Dentistry

Will my degree be recognised?

This is a highly important consideration when choosing to study dentistry abroad. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information that we give you in this respect and so would advise you to check with General Dental Council about the suitability of any particular university's dentistry qualifications.

However, we can confirm that there are many dental schools around the world that specialise in teaching international students. Many of these universities' graduates are working in the UK healthcare sector although often they may have amassed considerable experience abroad in addition to their studies.

We certainly know universities whose qualifications are recognised by the GDC, and whose quality of teaching is recognised worldwide. These universities are not soft options; going abroad is not recommended under any circumstances to students who would be incapable of following a UK dental degree.

Does it make sense to study graduate entry dentistry abroad?

It is difficult to find courses designed specifically for graduate entry elsewhere in Europe. We are not currently aware of any options that we would recommend so it is likely that you would have to apply to an undergraduate-level qualifications. Exemptions and direct entry into year 2 or 3 might be possible but this is entirely at the discretion of the dental school.

What grades do I need to get in?

International dental schools may not pay close attention to your undergraduate degree classification. Entry is most likely to be based on performance in their own entrance exams.

What else should I bear in mind?

In some countries entry requirements will demand a certain number of A' levels or specify certain subjects. If you are considering graduate entry abroad and you don't have these qualifications you might be ineligible for entry even if you have a first-class Bachelor's degree in a related field. There are also occasionally problems with BTECs and Access to HE qualifications. It is worth checking this, particularly in western European countries.

If you go abroad, you might very well be able to study in English but you cannot expect your patients to speak English. As you will be intending to enter the clinical phase of your studies sooner than if you start a Bachelor's degree you will need to give consideration to how quickly you can acquire the necessary language skills.

Also, it is worth bearing in mind that you will probably have to finance your studies yourself. You will not be able to access British student loans. Some universities will have financial aid available or will be able to suggest local banks who may be willing to lend you the money for your studies. Such loans will be on commercial terms that will be different from British student loans.

Where should I look for dentistry degrees abroad?

The main area for dental schools abroad is Central Europe. You may well know that many British citizens travel to places like Budapest for major dental surgery as it is much cheaper than in the UK. The quality of central European dentists is well known and their reputation is well deserved. You can search our database for courses in dentistry at undergraduate level. As already mentioned, we are not aware of any graduate entry dental courses in Europe at this time.

Dental schools in Central Europe have developed an excellent reputation over the last 20 years of offering education in English. All qualifications taught within the European Union should be judged as equal but it is worth checking with the GDC as they will know more about the relative quality of dental qualifications than we or an education agent can. It is also worth pointing out that many Central European dental schools offer six-year degrees that are of a higher standing than the five-year offering at British dental schools.

There are currently about 25 universities offering dentistry degrees in English in Central Europe. Another option is to study in Spain where the Universidad Europea de Madrid has recently started to teach dentistry in English. In any case you will have to learn Spanish well enough to deal with patients when you enter the practical phase of your studies. There are currently four other dental schools in Spain teaching either fully in English or bilingually.

There are also options in the Caribbean.