Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology

Get your teeth into forensics

Forensic odontology is a specialist dental science required within the criminal justice system. Forensic odontologists perform examinations required by law enforcement agencies, medical examiners and coroners. They work to identify perpetrators and victims, usually by comparing dental records with human remains and bite marks.  

What will you do?

Our Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology has a practical focus. It looks at the professional handling, examination, interpretation and presentation of dental and oral evidence. You will:

  • conduct oral autopsies, bite-mark examinations and age estimations
  • study the history and ethics of dental forensics and its role within the law
  • prepare case records and reports
  • explore video and computer imaging techniques.

Note: The nature of the concepts and casework required are often confronting and may be distressing to some people.

This degree is only available in blended mode and on-campus attendance is required.  if you are a continuing student in the degree and are unable to attend campus, please contact your program coordinator for program advice.

  • Australia's #1 Dental School^
  • Strong cohort community with small class sizes
  • Practical hand-on experience

^QS World University Ranking by Subject, 2021

Entry Requirements

For our students who are studying offshore in 2021 and 2022, the University will continue to offer high-quality access to the learning resources remotely for most programs. This includes all lectures, tutorials and other support material. Students will be advised in advance if there are course components that cannot be provided in remote mode and, wherever possible, offered alternative courses. Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQ page for a list of programs where in-person attendance is required.

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February
Enquiries Future Students team

Selection Criteria
Graduate entry

Higher Education Study Bachelor of Dental Surgery or equivalent.
How to Apply
Please note that applications for entry to the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology close on the 31st of August each year. However, late applications may be accepted at the discretion of the program coordinator. All applicants must submit their online application information at

Fees and Scholarships

Choose your applicant type to view the relevant fees and scholarships information for this program.
I am a:

Domestic applicants

Indicative annual tuition fees
Australian Full-fee place


These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

Find a Scholarship.


Career Readiness

Potential careers include as a forensic odontologist, in addition to general dental practice. Graduates will become competent to provide an important service to the community in both civil and criminal jurisdictions with an in-depth understanding of the correct professional handling, examination, interpretation and presentation of dental and oral evidence that may come before legal authorities.

The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

Graduate Attributes

The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
  1. Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
  2. Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
  3. Teamwork and communication skills
  4. Professionalism and leadership readiness
  5. Intercultural and ethical competency
  6. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency
  7. Digital capabilities
  8. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Potential careers

Forensic Odontologist

Degree Structure

Students complete 5 core courses in Forensic Odontology.

Academic Program Rules

The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.

Example Study Plan

Indicative study plan
Year 1 ODONT 6017 Research Methods and Ethics ODONT 6008AHO/BHO Casework in Forensic Odontology ODONT 6012HO Principles and Methods of Forensic Odontology
ODONT 6016A/B Forensic Odontology Research ODONT 6018 Integrated Forensic Science


Assessment includes essays, seminar participation, written and viva voce examinations and a research project.


Forensic odontology is a form of service to the community. Identity is a human right and the process of identification is a legal, social and ethical requirement. It also helps the grieving loved ones commence the rites and rituals that mark the end of life. It is exciting to feel that I am using my knowledge to help the community and work with police officers, detectives, firearm and fingerprint analysts, anthropologists, pathologists, the Coroner and odontologists both in SA, other states and even overseas.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.

Last updated: Tuesday, 14 Sep 2021