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Licence in Dental Surgery Part 2

Exam overview

The Part 2 exam of the Licence in Dental Surgery (LDS) is held over a minimum of three days and consists of three sections:

  • objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) of two hours duration
  • an operative test on a dental manikin of up to three hours duration
  • the ‘unseen case’ exam - (based on an objective structured long examination – OSLE model) which is designed to test candidates’ diagnosis treatment planning and clinical reasoning. Four cases (approximately 32 minutes each case)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Following consultation with public health authorities, we are postponing all non-essential travels including exams to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Please refer to our dedicated FAQ for further information and advice.


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.

Exam format

The LDS Part 2 exam is held over a minimum of 3 days and consists of 3 sections:

  • objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) of two hours duration
  • an operative test on a dental manikin of up to three hours duration
  • the ‘unseen case’ (based on an Objective Structured Long Examination (OSLE) model) - an examination designed to test the candidates’ diagnosis, treatment planning and clinical reasoning. Approximately 1 hour duration (32 minutes for each scenario).


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

Title Application Closing Date
OSCE Unseen Cases
Dental Manikin
Fee Location
LDS Part 2 30 June 22 13 Oct 22 14 Oct 22 -
£1,575 London
 LDS Part 2
30 June 22 13 Dec 22 14 Dec 22 - £1,575 London
 LDS Part 3 TBC - -
 TBC 2023
£1,525 London

Applying for LDS Part 2

LDS Part 2 candidates must submit their completed application form and supporting documentation by post only. Due to a the high volume of applications, places will be given on a first come first serve basis and any application received before the application opening date will not be considered and will be returned. 

Application forms will not be accepted if submitted or delivered by hand, any applications delivered in this way will be returned. Please note that delivery by courier is only permitted for candidates sending applications 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.

Please read our LDS Part 2 application guidance before applying.

LDS Part 2 Application Form

LDS Part 2 Resit Application Form

We will only accept the following number of candidates:

LDS Part 2 – up to 60 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 5 years than candidates who re-apply promptly.

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 basc life support (BLS) course.

Contact the exams department



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

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