Bachelor of Oral Health

Advocate for oral health  

Oral health is an essential component of a healthy life. Complex dental work contributes to this, but proper care and prevention are just as important.

While dentists perform specialised treatments, oral health therapists have broad expertise in general oral health care and education.

What will you do?

Our Bachelor of Oral Health is an evidence-based degree that prepares you for providing general oral health care and health promotion. You will:     

  • learn in Australia’s newest dental teaching hospital, in the state-of-the-art Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building
  • study within a close-knit oral health learning community
  • benefit from early clinical exposure and extensive placements
  • practise using equipment in our Dental Simulation Clinic
  • tackle real-life case scenarios in teams
  • improve lives through community outreach programs.

Where could it take you?

You will be part of providing high quality clinical care for all ages. You might develop hygiene maintenance programs for people managing chronic gum pain. You could advise on public health policy or design and implement educational campaigns. Perhaps you’ll open an oral health clinic with a team of oral health therapists and dentists you’re yet to meet at the University of Adelaide. 

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.

  • Ranked 25 globally for dentistry^
  • 16.7% industry growth predicted in Australia by 2025
  • Train alongside future dentists

^ QS World University Ranking by Subject, 2022

Entry Requirements

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

Domestic applicants

Admissions information

SATAC Code 314701
Deferment Yes - 2 year
Intake February
Prerequisites SACE: One 20-credit SACE Stage 2 Tertiary Admission Subject from the Mathematics or Science Learning Areas; OR IB equivalent subjects; OR Equivalent University courses (i.e. 1st year Human Biology as part of the Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences program). MathTrackX is an online bridging program available as a recognised alternative to Mathematical Methods.
Assumed Knowledge A necessary precursor for success is a high proficiency in the written and oral use of the English language.
Additional Entry Requirements
The Oral Health Admissions Guide - domestic applicants details important information regarding the additional entry requirements for entry at the University of Adelaide. All applicants are advised to read the Guide before applying for the Bachelor of Oral Health. Failure to read this document will not be grounds for special consideration.
Selection Criteria
Recent Secondary Education Applicants with recent secondary education are those whose admission is primarily based on the completion of Year 12 within the last two years, however if you completed your secondary education more than two years ago, you may still be able to be considered on the basis of your secondary schooling. To be considered as a secondary school leaver, applicants must not have completed more than 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) university study (48 units) at an Australian or overseas institution. For full details of Tertiary Entrance Rules under the SACE/NTCE refer to the Tertiary Entrance Booklet published by SATAC (available at their website Academic Threshold (ATAR): To meet the minimum academic threshold for entry into the Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) program at the University of Adelaide, year 12 applicants (school leaver applicants) must achieve a Selection Rank (ATAR plus any applicable adjustment factors) of 70 or above, OR the equivalent International Baccalaureate score OR the interstate/ overseas equivalent. Please refer to the Additional Entry Requirements section for details of other entry requirements to the BOH program.
Higher Education Study To meet the minimum academic threshold as a Higher Education applicant, you must have completed at least half a year full time equivalent higher education study, achieving at least a pass average (a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 or more). Higher Education applicants must also meet the subject prerequisite requirements listed above. Please click here for information about calculating your GPA. Please refer to the Additional Entry Requirements section for details of other entry requirements to the BOH program.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) study To meet the minimum academic threshold as a VET/TAFE applicant, you must have completed an AQF Diploma or above from a Registered Training Organisation.

VET/TAFE applicants must also meet the prerequisite subject requirements (refer above) with the exception of the lateral entry applicants who have completed the Advanced Diploma in Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) at TAFESA).

Please refer to the Additional Entry Requirements section for details of other entry requirements to the BOH program.

Work and life experience To be eligible to sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) as as pathway for entry, you must be 18 years or over before 1 February 2024. If you have studied at higher education level in the last two years (for 2024 entry this means you were enrolled in either 2023 or 2022), you must not have accumulated more than a TOTAL of 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education study (ie. including any study prior to 2022). If you meet this criteria, you will be ranked according to your result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). Your STAT result is not weighted between verbal and quantitative components.

STAT applicants must also meet the prerequisite subject requirements (refer above).

