University Handbook 2018

Bachelor of Oral Health Science

Course code/s: HBOHSB

Course details
Location Bendigo
Course code HBOHSB
Mid year intake available No
Course coordinator Mr Ronald Knevel
Available to international students Yes
CRICOS 089313C
Course duration 2.5 years full-time as accelerated (equivalent to 3 years full-time study). Some students may take longer.
Credit points 360 credit points
Exchange opportunity Short elective international placements: Sweden, Slovakia, Denmark, Nepal, USA, Finland, The Netherlands
Leave of absence available Yes, for a maximum of 12 months
Study plan guide To assist with planning your enrolment, you can download the course structure PDF here
Course queries Current students: ASK La Trobe
Prospective students: Future Students

Course description

The Bachelor of Oral Health Science will qualify students to register as dental hygienists, dental therapists and oral health therapists. The course has a strong focus on public oral health in rural and regional areas. Graduates of this course are qualified to provide a wide range of preventative oral health care services in a variety of settings. You will complete a number of common core health subjects in the first two years, as well as specific subjects in oral health and health sciences that underpin the theoretical and clinical practice of oral health science.

Preclinical and clinical oral health subjects are undertaken over the six semesters of the course. Clinical experience will be completed in different interdisciplinary settings in mostly rural and/or regional areas. You will work with a wide variety of patients and will gain experience in treating patients with special needs or in a residential care setting. A summer semester is completed at the end of second year. During this summer semester, students will have the opportunity to elect an international placement of two weeks duration.

This course offers students theoretical and practical experience in the complete scope of practice of the oral health therapist, and is currently the only accredited oral health program in Australia that prepares graduates to restore teeth in adults of all ages.

There are a number of costs inherent in the course and students will be required to purchase items of equipment. These items and associated costs may include, and are not limited to:

  • protective clothing and uniform – $150
  • books - $400 per semester
  • instruments and equipment – $4000

Please note: all costs are approximate.

All students will need to comply with credentialing requirements of the Department of Dentistry and Oral Health and the clinical placement sites. This will include a police record check, Working With Children Check, vaccination requirements, Level 1 First Aid/CPR certification and registration with the Dental Board of Australia.

You will need to be familiar with the requirements of the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) and are strongly advised to read the DBA's 'Dental Guidelines on Infection Control' and the documents referred to. Please see the DBA's Policies, Codes, Guidelines and FAQ for more information.

These documents require applicants and students to be aware of their blood borne virus (BBV) status. Students with a BBV will not be able to undertake the course, in line with the requirements of the Dental Board of Australia. New students will be required to undertake blood tests to determine their BBV status. Students must comply with all credentialing requirements prior to the census date in Semester 1 of their first year of the course. Failure to satisfy all these requirements (including having a BBV) may result in immediate discontinuation from the course.

Student exchange & overseas short programs

Student exchange and overseas short programs offer a unique opportunity for a meaningful learning and educational experience abroad. La Trobe University encourages all students to make the world their campus by participating in an exchange or overseas short program that fits within your degree structure. Student exchange and overseas short programs may also be eligible for a mobility grant.

College of Science, Health and Engineering students with a third-year elective option in their course have a unique opportunity to enrol in SHE3ISP, with permission from their course coordinator and the subject coordinator.  Please note: enrolment into SHE3ISP requires students to be accepted into an LTU approved short term international program.

Essentials subjects

The three Essentials - Global Citizenship, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Thinking are specialist areas designed to give you an edge with employers. Essentials will enable you to adapt your knowledge and skills to new contexts in a rapidly changing world. Subjects addressing the Essentials are part of all undergraduate La Trobe degrees and can be identified in the subject search by distinct icons. The list of approved subjects can be found on the Essentials webpage.

Course intended learning outcomes

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) are brief statements defining what students are expected to demonstrate they know and can do by the end of a course.

Apply evidence-based knowledge to oral health issues and problems.
Design, execute and evaluate health-promoting programs that benefit the oral health of individuals and diverse communities.
Plan effective and efficient oral health care based on scientific evidence to minimise invasive dentistry.
Critically evaluate clinical and behavioural interventions designed to meet the oral health needs of individuals, families and communities.
Apply professional ethical standards when working independently and in multi-disciplinary professional oral health practice environments.
Communicate effectively with oral and other health professionals, patients and other key stakeholders using a range of relevant communication strategies.
Synthesise and critically assess evidence related to professional oral health practice to identify and solve real-life oral health problems.

Course structure

The course requires the completion of 360 credit points over 2.5 years of full-time study.

First year

First year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-SEM-1 LTU0AIM * Academic Integrity Module 0
TE-SEM-1 ABS0WOM ** Wominjeka La Trobe: Indigenous Cultural Literacy for Higher Education 0
TE-ALLYR ORH1POH Preclinical Oral Health Practice 30
TE-ALLYR ORH1IOS Introduction to Oral Health Sciences 30
TE-SEM-1 HBS1HBA Human Biosciences A 15
TE-SEM-1 PHE1IDH Individual Determinants of Health 15
TE-SEM-2 HBS1HBB Human Biosciences B 15
TE-SEM-2 PHE1SDH Social Determinants of Health 15

*LTU0AIM is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to enhance your knowledge and awareness of issues concerning academic integrity.
** ABS0WOM is a not-for-credit subject that you are required to complete at the commencement of your first semester. The subject is designed to introduce students to Indigenous Australian perspectives, experiences, history, culture and customs.


Second year

Second year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-W07-43 ORH2COH Clinical Oral Health Practice 60
TE-SEM-1 PHE2PHP Principles of Public Health Practice 15
TE-SEM-1 DEN2MDA Medicine for Dentistry A 15
TE-SEM-2 ORH2OSN Oral Medicine, Special Needs Dentistry and Pharmacology 15
TE-SEM-2 DEN3RID Research in Dentistry 15

Third year

Third year (120 credit points)
Teaching period Subject code Subject title Credit points
TE-W47-22 ORH3IOH Integrated Oral Health 75
TE-W47-22 ORH3EBP Evidence Based Oral Health Practice 30
TE-W47-22 ORH3ADT Adult Dental Therapy 15



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