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University of Otago Dental School

  • Overview - Australian Dental Schools in Australia
  • Charles Sturt Dental School
  • Griffith University Dental School
  • James Cook University Dental School
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University of Otago Dental School in New Zealand

Program Overview - Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

Apply to the Otago Dental School
University and Faculty: University of Otago
Faculty of Dentistry
Program: Bachelor of Dental Surgery
University/Campus Location: Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
City Population: 1.3 million
Student Population: 25,400
Campus Location: Dunedin, Otago
Program Duration: 4 years*
Semester Intake: February each year
Next Intake: February 2020
Est. Indicative Annual Tuition: $95,319 NZD (2019)

The University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry — Te Kaupeka Puniho — has an international reputation for clinical and research excellence. Founded in 1907, it is New Zealand's National Centre for Dentistry. It forms an integral part of the Division of Health Sciences within the University of Otago, in Dunedin.

The Otago Faculty of Dentistry is ranked 34th-best dental school in the world (2019 QS World University Subject Rankings).

The University of Otago Council has agreed to spend in excess of NZ$200 million on a number of capital projects, including a program of redevelopments for the Faculty of Dentistry. This will include a new building and refurbishment at its existing site on Great King Street; a new clinic in Auckland; and the establishment of a community clinic in South Dunedin called Te Kaika.

The new dentistry building will be tasteful, modern, and energy efficient, deploying the latest construction methods, and has been designed with great care to ensure they reflect the university's already world-class campus setting. The 2020 intake marks the inaugural year of the $130-million, 214-chair dentistry building—the newest in the southern hemisphere and perhaps the world!

This clinical building will house clinical services including Radiography, Oral Surgery, Paediatric Dentistry, undergraduate clinics, and Orthodontics that are currently housed in the Walsh building. The 8,000 square metres of space in the Walsh building will be refurbished to house laboratories for research, academic offices, student support, and teaching spaces.


About the Program

There are three themes that run through the entire Bachelor of Dental Surgery program at Otago:
1. Biomedical Sciences
2. The Dentist and the Patient
3. The Dentist and the Community

Year 2
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.

Years 3 & 4
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.

Year 5
In fifth year you will consolidate your clinical experience and undertake a research project, either in Dunedin, elsewhere in New Zealand, or overseas.


Professional Certification/Accreditation Information

Otago University Faculty of Dentistry is accredited by the Dental Council of New Zealand and the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.

Additionally, the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) recognizes the reciprocal agreement between the Dental Council of New Zealand and the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, which allows accredited graduates of either body to practice dentistry in Australia, New Zealand or Canada. For Canadian students studying in accredited dental programs, this means they will return home and follow the same process as Canadian domestic graduates with licensure being granted after successfully sitting the National Dental Examination Board of Canada.


Admissions Criteria/Entry Requirements for Canadians

1. Completed bachelor's degree

You must have a completed bachelor's degree with a minimum cGPA of 5.0 out of 7.0 (roughly 2.7/4, or 70% or B-) with the equivalent of all courses in Otago's "Health Sciences First Year":

  • Foundations of Biochemistry
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health
  • Human Body Systems I
  • Human Body Systems II
  • Biological Physics
  • Population Health

2. Admissions test

You must also write the UCAT ANZ (University Clinical Aptitude Test). The UCAT ANZ is a 2-hour, computer-based test delivered in Pearson VUE test centres throughout Canada. You must book the UCAT ANZ before May 16, 2019 to be qualified to apply for February 2020.

Once your test is written and your GPA is considered adequate, you will be asked to attend an online interview in November 2019.

The DAT is not required.

*If you have a bachelor's degree, you may be eligible to apply to the accelerated 4-year option of the Otago Bachelor of Dental Surgery. Because of Otago's Health Sciences First Year program, we do not recommend this program for students coming directly from high school.


Number of Places Available for International Students: 15

Application Deadline: September 13, 2019

OzTREKK Admissions Officer: Alexa Graham

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