Other Entry Pathways
How to Apply
Application Process: There are two distinct parts to the application process: 1. UCAT ANZ: all applicants must register and sit the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT ANZ). 2. SATAC application which must be lodged by the September early closing date: Late applications will not be considered. Applicants who have listed the BOH amongst their preferences will be asked to enter their UCAT ANZ identification number during the SATAC online application process. Applications will not be considered complete without a valid UCAT ANZ identification number entered prior to the closing date. Merit Ranking Process: Applicants will be ranked for an offer based on a combination of scores from these three components as follows: - UCAT ANZ Results: 20% - Interview Results: 40% - Academic Results: 40% Formal offers will be made by SATAC. However, to secure your place in the BOH degree, you MUST enrol in all first year courses for the BOH degree by the deadline stated in the SATAC offer letter. Supporting information regarding the above will be provided within your University Welcome email and the EnrolMe portal. Please note: the University reserves the right to make offers outside of the formal SATAC offer rounds until all places are filled. Offers can be made up to and during March. Entry pathway eligibility (including important how to apply information) is detailed in the Oral Health Admissions Guide - domestic applicants. Wirltu Yarlu Aboriginal Education administers the Aboriginal Access Scheme which offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians an alternative entry pathway to study at the University of Adelaide. For more information visit:

  • Admissions Transparency Data
    2023 Admissions Data for school leavers
    (raw ATAR, excluding any applicable adjustment factors)
    Lowest ATAR to receive an offer 64.4
    Median ATAR to receive an offer 95.75
    Highest ATAR to receive an offer 99.95
    Selection Rank
    (ATAR plus any adjustment factors)
    Lowest Selection Rank to receive an offer N/A
    Median Selection Rank to receive an offer N/A
    Highest Selection Rank to receive an offer N/A
    Minimum eligibility score 70
    Additional criteria considered Additional criteria
    Student Profile
    Applicant background Semester one/Full year intake 2023
    Number of students Percentage of all students
    (A) Higher Education study
    (includes a bridging or enabling course)
    N/A N/A
    (B) Vocational education and training (VET) study N/A N/A
    (C) Work and life experience
    (admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
    N/A N/A
    (D) Recent secondary education:
    • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
      (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors)
    N/A N/A
    • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
      (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
    N/A N/A
    • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor
      (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
    32 97.0%
    International students <5 N/A
    All students 33 100.0%

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
Commonwealth-supported place

Where the standard duration of the program is less than one year the full cost of the program is displayed.

More information on Student Contribution Amounts.


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

It is envisaged that most graduates of the degree will work as an oral health therapist, providing prevention, basic dentistry and periodontal maintenance. Graduates form a vital part of the dental team and provide preventive and general dental care for the population in both public and private sectors.

Potential career paths include:
> oral health therapy
> dental therapy, dental hygiene
> health promotion
> early childhood to geriatric dentistry
> health administration
> Indigenous studies
> special needs
> dental health research
> postgraduate studies.

In order to be able to register as an oral health therapist with the Dental Board of Australia, all applicants must be able to demonstrate English language skills at IELTS academic level 7 or the equivalent.  Learn more

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

Industry Placement

From first year, students undertake compulsory clinical placements in a range of metropolitan and rural settings. These compulsory placements can extend beyond the academic year and can include after-hours and weekend work.

Professional Accreditation

The Bachelor of Oral Health is accredited by the Dental Board of Australia.

Graduate Registration

To be eligible to work in Australia, Bachelor of Oral Health graduates are required to register with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) on the completion of the degree. To gain professional registration through AHPRA and register as an oral health therapist with the Dental Board of Australia, all applicants must comply with the English language skills requirements as determined by AHPRA. For further details, visit

Graduates are also eligible for membership of the Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists Association and the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia.

International applicants should note that successful completion of this degree may not qualify them to practise/register in their home country. Students will have to contact the relevant health registration bodies of their home country for further information.

Potential careers

Dental Therapist, Oral Health Therapist, Health Promotion Professional, Dental Hygienist

Degree Structure

The curriculum of the Bachelor of Oral Health has an overall educational approach centred on case-based learning, small group learning and self-directed learning. The emphasis on learning relevant scientific information throughout the degree occurs concurrently with the development of clinical skills. Case-based scenarios aim to provide a realistic context for student learning and have been designed to integrate with material presented in the four focus areas in a coordinated approach.

