James Cook University

Bachelor of Dental Surgery



University Location Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
City Population 194,000
Student Population 22,000
Int'l Student Population 6,640
Main Campus Townsville
Program Campus Cairns
Program Duration 5 years
Estimated Annual Tuition $73,040 AUD (2024 fees; subject to increase)
Semester Intake February
Next Available Intake 2025
Application Deadline August 29, 2024*
International Places 15 (80 total)


James Cook University Dental School offers the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) program, a five-year, undergraduate degree that will provide you with the knowledge and skills you require to become a competent practitioner of dentistry.

The dental program aims to promote improved oral health care delivery, particularly to people living in rural, remote and tropical regions of Australia, which can also be applied to those living in remote areas of Canada. The curriculum integrates the basic sciences with dental clinical sciences and preventative oral health strategies.

JCU Dental School is one of only three schools in Australia located outside a capital city. JCU’s dentistry establishment was funded by a grant of $52.5 million from the federal government and includes a new building on the Smithfield (Cairns) Campus of JCU with state-of-the-art facilities, including an 80-seat dental simulation laboratory, prosthodontics and science laboratories, and student home-group rooms.

The JCU BDS is ranked #1 in Australia for full-time employment outcomes; #1 in Australia for median graduate salary ($100.5k); #1 in Queensland for learning resources and student support (Good Universities Guide 2021).



The JCU Bachelor of Dental Surgery is a broad-based program including all aspects of dental practice but also has a special focus on issues of special concern to the northern Australian region, particularly those relating to tropical, rural and Indigenous practice.

As a dentistry student, you will have early exposure to clinical practice, with an increasing proportion of the course dedicated to clinical skills in the later years. The first three to four years of study are based on the Cairns campus, and the final year is devoted to developing your clinical skills during placements in public and private dental clinics across northern Queensland.


Admission Requirements

1. From high School
Minimum of 86+% from top Grade 12 subjects required. Grade 12 (or equivalent) English, chemistry, and math B (usually covering any of calculus, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, vectors, geometry) is required. Please reach out to dentistry@oztrekk.com regarding the approved math prerequisite by province.

AB – Based on top 5 Grade 12 subjects
BC – Based on Language Arts 12 course (e.g., English 12; English 12 First Peoples, Communication 12, English Literature 12); and best 3 Grade 12 subjects with 4 credit points
ON – Based on top 6 Grade 12 subjects

2. With a partially or fully completed undergraduate degree
You must have a minimum of 3.3/4.0 (approx. 82%) cGPA across all university studies and meet the high school prerequisite subject requirements as noted above or have university-level courses considered as equivalent.

Admission Timeline

*While the application deadline for the 2025 intake is August 29, 2024, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.


“Teaching methods based very much on practical application and very helpful”

Small campus, very individualized services and strong consideration for feedback, well kept campus and beautiful secluded campus in the rainforest. Dentistry students (especially international students) are very well supported! According to mature aged students, clinical experience is unlike any other uni in Australia! Any dislikes would be some scheduling errors as it's a small uni and some professors can be bad at communicating between one another/doing their own thing (wh... Read More

JCU Australia Clara S
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2023

“…hands on work and patient management”

James cook university is in a beautiful location. Great campus and it's very easy to find classes. They don't put on any sporting activities on a weekly basis. The thing I like most about dentistry is the hands on work and patient management. I dislike some of the chemistry we have to do sometimes.

JCU Australia Nate M
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2023

“Love every aspect of it. ”

Really enjoy the practical aspects of the program. The fact that we have already had some lab experience and drilling has been great. Love every aspect of it. Prepare to be on your own. Not only are you responsible for studies, but cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. Additionally, be prepared to 'lose' your home support, so I encourage you to leverage any and all support systems to adapt.

JCU Australia Evangelos W
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2023

“…it’s easy to make friends”

like: small campus and most people come from different parts of Australia so it's easy to make friends; simulation clinics starting in first year.  Everything is combined in one subject, small campus - really little people doesn't feel like a university. Be ready for simulation clinics!

JCU Australia Kathryn W
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2023

“Hands-on simulation clinic from day 1”

Small campus that's not too busy (what I like) It can get really hot :) Hands-on simulation clinic from day 1

JCU Australia Dominique K
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2022

“I enjoy studying dentistry because it is something that I have always wanted to do”

I like university simply because I am taking a degree that I always wanted to take. Being able to go and learn new things every day is what I really enjoy about university. I am enjoying my program. I enjoy studying dentistry because it is something that I have always wanted to do. I also find the course material quite interesting.

JCU Australia Brandon K
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2019

“Dentistry students get access to home groups inside the dental building 24/7”

Yes, there's many fun events going on all the time to enjoy and also quiet areas to study! Dentistry students get access to home groups inside the dental building 24/7 and we can study there whenever, also there's a fridge and microwave available which is very helpful!! Overall, amazing facilities as well. [The program is] very hands on and I am learning heaps!

JCU Australia Ibadat S
Bachelor of Dental Surgery
James Cook University, 2019

“Wish I did this sooner. ”

Excellent amount of clinical time! It is great! Wish I did this sooner.

JCU Australia Brock M
James Cook University, 2018