Expert help for A-level students applying to university to study dentistry

Applying from sixth form to study dentistry can be a daunting experience. A new guide aims to help A-level students through the process, says Lucy Stock of Gentle Dental Care in Belfast

Dental student Siwan Phillips has compiled an essential guide for any sixth formers considering studying dentistry at university
Dental student Siwan Phillips has compiled an essential guide for any sixth formers considering studying dentistry at university

Many moons ago getting into university to study dentistry was considerably more relaxed and consisted of an interview where, when you answered positively to, "Are there any dentists in your family?", you got in.

Now it's a whole different ball game with many more brainiac hoops to jump through, and I probably wouldn't have made it...

It's that time of year when sixth form students are starting to apply for university, and for those who want to get into dentistry the path to walking through the dental school doors can be difficult to navigate.

A helpful leg up has been extended by fifth-year Bristol University dental student, Siwan Phillips, who has grabbed the gauntlet and compiled a 15-page guide crammed with everything budding dentists need to know to achieve their goal of getting a university place.

Siwan said, "Back in 2018 I started my application for dentistry. At the time I was the only one in my rural school who had applied for dental school.

"I noticed straight away how different the application process for dentistry was in comparison to most other courses. The additional entry exams, interview process, early application closing date, and the incredibly competitive nature of the application were incredibly stressful for me – amidst studying for my A-levels."

She wished she had some guidance on how to navigate the process at the time. "I suppose this was my inspiration for writing the guide, So You Want to go to Dental School?

It's an all-embracing guide covering the initial motivation for wanting to study dentistry, all the way to choosing the right university. It covers some top tips and reflection pointers to help prospective students in their application journey, technique suggestions for nailing Ucat, the university clinical aptitude test, how to write a good personal statement and advice on interview technique.

"My experience at dental school has been overwhelmingly positive – even through a pandemic," says Siwan.

"And I hope having this guide can help prospective students who might not have applied or felt too overwhelmed at the prospect, to just go for it."

:: If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming a dentist, check our Siwan's Instagram @siwandentalstudent.