Course Comparison

Course MSc Restorative Dentistry BDS Dental Surgery
Award Master of Science - MSc Bachelor of Dental Surgery - BDS
Duration 3 years 5 years
Course type Part-time Full-time
Placement - (with placements)
Location Schools of Medicine and Dentistry Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
Provider Peninsula Dental School Peninsula Dental School
Entry requirements

As a graduate, you should be in practice (Dentistry) in the UK or EU whilst undertaking the programme, and hold full General Dental Council (GDC) registration as a dental practitioner. You should also have full professional indemnity and normally at least two years of clinical experience. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, subject to fulfilling the above requirements.

If your first language is not English you will be required to provide evidence of competence in English language. The minimum acceptable English language requirement for postgraduate courses is IELTS 6.5 overall, in both cases with minimum 5.5 across all four components (listening, reading, speaking, writing). Other acceptable tests and scores include PTE Academic: 61, with minimum 51 across all four components (listening, reading, speaking, writing).

Accreditation of prior certificated learning (APCL) and accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) refer to the process by which previous formal certificated learning and informal non-certificated learning can be awarded credit towards modules within the sphere of Higher Education. Credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential, may count towards the requirements for the named award. The maximum amount of credit for prior learning (certificated or experiential) claimed towards the award is 120 credits.  To qualify for the award of a Masters degree, your dissertation must be completed at Plymouth University. If you are seeking credit (whether certificated or experiential), you will normally be required to apply for such credit on receipt of an offer of a place on the programme. Requests for APCL if you are already on a programme will be considered provided that you submit the request in the session before you would normally begin the module/stage for which you are seeking credit. In the case of requests for APEL, this would be at least six months prior to the beginning of the session before you would normally begin the module(s)/stage against which you are seeking credit.

Plymouth University is committed to providing equality for all irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity (including race, colour and nationality), gender, gender reassignment, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity and will work to ensure that all students, employees and visitors, as well as those who apply or seek to apply to work or study at the University, are treated fairly and are not subjected to discrimination by the University on any of these grounds (University Equality and Diversity Policy, Revised April 2011).

The Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes applications from people with disabilities who will be considered on the same academic grounds as other potential students. Considerations about individual needs arising from disability will be made separately, and we will strive to meet an individual disabled student's needs wherever possible and in consultation with Disability Services.

An accelerated top-up MSc in Restorative Dentistry is available to recent holders of the Diploma in Restorative Dentistry from the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) for enrolment in October 2017.

The following entry requirements take effect from the 2018 UCAS application cycle for 2019, and beyond, entry

Direct school leavers

The entry requirements set out in this section apply to you if you completed your GCE A levels, or equivalent qualifications, within five years of the start of the application cycle, e.g. qualifications completed since 2012 would still be valid when applying in 2017. If your qualifications fall outside these criteria please refer to the Non-direct School leaver section below.

Please note that none of the typical offers listed in this prospectus are necessarily the threshold for selection for interview. Other factors, including the number of applications received, and performance in the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), influence the threshold for selection for interview.

The school reserves the right to use all information on the UCAS form including evidence of social engagement and insight into dentistry in the selection process for interview.

GCE A level

The typical offer is A*AA – AAB at GCE A level which must include an A grade in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology. Your third GCE A level can be from any subject area including the humanities, languages, music, sport, science and the social sciences. 

The University of Plymouth are committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply with us. The additional information gained through contextual data enables our admissions advisory panel to recognise a student’s achievements and identify their potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. The contextual data we may consult when determining to issue an AAB offer include:

  • Living in a low participation neighbourhood as determined by your postcode (POLAR4 quintiles 1 & 2).
  • Living in an area categorised as being in Indices of Mass Depravation 1 – 4 (IMD) as determined by your postcode.
  • Attending a low performing school/college e.g. 16-18 performance in the ‘below’ or ‘well below average’ classifications.
  • Significant engagement in either our Peninsula Pathways programme or another widening access intervention.
  • Being in receipt of free school meals.

Please note that the typical offer is not necessarily the threshold for selection for interview, which may vary depending on the number and quality of applications received by the faculty.


Applicants need to achieve 7 GCSE passes at grades A-C/9-4 which must include English language, mathematics and either GCSE double award science or two from single award chemistry, biology, or physics.

International Baccalaureate

The typical offer is 36-38 points overall including six in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology at the Higher Level.

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades AAA-AAB including a grade A in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

A pass in the Diploma, plus grades A*A/AA in biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology. General studies at A/AS level is not included within any offer.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

D3, D3, M1 including biology and one further science from chemistry, physics, maths, and psychology at D3.

GCE A levels and Cambridge Pre-U Diploma

Applications will be assessed on an individual basis according to the subjects studied. Chemistry must be achieved at D3 in lieu of grade A at GCE A level. For a non-science subject a minimum grade M1 is required.

