Peninsula Dental School

BDS Dental Surgery

This exciting dentistry programme is pioneering, patient-centred and delivered in a supportive and research-rich environment. You will develop the highest level of core dental skills and knowledge needed for a hugely rewarding career as a healthcare professional. We offer you state-of-the art facilities and are committed to making you a dental practitioner with clinical skills of the highest order and a strong sense of social awareness.

You will treat patients through partnership with Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise and the wider NHS in Devon and Cornwall, become familiar with a variety of clinical situations, and prepare for a future career path through solving clinical problems. You’ll also discover how clinical dentistry and research is practiced in different social and cultural contexts in other parts of the South West, UK and the world.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.

#firstchoiceforhealth

Key features

  • This dentistry programme is mapped against the General Dental Council’s guidance ‘Preparing for Practice’.
  • Treat patients through partnership with the NHS Primary Care Trust in Devon and Cornwall.
  • Engage directly with participants and service users in a unique and meaningful way with the Community Engagement Team.
  • Benefit from the state of the art facilities provided by established Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE), a Community Interest Company (CIC).
  • Become familiar with a variety of clinical situations.
  • Prepare for a future career path through solving clinical problems.
  • Become competent at diagnosing disease and planning preventive care.
  • Choose your own areas of interest to study further.
  • Early clinical contact with a strong patient focus.
  • Gain the core dental knowledge and communication skills you need to practise as a competent and caring dentist.
  • Strong partnerships within the University.
  • Students will spend Years 1, 2 and 5 in Plymouth and Year 4 in Truro. Students in Year 3 travel 2 days a week, via transport organised and paid for by the School, to the Dental Education Facility in Exeter.  
Read more about how we will enhance your learning.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Your outstanding clinical education commences at the start of Year 1, working in small, integrated study groups you will learn the core scientific foundations of dentistry in a clinical context, explore the scientific basis of normal structure, function and behaviour, with a focus on dental health, prevention of dental disease and the underlying principles of personal and professional development. You will attend the Simulated Dental Learning Environment (SDLE) from your first week developing essential clinical skills and in Term 2 you will experience contact with patients in the clinics where you will be able to develop your communication skills under the close supervision of dental practitioners, bringing to life the skills gained in SDLE. Near the end of the year you have your first experience in social engagement.

    Core modules

    • Integrated Dental Science 1 (PDS411)

      This module introduces basic and clinical sciences and the principles of human disease prevention which underpin dental skills, the safe use of ionising radiation together with the properties and usage of biomaterials in dentistry.

    • Clinical Dental Practice 1 (PDS412)

      This module provides an introduction to clinical dentistry and the management of medical emergencies. It provides a gateway check point to ensure students are ready to commence providing safe dental care for patients.

    • Professional Development 1 (PDS413)

      This module introduces students to reflective adult learning and assists with the development of professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BDS or BSc DTH programmes by presentation of a written critical reflection and discussion.

    • Inter-Professional Engagement 1 (PDS414)

      The module introduces students to community health & social care. Students will undertake a community engagement visit and work closely with a target organisation to understand the impacts of demographic variation and lifestyle issues on local people. The project will enable students to develop an understanding of the wider determinants of health, introduce core academic skills and develop societal and community awareness.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year, you build on your foundations with common dental problems, as well as disease mechanisms considered in much greater depth. Learning continues in SDLE as you develop skills for advanced procedures whilst continuing to care for patients in the clinics in Plymouth two days per week. You gain insight into the importance of team working in dentistry as you integrate with other members of the team in the clinical environment, and plan and deliver a social engagement project intervention.

    Core modules

    • Integrated Dental Science 2 (BDS521)

      This module enables students to further develop their depth of knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles underpinning dental practice and includes oral disease, pharmacology and dental materials. The module continues to support the application of basic biomedical, clinical sciences and disease prevention principles which underpin dental skills and the effective and safe care of patients in the dental environment.

    • Clinical Dental Practice 2 (BDS522)

      This module continues the students' introduction to the essential range of basic dental skills and the management of medical emergencies needed for the safe practice of primary dental care.

    • Professional Development 2 (BDS523)

      This module supports students to further develop reflective adult learning skills and self-awareness and assists with the development of professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BDS programme.

    • Inter-Professional Engagement 2 (BDS524)

      In year two of the programme, students are able to build on their learning from the year one inter-professional engagement project by focusing on a single community-based organisation within Devon and Cornwall. Students in small groups visit organisations to develop an understanding of how these organisations support particular community groups and/or individuals to adopt positive healthy lifestyles and how they help their clients/service users to overcome the social and organisational barriers that prevent them from achieving this.

  • Year 3

  • In your third year there is greater self-directed learning as you prepare project assignments, including an engagement project with students from another healthcare profession, and clinical cases. Based in Plymouth with transport provided to our Exeter clinic two days per week you build upon existing skills and consolidate advanced procedures provided for patients. One of the themes for years three and four is to consolidate the learning of medically-related issues for the safe practice of dentistry. You will be given an opportunity to learn about dentally relevant medical issues in patient-based demonstrations.


