AUT - Oral Health: Bachelor of Health Science


Oral Health: Bachelor of Health Science

Oral health is a vital part of general health for all New Zealanders. As more is understood about the links between oral and systemic health in people, it has become vital that oral health and disease prevention messages are promoted widely to our communities. By successfully completing the AUT oral health degree you will become a dual-trained oral health practitioner (you can register as a dental hygienist and a dental therapist with the Dental Council of New Zealand). You will be at the forefront of the changing oral health landscape.

AUT's degree in oral health provides you with both pre-clinical experience in our oral health simulation laboratory, as well as extensive clinical experience at AUT’s on-campus oral health clinic and Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) clinics. You get to explore and understand the diverse field of preventative and rehabilitative oral health care, with a lot of real world application such as completing oral health promotion projects within communities around Auckland and undertaking a national or international community placement in your third year of study. At least half of your three years of learning is focused on clinical practice.

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online

Quick facts

Code: AK3113
Level of study: 7
Points: 360
Duration: 3 years full-time
Venue: North Shore Campus
Start date: This programme is now full. Please consider one of our other Bachelor of Health Science options.

AUT University encourages early application. This qualification will remain open until all places have been filled.

Admission and entry requirements

  • University Entrance 
  • Must meet Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 requirements
  • Police clearance
  • Applicants over 20 without previous tertiary qualifications must supply a CV and references
  • An IELTS score is a requirement for any applicant whose first language is not English or Māori

Selection criteria

  • Preferred subjects on entry are NCEA level 3 English, Biology, Physical Education
  • Interview may be required

Preference will be given to applicants with the highest level of academic achievement and/or evidence of accomplishments in the relevant field.


Below is a summary. For a comprehensive overview of the AUT oral health degree, please refer to the Academic Calendar

Year 1

You are introduced to basic human sciences and learn about health in Aotearoa New Zealand with an emphasis on communication skills, health promotion in general and specific oral health promotion and disease prevention messages. You will be given the opportunity to learn and practise early pre-clinical skills in a simulation laboratory. Visits to our on-campus Oral Health Clinic and to the ARDS clinics will introduce you to the clinical environment. You will undertake the formulation and implementation of an oral health promotion project in a community of need.

Semester 1 papers
555101 Lifespan Development and Communication
555201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
555301 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
555401 Health and Environment OR 555339 Māori Health, Development and Environment

Semester 2 papers

556202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
555604 Introduction to Oral Health Practice
556606 Oral Health Promotion

Year 2

You continue to study human sciences with particular emphasis on the oral cavity. Generic and discipline-specific pharmacology is introduced in Semester 1. Knowledge and skills around restorative and hygiene practice procedures are further extended in the pre-clinical laboratory. Assessment and treatment of patients in the AIH (Akoranga Integrated Health) Oral Health clinic starts from week 7 of Semester 1 and in Auckland Regional Dental Service (ARDS) clinics in Semester 2. Health research methods are introduced and you will undertake research and oral health promotion projects.

Papers (core or compulsory)
527188 Pharmacology for Professional Practice
556301 Methods of Research and Enquiry
556607 Oral Health I
556608 Oral Biology and Pathology
556609 Oral Health Assessment

Year 3

Your pre-clinical training will be completed to allow you to undertake clinical activities both on and off site. Your clinical environments have been designed to closely mimic the oral health environments that you are likely to encounter once you graduate. To ensure 'work readiness', you will undertake your oral health papers as well as papers focused on health law and professional practice and ethics.

Papers (core or compulsory)
557221 Health Law and Policy
557224 Professional Practice and Ethics
557609 Oral Health II
557610 Oral Health III

You will also be required to undertake a 15-point elective paper that allows you to pursue an area of particular interest. Options currently available include Māori health promotion, education papers or any other approved 15-point paper at Level 6 or above .

Te Ara Hauora Māori papers

There are Māori health papers available if you wish to seek a career with a Māori development perspective.

555339 Māori Health, Development and Environment (instead of 555401 Health and Environment)
527872 Māori Health Promotion
567431 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health
567417 Utilising Supervision in Practice

We will support Te Ara Hauora Māori students to form relationships with Māori health providers, industry stakeholders and communities, and AUT Māori staff and students.

Career opportunities

Graduates will be highly skilled as dual qualified oral health practitioners with the ability to practise in private and public health settings. Once registered with the Dental Council of New Zealand, graduates provide oral health services, within the dental hygiene and dental therapy scopes of practice, to people of all ages. There are opportunities to work for DHBs throughout New Zealand, in private general or specialist practice,  specifically in the area of oral health promotion or in the education sector. Your qualification is recognised in Australia and dual-qualified graduates are in high demand.

Graduates and students of health science

Your other Bachelor of Health Science study options

You can choose to study the degree without a health major:

Or you can choose to major in one of the following specialised areas:

Or you can choose one of our clinical degree areas:

Other courses you may be interested in

Last updated: 31 Jan 2014 3:31pm

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