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

Dentistry course details

After selection from Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) or from other entry categories, you commence studies in second year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) programme.

There are three themes that run through the entire course:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • The Dentist and the Patient
  • The Dentist and the Community

Second year

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 public health dentistry and about how to further develop your communication skills.

Third year and fourth year

In third year 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 cutting-edge simulation laboratory, and then in patient sessions.

You will cover a wide range of clinical dental disciplines including:

  • Prosthodontics and clinical cariology
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Paediatric dentistry
  • Orthodontics
  • Oral medicine
  • Oral surgery
  • Special needs dentistry

To underpin your increasing clinical experience, the Biomedical Sciences papers will cover:

  • General and oral pathology
  • Growth and development
  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Therapeutics

In The Dentist and the Community, you will explore epidemiology and determinants of oral health and culture, and ethnicity and oral health.

Fifth year

In fifth year you will consolidate your clinical experience and undertake a research project, either in Dunedin, Auckland, elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas.

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 of their programme.

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 the Auckland clinic.

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.