BDS Dental Surgery with Integrated Foundation Year entry requirements

Full entry requirements for BDS Dental Surgery with Integrated Foundation Year

BDS Dental Surgery with Integrated Foundation Year is designed to make the study of Dentistry accessible to all individuals. For this reason, you must meet both the academic and non-academic entry requirements in order to be considered for this programme.
Please note the following information concerning academic entry requirements:
  • None of the typical offers listed below are necessarily the threshold for interview selection. Other factors including the number of applications received may influence the threshold for interview selection.
  • Applicants for this course must not meet the A level and GCSE grade requirements for the five-year BDS 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 will only consider an application from each candidate for either BDS Dental Surgery or BDS Dental Surgery with Integrated Foundation Year. Offers will not be made for both programmes.
  • The UCAT is not required for this course.
  • We are unable to consider any applicants who have already completed a first degree.
  • We are only able to consider Level 3 qualifications completed within five years of the start of the application cycle. For example, qualifications completed since 2016 would still be valid when applying in September 2021.
  • Applicants must meet the GCSE and Level 3 criteria to meet the academic entry requirements


Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects:

  • English Language
  • Mathematics
  • Two Science subjects - either GCSE Double Award Science or two from single award Chemistry, Biology, or Physics

We are unable to consider functional skills in lieu of GCSEs.

Level 3 qualifications
Level 3 qualifications

A Level

The typical offer is BBBat GCE A level which must include the following:

  • Grade B in Biology
  • Grade B in a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology
  • Your third A level can be from any subject area and does not need to be science based. When shortlisting for interview we do not give preference to those who complete three Science A Levels. General Studies is not accepted

BTEC National Extended Diploma

DDM in a relevant subject, which must contain units covering sufficient Biology and another science.

BTEC National Diploma

  • DM in a relevant subject, which must contain units covering sufficient Biology and another science
  • GCE A Level grade B in Biology

City & Guilds Extended Diploma in Dental Nursing
Grade Distinction + 2 A levels at grade BB (to include Biology and a second science out of Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Psychology). 

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass an Access to Higher Education Diploma in a predominantly science subject area, meeting the following criteria:

  • 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits, of which 15 level 3 credits must be in Biology or Human Biology
  • You must achieve Distinction in 33 level 3 credits, and Merit in the remaining 12 level 3 credits

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge can be considered in place of a third A Level alongside Biology and a second science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

Scottish Advanced Highers

BBB to include the following:

  • Grade B in Biology
  • Grade B in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology.

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2, H2, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include Biology and one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology

International Baccalaureate

28-32 points overall to include the following:

  • Higher Level 5 in Biology
  • Higher Level 5 in one further science from Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Psychology

Other UK qualifications

Other UK qualifications will be considered on an individual basis. Please contact the Admissions Team at advice, ensuring you provide all details of your qualifications.

Mandatory non-academic entry requirements
All applicants, in addition to meeting or exceeding the published academic criteria above will need to meet a minimum of three of the following contextual indicator options.

Where you are required to provide evidence, please ensure that this is submitted at the same time as your application and no later than the UCAS deadline. We are unable to consider evidence if it is sent to us late.

  • Local to South West
    Local Living in a local South West region (Devon/Cornwall/Bristol/Dorset/Gloucestershire/Somerset/Wiltshire)
  • POLAR4
    Living in a low participation neighbourhood as determined by your postcode (POLAR4 quintiles 1 and 2).
  • Indices of Mass Deprivation
    Living in an area categorised as being in Indices of Mass Deprivation (IMD) 1–4 or 20% most deprived as determined by your English postcode, Northern Ireland postcode, Scottish postcode, and Welsh postcode.
  • School performance
    Attending or attended a low performing school/college whilst completing your level 3 qualifications e.g. 16–18 performance in the ‘below’ or ‘well below average’ classifications. If you attend a secondary school or college in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, please contact
  • UCAT, EMA or 16–19 bursary
    In receipt of one or more of these bursaries. Bursary entitlement to be evidenced by an official award letter or a school letter submitted at the point of UCAS application to
  • Free school meals
    Being in receipt of free school meals – evidenced by school letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to
  • Peninsula Pathways
    Significant engagement in our Peninsula Pathways programme. Significant engagement includes completion of the five-day summer Work Experience Programme, being a member of the e-Mentoring scheme and attended a minimum of three of the various Peninsula Pathways workshops by the end of Year 12.
  • Estranged from parents
    For information on how you would evidence this contextual marker please contact
  • Refugee/Asylum seeker
    Evidenced by official document by official documentation/Home Office letter submitted by applicant at the point of application to
  • Carer/Care leaver
    Evidenced by official documentation submitted by applicant at the point of application to
Re-sit applicants

