Charles Darwin University

About the university

Charles Darwin University is a new world university; committed to bringing people together to use knowledge to shape the future. It's a place where everyone can follow their passion to make things better – however big or small.

The University’s main campus is located in Australia’s most northern capital city of Darwin; a young, multicultural and cosmopolitan tropical city that sits on the rim of South-East Asia. As the only university in the Northern Territory, CDU is uniquely placed to provide education, training and research expertise to match the growing focus on Australia’s north.

A leader in online education, CDU has more than 24,000 students of over 100 nationalities spread across 11 campuses and centres in the Northern Territory, as well as in Melbourne, Sydney and online. Students are attracted to our smaller class sizes, flexible approach to learning and supportive teaching staff.

CDU offers some of the most distinctive study fields in Australia, ranging from Indigenous cultural and south-east Asian studies to tropical, environmental, and desert science.

As one of Australia’s leaders in Indigenous knowledges, CDU is ensuring the rich cultural legacy of our traditional custodians.  Charles Darwin University and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) have collaborated to provide a unique, culturally safe, learning and teaching centre that offers an exciting range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Indigenous knowledges and public policy, including degrees in Yolngu studies, Indigenous languages and linguistics, creative and Indigenous writing, social sciences and policy development.

CDU also offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in health and nursing, education, psychology and play therapy, social work, business and accounting, law, engineering, IT, the arts, environmental science, exercise and sport science, disaster management and humanitarian, community studies and more.

CDU’s bachelor degrees in business, engineering, nursing, and education include work placements so you can gain valuable professional experience and make industry contacts while you’re studying. Most CDU courses are available in part-time and online, so you can fit your studies around your lifestyle.

CDU students have a choice of studying in Vocational Education and Training (VET), Higher Education (HE) or a combination of the two. This means you can begin your studies in a VET course and graduate with a certificate, or apply to go on to study a HE course and graduate with a diploma, advanced diploma, bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master’s degree, or a doctorate.

For students who don’t meet course entry requirements or need a hand to get into the swing of study, CDU also offers a free Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) or Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) for Indigenous students. With TEP or PTS, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence you’ll need to succeed at university. You can complete the program online or on campus in as little as 16 weeks, and you’ll then meet the requirements to apply for entry to most CDU undergraduate degrees.

CDU pave the way for you to achieve your career goals and to gain the qualifications you want. So if you’re committed and have a will to learn, CDU will help you to succeed in your chosen path of study.


Undergraduate courses

Applicants for admission to an undergraduate course will normally have achieved results acceptable to the University in one (1) or more of the following:

  • Successful completion of the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (or equivalent) and the awarding of an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) at the required level approved for admission
  • Successful completion of a national qualification at Certificate IV level or higher
  • Successful completion of at least 0.5 year of full-time study (or equivalent) of a higher education degree/diploma.
  • Overseas secondary or tertiary qualifications considered equivalent to the above Australian qualifications
  • Attainment of a STAT score at the required level approved for admission
  • Successful completion of one of the University’s Tertiary Enabling Programs or other recognised bridging or tertiary preparation course
  • Submission of an acceptable personal competencies statement and/or employment experience.

Postgraduate courses

Admission to postgraduate courses varies from course to course. Read the course entry details in course search carefully when applying. 


Some courses have a quota and offers for admission into these courses will be based on merit. This means that, even though you may meet the minimum admission requirement to the University, your rank may not be competitive enough to receive an offer to a course that has a quota.

Consideration of NT school leavers

Charles Darwin University is committed to meeting the needs of students in the Northern Territory. The University offers a number of prizes and scholarships to recognise the achievements of selected Northern Territory school leavers who choose to study at CDU. A Northern Territory school leaver in 2017 who is named in the top 20 students from the NT or gains an ATAR (or equivalent) of at least 95 would be considered for the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize or Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Further information for NT school leavers is available from Student Central on (08) 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963. 

Alternative exit awards

Alternative exit awards are available from some courses to students who discontinue study before completing the full requirements of the course.

Further information about courses with alternative exits can be found on the University's website.

Special access schemes

The University provides admission pathways and arrangements for Indigenous Australians. For further information contact Student Central on (08) 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963.


All undergraduate courses - except the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences and Bachelor of Midwifery - can be deferred for up to one year. Midyear and summer semester admission periods can be deferred until semester one the following year.

There is no deferral for postgraduate courses through SATAC.

Credit transfer

Credit transfer is available for applicants who have completed or partially completed higher education awards at Charles Darwin University or other universities, or who have successfully completed certain VET or TAFE courses.

Further information about credit transfer and pathways is available from the University's website.

Academic year

Commencement dates are late February for semester 1, mid July for semester 2 and early November for summer semester. Details can be obtained online from the University's website. You should note, however, that enrolment dates are much earlier. If you receive an offer to a course you will be emailed detailed enrolment instructions and you should enrol online.

Student services and facilities

Facilities provided to students include: careers advice, child care, a multi-purpose building at Alice Springs campus, computer facilities including Learning Precincts in the Library at Casuarina and Palmerston campuses, Indigenous Academic Support, counselling, disability support, study skills assistance, international student support, gymnasium, sporting facilities and clubs.


Located on Casuarina campus, International House Darwin provides single student accommodation with all rooms air-conditioned and fully furnished, including a desk and small refrigerator. For full details about application, fees and costs, the University's website.

Located at Casuarina Square just 800 metres from Casuarina campus is UniLodge Darwin. It is a purpose built student accommodation building, offering residents a large range of room options at different price points. Further information can be found on the UniLodge website.

Child care facilities

The Child Care Centre is located within easy walking distance of the Casuarina campus. The centre is nationally accredited, accommodating children from birth to 5 years. Early bookings are essential.

The centre is run by committed staff and is open 50 weeks a year. For more information about availability of places and fees contact the Child Care Centre Manager (08) 8946 6913.

Childcare is also available at various other locations in surrounding suburbs near the University.

Further information

The following publications are available online from the University's website:

  • Prospectus
  • Higher Education Course Guide 2018
  • Scholarships Guide

Further enquiries should be directed to Student Central on (08) 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963.


Student Central
Building Orange 1 - Casuarina campus
Charles Darwin University
Ellengowan Drive
Darwin NT 0909

Telephone: (08) 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963


CRICOS Provider No: 00300K (NT/VIC) | 03286A (NSW)

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