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A Guide to Dental Schools Recognised in Singapore: Australia, UK, and Ireland

23/05/202422 minute read
A Guide to Dental Schools Recognised in Singapore: Australia, UK, and Ireland

Dentists are a highly-respected profession worldwide. It is a key branch of medicine that covers more than just teeth maintenance - it also includes the correction of orofacial structures and treatment of oral diseases. As a fulfilling and lucrative career, dental students are able to transform their patients’ lives, choose from various career pathways, and earn an impressive salary after graduation. 

However, a dental degree can be challenging due to its rigorous nature. Additionally, if you’re thinking of studying dentistry overseas, there are also a few things to consider as not all dental schools are recognised by the Singapore government! In this article, we’ll discuss the top dental schools recognised by Singapore and the various pathways for a dental licence.

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A Dental Education Abroad

Even though dental degrees are offered in Singapore, there are still merits to studying abroad. Mainly, you get the invaluable opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and learn diverse perspectives about oral health. You’ll also be exposed to a variety of practical clinical experiences and observe a unique standard of advanced dental procedures and technology.

Some countries such as the UK and Canada may even offer attractive career prospects due to a shortage of dentists. As such, studying at an internationally recognised dental school in such countries can prove advantageous!

Australian Dental Schools recognised by the Singapore Dental Council

Australia’s thriving healthcare sector is a hotspot for prospective dental students. Equipped with world-class facilities and technologies, Australian dental schools confer internationally recognised degrees. Students receive practical industry-leading training and diverse career options post-graduation

Furthermore, for international students interested in permanent residency, there are multiple immigration pathways open for dentists. Interested graduates are required to register with the Dental Board of Australia upon graduation, and renew their registration each year. To ensure that dental practitioners continue to provide high-quality care in Australia, they are also required to complete a minimum of 60 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities over a three-year cycle.

Here are the five Australian dental schools recognised in Singapore:

Australian Dental Schools
UniversityDegreeDurationEntry Requirements
University of Sydney (w.e.f. 1st January 2029) Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine7 yearsAssumed Knowledge - Mathematics Advanced Academic Entry Requirements - A Levels: 460* - IB Diploma: 44 *Refer to USYD’s website for aggregate breakdown Written assessment and panel discussion
University of QueenslandBachelor of Dental Science (Honours)5 yearsSubject Requirements - Chemistry - English or Literature Academic Entry Requirements - A Levels: 17 - IB Diploma: 42.5 Admissions Test - UCAT ANZ
University of AdelaideBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsSubject Requirements - One from Chemistry, Maths, or Physics - One from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Physics Academic Entry Requirements - IB Diploma: 34 - GCE A Levels: 12 Admissions Test - UCAT ANZ Admissions Interview
University of Melbourne (w.e.f. 1st January 2029)Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)4 yearsAcademic Entry Requirements - An undergraduate degree in any discipline within 10 years of commencing the DDS - University subjects in anatomy, biochemistry, physiology at second year level or equivalent, completed within 10 years of commencing the DDS One Admissions Test - GAMSAT - US DAT - Canadian DAT - UK GAMSAT - UK BMAT
University of Western Australia (UWA) (w.e.f. 1st January 2029) Doctor of Dental Medicine4 yearsAssured Pathway entry - Conditional upon successful completion of UWA’s Bachelor of Biomedicine (Specialised) with the Integrated Dental Sciences major (Minimum selection GPA of 5.5 within the first two years) (Selection based on ATAR or equivalent, ISAT score and interview) Graduate Entry - To be considered, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification as recognised by UWA - Minimum equivalent sGPA of 5.5 - GAMSAT overall score of at least 55 with no section under 50, or the MCAT with a minimum overall score of 500 with no section under 124 (Interview shortlisting is based on test scores and GPA) - Recommended prior study: Physics to Year 12 ATAR level (or equivalent), Chemistry to first-year university level, Biology or Human Biology at first-year university level

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An Australian dental degree will typically take five to seven years to complete. Students have the option of studying a Bachelor of Dental Surgery/Science in five years, or enrolling in a four year postgraduate Dental degree after completing an eligible Bachelors. Alternatively, University of Sydney offers a double degree of Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Dental Medicine over seven years. Under this pathway, students have the opportunity to build a strong mastery of the scientific fundamentals that underpin dentistry during their bachelor’s.

Exemplary academic results are important in your application. You won’t receive an ATAR score as an international applicant, but your prior academic results can be converted for comparison. Your admissions test scores like the UCAT and ISAT are also key in their consideration!

