check will disclose convictions, cautions and reprimands that do not meet the new filtering rules. The cost of the checks and registration process must be paid by you. Once you have been offered a place at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office will send you further information on how to obtain disclosure clearance.
Further details are available on the Disclosure and Barring service website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
Where there is a delay in the processing of your police clearance, you will be asked to sign a full declaration of any spent or unspent criminal record you have received prior to full enrolment. If you think you might have received a conviction, caution, reprimand or final warning from the police, you must declare it.
You should check the Disclosure website as above and tick ‘Yes’ if appropriate on your UCAS application so that we can discuss with you whether it may affect your ability to practise. Failure to inform the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office of matters that subsequently appear on a Disclosure and Barring check may well result in your application being withdrawn. If you know in advance of your application that you will have a positive Disclosure and Barring check, you should tick the relevant box on the UCAS form. In addition, you must contact the admissions department to be sent our current policy with respect to this.
The School 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.
All students that have declared a disability will receive a letter from the Head of Admissions prior to interview to ensure we can accommodate any specific needs. 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 the 31 July. We also have to be assured that we can help you practise safely in training and employment. Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has implemented the guidance from the Department of Health on health clearance for new healthcare workers (Health clearance for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV: new healthcare workers) www.gov.uk/government/publications
Exposure-prone procedures (EEP)
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 on:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8700.
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
Barts and The London School 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.
This advice should be sought well in advance of the 15th October deadline and no less than four weeks before this date 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 programmes to discuss any specific needs.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2756
Fax: +44 (0)20 7882 5223
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).