Cardiff Dentistry Interview Questions & Tips

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Cardiff Dentistry Interview Format

Of around 750 applicants, Cardiff sends around 250 interview invitations, which then result in 180 offers. Applicants are first screened to ensure that they meet the minimum academic requirements. Academic criteria, the personal statement, referee statement and UCAT are then combined to provide a ranking to understand who to invite to interview. As a rough guide, applicants in the last three cycles must have achieved at least 5A* grades at GCSE in order to meet the minimum threshold to be invited to interview.

Interviews are conducted in January.

Cardiff uses an MMI (multiple mini interview) format, consisting of 10 stations. Each station is individually assessed by separate assessors. Cardiff uses its MMIs to test if students can think on their feet, have considered issues that are core to the profession, can critically appraise information, and can communicate ideas effectively. They will also explore the personal qualities that are important to your future career in dentistry.

Cardiff Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Overall Success Rate (Total Applicants : Total Spaces)
Percentage of Candidates Interviewed
Percentage Of Candidates Interviewed
Interviewee Success Rate
Interviewee Success Rate

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Cardiff Dentistry Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Cardiff breaks down what they are looking for in potential students as follows: evidence of potential for high academic achievement; an understanding of the demands of dental training and practice; a caring and committed attitude towards people; the ability to communicate effectively; a willingness to accept responsibility; non-academic interests and personal achievements. They will then further be assessed on their work experience – all applicants must have an appreciation of the duration and structure of both the training program and the career. Lastly, the admissions team looks for those that it believes will show ‘exemplary behaviour and courtesy’ towards others, be they patients, staff or colleagues.

Understanding of the course and practice, including work experience

  • What attracts you to the course at Cardiff?
  • What can you tell us about how the course is structured here?
  • Dentistry is a professional degree. What does that mean, and how does it affect student life compared to a standard, non-vocational degree?
  • What area of dentistry would you like to practise in?
  • Are you worried about the transition from university to practice?
  • Tell us about your work experience.
  • Did your work experience change your attitude toward the profession?
  • Did you think that the dentists you shadowed showed the qualities that you would expect of a dentist?
  • Did you encounter any challenging situations during your work experience?
  • What is the role of prevention in dentistry?
  • How do you keep up to date with healthcare news?
  • What are the greatest challenges facing healthcare as a whole, and dentistry in particular?
  • What skills did you learn during your work experience that you can immediately apply to your dentistry training?
  • What learning styles suit you best? Does this fit with how our course at Cardiff is organised?

Non-academic interests and achievements

  • Tell us about your proudest non-academic achievement.
  • Tell us about a time you overcame adversity or a tough situation outside of school.
  • Why do you think that non-academic achievements are so important for us choosing prospective dentistry students?
  • What interests do you have that have allowed you to develop your manual dexterity?
  • Do you play a musical instrument?
  • Tell us about a time that you showed resilience when playing a sport or competing. 

Caring attitude and professional behaviour

  • Tell us about your volunteering or your work in a caring environment.
  • Tell us about the role of empathy in healthcare.
  • Why do we look for potential students’ ability to show empathy, rather than their ability to show sympathy?
  • Do you think that dentists can be seen as more aloof or uncaring than other healthcare professionals? If so, how might you try to change this image?
  • How have you demonstrated your caring attitude at school?
  • How can you show us that you are likely to demonstrate exemplary professional behaviour in the future?

Communication and team-working

  • Give us an example of a team situation in which your communication skills were essential to the success of your team.
  • Tell us about an example of effective communication that you saw during your work experience.
  • Do you work better in a team or independently?
  • How can you illustrate to us that you are a good leader?
  • Do you learn well in a team? Why might this be important to your success at university
  • What models of effective communication, or of patient care, are you aware of?

Cardiff Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Dentistry at Cardiff University?

I am passionate about studying Dentistry at Cardiff University because it offers a unique blend of world-class facilities, exceptional teaching, and a supportive learning environment. The opportunity to be taught in the University Dental Hospital, the only one in Wales, is particularly appealing to me. It provides a diverse range of clinical experiences and specialties, exposing me to various aspects of dental care that I might not encounter elsewhere. This exposure is crucial for my development as a well-rounded dental professional. Additionally, Cardiff’s status as a top-ranked dental school in the UK reaffirms my choice, ensuring that I receive an education that is both challenging and rewarding.

What do you know about the Dentistry course structure at Cardiff University?

The Dentistry course at Cardiff University is structured to provide a comprehensive and immersive educational experience. From the beginning, students have access to a £2.2 million clinical simulation suite, offering an environment to develop skills in a realistic setting. From the second year onwards, we use Phantom Head facilities to enhance our clinical skills, with opportunities for additional practice in drop-in sessions. Unique to Cardiff, first-year students gain practical anatomy experience with cadavers, offering an in-depth understanding that goes beyond textbook learning. This hands-on approach, combined with the chance to manage a diverse group of patients with a wide range of dental diseases, ensures a well-rounded clinical education.

How will you take advantage of Cardiff’s state-of-the-art facilities during your studies?

Cardiff’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the £2.2 million clinical simulation suite and Phantom Head facilities, will be integral to my dental education. I plan to fully utilize these resources to hone my clinical skills and apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. The simulation suite will provide me with a safe environment to practice and refine procedures before treating real patients. Additionally, the Phantom Head facilities will be crucial for developing more advanced skills as I progress through the course. I am particularly excited about the drop-in sessions, which will allow me to further enhance my competencies outside regular class hours.

Describe how you will engage with the diverse patient population at Cardiff’s Dental Hospital.

Engaging with the diverse patient population at Cardiff’s Dental Hospital will be a key part of my dental education. I plan to approach this opportunity with an open and empathetic mindset, recognizing the varying needs and backgrounds of each patient. This exposure will allow me to develop a deeper understanding of different oral health issues and how they can be influenced by factors such as culture, socioeconomic status, and lifestyle. By actively listening to patients and collaborating with experienced staff, I aim to provide compassionate care that is tailored to each individual’s needs, enhancing both their oral health and overall well-being.

How do you envision your career path after graduating from Cardiff University Dental School?

After graduating from Cardiff University Dental School, I envision a dynamic career path that allows me to explore various facets of dentistry. Initially, I aim to work in general dental practice to gain broad experience and consolidate my skills. Over time, I am interested in specializing in areas such as orthodontics or pediatric dentistry, depending on where I find my passion lies. I am also keen on contributing to community dental clinics, as I believe in the importance of accessible dental care for all. Eventually, I aspire to take on roles that combine clinical practice with teaching or research, thereby contributing to the advancement of the dental profession.

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