The University of Bristol Dental School is a Russell Group university with a reputation for excellence in both teaching and research.
Bristol Dental School is based on the Clifton Campus and offers a standard 5-year BDS dental course, but also offers a 6-year course, called BDS Gateway to Dentistry, with a foundation year preceding the 5 years of a dental degree.
The University of Bristol is ranked 8th in the UK for dentistry according to The Complete University Guide 2019 and has been awarded five stars for teaching in the 2019 Guardian University Guide.
Although so far Bristol conducted most non-clinical teaching on the picturesque Clifton campus, from 2023 students will enjoy new state-of-the-art dental facilities at Bristol’s new site on Avon Street.
Preparing for your dental interviews on your own is no easy task. It requires doing loads of research, time and discipline. However, we’ve created Dentfully to make that process simpler and more efficient than ever:
GCSEs & A-levels: Academic screening is the first part of Bristol’s selection process. Your GCSE grades and predicted grades won’t be assessed/weighted, but will only be checked for meeting Bristol’s minimum entry requirements. As long as you fulfil these requirements, you’ll pass to the second stage of the selection process, which is UCAT score ranking.
Personal Statement: Bristol won’t score your personal statement in the selection process, but it may use it to distinguish between candidates in borderline cases.
UCAT: All candidates who meet Bristol’s minimum entry requirements will be then ranked against each other according to their UCAT score (excluding the SJT section).
🚀 TOP Tip: Avoid any surprises before your dental interviews. Have a look at Bristol’s Admissions Statement, which describes in a lot more detail how the selection process looks like (please note that the above admissions statement was published for 2022 entry and may slightly differ from this year’s admissions policy).
For 2020 entry, interview UCAT cut-off was 1890, but the average score of students that got invited to a dental interview was 2585.
If you take a look at the data from previous years you’ll see that the minimum UCAT score averaged around 1900-2000 for those who have been invited to an interview, but was slightly higher, in the 2100s, for those who have been offered a place. This indicates that the UCAT score plays a role in the post-interview selection process too.
📈 TOP Tip: Save time, ease your nerves and save precious pounds preparing for your Bristol Dentistry Interviews with Dentfully - UK’s Best Dental Interview Preparation Tool.
Bristol usually starts sending out interview invitations to aspiring dentists around November/December of the application cycle and continues until February.
🚀 TOP Tip: Don’t postpone your response to Bristol’s interview invitation! You must respond to the invitation (i.e. book an interview date) within 2 weeks from receiving it. Otherwise, Bristol will assume you are no longer interested in their course and will turn down your application.
Approximately 1200-1400 students apply for Dentistry at Bristol every year and the top 280-300 are usually invited to an interview (20-25%), meaning getting an interview at Bristol is a fairly competitive process.
Motivations for dentistry:
Insight into Bristol Uni:
Insight into Dentistry:
Dental Ethics & the NHS:
🚀 TOP Tip: Have a hard time answering any of the above questions? You’ll find insider tactics to tackle all of the above questions and formulate convincing and structured answers at Dentfully - UK's only all-in-one online dental interview preparation resource.
Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Bristol in past years. Publishing such information would be against Bristol’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the interview style at Bristol Dental School and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.
This year, dental interviews at Bristol will most likely take place between December 2022 and March 2023.
In the past two years, when interviews were held online due to Covid-19, Bristol conducted online panel interviews via Zoom. The interview was only around 20 minutes long and was led by a panel of two interviewers.
Last year, candidates applying for dentistry at Bristol were asked to prepare two tasks in advance to their interview. The first was the matchbox task - students were asked to prepare a matchbox and demonstrate their manual dexterity by personalising the matchbox and placing five objects inside (specifically objects that they wanted to bring to university). The second one was called a ‘Tell me How’ task and required you to teach the interviewer how to do a task of your choice within 5 minutes (for instance, how to spin a pen or fold an origami crane). You can read more about last year’s tasks here.
If 2023 entry dental interviews will also involve some tasks that require preparation you will be informed about that in your invitation email. Bristol hasn’t yet stated whether this year's interviews will take place online or in-person, but you can follow this official website for the latest updates.
Following 280-300 dental interviews, Bristol aims to give offers to 150-200 students, meaning you have a 50-60% chance of getting in once you’ve been invited to a dentistry interview!
In your interviews, you should make a good impression with your attire. Go for something formal (smart casual won’t be enough) to exude a feeling of professionalism, but at the same time make sure you feel comfortable and confident in the outfit.
For more tips on your interview outfit have a look at this article: What to Wear to a Dental Interview? Examples, Tips & Mistakes
Bristol usually aims to inform you about the outcome of your interview within three weeks. However, if you haven’t heard back after three weeks, no need to stress - sometimes it may take longer for various reasons.
Having said that, make sure to check your spam and offers folders regularly, as the response may land there. Also if you’ve been waiting long for a response you can also send a polite email to the admissions team at Bristol.
💡 Know your reasons why:
Why Bristol? Why dentistry? Why should they choose you? These are the 3 Common “Why’s” of Dental Interviews. These questions are so frequently asked that at least one of them is guaranteed to come up in your dental interviews.
Although they might seem like simple, standard questions, preparing a convincing, unique answer, without falling into common traps, isn’t that obvious. You can check our free Interview Guide at dentfully.co.uk, which includes advice on how to answer these questions, common mistakes, and example answers and the interactive Answer Builder even allows you to create your own answers.
👋 Practise with fellow candidates
Interviews are nerve-wracking experiences, even if you're not being grilled by a panel of interviewers. But the more you prepare and practice, the better your chances of nailing it.
Speaking from experience, the best way to get more comfortable with being interviewed by someone you don’t know is practising with strangers. Reach out to fellow aspiring dentists on forums like TSR or Reddit and there will surely be someone in the same boat who will be happy to do a few mocks with you.
🏥 Research Bristol's new facilities
In autumn 2023, Bristol will be opening their new, state-of-the-art facilities, which they are clearly very proud of. If you want to make a good impression, show that you’ve done your research and really stand out, make sure to make some research about these facilities.
Have a look at this website and make some notes to solidify that information.