Sheffield Dentistry Interview Questions

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Sheffield Dentistry Interview Format

Sheffield receives around 800 applicants per year, with approximately 70 places on the program. Screening takes place until December, with invites for interview being sent in January. Applicants’ academics will be used alongside the UCAT to provide a ranking. The UCAT SJT must also fall within Bands 1-3 to be successful.

Selection days take place in March, and around 300 applicants are invited. Interviews are conducted using a semi-structured panel format, and last up to 15 minutes. The interviewers will be two members of academic staff along with a senior dental student. The following will be assessed:

  • Career Exploration Values
  • Personal Qualities and Communication Skills
  • Commitment to Sheffield

Sheffield has a separate ‘Interpersonal Skills Test’ that will also take place at the selection day. This assessment takes place after the interview, and involves a role play situation in which you must help a patient or colleague with a dilemma, task or situation. No prior knowledge will be expected – instead, the following attributes are tested: communication skills, empathy, and compassion.

Interviews are conducted in-person.

Overall Dentistry 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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Sheffield Dentistry Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Career Exploration

  • Why do you want to become a dentist?
  • Why do you want to become a dentist rather than a doctor?
  • What areas of dentistry particularly interest you?
  • Tell us about your work experience so far.
  • What did you find most interesting during your work experience?
  • What challenges did you notice during your work experience?
  • Do you think that the profession has changed recently? Do you think it will change dramatically in the next 20 years?
  • Tell us a bit about your understanding of the multidisciplinary team that today’s dentists work in.
  • Why do you think that so many dentists in the UK work privately rather than for the NHS? Do you think that this is an issue?
  • Are you aware of the General Dental Council? What do you understand its role to be?

Values, Personal Qualities & Communication Skills

  • What core qualities do you think that a dentist should have?
  • What do you understand of the term Empathy?
  • Tell us about the differences between empathy and sympathy.
  • Are you motivated by the financial rewards obtainable through a career in dentistry?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to communicate in a difficult situation.
  • Tell us about an ethical problem that you have encountered and had to deal with.
  • Are you a strong team player?
  • Do you work better independently or as part of a team?
  • What experiences have you had that illustrate your ability to lead a team?
  • What kind of patients could be harder to communicate with than others? How might you approach these kinds of communication problems?

Sheffield state: ‘Healthcare requires people with particular values and behaviours in order to provide optimum care, working in the patient’s best interest. Therefore, you should consider whether your values align with the values of the NHS Constitution. These are: Working together for patients; Respect and dignity; Commitment to quality of care; Compassion; Improving lives; Everyone counts.’

Commitment to Sheffield

  • What interests you about the course at Sheffield?
  • We offer an intercalated degree, the BMedSci. Have you thought about what you might want to study during this year out from the main degree?
  • What can you bring to the University of Sheffield above and beyond academia?
  • What attracts you to the university beyond the course?
  • What can you tell us about your learning style? Do you think it will be a good fit for our course?

Sheffield state that studying dentistry is demanding, and therefore students must show that they are self-motivated, committed, highly resilient and possessing good time management skills.
Manual Dexterity

  • How have you developed your manual dexterity?
  • Why is manual dexterity so important to being a dentist?
  • What activities do you enjoy that illustrate your manual dexterity?
  • How can you illustrate to us that you enjoy working under high pressure?

Sheffield explain that, as dental students and dentists routinely have to perform intricate, difficult tasks in very demanding situations, they must look for an ability in this domain as part of their assessment process. Applicants should be confident in their ability, and show that they will actively enjoy this kind of work.

Interpersonal Skills/Role Play

  • In this station, you will speak with Joan prior to her routine check-up. Joan is known to have a phobia to dental procedures and intervention.
  • Please proceed to speak with Toby, a fellow dentistry student who has just found out that his grandmother has passed away unexpectedly.
  • Your supervisor has requested your assistance in arranging the Christmas party. You have agreed to meet the head receptionist to discuss arrangements
  • As part of a supervised placement, your supervisor allowed you to perform your first unsupervised extraction on Mr Jones. Your supervisor has returned to review the patient and notes that you have extracted a healthy tooth, leaving the decayed tooth in-situ. Speak to Mr Jones to discuss the case further. 

Sheffield Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why have you chosen to study Dentistry at the University of Sheffield?

My decision to pursue Dentistry at the University of Sheffield is influenced by the program’s unique blend of early practical experience and innovative teaching methodologies. The university’s state-of-the-art simulation suite, where dentistry is practiced in a virtual reality environment, offers a cutting-edge approach to learning clinical skills. This immersive experience, along with the use of “phantom heads” for practical training, ensures I develop a strong foundation in dental procedures in a controlled yet realistic setting. Moreover, Sheffield’s integrated and comprehensive curriculum, designed to cover all key aspects of dental practice, aligns perfectly with my aspiration to become a well-rounded, skilled dental practitioner. The university’s commitment to hands-on learning from the early stages of the course is pivotal in preparing me for the challenges of modern dentistry.


What do you know about the course structure at the University of Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield’s Dentistry course is structured around nine integrated themes over five years, offering a holistic and comprehensive approach to dental education. In the initial years, the focus is on understanding the human body as a whole and basic oral care, laying a solid foundation for my dental training. As the course progresses, I will delve into more complex topics like systemic disease symptoms and expand my clinical skills. The program also includes placements in various real-world settings, such as the Dental Practice Unit and community clinics, which are crucial for applying theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios and preparing me for a diverse range of dental careers.

How will early practical experience at the University of Sheffield shape your dental career?

Early practical experience at the University of Sheffield is fundamental in shaping my dental career. Starting with hands-on training in their state-of-the-art simulation suite, the course allows me to develop essential clinical skills in a controlled, yet realistic environment. This early exposure to practical dentistry ensures that I build confidence and competence from the beginning of my studies. As I progress, the increased complexity of clinical tasks and real-patient interactions will further hone my skills, making me well-prepared for the demands of a professional dental career upon graduation.

Can you discuss the significance of Sheffield's clinical outreach work placements in your dental training?

Clinical outreach work placements in the later years at Sheffield are vital for my dental training. These placements, mainly in general dental practices and community clinics, provide an opportunity to treat a diverse patient base, enhancing my clinical and interpersonal skills. Working in these real-world environments allows me to apply and refine the knowledge and techniques learned in the classroom and simulation suite. This exposure to a variety of clinical settings is crucial in preparing me for the multifaceted nature of dental practice, ensuring that I am a well-rounded and adaptable dental professional.

What impact do you anticipate from Sheffield's collaborative training with the dental team on your professional development?

Sheffield’s approach to collaborative training with the entire dental team is expected to have a significant impact on my professional development. Working alongside Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy students will provide me with invaluable insights into the dynamics of a dental team, fostering a collaborative working style that is essential in modern dental practice. This experience will not only enhance my communication and teamwork skills but also prepare me for the integrated and interdisciplinary nature of dental care. This holistic approach to training is integral to developing into a competent dentist who is well-equipped to work effectively in diverse team settings.

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