    Intercalated Master of Science (MSc)
    Selected students may intercalate, between Year 3 and Year 4, and undertake a one year MSc in our research laboratories in Plymouth.

    Core modules

    • Applied Dental Knowledge 1 (BDS631)

      This module enables students to achieve the level of knowledge of clinical and communication skills, professionalism and management and leadership skills required of a graduate entering primary care as a Dental Foundation dentist. Topic areas include basic sciences as applied to dentistry, and knowledge of the comprehensive delivery of clinical dentistry including: restorative dentistry for children and adults; dental radiology; oral surgery; pharmacology and therapeutics; oral medicine; oral pathology; medicine and surgery applied to dentistry; preventive dentistry; dental public health; evidence-based dentistry; health & safety; communication skills; professionalism; law & ethics; and management & leadership.

    • Clinical Dental Practice 3 (BDS632)

      This module provides students provides students with the ability to undertake more complex dental care for patients of all ages, the development of further skills in the simulated environment and management of medical emergencies.

    • Professional Development 3 (BDS633)

      This module supports students to further develop reflective adult learning skills and self-awareness and assists with the development of professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BDS programme.

    • Inter-Professional Engagement 3 (BDS634)

      Students will liaise in small groups with groups of students from other professions. Students will share working practices and work collaboratively to learn about the scope of practice of the other professional groups and provide curriculum opportunities appropriate to the needs and demands of that group in order to improve future IPE working and patient care.

  • Year 4

  • In your fourth year you will live in Truro for the whole academic year. Clinical activity will expand to three days per week and you start to prepare clinical cases for Finals. Clinical dentistry will now embrace all of the aspects of dental care provision expected of a qualified dentist, will give you experience in advanced restorative techniques and strengthen your competence in treatment planning. You'll gain first-hand experience of the role and services provided by specialists in primary and secondary care, by spending time in specialist clinics such as restorative dentistry, oral surgery, oral diseases and orthodontics.

    Core modules

    • Applied Dental Knowledge 2 (BDS741)

      This module enables students to achieve the level of knowledge of clinical and communication skills, professionalism and management and leadership skills required of a graduate entering primary care as a Dental Foundation dentist. Topic areas include basic sciences as applied to dentistry, and knowledge of the comprehensive delivery of clinical dentistry including: restorative dentistry for children and adults; dental radiology; oral surgery; pharmacology and therapeutics; oral medicine; oral pathology; medicine and surgery applied to dentistry; preventive dentistry; dental public health; evidence-based dentistry; health & safety; communication skills; professionalism; law & ethics; and management & leadership.

    • Clinical Dental Practice 4 (BDS742)

      This module enables the student to consolidate the practice of an increasing wide range of primary care dental procedures and start to work more independently, assessing situations and making safe and appropriate decisions in managing patient care.

    • Professional Development 4 (BDS743)

      This module supports students to further develop reflective adult learning skills and self-awareness and assists with the development of critical skills, professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BDS programme.

    • Inter-Professional Engagement 4: Quality Improvement (BDS744)

      This module develops core academic skills, introduced earlier in the programme such as engaging critically with evidence, writing scientifically, and using appropriate sources of information. These skills are applied through a quality improvement project, in which students review the quality of clinical practice through the use of a clinical audit.

  • Final year

  • The emphasis in your final year is on the implementation and consolidation of the skills and abilities you have learned in previous years and is the final preparation for dental practice. You will become more confident with clinical situations, healthcare teams and the principles of professionalism; and discover advances in dentistry being developed for future practice.

    Core modules

    • Applied Dental Knowledge 3 (BDS751)

      This module enables students to achieve the level of knowledge of clinical and communication skills, professionalism and management and leadership skills required of a graduate entering primary care as a Dental Foundation dentist. Topic areas include basic sciences as applied to dentistry, and knowledge of the comprehensive delivery of clinical dentistry including: restorative dentistry for children and adults; dental radiology; oral surgery; pharmacology and therapeutics; oral medicine; oral pathology; medicine and surgery applied to dentistry; preventive dentistry; dental public health; evidence-based dentistry; health & safety; communication skills; professionalism; law & ethics; and management & leadership.

    • Clinical Dental Practice 5 (BDS752)

      This module comprises four components: Specialist Visit Reports; Objective Structured Clinical Examination; Exit Case Presentations; achievement of minimum standards in clinical proficiency and capability assessments. Students visit a variety of specialist oral care facilities and further develop skills in a wide range of procedures, including patient assessment, treatment planning and delivery. Communication and professionalism are further developed within the clinical environment.

