2024 entry

BDS Gateway to Dentistry (A208)

Course overview

BDS Gateway to Dentistry (A208)

Typical offer

A-level standard offer: BBC

A-level contextual offer:

See entry requirements for full details and eligibility.

Course duration

6 year(s) full-time

Part-time study is not available for this course

Application method

Full-time: UCAS

The closing date for Dentistry UCAS applications is 16 October. UCAS advises that no more than four choices from a possible five are used for Dentistry.


£9,250 per year, home students

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

International students

This course is open to applicants from specific schools and colleges in the UK only.


Clifton campus, Placements

Gateway to Dentistry is aimed at students who have the potential to become dentists but do not meet the academic entry criteria to apply directly to our five-year undergraduate BDS Dentistry course. Our Gateway courses are widening participation initiatives for UK students who fulfil specific criteria and wish to apply for a clinical course in dentistry, medicine or veterinary science.

During the Gateway year, students will learn alongside each other, benefiting from shared interprofessional insight and the unique community of Bristol's medical, dental and veterinary schools. Students will be taught by academic teachers who are scientists and clinicians.

The Gateway course builds on core basic sciences underpinning clinical subjects (chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, anatomy and physiology). It encourages reflection and places emphasis on personal and professional development; strengthens practical, statistics, research and library skills; and considers attributes and behaviours that enable successful transition to university study. Successful completion of the Gateway year allows automatic progression onto BDS Dentistry.


This course is open to applicants from specific schools and colleges in the UK only and/or to those who have spent three months or more in care. For further information, visit contextual offers.

International students may be eligible for the International Foundation Programme for Dentistry.

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT, formerly UKCAT) is required for admission to this course. You may be eligible for a UCAT bursary to cover the cost of taking the test; please visit www.ucat.ac.uk for more information. The course admissions statement will provide full details and will be available online by September 2023.

Health and Disclosure and Barring Service check

Certain health conditions may be incompatible with careers in dentistry. Before starting your degree you will need to complete a health assessment questionnaire and pre-course screening for blood-borne viruses; find out more about pre-course occupational health information.

In accordance with General Dental Council guidelines on fitness to practice, all dental students are required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, in line with other health-related courses in the UK.

Please note that as part of your training you will come into contact with human and animal cadaveric material.

Course structure

Your studies will include:

  • basic cell biology, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the healthy human/animal;
  • fundamental principles of chemistry;
  • numeracy skills and statistics relevant to health sciences programmes;
  • clinical professional attributes;
  • clinically-relevant work experience.

Full details about the course structure and units for this course can be viewed in the programme catalogue.

Go to programme catalogue

Entry requirements

We accept a wide variety of qualifications and welcome applications from students of all backgrounds. Below is a guide to the typical offers for this course.

Applicants must also meet these requirements

GCSE profile requirements

Standard literacy requirement (4 or C in GCSE English or equivalent) and Standard numeracy requirement (4 or C in GCSE Mathematics or equivalent)

Further information about GCSE requirements and profile levels.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to have one of the following:

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels

Additional requirements

The University Clinical Aptitude Test is required. Bursaries are available to cover the cost of taking the UCAT - please see the UCAT website for details. Work experience is recommended - please see the Admissions Statement.

More about UK qualifications.

Selection process

Key information about this course

Next steps

Edit this page