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Licence in Dental Surgery Part 3

Exam Overview

Following discussions with the General Dental Council it has been agreed that the Licence in Dental Surgery (LDS) will now be held in 3 parts, uncoupling the OSCE and USC components from the Dental Manikin component. This has been agreed in order to provide as fair and accessible assessment to candidates as possible.

Please read the LDS Structure Change formal document to find a full explanation and regulatory amendments of the examination structure change.

The Part 3 exam of the LDS will be held over a one day period and consist of one section:

  • an 180-minute operative assessment on a dental manikin, designed to test your practical clinical dental skills.


Education and Training Requirements

An overview of LDS candidate eligibility is provided below. Read the LDS exam regulations and LDS Part 2 application form guidance.

To be eligible to enter each part of the LDS exam all candidates must:

  • If registered on a course of study at a UK undergraduate dental school, produce evidence that they have satisfactorily completed a five-year curriculum as described and recognised by the General Dental Council (GDC) and have passed the dental schools final exams, and are registered with the GDC.
  • If in possession of a qualification awarded by an EEA university or licensing body that is recognised by the GDC for purposes of full registration in the UK, produce evidence of qualification, certificates of the courses of study attended and exams passed for such a qualification.
  • If holding a qualification awarded by an overseas university or licensing body that is not recognised by the GDC for purposes of full registration in the UK, produce evidence of qualification and a NARIC certificate. In addition, it is necessary to provide certificates showing that the studies and courses undertaken were in line with the standards described in the First Five Years: a Framework for Undergraduate Dental Education 3rd edition (interim) (General Dental Council, 2008). A NARIC certificate is required unless temporary registration with the GDC is current and can be verified.
  • Produce evidence of having had no fewer than 1600 hours clinical experience where you have personally treated patients in the dental chair. The number of hours of this clinical experience will either be hours spent undertaking appropriate investigations and administering dental treatment during the dental degree, during post-qualification experience, or a combination of the two and must have occurred during the period immediately prior to sitting Part 2 of the exam.
  • Demonstrate linguistic competence by means of the Academic International English Language Testing System(IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Exemptions only apply to EEA nationals, those who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or undertook their undergrad or postgrad dental degree in a UK institution. Original or certified copy of degree must be submitted to prove exemption.
  • Produce a certificate or letter of good standing.

Format of Examination

The Part 3 exam of the Licence in Dental Surgery (LDS) will be held over a one day period and consist of one section:

  • an 180-minute operative assessment on a dental manikin, designed to test your practical clinical dental skills.


Please note the below syllabus is out of date and will be updated shortly.

Below is an outline of the major competencies/learning outcomes that may be assessed. These represent broad categories of professional activity and concerns that occur in the general practice of dentistry and are interdisciplinary in orientation and must embrace an element of critical thinking.

They may apply in differing ways to patients of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

a) Professional attitude and behaviour
b) Ethics and jurisprudence

Interpersonal, Communication and Social Skills
a) Communication

Knowledge Base, Information and Information literacy
a) Application of basic biological, medical, technical and clinical sciences
b) Acquiring and using information

Clinical Information Gathering
a) Obtaining and recording a comprehensive history of the patient’s medical, oral and dental state

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
a) Decision-making, clinical reasoning and judgment
b) Education of patients and management of comprehensive primary care
c) Oral medicine management
d) Periodontal management
e) Caries and endodontic management
f) Surgical procedures
g) Pain and anxiety management
h) Restorative/prosthodontics management
i) Orthodontic management
j) Emergency treatment

Health Promotion
a) Improving the oral health of individuals, families and groups in the community

These major competencies are underpinned by sub-sets of more detailed supporting skills, understanding and professional values. The detail, along with associated assessment methods are set out in the Learning Outcomes and Examination Syllabus document.

Exam Dates

Upcoming Exam Dates

The LDS Part 3 exam will be delivered at Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

LDS Part 3 March 2024

Application Opens: 5pm (GMT), 22 January 2024 | Application Closes: 25 Janaury 2024 | Exam Date: 9 March 2024 | Exam Fee: £1525

Application Process

The LDS Part 3 application will be delivered as a first come, first serve online booking system. At 12pm (GMT) on the application opening date, the "Book Now" button will become available in the booking portal, which will appear above.

Upon booking, candidates must complete payment of the examination fee. Please be aware that this is a competitive examination and places are likely to sell out quickly.

Upon completing booking, your place on the examination is secured. There is no eligibilty documentation required for this exam and you will recieve email confirmation of this. However, upon successful completion of the exam, candidates must provide a number of documents in order to complete LDS. Documention detailing this process can be found below.

We will only accept the following number of candidates:

LDS Part 3 – 36 Candidates

Candidates must pass Part 2 to be eligible to apply for Part 3. Up to three attempts are allowed for the Part 3 exam. It is a candidate’s responsibility to apply for resits.

LDS Completion

There is a £230 completion fee for those completing an FDS Royal College of Surgeons of England diploma. This fee will be collected once you have passed the exam.

Candidates are also required to complete a serology test and a basic life support (BLS) course.


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