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Licence in Dental Surgery

Exam overview

The Licence in Dental Surgery (LDS) is the oldest continuously existing dental qualification in the UK, awarded by the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS). 

The award of this postgraduate qualification offers key career benefits for dentists worldwide. Successful UK candidates are eligible to become a member of the RCS, while successful international candidates are eligible to apply for registration with the General Dental Council (GDC). 

Application guidance

 We will only accept the following number of candidates: 

LDS part 1 –  up to 120 candidates

LDS part 2 – up to 55 candidates 

Candidates must pass Part 2 within five years of passing Part 1. Up to four attempts are allowed for each part of the exam. Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and you may be unable to secure four Part 2 places in five years. Candidates are advised to prepare well for the exam and aim to pass on the first or second attempt.

It is a candidate’s responsibility to apply for resits. Candidates who fail to apply for the earliest available resit opportunity will manage fewer attempts in the five years than candidates who re-apply promptly. 

LDS Part 1 Application online

Application for LDS Part 1 will be available to book online later this year.
The online application booking system will be for LDS Part 1 only.

Candidates will not be required to submit a paper application form for the LDS Part 1 examination.

Paper applications will not be accepted.

All guidance documents are being revised and the website pages will be updated to reflect this. Candidates are advised to regularly check these pages for updated application information. Candidates should note that the supporting documentation requirements for Part 1 will remain the same.

LDS Part 2 Application

For the LDS Part 2 examination candidates must submit their completed Part 2 application form and supporting documentation by post only. Application forms will not be accepted if submitted by hand. Hand delivered application forms will not be processed and will be returned. Please note in addition that applications will not be accepted if delivered by courier unless these applications have been sent from outside of the UK. Candidates are advised to get proof of postage when submitting their application form. 

Please do not contact the Exams Department until you have received confirmation. Any incomplete applications will be sent back. 

All applications must be received by 5pm on the closing date.

Please read the LDS Part 1 application guidance or LDS Part 2 application guidance before applying. 

Contact the exams department



For general exam queries please call 020 7405 3474 - Option 3

Our main switchboard is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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