Applicants offering the following qualifications will need to take the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). Please see entry requirements for non-Direct School Leavers:

  • BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science
  • Advanced Diploma in Society, Health and Development
  • Access to HE Diploma (Science)

Other UK qualifications

Other UK qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and you are advised to contact the Admissions team on +44 1752 437333 or email:

Re-sit Applicants 

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry welcome applications from re-sit applicants providing a minimum attainment has been achieved at the first attempt. For example: A level candidates need to have achieved ABB for dentistry in the first attempt. For other qualification re-sit criteria please contact the admissions team at Please note that applicants undertaking re-sits must achieve their final qualification profile for consideration in no more than three academic years i.e. allowing for 1 re-sit year attempt only.

EU and EEA Countries entry qualifications

Please download the EU and EEA Countries entry requirements 2016 (pdf) document.

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

As part of our commitment to a fair and transparent admissions process, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry uses the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) in order to make more informed choices from amongst the many highly qualified applicants who apply for a place on the BDS programme. UKCAT test results will be used, alongside the academic information contained on your UCAS form to select direct school leavers for interview. You will be required to meet a minimum overall target score which is set and reviewed annually by the Admissions Advisory Panel.

Please note: If you are re-applying for a second year with achieved grades, you will need to register and complete a new UKCAT test as part of your application.

The UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) threshold score applied to determine candidate selection for interview can alter each year and is influenced by overall candidate performance in the UKCAT and the number and quality of applications received. Below are examples of the score thresholds applied during the previous admissions cycles. 

Year of entry Verbal reasoning Quantitive analysis Abstract reasoning Decision analysis Overall
2014 entry 350 410 450 510 2190
2015 entry 500 620 570 560 2280
2016 entry 480 610 560 550 2280
2018 entry - - - - 2230
2019 entry - - - - 2190
The Peninsula Dental School will again be applying an overall target score methodology in this application cycle for entry next September to facilitate selection for interview. We do not currently include the SJT banding score.

If you have sat the UKCATSEN please be aware that you will need to provide standard evidence of your entitlement to this additional time by submitting;

  • If still in education, an official letter from your school, college, University that states that on the basis of a diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner, educational psychologist or specialist teacher the candidate is currently entitled to additional time in public examinations (or have had additional time in public examinations within the last 2 years);


  • If you are no longer in education, a post-16 year’s diagnosis or report from a qualified medical practitioner or educational psychologist that explicitly recommends additional time in public examinations.

UKCAT Website

Candidate Preparation Toolkit


Widening access to Dentistry

As part of our commitment to widening access to dentistry, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry undertakes a programme of outreach activities with local schools in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. For further information please visit

The School is also represented at the UCAS Higher Education Conventions in the UK.

Non-direct school leavers

The entry requirements set out in this section apply to you if your current suite of qualifications do not meet those published above in the Direct School Leaving section or more than 5 years has lapsed since achieving them.

Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT)

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry uses the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) as the entrance requirement for non-direct school leavers. GAMSAT assesses your academic aptitude for the study of dentistry. Results from the test will be used alongside the other information contained on your UCAS form to select non-direct school leavers for interview. The results are valid for two years.

GAMSAT is a 5 and a half hours written test that assesses your reasoning in humanities, social science, biological science, physical science and written communication. As this test only assesses academic aptitude, if you're successful you'll still need to show us at interview that you have the appropriate personal qualities to train and practise as a dentist.

If you'd like to know more or to register for the test, please visit the GAMSAT website. Although the school does not accept responsibility for the content, you may also find the following leaflet of interest.

Below are examples of the score thresholds applied in previous admissions cycles.

  2013 entry 2014 entry 2015 entry 2016 entry 2017 entry 2018 entry
Section 1 51 51 47 50 51 50
Section 2 51 51 48 51 54 50
Section 3 40 40 42 42 47 43
Overall 50 48 47 48 54 49

Graduates from the University of Plymouth BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene (DTH), who achieve a distinction, are invited to apply to join Year 2 of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree. This entry route is valid for two years post BSc completion and all applications must be submitted through UCAS between 1 September and 15 October. All eligible applicants will be subject to the standard selection interview for the BDS course and all offers will be conditional. For DTH graduates who do not achieve a distinction the current process, which requires you to sit the GAMSAT exam to apply to join Year 1 of the BDS course, will remain.  

International student admissions

If you're an international applicant you need to meet the equivalent admissions criteria described for home students, with the exception that you do not need to sit the UKCAT test. Applicants applying with overseas qualifications should contact the Admissions Team at prior to submitting an application through UCAS. In addition international applicants need to be fully proficient in English language. All teaching at our School is in English, so if English is not your first language and you do not have a GCSE or IGCSE pass at grade A in English language, you must have one of the following qualifications:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band 7.5 or above with at least 7.0 in each of the speaking and listening sections, taken within 12 months prior to entry;
  • IB score of 6 in English B at the standard level

We understand that university life is a challenge for any student but especially when you're a long way from home. You'll find the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry friendly and supportive. The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry has a nominated academic tutor to coordinate the induction and academic support provided to international students. The international office at the University of Plymouth also provide support and can help you with any non-academic issues. There are student welfare support and counselling services, wardens and student health centres on hand if you need them.

Student visas

If you have an offer of a place at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry you should apply under the Tier 4 (General Student) category. Further information is available on the UK Border Agency's website.

For detailed selection and admissions process guidance please review our technical manual for the current application cycle

Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Please view our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.