Bachelor of Dental Science

Course 255-AA (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate


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Course Overview:

The Bachelor of Dental Science course is a fixed, five-year full-time program with a new integrated curriculum. Students need to pass all subjects in their current year of enrolment before being allowed to proceed to the next year of the course.

The curriculum incorporates a variety of teaching methods for the education of dentists. It focuses on principles and concepts, fosters the integration of basis and clinical sciences and crosses traditional discipline boundaries, encouraging skills in problem solving, self-directed learning and research.

Students may qualify for the degree with honours, which is determined by their performance in second, third, fourth and fifth years of the course.

The first three years of the curriculum concentrate on the basic sciences relevant to dentistry, ie. anatomy, biology, chemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and neuroscience. The later years are mostly devoted to clinical practice and matters arising from practice. Practical work is undertaken in the laboratories of the health science departments of the Faculty and in those of the School of Dental Science. Students' involvement in clinical work (a component of dental practice subjects) starts in first year. Clinical work is undertaken at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne in all years of the course and at other major hospitals in Melbourne and community health centres in the final year of the course. The manual and communication skills needed for clinical dentistry are developed gradually as students progress through the course.

In addition to clinical work, dental practice subjects also include theoretical work. In particular students:

  • examine the role, responsibilities and activities of the dentist in a community;
  • gain a basic understanding of human behaviour and development (somatic, physiological and psychological);
  • develop a thorough knowledge of oral anatomy, the casues of oral disease, oral disease prevention and treatment, and the ways oral health can be promoted and achieved;
  • explore thoroughly the concepts of total patient care; and
  • achieve a sound understanding of the principles of medicine and surgery and their applications in dental practice.

The objectives of the Bachelor of Dental Science are to:

  • produce knowledgeable, caring and competent graduates, well prepared to enter dental practice if they choose and subsequently to commence postgraduate vocational training in any area of dentistry; and
  • inpart knowledge, attitudes and skills that will encourage and enable the graduates to practice ethical and scientifically-based health care with a high level of skill and social responsibility and continue to develop their knowledge and skills throughout their career.
Subject Options:

First year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long

Second year

Study Period Commencement:
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Third year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long

Fourth year

Study Period Commencement:
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Fifth year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Further Study:

Information about the Bachelor of Science Honours is available at

Information about Postgraduate programs is available at

Graduate Attributes: None
Generic Skills:

· problem solving and decision making skills,

· communication and interpersonal skills

· experience in program design and implementation,

· evaluation and advocacy;

· planning and time management skills;

· capacity and motivation for continuing independent learning;

· appreciation of, and sensitivity to, cultural diversity

· leadership skills

· respect for intellectual integrity and scientific truth

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