Irish Dental Curricula
The dental curriculum focuses on teaching the most up-to-date evidence-based skills to future dentistry practitioners. The course takes an evidence-based and student centered approach to learning, so that students quickly recognize the need to treat patients using the most robust scientific evidence and the importance of being a highly motivated, independent learner. Students are introduced to patients at the earliest opportunity and are expected to make the care of their patients their first concern at all times. You will develop clinical knowledge and skill in areas such as Oral Medicine, Orthodontics, Periodontology, Anesthetics and Oral Surgery. A detailed description of each program is available from the website of each school (see the links at the bottom of the page).
The aim of the dental degree program is to educate and train dental students who, upon graduation are capable of carrying out the independent practice of all facets of dentistry as appropriate for adults, children, at least to the primary care level, including: oral diagnosis, restoration, periodontology, orthodontics, oral surgery, oral medicine and pathology, and special care dentistry within the context of prevention and health promotion.
Length of Program
The dentistry degree courses are delivered over 5 Years at Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Queen’s University Belfast. UCC also offers a 4 Year Graduate Entry Dentistry program. The standard school year in Ireland usually runs from late September through May and is divided into two semesters. The first semester runs from fall to winter holiday break, the second from January to late spring. There are breaks for the winter holidays, in the spring and the summer. Several Irish national holidays are also observed throughout the year.
In Dental School, there is no required “intern year” after graduation. This is due to practical hands-on experience treating patients, included throughout the years of training.
Student progress is monitored continuously throughout the year, culminating in final examinations at the end of the school year. Continuous assessment may involve any combination of practical tests, multiple-choice questionnaires (MCQs), essays, clinical skills assessments, skill tests of competence, oral exams and projects. The final exams are composed of any combination of essay papers, oral exams, MCQs and practical exams. Marks for the in-course assessment and the end-of-year assessment are then combined to determine a final grade for each course.
During the summer months, students may carry out research in several departments.
Successful completion of the dentistry degree courses leads to a Bachelor in Dental Science (B.Dent.Sc.) at Trinity College Dublin and a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at University College Cork. Trinity College Dublin awards a Bachelor in Arts (B.A.) in addition to the B.Dent.Sc., at the end of the five years. Queen’s University awards the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS).
Once applicable licensing procedures have been successfully met, holders of these degrees are eligible to practice dentistry in the United States, Canada and all of the European Union nations. The schools have graduates currently practicing and/or teaching dentistry in North America.