James Cook University

Bachelor of Dental Surgery



University Location Townsville or Cairns, Queensland
City Population 190,000
Student Population 22,000
Int'l Student Population 6,640
Main Campus Townsville
Program Campus Cairns
Program Duration 5 years
Estimated Annual Tuition $67,200 AUD (2022 fees; subject to increase)
Semester Intake February
Next Available Intake 2023
Application Deadline August 30*
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
A minimum of 86% average from Grade 12 subjects, including completion of prerequisites in English, calculus, and chemistry at a Grade 12 level or higher. Biology is recommended. These qualifications are considered on an individual basis, subject to satisfying prerequisite requirements.

2. With a partially or fully completed undergraduate degree
A high level of academic standard is required for entry. A minimum of 3.6/4 (approximately 80% or A-) cumulative average across all university studies is required. You need to have met the prerequisite subjects at least at the high school level (or equivalent) to meet the prerequisite requirements. You also must meet the prerequisite subject requirements at the high school level.

Admission Timeline

*While the application deadline for the 2023 intake is August 30, 2022, applications are assessed they are received and early offers to the program are possible to high-achieving students. You are encouraged to apply as early as possible.


“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