Studying Dentistry in English in Europe


Update on recognition of EU dentistry qualifications until at least 2028:

On 29th June 2023, the UK government published its decision on the future recognition of dentistry qualifications from EU dental schools. It also expanded the number of places available for the Overseas Registration Exam. The General Dental Council has welcomed this extension, during which new rules will be drawn up for 2028 onwards. This means that anyone currently at dental school in the EU should be able to register in the UK upon completion of their studies.

Students starting this year or next cannot yet be certain about the rules and regulations that will govern registration when they look to return to the UK. It is unlikely there will be an update on this situation for a year or two.

If you are researching your options for 2024, please watch this recording of our recent webinar:


If you are looking for a place to study dentistry abroad from September 2024 you still have some options but the most popular ones are either full or will be soon. Please contact us with full details of your A' levels, GCSEs or other high school diploma. We will then be able to make recommendations.

In 2024, we will be processing applications for:

If you are interested in studying in Valencia you might want to watch our most recent webinar with representatives of Universidad Catolica de Valencia and two current students.


Will my foreign dentistry degree be recognised?

As of June 2023, the UK government has confirmed that EU-qualified dentists will be eligible to work in the UK without taking the Overseas Registration Exam for a further five years. We take this to mean that anyone with an EU dental qualification can register with the GDC until 31st December 2027. After that, it is probable that a new regime will be introduced. 

If you study outside the European Union you will have to take the Overseas Registration Exam.

Does it make sense to study dentistry abroad?

Yes, but...

Let's be honest, most British students who go abroad to study dentistry have first of all tried to get in to a dental school in this country. As you will no doubt know by now, there are far more students who wish to study dentistry than there are places available. Fewer than 16% of all applicants in the UK got offers in 2023.

Even the best exam results you could ever achieve may not be enough to get you a place and a lot of people miss out for reasons that are not a reflection on their ability or passion for the profession. Students who miss out are often encourage to reapply; this just adds to the pressure for places year on year and while it may be an advisable strategy as it gives you time to gain additional experience, it is not always successful. You don't need to put your life on hold because of the British university admissions system.

If you are passionate about becoming a dentist and you want to get straight on with your studies, there are universities abroad that can help you. You need to be careful in your choice of university but there are some highly reputable dental schools that can help you achieve your dream and your objectives. 

What grades do I need to get in?

Generally speaking, if you have ABB or better in your A' levels (including biology and chemistry) you should be able to apply to any dental school teaching in English in Europe. If you don't have chemistry but have either maths or physics, there are one or two places that will consider you. Without biology, there is no chance.

The actual entrance requirements vary quite dramatically. Universities in Central Europe often have their own  exams. These are typically a multiple choice exam on chemistry and biology. If you can get a good grade at A' level in these subjects you shouldn't have any trouble passing the exam. Some exams will also include a paper on maths and/or physics. We do not work with any universities that accept BTECs and we know of no countries that do. Access to Higher Education qualifications are not recognised either.  If you have the IB or Irish Leaving Certificate, a grade equivalent to 70% of the maximum would certainly give you access to the best dental schools, subject to place availability of course. We can also assist Canadian high school leavers apply directly to dentistry in Europe as well as those who already have a Bachelors degree.

Most European dental schools select purely on academic criteria and personal statement and there is only occasionally a requirement to attend an interview.

Universidad Europea de Madrid is accepting British students without the need to sit a formal entrance exam. However, the university introduced a psychometric test for all candidates and also has a Spanish language test even though the degree is taught fully in English. From 2024, performance in the Spanish test is taken into consideration when making offers although 80% of the assessment is based on high school diploma. Non-native English speakers also need to take an English test.

What else should I bear in mind if I want to study dentistry abroad?

If you go abroad, you might very well be able to study in English but you cannot expect your patients to speak English. This is not an issue in the pre-clinical years but you will be expected to learn the local language by the time you enter your fourth year (at the latest). You may have to sign an agreement to learn the language when you first join the university. The standard required is usually B2 on the European framework. In Cyprus, the level of Greek required is not so high. Some universities will ensure that a translator is present during any patient consultations but you will be expected to communicate with your patients.

You should also consider that in some countries, dentistry is a six-year qualification. While such degrees are more advanced than the British BDS qualification, they are not strictly speaking necessary for starting a dental career in the UK.

It is also important to ensure that your dental school can provide sufficient clinical experience. This cannot always be taken for granted.

Can I get financial support to study dentistry abroad?

Almost certainly not. You will not be able to access British student loans. Some universities will have financial aid available but this is typically not offered to students of medicine or dentistry. We have some experience in assisting Scandinavian and Canadian students to access their student finance system.

Are transfers/Graduate Entry possible?

Transfers can be possible if you have studied dentistry within the EU or UK. It is unlikely that you will receive recognition for all your credits and it is extremely likely that you will have to repeat at least one year. Transfers also become progressively harder the later in your studies you are. It might be possible into the 2nd or 3rd year but later than that never happens. You also need to bear in mind that your language skills need to be at the right level before you can enter clinics.

We will gladly have a look at your dentistry transcripts free of charge to assess your chances of obtaining a transfer. If there is any point going ahead, and you decide to accept our help, we will charge for this service.

If you have credits from a Biomedical Science degree or similar, there is no chance of credit recognition and therefore no point contacting us about this.

Graduate Entry dentistry is possible in the UK and Ireland. It doesn't exist anywhere else in Europe.

Where should I look for dentistry degrees abroad?

Traditionally, the most popular options for British students looking to study dentistry abroad have been in Central and Eastern Europe. While Bulgaria is still popular for cost reasons, the majority of British students now study in Spain.

There are around 900 places every year on English-taught or bilingual dentistry degrees in Spain and approximately 80-100 British and Irish students go there every year.

Another recent dental school to start teaching in English is European University Cyprus. There are also dental schools in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus but their degrees are only automatically recognised in Turkey.

Studying dentistry in Australia or New Zealand is possible but it will be expensive and your chances of getting in are very low. Most countries in the Anglophone world have a shortage of places in their dental schools. In the US and Canada dentistry is only offered as a four-year graduate-entry Doctor of Dental Surgery. In Canada, the number of places set aside for international students is tiny and tuition fees range from £30,000 to £70,000 per year.

There are also options in the Caribbean.

We advise against studying in Ukraine, Russia, Georgia etc because of likely recognition issues, particularly for those who have been offered "graduate entry" routes.


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About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.