Just because you are not studying medicine or dentistry as your first degree, does not mean you cannot qualify as a doctor or dentist. Postgraduate courses in medicine and dentistry are popular choices for students who were not ready to apply for these courses first time round or just missed gaining a place due to grades or lack of work experience.

Some universities offer what is known as an accelerated four-year graduate entry course for students who already have a science-based degree. Each university will have their own specific entry requirements for their courses and some may ask for additional qualifications such as Chemistry and Biology A-level, as well as a 2:1/First grade in their original degree. Most universities will still require candidates to complete a UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) or a BMAT test to assess their personal skills and qualities to work in a healthcare role as well as an interview as part of the recruitment process. To see which universities offer these courses, have a look at the list of dentistry and medicine courses in the UK as approved by the General Dental Council and the General Medical Council.

Considering a postgraduate route in medicine and dentistry should not be taken lightly. These courses are known for their extensive contact hours plus further study in addition to this. Most universities will expect you to have some form of related work experience in addition to your academic credentials. It is recommended that you try to get as much experience as possible to determine if the course is right for you.

For medicine, a care-related environment is preferable where you are interacting with healthcare professionals and members of the public. Some examples include volunteering in a care home, working as a healthcare assistant in a hospital or charity work.

For dentistry, most universities will require work experience or shadowing/observations in a dentistry setting. Usually this is two weeks minimum. Some examples include general dental practices, hospital or community dentistry.

For both the medicine and dentistry course interviews, you will need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the occupation as well as what has attracted you to the profession. It will also be beneficial to take part in additional work experience, volunteer or paid work to demonstrate your transferable skills and give you further examples to discuss in the interview.

Applying for postgraduate medicine and dentistry can make you a stronger candidate than those applying for an undergrad course as you are proving your commitment and work ethic to study as well as being able to utilise and demonstrate the knowledge acquired from your first degree.

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