Students at a CDU information expo

Pathways to study

As well as being an excellent provider of individual courses, the Charles Darwin University (CDU) offers students well-mapped flexible pathways between courses and areas of interest.

For example, you can start your studies at certificate or undergraduate degree level and graduate with a doctorate. You can, of course, exit your studies at any number of points in between.

Our standards are high, as they should be in a world-class university, but we also believe in removing barriers between students and their desire to gain qualifications.

If you have a will and are committed, the university will work to find a way to make your chosen study path possible.

CDU achieves this by providing a fully-integrated campus that spans all educational activities.

These are the four main flexible pathways for students to enter CDU.

Two students using a computer in CDU library

Complete Year 12 with an ATAR

You will need to have completed your Year 12 certificate of education and training (e.g. NTCET, SACE, VCE) and have attained the equivalent of an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking) of at least 60.

For Queensland students, you can find out what your equivalent score is by referring to the comparison table.

Mature aged students in lecture

University Enabling Programs

The Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) is for anyone who didn't finish year 12, hasn't studied for a while or didn't achieve an adequate Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) is especially designed for Indigenous students and is delivered in multi-mode which includes face to face workshops following by online work, completed at home.

CDU's university enabling programs are free and following completion, you'll meet the minimum requirements for most CDU undergraduate degrees.

Young students studying

Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

STAT has been developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to assess a range of competencies commonly considered important for success in tertiary study.

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Credit transfers

Guaranteed credit transfer arrangements are available to students commencing a bachelor degree at Charles Darwin University with completed certificate IV, diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree qualifications in the same field or discipline at Charles Darwin University.

See approved credit pathway in the Fast-track Calculator.

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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is an assessment process that allows for recognition of competencies currently held, regardless of how, when or where the learning occurred.