Interviews can also be conducted to assess your candidacy and it can be in the form of a panel or a multiple mini interview (MMI). During an MMI, the applicant rotates between four to ten stations as part of the interview, completing a series of short assessments at each station. Your soft skills, motivation, personal qualities, and understanding of dentistry are some aspects you can expect to be assessed on.

Before your interview, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest dentistry and healthcare trends, standards and guidelines, and knowledge of the dental school. Be sure to regularly check the respective university’s website as the application deadlines defer.

UK Dental Schools recognised by the Singapore Dental Council

The UK’s world class education system is an extraordinary platform for academic and personal development. It is widely reputed for its top notch dental education, exposing students to cutting-edge technology and enriching cultural experiences. UK dental schools also emphasise the importance of research, offering ample research projects and opportunities for passionate students. Equipped with a deeper understanding of dental science and the necessary expertise to excel, UK dental graduates are highly sought after worldwide.

If you intend to practise dentistry in the UK after graduation, you are required to register with the General Dental Council. Similar to Australia, dental professionals are also required to undertake CPD activities over a five year cycle.

Here are the UK dental schools recognised in Singapore:

UK Dental Schools
UniversityDegreeDurationEntry Requirements
University of BirminghamBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A Levels: AAA, including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 6, 6, 6 (At HL, must include Chemistry and Biology, with a minimum of 32 points overall) - Relevant diplomas from all five polytechnics are accepted for entry Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of BristolBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A Levels: AAA, including Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, Maths, or Further Maths - IB: 36 points overall with 18 at HL. Includes 6,6 at HL in Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, or Maths Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of Leeds (w.e.f. 1st January 2029)Dental Surgery MChD/BChD, Oral Science BSc5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: At least 35 points overall including a score of 6 in HL Chemistry and Biology, plus a further higher at Grade 6 Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of LiverpoolBachelor of Dental Surgery 5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry (Foundation year is offered if entry requirements are not met) - IB: 36 points with 6 in HL Biology and Chemistry Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of London, King’s College LondonBachelor of Dental Surgery 5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: A*AA, including grade A in Biology or Chemistry, and a grade A in one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, or Psychology - IB: 35 points including 766 at HL, including grade 6 in HL Biology or Chemistry, and a grade 6 in one of HL Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Psychics, or Psychology Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of London, Queen Mary of LondonBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: A*AA including Biology or Chemistry, and a second science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Maths) - IB: 37 points overall and 3 HL subjects at 666 including Biology or Chemistry and one further science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Maths) Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of ManchesterBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 36 points required overall with at least 666 at HL including Biology and Chemistry Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of Newcastle Upon TyneBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 36 points with minimum grade 6 or above for HL Biology and Chemistry Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of SheffieldBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 36 points, with 6 in HL Chemistry and Biology Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
Queen’s University of BelfastBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology/Human Biology and Chemistry - IB: 36 points overall including 666 at HL including Biology and Chemistry + GCSE Maths grade C/4 or an equivalent Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of DundeeBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 37 points including 666 at HL including Biology and Chemistry + 3 subjects at SL Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
University of GlasgowBachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 36 points with 666 in HL Biology and Chemistry, and Maths/Physics Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview
Cardiff University (w.e.f. 1st January 2029)Bachelor of Dental Surgery5 yearsStandard Offers: - A-Levels: AAA including Biology and Chemistry - IB: 36 points overall or 666 in 3 HL subjects, including Biology and Chemistry - Polytechnic Diploma: Minimum 3.1 GPA - Current undergraduates: Students with one or more years of study at a University in Singapore may be considered on a case-by-case basis The International Foundation Year is an alternative route of entry for students who do not meet the entry requirements Admissions Test - UCAT Admissions Interview

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A Bachelor of Dental Surgery in the UK is typically five years long with similar entry requirements across the board. To increase diversity and accessibility, some universities even offer contextual admissions for eligible students. They are essentially offers with reduced entry requirements for applicants who have faced different challenges during their academic journey.

Prospective dental students should submit their applications through UCAS by 16th October. Like Australia, applicants are typically required to sit for the UCAT before being considered for an admissions interview.

UK dental students benefit from their school’s diverse partnerships and collaborations with the local community. Most UK universities partner with various local specialty clinics, outreach centres, and community health centres, to develop their clinical experience and expose their students to comprehensive patient care.

Additionally, institutions like the University of Leeds are one of the few dental schools in the UK where the entire dental team (dentists, hygienists, and nurses) is educated together. In fact, the first year of Dental Surgery is taught alongside the first year Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy courses to foster a community of learning and collaboration.

