University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Dental Medicine

Doctor of Dental Medicine

  Doctor of Dental Medicine
Course code  EC082 or MADNTLMD1000
CRICOS code  074120B
Degree Abbreviation  DMD
Credit points required to complete  192
Time to complete full-time  4 years


The Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) is a professional postgraduate coursework degree, set at the master’s degree level because it accepts only graduates and uses postgraduate learning and teaching principles and methods. It is the initial professional entry degree to register as a dentist. The DMD fits within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) specifications for the Masters Degree (Extended). The DMD is distinct from the Doctor of Clinical Dentistry (DClinDent) which is the specialist degree following on from the first professional degree.

The duration of the course is four years and requires successful completion of a prerequisite Biology Unit of Study, equivalent to the University of Sydney BIOL1001. The DMD is open to applicants who have completed a bachelor's degree in any discipline from an accredited university, including some international institutions. Graduates of the DMD program will be fully qualified to practise dentistry upon completion of the degree, as well as being eligible to sit for the Dental Examining Board of Canada (DEB) examination to practise as a dentist (in Canada).

Please note there is no provision to transfer to the DMD from a dentistry degree conducted at another university as candidates are required to have a completed an undergraduate degree to be eligible to apply for the DMD. The faculty does not conduct bridging courses for international dental graduates. If you wish to apply for the DMD, you are required to complete the full four year program. There are no credits granted for previous study.

Applicants include local and international students who have demonstrated academic excellence, adhere to the highest levels of professionalism and are keen to develop leadership capacity.

Course outcomes

In recent years, the roles of the dental health care provider have changed considerably. Effective preventive measures, rapid advances in biomedical and genetic research and the development of new dental technologies and materials are just some of the factors that have altered the scope and challenges of modern dentistry. The aging of the population has led to an increase in chronic and multi-system illness and an associated increase in complex pharmacological management. There is also an increasing expectation that all health care providers adopt an evidence-based approach, ensuring that their patients receive the most effective treatment available.

The Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) recognises these professional needs in the design and content of the DMD and also recognises academic maturity and graduate capacities that students with a previous bachelor's degree possess so that these qualities may be built upon to:

  • instil a passion for lifelong learning through a critical approach to learning and professional judgment, as well as building capacity for self-evaluation
  • in addition to professional and ethical stances, enhance a social conscience and a sense of social responsibility and cultural competence
  • gain, qualitatively and quantitatively, significant patient-based experience
  • support research-informed decisions through critique of available information and defend their treatment decisions as the most appropriate under the unique circumstances as presented by individual patients
  • equip students with the confidence to accept supervised clinical responsibilities away from the parent institution
  • develop leadership skills which distinguish University of Sydney graduates and contribute to the dental profession, academia and public health service as ambassadors, community educators and promoters of heath at community level.

Features of the program

The Doctor of Dental Medicine is based on a full recognition of the greater level of academic maturity and higher level analytical, clinical and communication skills of postgraduate students. This allows for higher order learning with a greater emphasis on independent, self-directed learning. Consequently it is expected that students will achieve a quantitatively and qualitatively greater clinical ie patient based experience.

Important features of the DMD include:

  • focusing on the relevance of medical sciences to oral health and to dental practice
  • earlier patient-based clinical experience and increased clinical experience to be obtained in clinics in metropolitan, rural and remote areas
  • science-based pre-requisite coursework
  • utilising contemporary teaching and learning methods aligned to a course at a master's degree level, with emphasis on electronic resources and learner–centred studies to provide the foundation material/knowledge, supported by tutorials to facilitate understanding and reflection
  • development of graduates who consistently display higher-order cognitive skills to synthesise, integrate and translate research and knowledge to communication and clinical skills, and practise dentistry at the highest professional and ethical level
  • a defined research component as foundation to an evidence-based approach to professional practise, clearly distinguishing the education from a skills-based approach. Furthermore this will prepare students for higher degree research studies and possible careers in research and/or academia
  • the development of leadership skills which distinguish the Sydney graduates and their contribution to the dental profession, academia and public health services
  • exposure, either in person or through mentoring, to international oral health activities.