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    Hi peeps

    Please you help me with this as I have trawled the site for the answer but I can't see it.

    I'm 30, have a successful career as a lawyer but wish to make the change to dentistry. The desire to be a dentist has been there since I finished with a 2:1 law degree in 2002 but decided to see the law through. My A-levels weren't great (BCC not in science subjects) because I wasn't mature enough or focused at the time-something I severely regret but hindsight is a wonderful thing and I've learnt my lesson!

    I note my new Alevels to get onto dentistry will need to be excellent, and I need 3 'A' grade A-Levels, maybe even 3.5.

    Will universities want the 3 A-Levels from me in one sitting, ie go back to college full time for 2 years? Or will they accept as a working mature student, I am unlikely to be able to take 3 Alevels at once and have to study over a number (3?) years in the evening. In the alternative, do unis take access courses for dentistry (thinking of the med/dentistry one at East Anglia)? Although I expect the traditional Alevel entry is the preferred method.

    Does anyone have any experience with this, or find themselves in a similar situation as a mature student?

    Many thanks, Oli x
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    (Original post by oli poli)
    Hi peeps

    Please you help me with this as I have trawled the site for the answer but I can't see it.

    I'm 30, have a successful career as a lawyer but wish to make the change to dentistry. The desire to be a dentist has been there since I finished with a 2:1 law degree in 2002 but decided to see the law through. My A-levels weren't great (BCC not in science subjects) because I wasn't mature enough or focused at the time-something I severely regret but hindsight is a wonderful thing and I've learnt my lesson!

    I note my new Alevels to get onto dentistry will need to be excellent, and I need 3 'A' grade A-Levels, maybe even 3.5.

    Will universities want the 3 A-Levels from me in one sitting, ie go back to college full time for 2 years? Or will they accept as a working mature student, I am unlikely to be able to take 3 Alevels at once and have to study over a number (3?) years in the evening. In the alternative, do unis take access courses for dentistry (thinking of the med/dentistry one at East Anglia)? Although I expect the traditional Alevel entry is the preferred method.

    Does anyone have any experience with this, or find themselves in a similar situation as a mature student?

    Many thanks, Oli x
    Honestly (and sorry for the rubbish reply), your best option is emailing/calling the dental schools you are interesting in and seeing what they say with regards to doing another set of A levels. Many of the uni's have slightly different requirements, so asking them is always the best option.

    There are some universities that offer dentistry with a pre-dental year, making the course 6 years long. This option is open to people who do not have sciences at A level (or uni). The schools that I know offer this are: Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff. Though you will have to check their entrance requirements, as they may still be higher than BCC.
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    I am in a similar position to yourself Oli. I have a 2:1 LL.B from Teesside and am currently a self-employed web developer. I began an Access to Health Sciences course recently after contacting Newcastle to do the BDS and was told that they do take Access applicants, but require Distinction level grades in all modules...From what I have been told (not by Newcastle), Access students were looked down upon until reasonably recently because Access courses were merely "Pass" or "Fail" and they were getting people on some courses who just didn't cut it.

    Since the grading system for Access (Pass, Merit, Distinction) has been put in place (a couple of years now I think) this may have endeared Access students to the universities more because they are now able to prioritise who has the academic capability required. Also, I think that relevant life experience may help too....An 18 year old with A grades coming out of his or her ears will have little experience of life, and it seems to me that a lot of universities now like to broaden the scope of their student body by making courses more accessible to mature students.

    As gene-ius mentioned though, you really are best off contacting the universities you are interested in and having a chat....Often what is on the website is not set in stone and they may look at other relevant qualifications or experience that you may have.

    Hoe this helps and let us know what you hear - I for one will be very interested, being in a similar position to yourself!
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    Hi again

    Of the dental schools I rang, I learnt the following:

    Pennisula want 4 AS's, and 3 A2's sat in one sitting, ie over 2 years, or take the GAMSAT. Access course not accepted; and

    Cardiff want 3 ALevels taken in one sitting. Access courses accepted (see the webpage to see which ones they will take).

    I am inclined towards the ALevel traditional route, however as a mature (30) student, I am concerned that I may have to go back to college full time to achieve the required ALevels in one sitting. The only other way round it I can think of is taking Bio and Chem AS plus an AS in year one (evening), then Bio and Chem A2 plus an intensive ALevel (taken in one year) in the second year (evening).

    Does anyone know if unis will accept an intensive ALevel in a subject you've studied before, ie business studies or english literature. As these seem to be the 2ALevels I can find that are taught in a year, but I already did them first time round in 1999. Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Oli x
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    There is some good advice in here, I wish I was able to see it before I start to pursue dentistry as a mature student! I managed to get a place to study dentistry at Newcastle via access in the end and have spoken about the journey to get there in my blog here.

    In it I talk about things like the pros and cons of A levels versus the Access course, tips for the UKCAT and personal statement and general fears like do I live in halls, can I get involved fully with freshers week and all those silly things!

    Good luck to anybody thinking of retraining, go for it, you will not regret it!
 
 
 
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