BDS Curriculum Overview


student photo

The new 2012 undergraduate degree curriculum at the HKU Faculty of Dentistry is future-oriented and builds on its international reputation as an integrated, student-centred, inquiry-based educational experience. Professional competencies and learning outcomes are designed to prepare students to become:

  • dental professionals serving the needs of modern Hong Kong;
  • global thinkers; and
  • future leaders.

In meeting these aims, the new curriculum model will encompass both compulsory “University Requirements” and the “Professional Core”.

Curriculum Structure

University Requirements

The Common Core Curriculum is designed to broaden horizons beyond dentistry and give students the opportunity to explore issues of profound significance to humankind in the 21st century. Language courses support academic English in the Common Core Curriculum and focus on academic dentistry, including medical and dental terminology for the early years, in the Professional Core.

Professional Core

Inquiry-based learning
The undergraduate degree curriculum is led by an inquiry-based philosophy with many learning experiences occurring in small-group, facilitated discussions drawing on problem-based, case-based and journal-based formats. In problem-based learning tutorials, students discuss a series of structured, integrated, and interesting dental “problems” to introduce them to the main elements of biomedical, behavioural, social, and clinical sciences that underpin dental surgery. Case-based learning examines clinical cases in depth. Journal-based learning supports research and evidence-based approaches to understanding complex clinical problems.

Inquiry-based approaches encourage deeper understanding and make it easier to acquire and retain knowledge, instil life-long learning habits, and foster teamwork skills, all attributes of a good dentist. Whole-group classes and hands-on learning in practical sessions support the inquiry-based approach.

Early introduction to clinics and patient care in tandem with the inquiry-based approach exposes students to real-world applications and motivates learning.

Students will develop requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes through the integration of key aspects of modern dentistry:
• Biomedical, behavioural, social, and clinical sciences underlying oral diseases and oral disorders;
• Prevention, clinical features, and management of oral diseases; and
• Diagnostic, operative (manual), interpersonal, and communication skills to allow students to develop into competent dental practitioners.

Capstone Experience
The final year “Portfolio” represents a culmination of student learning activities across the Professional Core. Sample tasks required in the portfolio include case presentations, written reports and reflections.

Spaces of Learning

Multidisciplinary learning takes place at the HKU Faculty of Dentistry in:

  1. The Prince Philip Dental Hospital:
    • Problem-based Learning Suite: Inquiry-based learning
    • Virtual Reality (Haptics) Training Unit; Simulation Laboratory; and Dental Technology Laboratory: Operative skills development
    • Polyclinics and discipline clinics: Provision of comprehensive dental care to patients under the supervision of experienced clinical tutors
    • Blended learning: Virtual resources and online support
  2. Supporting clinical venues in Hong Kong
    1. HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine: Practical classes and case-based learning
    2. Government clinics, hospitals and private dental practices: Structured observations
    3. Hong Kong communities: Community health projects
  3. International universities and dental clinics:
    • Visiting dental schools and research institutions
    • Supporting communities in need

6-Year BDS Overview


Professional Core

University Requirements


Integrated Semesters

Clinical Skills Blocks

Integrative Projects

University Courses

The healthy person: A bio-psychosocial model DENT1001


CAES1000 Core University English

Common Core Curriculum (4 Courses)

BDS II The dental team in prevention and management of oral diseases DENT2001


Common Core Curriculum (2 Courses)

BDS III The dentist in the management of oral diseases and conditions DENT3001


BDS IV The compromised patient and advanced clinical care DENT4001


CDEN9001 Practical Chinese for Dentistry Students

BDS V Complex, integrated patient care across the years and communities DENT5001 DENT5002


DENT5032 Community Health

CAES9350 Academic English for Dentistry

BDS VI The dentist into practice DENT6101 DENT6102


DENT6131 International Clinical Experience

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