VET Student Guide 2020

What fees do I need to pay?

Students undertaking VET courses at CDU are charged a fee. The amount depends on the student’s details, and what is being studied. Domestic and international students each pay different fees. A person enrolling for study is considered a domestic student if they are:

  • Australian citizens
  • Permanent Australian residents
  • New Zealand citizens who have resided in Australia for a minimum of six months immediately before undertaking a VET course. You must also be an NT resident.
  • holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Domestic students living in the Northern Territory (NT) are eligible for enrolment in NT Government subsidised places. As well as meeting domestic student and NT residency requirements, to be eligible for a subsidised place, students must also be at least 15 years of age, be identified as disengaged from school, and have the skills and capabilities to undertake training and actively enagage in employment, or be able to provide evidence of having completed year 10. Domestic Secondary School students are eligible to participate in specifically identified NT Government subsidised places under approved VET for Secondary Student programs.

Students may be asked to provide evidence when assessing their eligibility to access NTG subsidised training. Visa entitlements and conditions must be verified with formal documentation issued by the Australian Department of Home Affairs and to be submitted to the relevant team before enrolment is finalised. Students with continuing and new enrolments will need to maintain eligibility throughout their enrolment to continue to access the NTG subsidy. NTG subsidised places are limited and CDU cannot guarantee you access to an NTG subsidised place. Students enrolling in NTG subsidised places are charged tuition fees.

Some courses and places for VET study are not subsidised by the NT Government. Domestic students enrolling for study in these will be charged full fees regardless of residency. Domestic students who are not NT residents are not eligible for a NTG subsidised place and are also charged full fees

To find out more information regarding eligibility for NTG subsidised training go to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovations policies page.

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Charles Darwin University is a government approved VET Student Loans provider for VET Diploma level courses and higher qualifications. VET Student Loans is an Australian Government loan program and is part of the Higher education Loan Program (HELP).


The VET Student Loans program assists eligible students studying an approved Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification to pay their tuition fees. If you are studying a diploma level or higher qualification, you may be eligible for a VET Student Loan.


Students who qualify for the VET Student Loans will be entitled to loans up to the capped amount, regardless of their age or financial position. Loans can be used to pay all or part of the tuition fees. Loan caps are indexed annually in accordance with the VET Student Loans Act 2016.


Holders of other permanent visas, and temporary visa are not eligible for a VET Student Loan

To find out more and to see if you qualify, visit the CDU VET Student Loans page.

Fees are levied against the student and not a particular course, so you need to be aware that any fees owing for any reason will affect your ability to access any records, receive a Statement of Attainment, qualification, or participate in the graduation ceremony. If this is an issue for you, please contact your industry team's Customer Service Officer.

Each unit of competency in a VET course has assigned to it a value of Annual Hours Curriculum (AHC, sometimes referred to as 'nominal hours'). It represents the nationally determined average length of time that a student new to the content would need to become competent, either through formal contact or through self-paced learning. Students in an NTG-subsidised course in 2020 are charged a Tuition Fee at a rate of $3.40 per AHC for their choice of units. Since most courses include a range of electives, the total course costs depend on the individual choice of electives. You can get detailed information on the AHC hours associated with a competency (usually referred to as a 'unit') in the CDU Unit catalogue.

Note: Tuition Fee rates are subject to change annually.

Student categories exempt from VET tuition fees*

  • Enrolled secondary school students
  • NTG Community Response Funded Program
  • Students who at the time of enrolment receive a Centrelink or Veteran's Affairs benefit
  • NTG Remote 2 Location categories for VET Funded Programs
  • Students who are prisoners at the time of enrolment
  • Permanent residents with refugee or humanitarian status

*An exemption applies to VET tuition fees only for NTG subsidised courses. To claim the fee exemption, a student must provide valid proof of concession at the time of enrolment or fees will be charged.

Centrelink or Veteran's Affairs Benefit

At the time of enrolment, students who receive a Centrelink or Veteran's Affairs benefit will be exempt from paying tuition fees.

Secondary school students

At the time of enrolment, secondary school students will receive tuition fee exemption by providing details of their secondary school on the VET101 – VET Enrolment Form.

Humanitarian or Refugee Visa Holders

Individuals holding a Permanent Resident Visa (Humanitarian) or a Permanent Resident Visa (Refugee) are tuition fee exempt.

