Trinity College Dublin

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Dental science

Admission Requirements

For Admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

Course overview

This five-year programme is designed to ensure that graduates can safely and effectively deliver the full range of primary dental care, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral and dental diseases. Treatment involves areas such as the restoration of damaged teeth, the correction of irregularities, the replacement of missing teeth and surgical procedures such as the removal of teeth. After qualifying there is no mandatory intern year, unlike medicine, although some graduates undertake vocational training either in Ireland or the UK.

Is this the right course for you?

Yes, if healthcare interests you and if you would like to specifically focus on oral healthcare and its impact on individuals. The nature of dentistry makes it essential that you also have an ability to build a caring and professional relationship with patients, co-workers and the wider community. You should also enjoy undertaking clinical practice that is physically and mentally demanding as it requires considerable attention to detail with small margins for error. The course is long (five years) and intense as the academic year is much longer than for students of other courses.

Why study at Trinity?

This course is based in the Dublin Dental University Hospital at Trinity. The clinical facilities are of a very high standard with emphasis on the use of information technology. The class sizes are small, ensuring that students receive considerable staff input into their progress throughout the programme. The course is very practical throughout with lots of hands-on experience treating patients. Students commence treating their own patients (under supervision) in the second year and by the fifth year are expected to have completed a wide range of treatments similar to those provided in general dental practice. Graduates of the Trinity School of Dental Science and Dublin Dental University Hospital are highly sought after due to the extensive clinical exposure obtained during this programme.

Problem-based learning (PBL)

The curriculum is delivered in a problem-based learning (PBL) format, which aims to provide you with the skills to continuously evaluate and update your knowledge and clinical practice through your professional career. PBL is designed to encourage students to learn subjects such as chemistry, biochemistry and physiology in an integrated manner and in a context that is relevant to the future clinical situations in which the knowledge will be applied. Structured problems are set to meet specified learning objectives and students organise themselves (under supervision) to undertake research to find out how to achieve the learning objectives. PBL also encourages students to engage in self-directed learning and aims to provide graduates with the skills necessary for life-long learning which is a requirement for all health care professionals.

Course content

The course is delivered mainly through small-group tutorials (PBL) that consist of student-led discussions on topics and problems presented and facilitated by staff. These topics tie in with the development of the practical and clinical skills that you will develop in laboratories and clinics. Lectures, demonstrations, simulations, audiovisual and e-learning opportunities are also provided as appropriate.

You will provide patient care under the strict supervision of qualified dental staff from the second year onwards.

First year modules:

Personal and professional development, Human biology I, Physical science.

Second year modules:

Basic dental care, Human biology II, Oral biology and introduction to pathology, Public dental health.

In second year you will develop communication skills with particular reference to patient care, learn how to interpret and explain the clinical signs and symptoms of systemic and oral disease with particular reference to dental practice, and begin to practice the clinical skills necessary for the treatment of patients. Courses in the second year are complemented by knowledge of the relevant elements of the biological and medical sciences appropriate to the needs of a practising dentist.

Clinical training begins in the second year with students learning the vital basic skills of history taking, examination and diagnosis. Approximately half way through the year you will start providing very simple treatments for patients.

Third year modules:

Clinical medical sciences, Fixed and removable prosthodontics, Comprehensive patient care I.

Fourth year modules:

Comprehensive patient care II; Advanced restorative dentistry I; Child dental health; Oral medicine, oral surgery and oral pathology I; Public dental health.

Fifth year modules:

Comprehensive patient care III, Advanced restorative dentistry II, Public and child dental health, Oral medicine, Oral surgery and oral pathology II, Evidence-based dentistry.

During the later years (3-5) of the course you will be encouraged to take an approach to the management of oral health and disease which is based on the best available scientific evidence. In tandem with this, you will also need to be aware of related general healthcare issues for individuals and communities. In these three years you will provide more complex patient care.


In keeping with the PBL-style curriculum, a wide variety of assessment methods are used in all years. There are end-of-term integrated written assessments, practical tests, skills tests of competence, clinical examinations, written reports and oral/verbal presentations. The written assessments include short essays, short answer and multiple choice type questions.

Study abroad

Students in the fourth year can participate in an English-speaking Erasmus exchange programme with dental schools in Norway, Sweden or the UK. Between the fourth and fifth dental years, some students undertake voluntary placements in a wide variety of international locations.

Career opportunities

There is a wide range of career options open to qualified dentists. New graduates usually find themselves deciding whether to work in general dental practice providing both state funded or private dental care, or in the salaried public dental service. Many graduates choose to continue their education with the aim of becoming a specialist in one area within dentistry. Dentistry does give scope to work and travel worldwide. Citizens of the EU who graduate from an EU dental school may practice anywhere in the EU and there is currently demand for dentists all over Europe.

Your degree and professional practice (B.A., B.Dent.Sc)

The degree Bachelor of Dental Science (B.Dent.Sc) conferred by Trinity entitles EU citizens to register immediately after graduation as a dentist on the Register of the Dental Council of Ireland and they may also register with the regulatory bodies of other countries in the European Union (such as the UK, France, Germany, etc.).

Graduates who wish to practice in countries outside the EU such as the USA or Canada may be required to pass specified examinations. There is a mutual recognition agreement between Ireland and Canada whereby dental graduates from Irish dental schools can practice dentistry in Canada without the necessity to complete an additional two years in a dental institution in Canada.

Further information

Tel: +353 1 896 2043 / 1690


Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateHB3 + HC3 In two of: physics, chemistry, biology, physics/chemistry or agricultural science.
If you do not have a qualification in physics you must present mathematics at OC3/HD3 or better
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade B + Grade C In two of: physics, chemistry or biology
If you do not have a qualification in physics you must present GCSE mathematics at grade B or better
Combinations of subjects not permitted:
Physics/chemistry with physics or chemistry
Agricultural science with biology
Other EU examination systemsSee
See precautions against infectious diseases
GARDA VETTING:Students will be required to undergo Garda vetting.
See Garda vetting for further details