Adult learner studying outside

Adult learners

Not everybody goes straight from school into higher education. In fact, many adult learners would argue that life experience makes the tertiary experience all the more rewarding. 

Charles Darwin University has a number of adult learners entering the University through many different pathways.

If you don't meet the minimum entry requirements below and would like to discuss your options, feel free to contact Student Services or call into an Student Central, at our Casuarina or Alice Springs campuses.

Am I classified as an adult learner?

To be an adult learner you must be 19 years or older at the start of your first semester and fulfil other general entry requirements.

The minimum entry requirements for most undergraduate degree courses are:

  • successful completion of the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (or equivalent) and a Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of 60 or higher (this also applies to international students)
  • successful completion of a VET or TAFE award of certificate IV or higher
  • attainment of a STAT (Special Tertiary Admissions Test) score of 145 or greater for applicants who sat the STAT pre April 2010 and 135 or greater for applicants who sat the STAT post April 2010
  • submission of an acceptable personal competencies statement and/or employment experience
  • successful completion of at least 0.5 year of full-time study (or equivalent) of a higher education degree/diploma
  • successful completion of 40 credit points in the CDU Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) or other recognised bridging or tertiary preparation course.

VET entry requirements

As a general guideline, most certificate courses do not have specific entry requirements but presume a satisfactory level of literacy and numeracy.

Diploma courses require successful completion of final year secondary schooling (year 12), or completion of a certificate IV or relevant experience.

If you wish to study for a diploma but did not complete year 12, you may be interested in a Tertiary Enabling Program. This program, through the Centre for Access and ESL, is designed to prepare you for enrolment in an undergraduate degree course or VET diploma course.

Please check CDU courses for particular admission requirements that may apply to individual courses.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

The Office of Indigenous Student Services (OISS) can assist with alternative pathways and entry options into CDU, such as the free Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) Program.

For more information please contact OISS.

What if I need help with English?

If you are a domestic student, speak English as a second language and need help preparing for VET study, contact the Office of VET Business Improvement and ask about the Adult Migrant English Program.

Fees, forms and pathways

If you don't meet the minimum entry requirements and would like to discuss your options, contact Student Central.