Birmingham School of Dentistry (Undergraduate)

Key Information and Stats

Degree: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
Type: Undergraduate (5 years)
Campus: Edgbaston
UCAS Codes: A200 Course: A200
University: B32
Applicants in 2011: 751
Interviews: N/A
Offers: N/A
Annual Intake: 75
Contact Information: The School Of Clinical Dentistry
University of Birmingham
St. Chads Queesnway
B4 6NN
Tel: 0121 466 5579
Admissions Tutor: Mr. Kris Coomar (e-mail secretary at e-mail provided above)
Figures are based on University provided averages.

Why Apply to Birmingham?

“By selecting Birmingham, you are coming to a friendly and caring institution. Your period of study at the school will be a happy one where you will have both an excellent training in dentistry and an opportunity to be part of an established University with outstanding facilities.

Our main campus is situated in leafy Edgbaston, just outside the city centre, and much of the first two years of your training takes place here. There is a village atmosphere around the campus and neighbouring Selly Oak.

Entry Requirements


    Typical offer: AAA and AS level at grade B/A
    Required subjects and grades: Three A levels at grade A, must include Chemistry and Biology plus an A/S level at grade B – these must be obtained in one sitting; Human Biology may be offered, but not in addition to Biology.


    Candidates must have GCSE Chemistry & Biology at grade A* (or Double Science award at grade A*A*) plus Mathematics and English Language at grade A.

    Scottish applicants:

    Candidates will need to offer 3 Advanced Highers with grades AAA.

    International Baccalaureate Diploma:

    36 points including Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level.


    Must have achieved (or be predicted to achieve) a First Class honours degree in medical science or related degree with A levels of B.

Course Structure

    First year

    The early part of the programme lays the foundation for clinical practice. A range of biological science modules provide a systems-based approach to understanding the human body and incorporate a range of different subjects. These are delivered by the Medical School and they provide an important foundation for the Basic and Applied Systemic Human Diseases module later in the programme. Alongside these modules, you will have early contact with patients, observing and reflecting on treatment sessions in the dental hospital. You will also start to develop an understanding of being a professional and of patients’ perspectives through a series of modules taught at the School of Dentistry.

    A wide range of teaching methods are used, but the emphasis is on enquiry-based learning. You are also expected to become an independent learner and will be supported in this by our in-house virtual learning environment, the e-course.

    Second year

    The second year of the programme builds on the first, with an increased amount of time being spent at the School of Dentistry. Biological science modules focus on the head and oral cavity and other modules enable you to understand the wider context of dentistry and influences of patient behaviour on their oral health. You will undertake further sessions with senior students, assisting them during their patient care. These modules are assessed at the end of the spring term.

    The summer term of second year is devoted to developing a range of practical skills and understanding about practical aspects of patient care. You will work in the clinical skills laboratory on phantom heads preparing and restoring teeth. You will also work with your peers, taking medical histories, carrying out dental examinations and also learning how to administer local anaesthetics. You will also gain understanding of a research project in the periodontology teaching area and other academic work will focus on dental pathology, radiography and restorative dentistry.

    Third year

    At the start of the third year you begin treating your own patients under supervision within the dental hospital and start to put into practice the skills and knowledge that you have developed in the early years. This core of Clinical Practice, where you have your own small list of patients, continues through until final year and enables you to understand the importance of continuing care and integrated clinical practice and working with a dental team.

    At the beginning of the spring term, you will be introduced to other clinical speciality teaching areas which provide a basis for understanding different aspects of patient treatment and will contribute to whole patient care in Clinical Practice.

    In parallel with the clinical work on patients, you will undertake other academic subjects including the Basic and Applied Systemic Human Diseases (BASHD) module. This comprises Medicine, Surgery, Infection, Pathology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and builds on your solid biological science foundation. This area of teaching is particularly important in helping you to understand the links between general and oral health and the impact of medical treatment on patient care. Dental Public Health and Behavioural Science is also a strand module which starts in this year and enables you to put clinical dentistry into a wider context of population health and dental service provision.

    Fourth year

    You will be introduced to two new speciality teaching areas this year, paediatric dentistry and oral medicine. In paediatric dentistry you will learn how to adapt the clinical and patient management skills you have already gained to children within the Dental Hospital and later in the year, in an outreach clinic. This will help you to understand the environment which children are growing up in and give you the opportunity to work in your own surgery with a qualified dental nurse, thus further appreciating the importance of team working. Oral Medicine gives you the opportunity to hone your diagnostic skills, further appreciate the link between oral disease and general disease and build on the knowledge and understanding you have been gained from the BASHD module.

    Outreach placements for adult primary dental care start in the summer term and continue through until Easter of final year. These take place in community clinics and provide you with experience to support your transition into Dental Foundation Training after graduation.
    There is also an opportunity for you to undertake an individually tailored module, either an elective project on a subject of your choice, dental or non-dental, at home or abroad. If you prefer, you may remain on clinic to extend your range of experience or consolidate your learning.

    Fifth year

    In this final year of your BDS programme, whole patient care is the focus of your clinical work and a programme of tutorials and lectures prepares you for practising once you have qualified. You will continue with some speciality teaching, for example oral surgery, and you will also undertake a block of dental sedation teaching to help you manage extremely anxious patients.

    There will also be an opportunity to choose a special study module which will allow you to expand your knowledge, skills and experience in a clinical area of your choice.

Visiting the Dental School

The University of Birminham are running an Open Day on Saturday 14th September 2013, They have a registration form at

Shortly after you register you will receive a confirmation email with further details about the day.

With special thanks to Nivetha Jayendran who, at the time of publication, is an enthusiastic and bubbly 4th year dental student at Birmingham Dental School. We thank her for her input to this page and encourage other dental students to get involved and contributing to our growing community.