Remote 2 Location

If you course is delivered in a location that is listed on the NTG's Location Categories for VET funded programs, with remote as the location category you may be eligible for the Remote 2 Location tuition fee exemption.

For further information, please contact the course delivery team.

Note: Students who have their full course content delivered externally are not eligible for the Remote 2 Location tuition fee exemption.

A certified copy of your current Centrelink or Veteran’s Affairs card must be attached to your VET101 – VET Enrolment Form

Permanent residents with refugee or humanitarian status must attach a certified copy of their visa or current passport with their application.

The evidence provided needs to be current and continue to be valid throughout each enrolment period in order for you to remain eligible for the tuition fee exemption. If your documents for fee exemption are not submitted at the same time as your VET101 – VET Enrolment Form, the exemption will apply from the start of the teaching period in which the VET103 – Exemption from VET Tuition Fees form is submitted.

Domestic students may enrol in VET courses that are not subsidised by the NT Government. Enrolment in these courses will attract full fees, and no fee exemption applies. This occurs typically in the following instances:

  • student demand has exceeded the number of subsidised places, so only non-subsidised places may be available; or
  • the student is not an NT resident.

All courses are charged a set rate per AHC, depending on the industry group that the course belongs to. Since the majority of courses include a range of electives, the total course cost depends on the individual choice of electives. Detailed information on the AHC hours associated with competency (usually referred to as a 'unit') choice is accessible on the CDU Unit catalogue.

Industry Group2020 Full Fee Rate 2020 Full Fee RPL Rate
05Finance, Banking and Insurance



13Tourism and Hospitality
16Business and Clerical
18Science, Technical and Other
01Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation



04Community Services, Health and Education
07TCF and Furnishings
10Primary Industry
11Process Manufacturing
12Sales and Personal Service
14Transport and Storage
19General Education and Training
21Exceptions – Cookery



03Building and Construction
06Food Processing
09Engineering and Mining

The above schedule indicates the tuition fees for domestic full fee students. Fees can vary according to which industry category and elective a student enrols in. Some full fee courses may be subject to a different fee rate structure than the one shown above.

International students enrolling in VET courses are charged course-dependent fees and are not normally eligible for NT Government subsidised places. Course fees can be found in each course. Find all international course online or contact CDU Global.

T: +61 8 8946 7215

For courses where training is for a specific client, prices and availability will be given on application to the University.

For candidates undertaking the RPL process, a $90 administration fee applies for each completed RPL application submitted, and no fee exemption will apply. This fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee that you will be granted the qualification or unit/s you seek RPL for. If a potential RPL candidate wishes to apply for more than one qualification, a separate VET121 - RPL Application Form must be submitted, and an additional application fee will apply.

An RPL candidate will be enrolled once they are approved. Fees associated with the actual RPL assessment for 2020 are:

  • for NT residents applying for NTG subsidised qualification – zero fee for 2020
  • for non-NTG subsidised training or non-NT residents, a flat-rate fee of $4.50 per nominal hour for each unit applies
  • for international visa holders (not student visa holders or holders who qualify for NTG subsidised training), a flat rate of $4.50 per nominal hour for each unit applies.

For international student visa holders, the cost of self-assessment and RPL are covered by the international fee for the particular course.

Note: the RPL application fee also applies to students in  categories exempt from VET tuition fees

For more information, go to the RPL section of the guide.

There is no charge for credit transfers. As a Registered Training Organisation, CDU recognises the Australian Quality Framework Qualification and Statements of Attainment issued by other Australian Registered Training Organisations.

  1. January - March
  2. April - June
  3. July - September
  4. October - December

All fees are payable 14 days from the date on your Enrolment and Fees Advice–Invoice. The Advice–Invoice serves as an invoice for the purpose of fees owing. For example, on enrolment you will have 14 days to pay from the date on the invoice. If you change your enrolment, you will have 14 days to pay from the date on the invoice, reflecting the change.

If you fail to pay, a final notice will be issued. If your computer account has been activated, the Advice–Invoice will be sent via email to your CDU email account.

If you are enrolled in a Diploma or higher level course, all fees owing for the teaching period is payable on or before the census date.

Students who are eligible for VET Student Loans (VSL) must either pay their fees upfront or defer it to tax on or before the census date. The census date is the last day for a student to submit their electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) to defer their fees to Tax. The census date is also the final day for students to withdraw from their units without incurring fees or a VET Student Loan debt. Census dates for each Teaching Period are:

Teaching PeriodCensus Date
VFH-T111 March
VFH-T211 May
VFH-T311 August
VFH-T411 November

Students who do not pay their fees or defer their fees to tax on or before the census date will have their unit enrolment cancelled for that teaching period.

