Doctor of Clinical Dentistry

  • CRICOS code: 076196K

Course overview

  • 3 years full time
  • On Campus (Parkville)
  • Available to domestic and international students
  • Summer Intake - January


The Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DCD) degree at University of Melbourne is for general dentists who wish to become specialists.

The (DCD) degree is designed to provide the opportunity to advance professional knowledge and skills in one of the specialist areas to an expert level and engage new and emerging relevant fields of study.

The course aims to facilitate the advanced development of clinical, academic and research skills necessary for students to further their career in specialty practice, academia or research. The course offers a choice of the following specialist fields:

  • Endodontics
  • Oral Medicine
  • Orthodontics
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Special Needs Dentistry

This course has been accredited by the Australian Dental Council for graduates to register with AHPRA and practice in Australian and New Zealand as a Specialist Dentist within one of these specialties. The degree was first offered and conferred in 2004 and is academically on a par with a Research Doctorate and Higher Doctorate – the highest level of degree in Australia.

The program is a three-year full-time course that provides advanced study and training in all areas of your chosen specialty. The Doctor of Clinical Dentistry also offers the option to extend the research project to meet the needs of a Master of Philosophy or a Doctor of Philosophy. For further information on this option, students should discuss this with their specialist convener.

Graduates will be prepared for specialty practice, hospital practice or teaching and research in a dental school. You will be able to undertake clinical experience through the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and its associated clinics under the instruction of University of Melbourne staff. Practice also occurs at the new Melbourne Dental Clinic situated at 723 Swanston St, Carlton.

Links to further information

The Doctor of Clinical Dentistry is designed to:

  • Provide the opportunity to advance your knowledge and skills in a specialist area
  • Engage with new and emerging fields of study
  • Facilitate the advanced development of clinical, academic and research skills necessary for you to further your career in academia, research or specialty practice

Course description

The Doctor of Clinical Dentistry

Course Code: ME-DCD
CRICOS Code: 076196K

Specialist clinical training is provided for general dentists who have at least two years full-time clinical experience after graduating.

The Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DCD) is classified under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as a level 9 extended-master’s degree. Prior to 2012 the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry was classified as a level 10 Doctorate award. The courtesy title of Doctor is conferred at graduation.


The course is for general dentists who wish to become specialists. The course is accredited by the Australian Dental Council (ADC) for specialist registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Local graduates of this course may apply for registration to practise in Australia in their designated specialty. International graduates of this course must pass the ADC examinations in addition to the DCD in order to register to practise as a specialist in Australia.

Course objectives

On completion of the DCD course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate special skills in the provision of clinical services applicable to the specialty
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the principles, current developments and research methods applicable to the speciality
  • Conduct an original scientific investigation into a biological, clinical or community health problem
  • Communicate the results of a scientific enquiry and design, conduct and report original research

By the end of this course, students will have developed a wide range of skills, including:

  • An advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base of a specialty
  • Ability to evaluate and synthesise research and professional literature
  • Strong problem-solving abilities characterised by flexibility and the ability to offer leadership in your specialist area
  • Superior capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations
  • An advanced understanding of the international context and sensitivities of the specialist area
  • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
  • The capacity to value and participate in projects that require team-work
  • An understanding of the significance and value of your knowledge to the wider community (including business and industry)
  • Advanced skills in computer systems and software and an awareness to the opportunities offered by new technologies