    • Professional Development 5 (BDS753)

      This module supports students to further develop reflective adult learning skills and self-awareness and assists with the development of critical skills, professional behaviour and attitudes appropriate to dentistry. Every term the student will meet their Academic Tutor and reflect and review on their performance in all aspects of professionalism within the BDS programme.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

In order to meet the academic requirements for this programme, you must have one of the following combinations of qualifications:

  • GCSE, A Levels and UCAT
  • GAMSAT
  • A Levels and stage 1 of either Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences with the University of Plymouth. Degree study at other institutions is not considered.
  • A degree programme through the University of Plymouth School of Biomedical Sciences. Degree study at other institutions is not considered
  • BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene with the University of Plymouth


View full details on the subject and grade requirements for these qualifications.


None of the typical offers listed below are necessarily the threshold for interview selection. Other factors including the number of applications received and performance in the
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) influence the threshold for interview selection.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

2021-22 fees

Please note the fees listed are per annum.

Full-time pre-clinical (year 1) 

Home International/EU Islands***
£9,250 £21,500 £9,250

Full-time clinical (years 2 - 5) 

Home International/EU Islands***
£9,250 £39,900 £20,200

BMBS, BDS and BSc Dental Therapy and Hygiene international fees are not fixed at the point of entry, annual inflationary rises will apply. All other UG courses under PU PSMD are subject to the standard International fee and fee capping policy.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

How to apply

All applications must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All applications for the BMBS and BDS courses must reach UCAS between 1 September and 15 October annually. Applicants should apply to no more than four of the same clinical degree courses. Applicants may wish to consider BSc (Hons) Dental Therapy and Hygiene, BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography, or one of our School of Biomedical Sciences courses as their fifth choice.

The UCAS code for the Faculty of Health is P60 PLYM.


For more information contact the Admissions Team:

Admissions Team
Faculty of Health
The John Bull Building
Plymouth Science Park
Plymouth
PL6 8BU

Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of School

With our state-of-the-art facilities we are committed to producing dental practitioners and dental therapists and hygienists with clinical skills of the highest order and a strong sense of social awareness.

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Learn about the roles and research interests of our school staff

The interview

Before receiving an offer to study on one of our programmes you will be invited to attend an interview.

This attempts to find out whether you have the personal attributes required to become a doctor or dentist of tomorrow.

Find out more about the interview process

Budding Black Dentists

Budding Black Dentists is a platform founded by Elizabeth Fynn-Famodun, a final year Dental Student at the University of Plymouth, who not only noticed the alarming lack of black representation in the field of dentistry, but also the need to target this issue. This finding became more evident after herself and her colleagues, Vivienne Onamusi (BDS 4) and El-Eden Biney (BDS 5), attended a dental-student conference and found that they were amongst only a handful of black dental students present. This was not the case for those of Asian and Caucasian backgrounds. This lack of representation is clearly reflected in the dental professional as a whole - the three students found that only 3% of Dentists in the world identify as black. This ultimately meant that finding mentorship as a young black dental professional in the hands of someone that looked like us would be near impossible, which would create a domino effect as there would be few black professionals to look up to.

In aims to combat this, the three dental students launched a non-profit organisation to equip aspiring dental applicants with the necessary tools needed for each stage of their dental journey, to help to educate the black community on the importance of oral health and what dentistry entails, via outreach programmes, and to establish a strong support network of aspiring and qualified black dentists for the facilitation of mentoring schemes.

Budding Black Dentists now consists of a team of 16 dental students from ethnic minority backgrounds based in various UK dental schools, who all share this vision and deeply aspire for change to be made in the near future.

Student insight – Yewande Oduwole

No matter what you are studying there is always a way that you can make an impact and a positive change in someone’s life.

Yewande made the most of her time as a dental student by taking on multiple entrepreneurial and humanitarian projects.

Find out more about Yewande's story

Your voice counts

Our programmes in Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Healthcare Sciences all achieved student satisfaction rating in excess of 92 per cent in 2014.

We are proud of our exceptionally high level of student satisfaction as measured in the National Student Survey (NSS).

My journey into dentistry

Sneha, a third-year Dental Surgery student, took an unconventional route to study dentistry at University of Plymouth's Peninsula Dental School

"My journey into dental school was very unconventional. However, I cherish every experience I had and every lesson I learned along the way.

I am so fortunate to be a part of the Peninsula Dental School, as early clinical exposure has made me more confident in treating patients."

Read more about Sneha's Journey

Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC

As such, everything it does is guided by the need to fulfil its ‘community interest statement’ which sets out its mission and reason for existence as a company.

​Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) is a Community Interest Company (CIC).

Find out more about Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC

The Community Engagement Team (CET)

Engaging directly with participants and service users in a unique and meaningful way.

The CET works alongside organisations and projects to support positive lifestyle choices; promoting dental health and well being.

Find out more about the Community Engagement Team

Discover more about the programme

The school draws on the strengths of its University and NHS partners to deliver the most exciting and innovative undergraduate dental degree programme.

It is carefully structured to ensure you will possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for entry into your first clinical job.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme

Dental research

There is a growing understanding of the interactions between oral and systemic health and the importance of taking an holistic approach to health research, promotion and service provision.

Oral health is a key domain of general health.

Find out more on our research pages

People

This course is approved by the General Dental Council for registration as a dentist.