Bachelor of Dental Science

Course 255AA (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 002142C
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 500 credit points taken over 60 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Professor Michael Burrow


Melbourne Dental School

4th Floor, 720 Swanston Street

Telephone: +61 3 9341 1500


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 basic 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 Melbourne Dental School. 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, metropolitan community health centres and at Goulburn Valley Health, Shepparton, Rumbalara Oral Health Centre at Mooroopna and the Moe Community Health Centre. 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 causes 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.

By completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Relate the scientific university education to the technical and vocational aspects of dental practice;

2. Acquire essential factual knowledge;

3. Identify the oral health needs of a community in order of priority and find methods of meeting those needs;

4. Induce oral health changes in individual patients and their families, and behavioural changes in the community generally;

5. Practise integrated general dentistry and provide oral health care to all sectors of the community;

6. Develop skills in problem solving, decision making, program design and implementation, evaluation and advocacy;

7. Design and conduct scientific investigations into clinical, basic science, and community health problems;

8. Communicate effectively with patients and their relatives, professional colleagues and members of other health professions;

9. Exhibit professional responsibility in relation to both individuals and the community

10. Understand:

principles relating to the health, structure and function of the human body

disease processes and mechanisms in structural and functional terms together with their aetiology, clinical manifestations, prevention and treatment

basic human behaviour and social functioning relevant to health and disease;

11. Demonstrate:

professional skills and attitudes and be a personal exemplar for oral health;

capacity and motivation for continuing independent learning;

12. Develop along a number of routes, including general dental practice, specialist dental practice, academic teaching and research, armed services, community health, school dental health, hospital and institutional dentistry.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Over the five year program, students will undertake the following subjects:

Year 1

511-121 Introduction to Biomedical Science (not offered in 2010)

511-124 Oral Health Sciences 1 (not offered in 2010)

511-126 Dental Practice 1 (not offered in 2010)

Year 2

511-224 Oral Health Sciences 2a (not offered in 2011)

511-225 Oral Health Sciences 2b (not offered in 2011)

511-226 Dental Practice 2 (not offered in 2011)

Year 3

511-323 Oral Health Sciences 3

511-324 Scientific Principles of Surgical Practice

511-326 Dental Practice 3

Year 4

511-423 Advanced Dental Study 1

511-424 Child and Adolescent Oral Health

511-425 Oral Health Practice

511-426 Oral Medicine & Surgery

511-427 Oral Rehabilitation

Year 5

511-522 Dental Practice 5

Subject Options:

First year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011

Second year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011

Third year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long

Fourth year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Fifth year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long
Entry Requirements: The last intake into this program was Semester 1, 2009. There will be no further intake.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Further Study:

Information about the Bachelor of Science Honours is available at

Information about Postgraduate programs is available at

Graduate Attributes: A list of attributes of the Melbourne graduate can be found at:
Generic Skills:

On completion of this course, students should develop the following 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; and

· Respect for intellectual integrity and scientific truth.

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