University of Sydney – An overview
The University of Sydney (USyd) is the oldest in Australia and Oceania, established in 1850. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD. It consistently ranks amongst the top universities in Australia and Oceania. The University of Sydney is a member of Australia’s Group of 8 (Go8), a class of Australia’s leading universities. It is one of the biggest universities in Australia, with current enrolment totalling about 49 020.
University of Sydney ~ Main Quadrangle, Camperdown Campus
About the School of Dentistry
The Faculty of Dentistry at USyd is Australia’s first and has been involved in the training of dental practitioners for 100 years. The Faculty is one of the largest of the five dental schools in Australia and housed within the Sydney Dental Hospital (SDH), Surry Hills and the Westmead Centre for Oral Health (WCOH), Westmead Hospital.
The School offers a 4-year Graduate Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and a 3-year Bachelor of Oral Health together with a range of postgraduate courses.
Postgraduate clinical training is available in the disciplines of: community oral health and epidemiology, conscious sedation and pain control, oral medicine and oral pathology, orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics and oral implants.
Research training programs offered via the PhD and MSc (Dentistry) are offered in a number of areas including: biomaterials science, community oral health and epidemiology, dental education, jaw function, occlusion, oral biology, oral implants, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral pathology and oral medicine, orofacial pain, orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, periodontics and prosthodontics.
Sydney Dental Hospital
The Dental Course
The Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) embraces recent advances in educational research and delivery and will be delivered in a blended mode. Key features include research informed learning and decision making with the inclusion of a distinct research component, recognition and utilization of graduate attributes, problem-based and self-directed learning, together with self-evaluation. The clinical component of the course has a strong and early emphasis, with patient-based clinical experience commencing in the first year. The use of new technologies is central to the delivery of the DMD program.
Pre-clinical training begins in the first semester of first year. This training prepares students before stepping into the clinical side of dentistry and treating patients. Students master preventative and restorative procedures as well diagnosing and providing a variety of treatment options.
Clinical training begins in the second semester of second year where students start treating patients from the public. External placements will also occur throughout third and fourth year as part of clinical training. These placements aim to provide students an exposure to clinical dentistry and to gain the necessary skills and knowledge within the dental field.
During the first year of the DMD considerable focus is given to Integrated Life Sciences. The tutorial component requires students to listen to pre-recorded medical lectures and attend lectures which focus on dentally relevant medical learning and scenarios. Craniofacial Biology is presented on the Camperdown campus. Select dentistry-focused learning is provided on the City and Westmead campuses. Additionally, one day per week is devoted specifically to learning dental skills in a simulated learning environment, predominantly at the Sydney Dental Hospital, including some sessions at the faculty’s other simulation facility at Westmead Hospital. Students learn and practise dental skills and techniques progressively in preparation for patient based clinical training by the middle of the second year. Underpinning Life and Biomedical Sciences knowledge provides a sound base from which students can build further knowledge as their level of sophistication and clinical experience grows. Students are also introduced to research and learn to perform a critical analysis of dentally relevant publications. Close to the completion of this first year, students are allocated patients, parents and/or caregivers and children in whom they promote oral health and perform oral hygiene and preventive oral health procedures. Students will be familiarised in the first weeks of Year 1 with information technology and research methodology which will equip them to commence a critical review of dental literature.
This inquiring approach underpins all learning during the full four years of the course.
Throughout the process of acquiring pre-clinical and clinical skills, student importantly undergo personal and professional development to meet the high standards required to emerge as leaders in the profession. In Year 2, a reduced level of Integrated Life Science teaching continues and students commence the year with a course in Local Anaesthesia, with patient based Exodontia commencing in April. Simulated learning in restorative and endodontic procedures continue, preparing students for patient-based clinical training from the second semester onwards. Students also rotate between the Sydney Dental Hospital and the Westmead Centre for Oral Health situated at Westmead Hospital. Increasing didactic teaching of the other dental disciplines continue, together with select dentistry PBLs. Students commence their research project after having delivered proof of capabilities to critically analyse the dental literature.
While students are now well prepared to enter the intensive clinical environments of the remainder of the course, simulated learning continues, alongside patient-based training, and by the end of Year 3, students will have acquired close to the the full scope of clinical procedures expected of newly qualified dentists. Equipped with the necessary professional attributes, students increasingly receive clinical training in metropolitan, rural and remote community clinics and gain a strong sense of the needs of the general Australian population. Work on the research project continues throughout this year.
The final year of the Doctor of Dental Medicine commences with an intensive two-week course in Fixed Prosthodontics and Implantology. Following this, integrated learning continues through tutorial sessions, with the remaining time spent on honing clinical skills in metropolitan, rural and remote clinics. The research project is completed and submitted by the end of August for assessment.
University of Sydney
Faculty of Dentistry