Your Enrolment and Fees Advice–Invoice is notification of the fees you owe, together with confirmation of your enrolment. The University does not normally issue any other invoice unless specifically requested by a third party sponsor. The Advice–Invoice serves as an invoice for the purpose of notification of fees owing. An Advice–Invoice will be sent to you after your enrolment has been processed, unless otherwise specified.

The Advice–Invoice should be checked thoroughly for accuracy. If you posted your completed VET101 – VET Enrolment Form to the University and have not received your Advice–Invoice within four weeks of posting, or if you have any queries regarding your Advice–Invoice, contact your team’s Customer Service Officer for assistance. It is the student’s responsibility to advise the University in writing of any change of address. Non-receipt of an Advice-Invoice due to relocation does not reduce a student’s responsibility for fees owing.

Fees can be paid in various ways, depending on the type of enrolment undertaken.

Payments in person

Cash, cheque, money order and credit card are accepted at the Cashier’s Office. EFTPOS facilities are available at all cashiers' offices. Payment can be made in person at any CDU campus or centre.

Pay online

Go to webpay, and select the link ‘CDU Student Fee Payments’


Contact your participating financial institution to make a payment. Please quote Biller Code and your Reference Number, which is printed at the bottom of your Enrolment and Fees Advice-Invoice.

Credit Card via telephone

Visa Card, MasterCard, Diners and American Express are accepted.

Credit card details can be directed to the Cashier:
T: 08 8946 7191
T: 08 8946 7192
F: 08 8946 6544

You will need to provide your Student Number, cardholder's name, credit card number, expiry date of the card and the CVV number on the back of the card.

Cheque and money order payments by mail

Include your name, address and student number on the back of the cheque together with a contact number for business hours.

These should be made payable to Charles Darwin University and mailed to:

Charles Darwin University
Darwin, NT, 0909

Instalment payments

These can be made where financial difficulty is encountered and an Instalment Agreement Plan has been arranged. Restrictions and/or conditions apply.

Fees must be more than $100 per semester.

For more information contact the Cashier:

T: 08 8946 7191 or freecall 1800 061 963

Note: Instalment plans are only available to domestic students who are studying certificate IV or below level courses.

CentrePay deductions

CentrePay deductions are an option for those students who receive Centrelink benefits, whose fees are $100 or more, and who are utilising the CDU Instalment Agreement Plan.

Third party sponsorships

If a third party wants to pay your fees directly to CDU they need to complete either the VET104 - Third Party Sponsorship for Studies form or VET105 - Apprentices Third Sponsorship for Studies form. The appropriate form needs to be completed and returned to your relevant industry team.

The sponsor will be responsible for all fees incurred for the nominated course up to the end of the sponsorship authorisation or point of cancellation if the sponsorship authorisation is cancelled early. Invoices will be sent directly to your sponsor at the end of each teaching period in which you have units enrolled.

You will still receive an Enrolment and Fees Advice-Invoice.

Cashier details

A University Cashier is located at any Student Central or CDU Centre. This is where you pay your fees and any other money you owe the University.

Casuarina campus - Building Orange 1

(no cash accepted)

Monday to Thursday8.00am to 4pm
Friday8.00am to 3pm

Darwin Waterfront - 21 Kitchener Drive, Darwin

(no cash accepted)

Monday to Thursday

8.30am to 4pm
Friday8.30am to 3pm
Palmerston campus - Building A
Monday - Friday8.30am to 3.30pm
Alice Springs campus - Student Central, Building 1
Monday - Friday8am to 4pm
Regional centres

Jabiru, Katherine Town, Katherine Rural, and Tennant Creek.

All have credit card facilities except Jabiru. Staff at regional centres can assist you with inline payments.

The consequences of non-payment of fees are covered by Charles Darwin University Fees and Charges By-Laws 5(1).

Refunds are processed within 30 days of an application being submitted. Refunds are issued by the same method in which they were received. CDU will refund to the original credit card if the initial payment was made within the previous 12 months, otherwise the refund will be processed by bank transfer.

For further information, refer to the VET Domestic Students-refund of Fees Procedure which can be found in the Governance Document Library.