Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

Dental School Sculpture

Overview

Most graduates in Dentistry enter general practice on their own or in association with others. Some undertake postgraduate study and research training in preparation for an academic career. Others obtain further experience and complete postgraduate clinical qualifications before entering specialist practice.

^ Top of Page

Information for new applicants

Applications for Dentistry:
Open: 1 August
Close: 15 September

Find the guidelines for admission to the Division of Health Sciences

^ Top of page

Subject area

^ Top of page

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

Year Papers Points
1st year

Health Sciences First Year Course

Note: Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.

126
2nd year

DENT 261  The Dentist and the Patient 1

DENT 262  Biomedical Sciences 1

DENT 263  The Dentist and the Community 1

33

72

15

3rd year

DENT 361  The Dentist and the Patient 2

DENT 362  Biomedical Sciences 2

DENT 363  The Dentist and the Community 2

or

DENT 364 * Dentistry in the New Zealand Context

72

36

12

 

72

4th year

DENT 461  The Dentist and the Patient 3

DENT 462  Biomedical Sciences 3

DENT 463  The Dentist and the Community 3

90

18

12

5th year

DENT 551  The Dentist and the Patient 4

DENT 552  Biomedical Sciences 4

DENT 553  The Dentist and the Community 4

72

18

30

* DENT 364 is available only for approved students admitted under articulated agreements with Partnership Programmes and other universities and having previously passed appropriate courses; students who pass the paper will be credited with the First, Second, and Third Year courses of the BDS programme.

Regulations for the Degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. The number of domestic students admitted to the second year of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme is limited to the number determined by the Council annually on the basis of available resources. Some additional places may be available to International students.
    2. Applications for admission by domestic students may be made by those eligible under the following categories:
      • Health Sciences First Year (see 1(i))
      • Graduate (see 1(j))
      • Alternative (see 1(l))

    3. Applications must be made by the due dates specified for each category as part of the Guidelines for Admission into the Health Sciences Professional Programmes published at www.otago.ac.nz/healthsciences ("the Guidelines").
    4. Selection of eligible students for admission to the second year of the programme shall be made by the Dental Admissions Committee (“the Committee”) whose terms of reference shall be established by the Division of Health Sciences and approved by the Senate.
    5. Subject to these regulations and the Selection Criteria established by the Committee and approved by the Senate from time to time and published as part of the Guidelines, selection for admission shall be in the discretion of the Committee.
    6. Without limitation, the Selection Criteria may include:
      1. academic performance;
      2. demonstration of appropriate attributes for admission into the programme.
    7. The Division of Health Sciences’ Te Kauae Parāoa policy promotes and facilitates equity for Māori students and students from other under-represented groups. In accordance with this policy, the Selection Criteria may provide for applicants in the following equity groups to be given preference for selection:
      • Māori
      • Resident Indigenous Pacific
      • Rural
      • Socioeconomic Equity
      • Refugee Background
    8. Recognition for inclusion in the Māori and Resident Indigenous Pacific equity groups shall be through demonstration of ancestry in accordance with the University’s Ancestry Verification Procedures for Māori and Pacific Students and any other criteria the Senate may determine. Criteria for inclusion in the Rural, Socioeconomic Equity and Refugee Background equity groups shall be established by the Academic Board of the Division of Health Sciences and approved by the Senate. Criteria approved by the Senate shall be published as part of the Guidelines.
    9. Health Sciences First Year Category

    10. To be eligible to be selected for admission under the Health Sciences First Year category an applicant must:
      1. be enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course at the University of Otago,
      2. pass all of the papers prescribed for the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year course, with an average mark of at least 70 in the applicant’s best seven papers and no mark of less than 65 in the prescribed papers.
    11. Graduate Category

    12. To be eligible for selection for admission under the Graduate category, an applicant must have completed as their first degree, within three years prior to the date of application, and in the minimum academic time, at least one of the following qualifications awarded by a university in New Zealand:
      1. a bachelor’s degree; or
      2. undergraduate bachelor’s honours degree; or
      3. bachelor’s degree, followed by a postgraduate diploma or postgraduate honours year.
    13. Applicants offered a place under the Graduate category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
    14. Alternative Category

    15. To be eligible to be considered for admission under the Alternative category, an applicant must be a domestic student and:
      1. hold a degree from a New Zealand university, and no longer be eligible under the Graduate category; or
      2. have completed a degree at an overseas university at a standard of at least NZQF Level 7; or
      3. hold a master’s or doctoral degree; or
      4. demonstrate health-related professional experience in a relevant field to a standard acceptable to the Committee.
    16. An applicant may be required to attend an interview.
    17. Applicants offered a place under the Alternative category may be required to pass prescribed papers, to a standard determined by the Committee, before being admitted to second year classes.
    18. International Admissions

    19. The Committee may offer a limited number of places in second year classes to international students who meet all the requirements determined by the Committee.
    20. Exceptional Circumstances

    21. Notwithstanding any of the above provisions, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) shall have discretion to approve a recommendation from the Committee concerning any applicant who, not having satisfied these regulations in a particular aspect, in the Committee’s view warrants admission to the programme for exceptional reasons.
    22. Declining of Admission

    23. Any applicant who
      1. is, or who has been, the subject of criminal charges; or
      2. is, or who has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body; or
      3. has been found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practice; or
      4. is found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (q)(i)-(iii),

      may be declined admission to the programme by the Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical tests or requests for information regarding an applicant’s health status or past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant’s suitability for admission.

