Overall Structure of the curriculum

The curriculum is a five-year, undergraduate entry programme designed for international students. It is divided into three phases (see also the table below). Phase 1 is two semesters long. It will be taught at the University of Leicester and end in the foundation year assessment. Phase 2 is three semesters long, and will be based in a combination of University of Leicester and the Skills Development Laboratory of the Pre-Clinical Unit of the Leicester Dental Teaching Academy. Phase 3 is two and a half years long, and based almost entirely at the LDTA Dental Clinic and other hospital facilities in the region.

Phase 1 of the curriculum

Phase 1 is a modular programme, which covers a range of subjects, relevant to dentistry and aims to provide the student with essential background information raising all students to a common standard in the subjects.

Phase 2 of the curriculum

Phase 2 is a modular curriculum. Each of the three semesters has seven modules running concurrently. They fall into four groups:

  • A suite of 'Oral Biology' modules designed specifically for dentistry
    • Structures of the Oral Cavity
    • Oral Biochemistry
    • Physiology of the mouth
    • Oro-facial development
    • Biomaterials in Dentistry
  • 'Social & Behavioural' modules taken from the medical course, but reconfigured with examples relevant to dentistry
    • Health Psychology & Human Diversity
    • Health & Disease in Society
    • Health & Disease in Populations
  • 'Systems' modules derived from the medical course, but often shortened and combined to make them appropriate for dentistry
    • Mechanisms of Disease
    • Tissues of the Body
    • Applied head & neck studies
    • Infection & Immunity
    • Clinical Pharmacology
    • Membranes and receptors
    • Molecules and the human body
    • Musculoskeletal & Nervous systems
    • Cardiovascular & Respiratory systems
    • GI, reproductive & urinary systems.
  • Clinical modules specific to dentistry including introduction to clinical dentistry, communication skills and work in the Clinical Skills laboratory.
  • Students will also take the 'people & disease' modules, jointly supervised by a general dental practitioner and a general medical practitioner.

Phase 3 of the curriculum: Overall structure

Phase 3 will consist of:

  • A twelve week period of intensive 'preparation for practice'
  • A project on People and Disease
  • Junior and Senior 'Firms': The overall pattern is superimposed on two and a half calendar years, with the first six months including intensive preparation for practice, Business, Ethics, and Cultural Studies; and Human Disease incorporating Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacology. The junior and senior firms are 12 months long but much of the clinical activity will involve students from both junior and senior firms throughout the year providing opportunities for interaction between juniors and seniors, and the potential for handover of patients for continuing care. Each firm will be 48 weeks long, leaving four weeks of the year for leave.

Phase 3 of the curriculum: Preparation for practice

This period of twelve weeks begins with eight weeks in which students combine intensive work in the simulation laboratory with work in the dental technology laboratory plus time for community based education.

Simulation: In this period each student will spend three sessions per week in intensive simulation work to ensure proper competence for clinical work.

Dental technology: In this period each student will spend three sessions per week working in the dental technology laboratory learning appropriate skills.

Community based learning: This will occupy two sessions per week and include patient-based studies concentrating on issues of diversity and disability plus a group-based community study of the communities around the academy that the group will be attached to for the junior academy.

Total Simulation of Practice: The remaining four weeks of the preparation for practice period will be spend in intensive total simulation of practice, where students will work in the simulation laboratory with support from dental nurses to complete work in ways resembling as closely as possible practice with real patients. This will include infection control procedures. They will be assessed by observation of practice during this period.

Clinical Practice

Students will work in 'practices' of 10 that will stay together for at least the duration of each firm. Facilities in the Clinical Centre will be organised so that each practice of students works in a space configured to operate like a practice in dental primary care, and students will normally work at the same chair in their practice throughout. Each practice facility will have one junior practice and one senior practice of students based in it at any one time, and will normally have its own population of patients treated by senior and junior students, with handover to ensure continuity of care.

Each 'practice' of students will work within their space with junior and senior practices alternating sessions across extended days. Each practice base will have a team of tutors drawn from experienced local dental practitioners, many of who will have a special clinical interest. All tutors will, however teach across all themes, supported by others whose interest is in that area.

Patient-focussed tutorial sessions will precede and follow practice with patients whose problems are the subject of the teaching. There will be flexibility in the ordering of topics to allow for the availability of appropriate patients, but close monitoring of student activity will ensure that all topics are covered in any eight-week period.

Alongside practical tuition all the students in the firms will come together for theoretical learning sessions every week. (The subjects covered are listed in the Course outline diagram below.)

Assessments throughout the Course

Students will be assessed formatively throughout the course by a range of assessment methods to monitor their theoretical and practical progress and their clinical activity and patient care will assessed by the group of tutors attached to their practice.

Outline Curriculum: BDS Course 2011
Phase One Phase Two Phase Three
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6a Semester 6b Semester 7 Semester 8 Semester 9 Semester 10
Chemistry for dentistry Molecules & the Human Body Mechanism of Disease The Abdomen and Pelvis in Dental Practise People & Disease Special Project 12 week preparation for practice Junior Firm

Conservative Dentistry




Paediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics


Oral surgery


Comprehensive Dental Care

Clinical Dental Sciences
Senior Firm

Conservative Dentistry




Paediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Maxillo facial surgery

Comprehensive Dental Care

Clinical Dental Sciences
Biology and Oral Health Infection and Immunity Musculo-skeletal & Nervous system Clinical Pharmacology The Worldwide impact of Oral Diseases
Physics and Mathematics for dentistry Health Psychology & Human Diversity Health & Disease in Society Health & Disease in Populations Medicine and Surgery For Dental Students
Fundamentals of Anatomy Tissues of the Body Cardiovascular & Respiratory systems Applied Head and Neck studies  
Fundamentals of Physiology Membranes and Metabolism Oral Biochemistry Oro-facial Development    
Fundamentals of Biochemistry Structures of the Oral Cavity Biomaterials in Dentistry Physiology of the Mouth    
English Language & Usage Introduction to Clinical Dentistry Dental Simulation & Communication skills Dental Simulation & Communication skills
  Cultural and Diversity Studies Business, Ethics & Cultural Studies
Assessment Assessment Assessment Assessment   Assessment Assessment Assessment
University of Leicester At The LDTA Clinical Centre LDTA LDTA

We will be offering an integrated 5-year teaching course, leading to a BDS degree awarded by our partner university. You will also have the opportunity to gain a Diploma in Business Studies, and an intermediate degree after 3 years. Once the BDS is awarded, graduates would be able to register with the General Dental Council (GDC).

Course Information

The Roman city of Leicester is a diverse city full of exciting sports and culture activities. Leicester is a thriving student city. 12% of Leicester population are students during term time. It is UK's 10th largest city with a very friendly and safe atmosphere.

Living in Leicester

We understand that finding a good place to live and feel comfortable and secure is very important. We guarantee quality accommodation to all of our students in their first year, and for years 4 and 5 of their course.