Graduate Certificate in Dental Therapy (Advanced Clinical Practice)

Course GC-DTACP (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 6 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Julie Satur

61 3 9341 1530


School of Melbourne Custom Programs

Elizabeth Paige Program Coordinator


P: +61 3 9810 3144

Course Overview:

Dental Therapists and Oral Health Therapists are registered dental practitioners who provide a range of diagnostic, preventive and restorative dental services in collaboration with dentists (much as nurses work with doctors). Both Dental Therapists and Oral Health Therapists provide dental therapy services. Dental therapy practice has traditionally been limited to people of under 26 years of age. Recently, legislation governing the practice of dental therapy has removed that age limit enabling dental therapy practice with people of all ages. There is significant demand for the provision of dental therapy services for adults, particularly in the public sector.

The Dental Board of Australia (responsible for registration of dental practitioners in Australia) has determined that completion of a university-based educational program would qualify practising dental therapists and oral health therapists to expand service provision to patients of all ages within the scope of dental therapy practice.

The Graduate Certificate in Dental Therapy (Advanced Clinical Practice) offers an entry limited to Australian Dental Board registered dental and oral health therapists.

The course comprises three subjects: 2 x 12.5 points and 1 x 25 points. Delivery mode will be via intensive coursework and clinical training. Some coursework delivery will be presented on-line.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course, students should;

  • have in-depth knowledge and skills in primary, secondary and tertiary oral health care (including oral examination, diagnosis and treatment planning, and clinical therapeutic skills) in order to practise those aspects of dental therapy permitted by the legislation governing dentistry in Australia, for people of all ages.
  • be able to to recognise the limits of their scope of practice and be able to consult with and refer to other practitioners in their referral network as appropriate.
  • be able to provide oral health care that protects and respects people’s dignity, autonomy, cultural and social values
  • be able to critically examine, synthesize and evaluate knowledge of their practice and apply it to a broader patient group
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

All subjects are required to be attempted in the same semester as the course is only offered full-time.

The structure of the program is in blocks and concentrated weekly commitments on site to make it attractive and enable participation for people who wish to maintain existing employment. We feel the integration of clinical and didactic elements are important to skill development for the participants which can be evaluated over subsequent deliveries. There are also practical issues about clinical chair capacity at present which have been considered in the structural aspects of delivery mode and which may be resolved over time.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have:
• current registration with the Dental Board of Australia as a dental therapist or oral health therapist; and
• two years of practice experience.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance, across all undergraduate or postgraduate study.
• the work experience, with preference given to applicants with evidence of previous management of patients aged 18 to 24 years.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Graduate Certificate in Dental Therapy welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and degree 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 degree.

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives 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 course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:

Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne Experience enables our graduates to become:

Academically excellent:

  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • hve in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment

Leaders in communities:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity:

  • value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Links to further information:

Download PDF version.