  2. Admission to the Programme in the Third Year

      Admission with Advanced Standing to the third year of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme shall be offered to domestic and international students subject to available spaces in the third year of the programme.

      To be considered for admission with Advanced Standing an applicant must:

      1. Demonstrate health-related professional experience in a relevant field to a standard acceptable to the Dental Admissions Committee; and
      2. Hold a degree in (a) Dentistry awarded from a university outside of New Zealand or Australia; or (b) Medicine awarded from a New Zealand or Australian university; and
      3. Have provided a current curriculum vitae, certified academic transcript, certificate of good standing from the applicant’s most recent registration authority, and have met the minimum academic standards, as determined by the Dental Admissions Committee, in the course of study on which the application is based.

      Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on academic merit and an interview.

      Notes:
      (i) The due date for applications for admission with Advanced Standing to the third year of the Programme is 30 September in the year before admission
      (ii) For specific enquiries about admission under this pathway applicants should contact AskOtago ask@otago.ac.nz

  3. Structure of the Programme

    1. Every programme of study shall satisfy the programme requirements above.
    2. No student may take a paper additional to those prescribed for the second, third, fourth and final years of the programme without the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry.
    3. Students will not normally be permitted to enrol in any papers of a year until all papers of the preceding year have been passed.

  4. Credits

    The Faculty of Dentistry may grant such credits as it deems appropriate for work done previously by a candidate.

  5. Division of Class for Final Year

    Facilities for the teaching of the final year of the programme are provided at the School of Dentistry in Dunedin and in Auckland. After completion of the fourth year, the class will be divided and students allocated to either Dunedin or Auckland for the final year.

    In dividing the class, account will be taken of each student’s personal preference as far as possible. However, if the numbers of applicants for entry to either teaching centre exceeds the number of places available, a ballot will be held to determine which students will be required to take a place in each centre.

    The division includes international students who will be allocated between the two centres. Once class division has been finalised, exchanges between centres will be permitted only if there is a vacant place and with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry.

  6. Assessment

    1. Assessment for the various papers is formative and summative.
    2. Assessment may use a variety of oral, practical, clinical and written examinations as required by examiners.
    3. For clinical papers, students are required to pass the theoretical and clinical components of the paper.

  7. Special Examinations

    1. If a paper is failed, on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners and with the approval of the Board of Studies for Dentistry, a student may be given the opportunity to progress by undertaking remedial activity before being reassessed in a special examination.
    2. Special examinations may use a variety of oral, practical, clinical and written examinations as required by examiners.
    3. Where a student sits a special examination and passes, they will have met the requirements to pass the paper. The maximum mark that can be gained in a special examination is the original mark or a pass mark, whichever is higher.
    4. A student who fails a special examination is required to repeat the whole paper.
    5. A student who has achieved an E grade in a paper or failed clinical and theoretical parts of a paper, or has failed multiple papers in any year, shall not normally be offered a special examination. A failed paper must be repeated.
    6. Where a paper is repeated the whole paper must be repeated.

  8. Withdrawal from the Programme

    1. Deferral of admission to second year classes
      1. In limited circumstances, the Dental Admissions Committee may allow a student to defer admission to second year classes for one year. Any application for deferral must be made no later than the end of the third week of classes in the original year of admission. Where deferral is granted the right of re-entry to second year classes remains subject to confirmation by the Dental Admissions Committee.
      2. Applications for deferral and for confirmation of the right of re-entry will be determined by the Dental Admissions Committee in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Admissions Guidelines.
    2. Temporary withdrawal from programme
      1. Except in circumstances covered by 8(a), a student who wishes to withdraw from the programme on a temporary basis must obtain the prior approval of the Board of Studies for Dentistry. Where temporary withdrawal is approved, re-admission to the programme remains subject to the approval of the Board of Studies for Dentistry. Any application for approval of readmission needs to be made no later than 1 October in the year prior to that for which readmission is sought.
      2. Applications for temporary withdrawal and for readmission will be determined by the Board of Studies for Dentistry in accordance with the criteria and procedures set out in the Withdrawal and Readmission Guidelines.
    3. Permanent withdrawal from programme
    4. Students who withdraw permanently (including students who withdraw without prior approval and students who fail to communicate their intentions within 12 months of when they were last enrolled) are not normally considered for readmission.

  9. Exclusion from the Programme

    1. A student may be excluded from the Bachelor of Dental Surgery programme by the Academic Board for the Division of Health Sciences on the recommendation of the Board of Studies for Dentistry on the basis of repeated academic failure and/or other grounds as detailed in regulation 9(c).
    2. A student who fails to complete the requirements for any year of the programme (other than Health Sciences First Year) may enrol again, but this concession may normally be granted only once in the programme.
    3. A student may be excluded from the programme who, during the course of their studies, is
      1. subject to criminal charges;
      2. subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body; or
      3. found to have an issue (whether in connection with their mental or physical health, or their professional attributes or conduct, or otherwise) that compromises or is likely to compromise their fitness to practise; or
      4. found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (b)(i)-(iii).

      ^ Top of Page

  10. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  11. Variations

    On the recommendation of the Faculty, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

    Notes:
    (i) A small number of dental postgraduate training programmes require both Medical and Dental degrees. With the approval of the Academic Boards of Medicine and Dentistry on the recommendation of the Combined Medicine and Dentistry Programmes Board of Studies, an MB ChB graduate may be admitted directly to the 3rd Year of the BDS programme.
    (ii) For further information on this pathway please contact AskOtago ask@otago.ac.nz.

    ^ Top of page