Bachelor of Oral Health

Course 841AC (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 053176D
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 300 credit points taken over 36 months full time.


Associate Professor Julie Satur


Melbourne Dental School

4th Floor, 720 Swanston Street

Telephone: +61 3 9341 1500


Course Overview:

The Bachelor of Oral Health is a fixed, three-year, full-time program. It has a combined vocational outcome of oral health therapy (dental hygiene and dental therapy) and its curriculum reflects the latest developments in oral health.

The course has four main components:

Dental science: those subjects providing a theoretical background to the procedures used in providing dental care, including the structure and function of normal and abnormal tissues of the body and principles of treatment of disease.

Social science and preventive dentistry: those subjects concerned with preventing dental disease in the community. Community studies and oral health promotion are a major feature of this component, but it also includes ethics, psychology, sociology and research methods.

Clinical dentistry: those subjects related to oral health therapy practice which are common to dental hygienists' and dental therapists' clinical practice. They include infection control, instrumentation, dental materials, examination procedures, record taking, diagnosis and treatment planning, as well as operative procedures such as preventive therapies, fluoride application, orthodontic procedures, impressions and oral radiography.

Vocational clinical practice: in this component the student undertakes clinical management of dental decay in children, adolescents and young adults and the prevention of disease and the conservative management of periodontal conditions for people of all ages. Clinical work is undertaken at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne in all years of the course and at other metropolitan and rural 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.

OTHER COSTS – DENTAL INSTRUMENTS: 1st year students are required to purchase dental instruments/equipment early in the first week of the course. The kit costs approximately $4,000 and will provide the required preclinical instruments for the 1st and 2nd years of the BOH program.

Learning Outcomes:

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

1.Be able to:

a)demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills in primary, secondary and tertiary oral health care including oral examination, diagnosis, treatment planning and clinical therapeutic skills, in orderto practice those aspects of dental therapy and dental hygiene permitted by the legislation governing the practice of dentistry in Australia;

b)relate the scientific basis of health and clinical sciences to the technical and vocational aspects of oral health therapy practice;

c)deliver oral health care in an holistic fashion which takes cognisance of the social, cultural and economic environment in which people live;

d)demonstrate a capacity to design, implement and evaluate preventive interventions at the individual or community level;

e)demonstrate an ability and the confidence to collaborate with all members of the dental team and professionals from other areas such as health, welfare and education;

f)demonstrate an ability to refer patients whose dental care is beyond the scope of the dental hygienist and dental therapist through appropriate referral networks;

g)understand and apply the principles that underpin the ethical codes and legal requirements governing the practice of dentistry;

h)provide care for people that protects their dignity, autonomy, cultural and social values;

i)demonstrate an approach to professional practice incorporating intellectual integrity, self evaluation, development and lifelong learning and a commitment to the oral health therapy community;

2.Have developed:

a)critical, analytical and problem solving skills;

b)the skills to acquire, synthesize and adapt knowledge to a variety of situations;

c)a high level of written and oral communication skills;

d)the capacity for rational inquiry, self directed learning and the integration of new knowledge;

e)the ability to use various mediums to communicate and collaborate with patients and their families;

3.Have the ability:

a)and self confidence to comprehend and respond to complex concepts;

b)to plan work and use time effectively;

4.Possess the knowledge and skills required to advocate for, and promote, the oral health of individuals and groups in both clinical and community settings, especially disadvantaged individuals and groups;

5.Comprehend the principles of population oral health approaches in the contemporary Australian context.

To perform satisfactorily in the course, students must be able to achieve, at least to a satisfactory level, all of the objectives above.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students in the Bachelor of Oral Health will develop all the technical skills required for practice as Oral Health Therapists (which includes both dental hygienist and dental therapist practice). The course comprises four main components:

  • Oral health sciences;
  • Social sciences and health promotion;
  • Preventive and clinical dentistry; and
  • Vocational and clinical practice.

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

Year 1

ORAL10001 Society and Health 1A

ORAL10003 Oral Health Sciences 1A

ORAL10002 Society and Health 1B

ORAL10004 Oral Health Sciences 1B

ORAL10005 Oral Health Practice 1

Year 2

ORAL20001 Health Promotion 2A

ORAL20003 Oral Health Sciences 2A

ORAL20002 Health Promotion 2B

ORAL20004 Oral Health Sciences 2B

ORAL20005 Oral Health Practice 2

Year 3

ORAL30001 Oral Health Therapy Research

ORAL30002 Oral Health Practice 3



Subject Options:


First Year

Study Period Commencement:
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Second Year

Study Period Commencement:
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Third Year

Study Period Commencement:
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Entry Requirements:

Entry to the Bachelor of Oral Health will require completion of the final year of secondary schooling and the following subjects or approved equivalents:

  • Satisfactory completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and a study score of at least 25 in VCE units 3 and 4 in English (any other than ESL) and in Biology or Chemistry. A study score or at least 30 is required for English ESL.
  • An ENTER of 70 or above.
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:

Graduate Attributes:

A list of attributes of the Melbourne graduate can be found at:

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; and
  • Respect for intellectual integrity and scientific truth.

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