Peninsula Dental School

BDS Dental Surgery with Integrated Foundation Year

The Bachelor of Dental Surgery with integrated Foundation Year course is designed for applicants who wish to study dentistry but who are not currently appropriately qualified for entry to year one of the BDS undergraduate programme. The course equips you with the scientific knowledge and study skills needed to become a confident, critically self-aware, independent learner ready for the challenges of Higher Education and University life.

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.

Plymouth ranked #1 best UK university for dentistry

Our dentistry courses scored 100 out of 100, making them number 1 in the UK in the Guardian's league table of the best universities in 2024.

Award-winning contribution to dental training and community care

We recently received recognition at Times Higher Education Awards 2023 for our continued work to provide dental care and training.
The pioneering work of the Peninsula Dental School and the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise won the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category at the awards ceremony. It is recognition of the efforts of more than 100 staff and 400 students working and studying with the University, and in communities across Devon and Cornwall.
Dental dentistry students practicing 

Key features

  • This dentistry programme is mapped against the General Dental Council’s guidance ‘Preparing for Practice’
  • Treat patients through partnership with local NHS providers.
  • Engage directly with participants and service users in a unique and meaningful way.
  • 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 work across the Dental Education Facilities in Plymouth, Truro and Exeter.

Course details

  • Foundation year

  • The Bachelor of Dental Surgery with integrated Foundation Year 0 (BDSF) programme is designed for applicants who wish to study Dentistry but who are not currently appropriately qualified for entry to year one of the BDS undergraduate programme. The BDSF programme equips you with the scientific knowledge and study skills needed to become a confident, critically self-aware, independent learner ready for the challenges of Higher Education and University life.
    You will be taught at the city centre campus where you will have the opportunity to meet your peers and academics, and where, from your very first day, you are part of the Faculty of Health. You will study alongside Dental Therapy & Hygiene, Diagnostic Radiography, Biomedical Sciences, and Medical students, preparing you for a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach to learning and practice. Modules aim to develop an understanding of the science relating to a range of topic areas relevant to the study of Dentistry, and you can take advantage of academic support and guidance provided by a personal tutor. Meeting the requirements at the end of the Foundation Pathway enables you to progress onto stage one of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programme, where you will learn and practice clinical and academic skills as part of the dental team.
    Years 1–5 will follow BDS Dental Surgery.

    Core modules

    • Learning Skills for Dentistry (BDT003)

      This module is designed to underpin learning in other modules, equipping students with the skills required to succeed at University level study. It will provide opportunity to acquire generalizable skills and help students to become effective independent learners.

    • Infection, Immunity and Therapeutics (BHCS001)

      This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and the human immune system. Students will learn the fundamental biology relating to bacteria, helminths, viruses and fungi. And also develop an understanding of how our immune system has evolved to combat infection. The module will also explore methods to control microbial contamination and therapeutic strategies to prevent disease.

    • Current Developments in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BHCS002)

      This module examines the role of science in addressing key contemporary issues in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences. The module aims to take an integrative approach, aiming to develop in students both a critical appreciation of the ways in which issues in Human Biology can be approached and resolved, and to develop an understanding of the skills and attributes needed for effective study of such issues at undergraduate level.

    • Molecules to Cells (FMD001)

      This module introduces key concepts involved in cell regulation including genetic inheritance, metabolism and protein expression. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling. Cellular organisation within different tissues will also be outlined, enabling students to recognise links between structure and function. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Introduction to Human Physiology (FMD002)

      This module will provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Using example systems, it will emphasise relationships between structure and function and examine homeostatic regulation in these systems. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Interdisciplinary Learning and Team Based Learning (Enquiry learning) (FMD004)

      This module is designed to enable learners to develop key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams. Students will be encouraged to work with their colleagues to manage tasks and tailor learning according to their own particular discipline

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BDS with Integrated Foundation Year Programme Specification 2023 24 7430

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.

Entry requirements

We aim to build a picture of the circumstances that may have adversely affected an applicant’s education and academic potential. When assessing an application we will consider a range of educational, social, family, and individual characteristics and experiences. Applications for this course will therefore only be considered if the contextual entry requirements are met alongside the academic criteria.
Applicants for this course must not meet the A level and GCSE grade requirements for the five-year Dental Surgery (A206) course. However, if you meet either the GCSE or A level requirements for A206 but not the other, then you would be considered for the foundation course.
We are unable to accept international applicants for this programme going forward (2024 entry onwards). 
Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £25,000 £25,000
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.
*Please note this is the international tuition fee rate for Year zero only. International tuition fee rates charged for Years 1-5 of the BDS with Integrated Foundation are significantly higher than the rate charged for year zero. Please visit the BDS Dental Surgery course page for an indication of these fee levels. International fee rates are not fixed at the point of entry and will be subject to annual inflationary rises.

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
Devonport Dental Education Facility

Explore our facilities

You will be taught across a number of locations in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro in our Dental Education Facilities. From progressive clinical spaces to Simulated Dental Learning Environments, you will benefit from exceptional facilities throughout your course. 
Virtual tour
Take a virtual tour of our fantastic facilities, including our lecture theatres, cafe, learning resource centres and much more.

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.
Yewande Oduwole

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.

Vivienne, Elizabeth and El-Eden, founders of the Budding Black Dentists platform