Doctor of Clinical Dentistry

  • CRICOS code: 076196K

The experience


As a Doctor of Clinical Dentistry student, you will have the opportunity to gain specialist dental practice experience and enhance your current dental qualifications.

Suited to high-achieving dentists, this highly competitive course is predominantly practical, offering the largest range of specialities in dentistry in Australia.

Involving unrivalled clinical exposure, this course will give you the support needed to pursue your passion for clinical dentistry.

The day-to-day experience

This three-year, full-time course places an emphasis on practical clinical work and research, led by world-class clinical academics, who are heralded around Australia.

With the course being split into 50 per cent clinical, 30 per cent research and 20 per cent didactic, you will have the chance to specialise in a seven different areas, including:

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

During your study, you will undertake a research project leading to a minor thesis, as well as participation in the School’s teaching programs. Asked to supervise pre-clinical and clinical students for one three-hour session per week, the program has a strong emphasis on teaching and research practices.


While studying the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry, you have access to world-class clinical and hospital facilities, including the University of Melbourne’s private clinic. This gives students exposure to patients requiring speciality care – befitting of your chosen pathway of the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry. It also helps tobuild strong specialist networks.

As a graduate from this program, you will be able to register as a dental specialist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

It started with a chipped tooth

A photo of Aditya Athale
Aditya Athale - Doctor of Clinical Dentistry graduate

When a cricket ball struck Aditya Athale and chipped his tooth, it was the start of a long and winding road towards a career in dentistry in Shepparton.

Aditya was born in India and migrated to New Zealand when he was ten. After high school, he studied pharmacy and spent a year as a pharmacist in Christchurch but the role was ‘more retail and less clinical’ than he’d hoped.

“I wanted more contact with patients so I could help them make decisions about their health and I remembered that while I was studying pharmacy, I had a knock to my tooth during an indoor cricket match. A housemate was studying dentistry and noticed when my tooth became discoloured. She helped me get the right treatment and it struck me that dentistry could be more hands-on,” says Aditya, 28.

He chose dentistry at the University of Melbourne because it had a four-year postgraduate course.

I felt my classmates would be in a similar boat to me and have already studied different fields and I was right. We had an engineer, doctors and people who’d done biomedicine and pharmacy. Everyone had different backgrounds and we learned from each other and learned how to think about the same problem in different ways

Aditya Athale

After qualifying as a dentist, Aditya settled in Shepparton and is based at Goulburn Valley Hospital. He spent a month in the town’s hospital during his final year of study and says it was ‘the best experience of the course.

“I saw a lot of complicated cases and had a lot of independence in working with patients. There were a lot of extractions and fillings and patients arriving in pain and we had to do the initial phase of a root canal to stop that pain,” he says.

“I don’t think you necessarily get that breadth of experience working in Melbourne. There are not as many specialists in rural towns so as a general dentist you’re expected to treat those cases.”

Aditya also works with the dental vans that travel to areas such as Rochester, Violet Town and Maroopna to deliver services to aged care facilities. And he’s involved with the telehealth program that links specialists in Melbourne’s dental hospitals with rural and regional dentists.

“If we have difficult cases, instead of referring patients to Melbourne that can involve costs and travel time for them, we arrange a telehealth consultation here. The specialists advise us so we can provide appropriate dental services in Shepparton if possible,” says Aditya.

Aditya supervises University of Melbourne dental students taking part in the rural rotation program and enjoys being a local. He’s a regular at the gym and plays indoor soccer and netball.

“Shepparton is small enough that everyone knows everyone. It does have a small town feel and I’m happy to be part of that,” he says.