To broaden your learning, many UK dental schools like the University of Manchester and the University of Bristol offer students the opportunity to study for an intercalated degree. Students are encouraged to take this opportunity to enrich their personal and professional development, by studying a separate subject in-depth and attain an additional degree in one year. In the UK, the amount of learning opportunities is unparalleled.

Irish Dental Schools recognised by the Singapore Dental Council

Ireland’s excellent educational infrastructure is well-reputed for educating students from all over the world. Producing world-class medical professionals, Irish-trained dentists hold leading positions in top medical institutes worldwide. In fact, Irish graduates cultivate superb communication and critical thinking abilities through extensive and diverse clinical exposure early in their education which is vital when practising dentistry.

After graduation, dental graduates are required to register with the Dental Council of Ireland before being able to practise in Ireland.

Here are the Irish dental schools recognised in Singapore:

Irish Dental Schools
UniversityDegreeDurationEntry Requirements
National University of Ireland, Cork UniversityBachelor of Dental Surgery (Hons)5 yearsNon-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate - A Levels: At least 6 subjects must be presented with a minimum of 3 or 4 subjects at H2/H3, or a minimum of 3 at H2 and 1 at H1. - Polytechnic Diploma Subject Requirements - English - Maths - Third Language - Chemistry - Physics or Biology - Any other subject accepted for matriculation purposes Admissions Interview may be required for mature students
University of Dublin, Trinity CollegeBachelor of Dental Science (Hons)5 yearsAdmission Requirements - A Levels: Grade B and C in two of Chemistry, Physics, or Biology - IB: HL Grade 5 and 6 in two of Chemistry, Physics, or Biology

Navigate down the table for additional information.

These five-year programmes are based on an integrated curriculum of modern pre-clinical and clinical subjects. Application deadlines depend on the designated agents so remember to check the respective universities. 

Dental curriculums in Ireland largely adopt a problem-based approach with broad clinical exposure. To ensure that students receive highly personalised supervision throughout their education, class sizes are intentionally kept small.

In the first and second year, emphasis is placed on the foundational and biological sciences to build a deep theoretical foundation with an introduction to clinical practice. In the later years, the curriculum adopts a more hands-on focus with substantial clinical training and the development of various soft skills that are vital to practising dentistry. By the end of the programme, graduates would have completed a wide range of treatments through extensive clinical exposure.

Pathways for Licensing in Singapore

Now that you’re familiar with some of the leading international dental schools recognised in Singapore, it’s important to understand the process of obtaining your licence after returning from your study abroad. Singapore’s dental register is divided into three segments, a Full Registration, Conditional Registration, and Temporary Registration

Dentists under a Full Registration are allowed to practise independently in Singapore if they:

  • Hold a basic dental degree from Singapore or
  • Holds such qualifications as may be recognised by the Council and satisfies the council that he/she has special knowledge and skill and sufficient experience in any particular branch of dentistry

Dentists may apply for Conditional Registration if they have satisfied either Category A or B. Under this Registration, dentists are only allowed to work in a maximum of two practice addresses, and are required to be supervised by a Fully Registered dentist. Conditional Registrants may be eligible for Full Registration after two years, subject to the Council’s approval.

Category A:

  • Holds a degree from a university specified in the Schedule, or any other degree which is not lower in standing than a degree specified in the Schedule
  • Pass the relevant State/Regional Board licensing examination in the country in which they attained their basic dental degree. 
    • With effect from 1st January 2029, a foreign trained dentist who holds a degree from an approved dental school will have to take and pass the Qualifying Examination (QE)
  • Has been selected for employment in Singapore as a dentist in any hospital or other institution approved by the Council
  • Satisfies the Council that he/she has the knowledge and skill and has acquired the experience which is necessary for practice as a dentist

Category B:

  • Has set and passed the QE

Dentists are **only allowed to practise for a short period not exceeding three years, under **Temporary Registration. The criteria is as follows:

  • In Singapore for the purpose of teaching, research, or postgraduate study in dentistry under such training schemes as may be approved by the Council for that purpose;
  • Possesses dental knowledge, experience, and skill which the Council considers to be of international standing or has special value to the people of Singapore; or 
  • Not otherwise entitled to be registered as a dentist under this Act but who, in the opinion of the council, possesses other qualifications which are adequate for the purposes of registration under this Act

Registration will take about 30 minutes online, and the full list of required documents can be found at the Council’s website.

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