Queen's University Dental School, a part of the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), is a leading dental school in the UK and ranks 2nd in the country according to The Times Good University Guide.
It is located in Belfast, Northern Ireland and has been training dentists for more than 150 years. The dental school offers excellent teaching, with clinical placements starting from Year 1, which is mirrored by one of the highest student satisfaction rates in the UK (96%). The university has an international reputation for research excellence and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of universities.
GCSEs: GCSE grades form an important element of the selection process at Belfast Dental School. Belfast will score your best 9 GCSE subjects, awarding 4 points for an A*, 3 points for an A, 2 points for B and 1 for C*/C. Together you can get a maximum of 36 points from GCSEs. Those who haven’t done GCSEs and been in a different school system will be assessed based on their school grades and reports.
A-levels: Your predicted grades aren’t assessed beyond checking if you’ve met minimum entry requirements (AAA).
Personal Statement: not in the selection process, but may be used as a springboard for a discussion in the dentistry interview.
UCAT: The UCAT score is given 15% weight, and is used at Belfast alongside GCSE grades (the remaining 85%) to select students for dentistry interviews. Depending on your score, you will be given from 0-6 points for the UCAT according to the following table (source):
You can read more about the admissions process for Dentistry at Belfast in QUB’s official Dentistry Admissions Policy for 2022 Entry.
According to Belfast’s FOI response, QUB doesn’t set a UCAt cut-off score for dental applicants. Although most applicants score between 2300 and 2699, you may be considered for an interview even if your score falls in the lowest band. Nonetheless, even if the UCAT constitutes just 15% of the total interview-selection score, remember that the higher your UCAT score, the higher your chances of getting in.
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You can expect an interview invitation from Belfast between December and February of the application cycle.
Ethical and moral reasoning:
Insight into dentistry:
Communication and other interpersonal skills:
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Please note that these aren’t questions that have been asked at Belfast Dental School in past years. Publishing such information would be against Belfast’s policy. The above questions are adjusted for the dentistry interview style at Belfast and are meant to give you a broad sense of the questions you may face.
Interviews at the Belfast School of Dentistry usually take place between mid-December and March of the application cycle.
QUB conducts MMI interviews for dental applicants, which have been moved online in the past two years (2021 and 2022 entry). In the past, the Belfast MMI involved 7-8 stations and lasted around an hour in total. Before each station, you should have around 1 minute to read the instructions and think about your answer.
If you are invited to a dentistry interview, you will be given more detailed information on the interview process (exact date, place, this year’s format etc.) with your invitation.
Although QUB doesn’t have a page dedicated to dental interviews, you can read more about the way they conduct the MMIs for Medicine under this link.
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Dental interviews at Belfast are meant to test you in the following domains:
💚 Speak from your heart:
One of the main purposes of the dental interview is to learn more about who you are as a person - to determine if you’ll be a good student, good colleague and a great dentist. Therefore, make sure to be authentic and genuine and let the interviewers get to know you better.
Stress and nerves usually make us go tense and close. Try to treat the interview more like a conversation (or speed dating!) to make your personality shine through.
✨ Don’t try to impress the interviewers:
As we’ve mentioned above, the interview is made to assess your traits and skills, not your knowledge.
If they fit with the topic of the station, then fine, go for it and bring up studies, articles or your achievements. But if not, don’t try to fit them everywhere just to impress the interviewers, as that will come across as inauthentic.
🧠 Use the reading time wisely:
Before each station in the Belfast Dentistry MMI, you’ll be given around 1 minute to read the instructions and think about your answer. Make sure to use that 1 minute wisely and strategically.
Read the instructions very carefully, to ensure that you fully understand what the next station will entail. If you have a few leftover seconds, you can also try to brainstorm some ideas and try to formulate an answer in your head. Then take a deep breath, enter the station and shine!
⭐ Don’t just say, also demonstrate:
Actions speak louder than words. In your interview, you’ll be assessed not only on the content of your answers but also on the non-verbal aspects of your communication and your personal qualities. This is why it’s crucial to not only speak about the desired qualities of a dentist but also demonstrate them in your interview.
For instance, whenever you talk about how passionate you are about becoming a dentist, show it too - smile, talk with optimism and engagement, and keep an open body language. Similarly, when discussing a scenario involving an anxious patient, remember to show empathy.