Doctor of Dental Surgery

  • CRICOS code: 071303G

The experience


As a Doctor of Dental Surgery student, you will be driven by a passion to help improve the quality of life for those experiencing dental related issues. Find satisfaction in improving people’s oral health, both at an individual and community level, during your studies in this uniquely designed degree.

Enjoy the benefits of being a graduate of the top ranked dental school in Australia. The University of Melbourne’s high intake standards means you will be among an elite few to benefit from the school’s unparalleled teachers, high-tech equipment and ongoing relationships with industry.

Support from a small but motivated group of peers will steer you to further develop your skills in this rewarding area of healthcare.

The day-to-day experience

The four-year Doctor of Dentistry offers students the highest possible academic and practical foundations to pursue their ambitions in the field of dentistry. Students in this course are regularly exposed to mentoring opportunities from leading academics and teachers in the field at some of the best dental schools in the country.

These strong industry connections are backed by evidence-based clinical training opportunities, culminating in regular direct patient care in your final year. There is also an opportunity to participate in research projects around contemporary dental health issues. These extended research projects cover a variety of topics in dentistry including implants, restorations and use of advanced technologies and materials.

Learning mode

Students in this course will learn through a multi-disciplinary teaching structure, based around lectures, research projects and practice-based program. Your learning will be framed around an employment specific model, preparing you for life in dentistry post-graduation.

Gain valuable practical experience from day one, with first-year students being able to put their knowledge of vital equipment, such as a dental drill, into practice. During second year, you will start treating patients, which at this stage of learning is an experience unique to the University of Melbourne’s Doctor of Dentistry program.

Also during second and third year, you will complete a two-year research project – on oral health – of your own choice. In your final year, experience the excitement of a practice clinic run by the school, which is connected to the University of Melbourne’s Carlton campus. Your time there will cover a wide array of dentistry issues encountered in real-world practice, including emergency services.

You will also benefit from the school’s popular rural placement program. Each student of the Doctor of Dentistry participates in a two-week elective at a rural location.


The University of Melbourne’s Doctor of Dental Surgery exposes you to the most relevant teaching and best dental opportunities in Australia.

Graduates of this course are encouraged to join the Australian Dental Association (ADA). The program also offers a path to enter the Master of Philosophy, PhD or specialist-in-training courses in Doctor of Clinical Dentistry.

Karin Bishara

Karin Bishara - Bachelor of Science; Doctor of Dental Surgery

"I always wanted to be part of the healthcare field and there was something unique and rewarding about seeing immediate results and instantly alleviating patient’s problems in dentistry. I find great satisfaction in improving health at a community level, starting by raising awareness of the importance of oral healthcare. Not only does it allow people to maintain proper function but it brings so much confidence to individuals, which is invaluable. I also find the role of being part of prevention and early detection of oral diseases very alluring, and ultimately being a pivotal role in patients’ treatment throughout their entire life."

Why did you choose to study Dentistry at the University of Melbourne?

It is an incredible learning environment, surrounded by a supportive network of staff members, students and alumni. It offers some of the best education in Australia and is highly ranked in the world too. Melbourne University is one of the universities in Australia that offers this outstanding Doctor program, rather than just a Bachelor’s degree. This allows us to dip our feet into the research world as well, and contribute to the university’s reputable research department. But what personally enticed me to be a Melbourne University postgraduate student was the captivating video on its website that showed the high-tech equipment, such as the Moog Simodont Dental Trainer simulations and preclinical work on manikin heads; all of which made Melbourne Uni stand out even more.

Furthermore, the rural placement program in the final year has amazing reviews and students constantly rave about the immense experience the university provides them before becoming independent clinicians.

What do you enjoy most about the Doctor of Dental Surgery course?

I absolutely love interacting with patients and putting my knowledge to practice. Working with patients, from providing advice to managing their problems to reviewing their treatment, is very satisfying as I can see their confidence boosting with each visit. I appreciate how each patient is unique, making each case challenging and allowing me to consider different alternatives to establish a tailor-made treatment plan best suited for each individual.

I loved bringing out my artistic flair during the cosmetic dentistry seminars where guest lecturer, Dr Terry Wong, allowed us to experiment with restoring tooth anatomy, making it as realistic as possible.

Karin Bishara
What have been the highlights of your time at University?

I think the highlight from my time at university thus far would have to be dental camp at the start of my first year of dental school. It was just such a lovely time knowing that we were forming a tight-knit dent family, whom we’d need to rely on for the next 4 years. It made us really realise that we are, in fact, all in this together.

What inspires you?

Seeing a patient’s confidence in maintaining their oral hygiene and being pleased with aesthetic and functional changes inspire me to continue learning to be the best clinician I can be. There is nothing more rewarding than patient satisfaction and seeing a gleaming smile leaving the clinic at the end of each appointment.

Qiannan Huang

Qiannan Huang - Bachelor of Biomedicine; Doctor of Dental Surgery

“The privilege of receiving a high quality dental education in Australia has helped me realise the large disparity in health care systems between my homeland and developed countries and it spurs my passion and determination to help people through dentistry.”

Why did you decide to study the Doctor of Dental Surgery?

Growing up in Rural China, I had to travel miles away to access dental care and had very little exposure to preventive dentistry. It has always been my dream to pursue dentistry in a developed country. My childhood dream was to attend a famous dental school in a western country. Right now, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to come to the top dental school in Australia!

What inspires you? Helping people is a very rewarding experience. Their smiles and satisfaction always make me happy!

Scott Buckley

Scott arrived in Melbourne from Vancouver to do the Doctor of Dental Surgery and he talks about his journey in the course and his impressions of Melbourne.


Daniel Kwok

I chose to study dentistry because I knew I wanted to work in the field of health science to be able to help people improve their self-confidence and quality of life. But I also wanted to fix problems and create solutions with my hands. Dentistry is the perfect combination of biology and arts and is the ideal career pathway for me.

Melbourne Dental School provides highly advanced pre-clinical facilities, renown educators and researchers, up-to-date literature and many opportunities to work with real-life patients.

I found the clinical experience to be the most valuable part of the program offered. We are led and guided by excellent dental practitioners and dental specialists who impart their knowledge, skills and technique to us allowing us to develop and improve our craftmanship every single day.

Being able to treat patients at such an early stage exposes us to a lot of clinical experience by the time we graduate.