What will I study?
After admission from Health Sciences First Year (HSFY), or from other entry categories, you will undertake a further four years of study within the Faculty of Dentistry. You will commence studies in second-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS2).
There are three themes that run through the entire course:
In second year, the largest theme is Biomedical Sciences, which lays the scientific foundations in anatomy, physiology and oral biology for the introductory clinical work you will undertake in the second theme, The Dentist and the Patient.
In the third theme, The Dentist and the Community, you will learn about cultural safety in dentistry, public health dentistry, and how to further develop your communication skills and ethical practice.
In third and fourth year, The Dentist and the Patient is a major component of the curriculum. Here you will develop your clinical skills, initially in simulation sessions in our state-of-the-art simulation laboratory and then managing patients in our new clinics.
You will cover a wide range of clinical dental disciplines including clinical cariology and prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics, oral medicine, oral surgery, oral pathology, and special needs dentistry.
To underpin your increasing clinical experience, the Biomedical Sciences papers will cover general and oral pathology, growth, development and ageing, oral medicine, oral surgery, and therapeutics. In The Dentist and the Community theme, you will explore epidemiology and determinants of oral health and culture, and ethnicity and oral health.
In fifth (final) year, you will consolidate your clinical experience either in Dunedin or our new clinical facility in Auckland.
Admission to Dentistry
Admission to Dentistry is competitive. The majority of places are offered to students who have completed the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme at the University of Otago. An interview and high grades are required. All HSFY papers must be passed with a minimum of 70 per cent and no paper mark less than 65 per cent.
Applications are also considered in the Graduate and Alternative categories.
In all cases, you must have completed the HSFY papers or approved alternatives with the required grades.
Applicants may apply via the Te Kauae Parāoa policy, which aims to create a professional health workforce that reflects the ethnic composition of New Zealand. Places are also available for international students who meet the admissions criteria.
Want to know more about admission to Dentistry?
Application information for admission into dentistry and other health sciences programmes is available online:
Dentistry website Admission page
If you are not a New Zealand or Australian citizen, or permanent resident, you can obtain information from the University's International Office:
Future international students website
How to apply
Application information for admission into the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programme is available on the Division of Health Sciences website:
Dentistry: Guidelines for Admission
There are no subject requirements for entry into the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme, but we strongly recommend you take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at Year 13.
HSFY must be your first year of university study. If you are considering tertiary study before enrolling, you are strongly advised to contact Health Sciences Admissions beforehand.