Re-sit applicants

Re-sit applicants are considered for this course, with the following requirements:

  • If you are applying with predicted grades, a minimum of BCC must be achieved on first sitting of A Level
  • Where BCC is not achieved on first sitting, applicants must re-sit the required qualifications and apply once suitable grades have been achieved
  • A Level or accepted equivalent qualifications must be completed in no more than 3 years of study, unless otherwise advised
  • A suitable qualification profile must be achieved on first re-sit attempt

We do not have an AS Level resit policy, however, full A Levels must be completed within the above timeframe.

For re-sit criteria of other qualifications, please contact the Admissions Team at

Selection and admissions process

Selection and admissions process

Applications should be made through UCAS by the published deadline. This is typically the 15th October. You can apply to no more than four of the same clinical course choice, so although you cannot apply for five medical courses, four medical courses and one dental course would be permitted. Further information on this is available through the UCAS website. You may also wish to consider an alternative course such as Biomedical Science or Human Biosciences as your fifth choice.

All decisions on applications are made by the Admissions Advisory Panel, which consists of academics, clinicians and senior members of the administrative team.

The University of Plymouth Medicine and Dentistry Admissions Team process applications as follows:

1. Shortlisting for interview – Applicants are considered for interview based on relevant academic qualifications and non-academic criteria alone. We do not currently consider personal statements or work experience when selecting for interview

The Admissions Advisory Panel consider many factors when choosing who will be invited to attend an interview, including the number of places available on the course and the number of applications received, alongside the academic profiles of all of our applicants

2. Interview – Successful applicants are invited to attend an interview process. We use Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) as the format for our interviews – view full details of our selection and admissions process.

Following interviews, candidates are ranked based on the score achieved and the top performing applicants are offered a place on the course

3. Offer – Offers are made via UCAS. Within all offers, candidates are required to complete a series of health and police checks, full details of which are communicated to firm offer holders by the Admissions Team.

Practising as a doctor requires the highest standards and we take seriously our commitment to only enrol and teach students with the integrity required of the profession. Full details can be found on our Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise page.

View full details of our selection and admissions process.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Dentistry is an incredibly competitive course. What are my chances of being offered a place?

It is difficult for us to confirm what percentage of applicants will be accepted as the course is new for September 2023 entry, and application statistics for previous years do not exist.

We have 10 places on BDS Dental Surgery with Integrated Foundation Year.

I don’t meet three of the contextual requirements. Will my application be considered?

If you meet only one or two of the contextual requirements you are welcome to apply, however, when shortlisting for interview we give preference to candidates who meet three of the contextual requirements.

If you do not meet any of the contextual markers we will be unable to consider your application.

I am unable to obtain predicted grades for my qualifications. Will my application still be considered?

We are unable to consider any applicant who cannot provide predicted grades for pending qualifications.

Do you consider late applications?

We are unable to consider any applications that are received by UCAS after the deadline, which is typically 18:00 (GMT) on 15 October annually. To ensure your application is considered, please do not leave it until the last minute to apply, as you will need to allow time for your school or college to add your reference and officially submit your application.

If you applied on time but changed your mind about your university choices, we will consider your application assuming you are within the 14 day cooling off period set by UCAS and your application was submitted prior to the deadline.

When will interviews take place?

Interviews typically take place between December and February. You will be given the opportunity to choose your preferred interview date through our online booking system, and we endeavour to provide as much notice of interview dates as possible.

Where will interviews take place?

We will be completing all interviews in the 2023 admissions cycle online via zoom.

I have personal issues that I am worried could have affected my interview/exam performance. Do you consider extenuating circumstances?

Whilst we sympathise with the unfortunate situation you have experienced, in the interest of fairness to all our applicants we are unable to consider any extenuating circumstances at any stage of the admissions process.

Will you have places available through Clearing?

Although we very rarely have places available through Clearing, you are more than welcome to call us from early August to check if there are places available.

I have been given an offer but I am worried that I will not meet the academic criteria. What will happen if I don’t achieve the required grades?

We understand that applying for university and sitting exams is an incredibly stressful time. We will be unable to confirm whether we can accept your application if you do not meet the required grades until A level results day. At this point, we will know how all of our applicants have performed and the Admissions Advisory Panel will advise whether reduced grades will be considered.

While we have softened on entry requirements in the past, there is no guarantee that this will be the case.