Dental Science

The Bachelor of Dental Science degree focuses on developing skill and expertise in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases of the teeth, mouth tissue and supporting bones of the mouth.


Modern dentistry has moved beyond the scope of the ‘drilling and filling’ of the past. Today, dentists manage diseases and abnormalities of the face, jaws, joints, and soft tissue lining of the mouth. They offer comprehensive care for the entire oral and facial system.

The Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) is a five-year, full-time course. Years one to three focus on bioethics, health law, and dental sciences. Years four and five focus on understanding the medical, dental, social, and community context of dental clinical practice. You will be required to complete one year of community service after graduating. If you are registering for the BDS for the first time, you must register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HCPSA).

Career Opportunities

Dentists work in different locations, including in community, industrial, private practice, and public service clinics.


  • Anatomy for Dental Students
  • Physiology and Medical Biochemistry
  • Bioethics and Health Law
  • Fundamental Dental Skills
  • Community Dentistry
  • Dental Materials for Dental Students
  • Pathology (Anatomical and Haematological)
  • Oral Biology for Dental Students
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Oral Microbiology
  • Paediatric, Endodontic and Restorative Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics
  • Oral Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Maxillo-Facial and Oral Radiology II
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Community Dentistry II
  • Prosthodontics II
  • Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgery I
  • Paediatric, Endodontic and Restorative Dentistry II
  • Orthodontics I
  • Periodontology
  • Integrated Dentistry I
  • Dental Materials for Dental Students II
  • Dental Practice Management I
  • General Medicine and Paediatrics for Dental Students
  • General Surgery
  • Integrated Dentistry II
  • Prosthodontics III
  • Paediatric, Endodontic and Restorative Dentistry III
  • Periodontology and Oral Medicine
  • Maxillo-Facial and Oral Radiology II
  • Orthodontics II
  • Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgery II
  • Community Dentistry III
  • Bioethics and Health Law II
  • Dental Practice Management II
  • Anaesthetics
  • Community Dentistry IV
  • Integrated Dentistry III

Entry Requirements

NSC Requirements

English Home Language OR First Additional Language Level 5
Mathematics Level 5
Life Sciences AND Physical Sciences Level 5

The Faculty of Health Sciences uses a Composite Index (CI) score to guide applicant selection. This includes:

    • Your matric academic results for five subjects: English, Mathematics, best of Physical Sciences/Life Sciences and the best two other subjects. We consider the percentage achieved, not the symbol. The average of the five subjects carries a 60% weighting.
    • National Benchmark Test (NBT) scores. The average of the NBT scores carries a 40% weighting.

    All applicants must write the NBT

    Click here for the NBT test dates. NBT results are valid for three years and Wits only considers the first attempt of the NBT from the most recent year. Visit 

    The NBT should be written by 11 August.

    Applicants applying to the Graduate Entry Medical Programme (GEMP) and/or Graduate Entry Physiotherapy Programme (GEPP) only, as well as applicants who are in their final year of study towards a Bachelor’s degree, or who have already completed a Bachelor’s degree, are not required to write the NBT.

    Additional requirements

    All applicants to the Bachelor of Dental Science and the Bachelor of Oral Health Sciences must spend time observing specific procedures as performed by a Dentist/Dental Therapist/Oral Hygienist to gain insight into the profession. Applicants must complete a job shadowing certificate of attendance (minimum 16 hours).

    Only observation hours completed between 1 July 2023 and 31 July 2024 will be accepted. Please download the form from: 

    Applicants who fail to submit a certificate will not be considered for admission.

    University Application Process

    • The Student Enrolment Centre at Wits handles all student applications.
    • Please click here for an overview of the application process. 
    • Check the admission requirements for your degree. Check if any additional selection requirements apply. 
    • Submit your application, required documentation and application fee before the closing date.
    • Once you have applied, an admissions consultant will be assigned to your application.
    • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal.
    • If you are an international applicant and/or have a foreign qualification, please click here.

    Compliance with the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place at the University. The University has a specific number of places for first year undergraduates, approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

    University Fees and Funding

    Click here to see the current average tuition fees for the first year of study. The Fees website also provides information about the payment of fees and closing dates for fees payments. Once you have applied you will be able to access the fees estimator on the student self-service portal. 

    The Financial aid office provides information on student funding and scholarships. University-funded Scholarships include Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, University Entrance Scholarships, Equality Scholarships, Sports Scholarships and National Olympiad winner awards. For information about NSFAS funding, please visit the NSFAS websiteExternal bursaries portal: The Bursaries South Africa website provides a comprehensive list of bursaries in South Africa.

    Wits Plus applicants: terms of payment are in accordance with University regulations, and students are not eligible for University bursaries/NSFAS or residential accommodation.