Students are introduced to dental scenarios from day one and have hands-on experience of many aspects of clinical dentistry during the  first semester of first year. This learning approach develops problem solving strategies, a disciplinary knowledge base and professional skills. Students play an active role as a problem solver confronted with an issue/patient scenario, which mirrors a real-world situation. In many examples, the students study real-life cases.

From first year, students will undertake compulsory clinical placements in a range of settings, including community dental clinics located in metropolitan Adelaide and rural South Australia.

There are four focus areas in the Bachelor of Oral Health that continue throughout the three year degree:

  • Dental and Health Science
  • Human Biology
  • Clinical Practice
  • Professional Studies
An Oral Health research project is undertaken by students in third year and provides the opportunity to focus on a major area of interest that will enhance a student’s role as an oral health professional.

Academic Program Rules

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

Example Study Plan

Below is an indicative study plan for the Bachelor of Oral Health.
Indicative study plan
Year 1            S1 ORALHLTH 1201AHO Dental & Health Science IOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 1202AHO Clinical Practice IOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 1203AHO Human Biology IOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 1204AHO Professional Studies IOH Part 1
S2 ORALHLTH 1201BHO Dental & Health Science IOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 1202BHO Clinical Practice IOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 1203BHO Human Biology IOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 1204BHO Professional Studies IOH Part 2
Year 2S1 ORALHLTH 2201AHO Dental & Health Science IIOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 2202AHO Clinical Practice IIOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 2203AHO Human Biology IIOH Part1 ORALHLTH 2204HO Professional Studies IIOH
S2 ORALHLTH 2201BHO Dental & Health Science IIOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 2202BHO Clinical Practice IIOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 2203BHO Human Biology IIOH Part 2
Year 3S1 ORALHLTH 3201AHO Dental & Health Science IIIOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 3202AHO Clinical Practice IIIOH Part 1 ORALHLTH 3204AHO Oral Health Elective IIIOH Part 1
S2 ORALHLTH 3201BHO Dental & Health Science IIIOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 3202BHO Clinical Practice IIIOH Part 2 ORALHLTH 3204BHO Oral Health Elective IIIOH Part 2

Further information

Dental and Health Science
Dental and Health Science 1 aims to introduce students to the oral cavity and to the areas that support the practice of an oral health therapist. This includes management of the oral environment, periodontology, cariology, minimal intervention and prevention. Students are introduced to the behavioural sciences and psychology relevant to the practice of oral health therapy. 

The Dental and Health Science 2 stream will build on the knowledge developed in Dental and Health Science 1 and introduce the role of the oral health therapist in specialised dental practice. It covers community dental health issues and develops the role of the operative and preventive oral health therapist.

Dental and Health Science 3 aims to further develop and consolidate the paedodontic clinical role and the more specialised aspects of the oral health therapist including, areas such as early childhood, special needs, geriatric dentistry, and dental public health.

Human Biology
This stream aims to equip students with the biological grounding for the practice of oral health. It is an introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the human body and in particular to the oro-facial regions. This leads to the study of the Human Biology 2 stream, which prepares students to understand the medical aspects of clinical oral health practice including pharmacology, the use of local anaesthetics and the management of dental and medical emergencies in dental practice.

Clinical Practice
Clinical Practice provides students with the opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge with practical application in a clinical setting. This stream will build on students’ skills as clinicians in oral health therapy practice. Each successive year assists in the consolidation of skills in preventive (minimal intervention), periodontal and restorative clinical practice.

Professional Studies
This stream will assist students in developing a broad range of generic skills to support their role as oral health care workers. Communication skills will be developed to assist students in their role as oral health educators. Team building communication introduces the concept of teamwork, which underpins the professional role of member of the dental team. It will enable students to communicate effectively and facilitate the establishment of professional working relationships with patients and other members of the dental team. Students are also introduced to evidence-based dentistry to enable them to apply evidence-based decision making to the clinical issues they may be faced with.

Oral Health Elective
This stream is third year only and provides the opportunity to focus on a major area of interest that will enhance a student’s role as an oral health professional. Study will be in the form of a research-based project that will allow exploration of a focus area in greater depth.


Assessment will be based on a combination of written assessments, exams, clinical, laboratory and performance assessments by tutor and self-reflection. Tests of understanding and other assignments are also assessable.

Related Degrees


A great part of the degree is the amount of time you get to practise in the simulation clinic, so you're confident when you start to see real patients.

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, 19 Sep 2023