Oral Health Therapy Research

Subject ORAL30001 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Year Long, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 125 hours of group work, field visits, seminars, oral presentations, report writing and self directed learning.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Successful completion of all 2nd year BOH subjects.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: None.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Julie Satur


Melbourne Dental School

4th Floor, 720 Swanston Street

Telephone: +61 3 9341 1500

Email: enquiries@dent.unimelb.edu.au


Subject Overview:

This subject comprises three modules:

Health Policy: Policy making, stakeholders, processes and evidence, public health policy and oral health and some current dilemmas in health care.

Sociology: Concepts and theories on the arrangement of society and the influences that shape it; how people form values and cultures; class, status, gender and ethnicity; the influences of political, socio-demographic and socio-economic factors on health; the sociology of health and illness and its influences on research methodology.

Oral Health Therapy Research: Students to complete one of the following units: Health Promotion or Outreach Elective Studies. Health Promotion comprises project work in the field of oral health promotion. Students are allocated to a group to design, implement and evaluate a health promotion program for a community group. The student group will conduct a needs analysis using the principles of research methodology and evidence based practice to undertake a review of the existing knowledge and context for the program, formulate program objectives, design appropriate interventions to improve oral health status in the selected community group or setting; achieve ethical approval where required, implement and evaluate the intervention; analyse and present the results through an oral presentation and written report. Outreach Elective Studies comprises development and project work in an area of interest to extend students' expertise in one aspect of oral health therapy practice. This unit requires students to apply the principles of research methodology and evidence-based practice to undertake a review of the existing knowledge of the study topic, formulate learning objectives, undertake pre-determined activities to develop their learning and report their learning against their objectives in both written and oral forms. The unit may incorporate outreach work relevant to oral health therapy practice and education such as fieldwork in dental services, special needs or residential care settings, public health centres or vists/exchanges to other oral health therapy educational programs interstate or overseas.


On completion of this subject the student should:


  • The characteristics of public health programs and their evaluation; and
  • The resources available to oral health professionals in the promotion of oral health.


  • The capacity to communicate with people to identify and address their health needs;
  • The capacity to review and apply research skills and evidence based practice to oral health therapy practice;
  • An appreciation of sociological inquiry; and
  • An understanding of public policy issues as they affect Oral Health practice.

Have developed skills in:

  • Information seeking, evaluation and retrieval;
  • Intercultural sensitivity and understanding;
  • Planning and organisation
  • Oral and written communication
  • Applying ethical principles to the practice of oral health therapy; and

Have developed an openness to new ideas; and

Have developed extended knowledge in a specialist area of oral health therapy practice.


  • The collaborative role of agencies and health care providers in the community in the promotion of oral health;
  • The role of evidence based practice in the promotion of oral health; and
  • The capacity of health promotion to contribute to the improvement of oral health outcomes in the community.

  1. Two written assignments of no more than 1000 words each to be submitted mid-April (20%);
  2. One written report of no more than 3000 words (per student) covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the outreach placement or research project undertaken, to be submitted at the end of Semester 2 (60%); and
  3. An oral presentation (of 15 minutes' duration) outlining the learning and value of the work undertaken to be presented at the end of Semester 2 (20%).

An overall assessment mark of 50% is required to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None.
Recommended Texts:

  • Health Behaviour and Health Education: Theory, Research and Practice Glanz K, Rimer BK, Viswanath K (eds), Jossey-Bass, 2008, 4th ed
  • Health in Australia: Sociological Concepts and Issues Grbich C (ed), Prentice Hall, 2004, 2nd ed
  • Evaluating Health Promotion: A Health Workers' Guide Hawe P, Degeling D and Hall J, McLennan and Petty, 1990
  • Understanding Health Promotion Keleher H, MacDougall C and Murphy B, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2007
  • Bioethics and Clinical Ethics for Health Care Professionals Mitchell KR, Kerridge IH and Lovat JJ, Social Science Press, NSW, 1996, 2nd ed
  • Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches Neuman WL, Boston, Allyn and Bacon, 2005, 6th ed
  • Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences Polgar S and Thomas S, Churchill Livingstone, 2000

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should develop skills in the following areas:

  • Communication;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Problem solving;
  • Analytical assessment;
  • Evaluation and reporting;
  • Ethics; and
  • Reporting evidence.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Oral Health

Download PDF version.