VET Student Guide 2019

What fees do I need to pay?

Students undertaking VET courses at CDU are usually 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
  • New Zealand citizens who have lived in Australia permanently for a minimum of six months immediately before undertaking a VET course.
  • holders of an Australian permanent visa
  • holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Domestic students living in the Northern Territory (NT) are eligible to apply 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 over the age of 17, or be able to provide evidence of having completed year 10.

Students may be asked to provide evidence when assessing their eligibility to access NTG subsidised training. 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 an approved VET Student Loans provider for VET Diploma and higher level courses.

VET Student Loans is part of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) that aims to remove financial barriers to study. VET Student Loans is available to eligible students who will be entitled for loans up to a capped amount, regardless of age or financial position and can be used to pay all or part of tuition fees. To access VET Student Loans, a student must be enrolled in an approved Diploma and/or higher level course and meet citizenship and residency eligibility criteria.

To find out more and check 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 2019 are charged a Tuition Fee at a rate of $3.20 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 (this includes secondary school students who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents)
  • Indigenous Responsive Program
  • Students who at the time of enrolment receive a Centrelink or Veteran's Affairs benefit
  • Remote Area 2 students
  • 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.

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 Area 2

If you are living in the NT and your course is conducted in the NT more than 50 km away from all the towns listed below, you may be eligible for the Remote Area 2 tuition fee exemption:

  • Alice Springs
  • Batchelor
  • Darwin
  • Jabiru
  • Katherine
  • Nhulunbuy
  • Palmerston
  • Tennant Creek

Note: Students who have their full course content delivered externally are not eligible for the Remote Area 2 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.

Note: The evidence provided needs to be current and continue to be valid throughout each enrolment period 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 Group2019 Full Fee Rate 2019 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 provides indication of 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.

International students enrolling in VET courses are charged course-dependent fees and are not normally eligible for NT Government subsidised places. Course fees are listed on the CDU International Student website course list , or contact International Office Enquiries on:

T: 08 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. The fee does not guarantee RPL will be granted and is generally non-refundable. If a potential RPL candidate wishes to apply for more than one qualification, a separate VET121 - RPL Application Form must be submitted, and a further application fee will apply.

Once an RPL candidate is approved, they will be enrolled. Fees associated with the actual RPL assessment for 2019 are as follows:

  • for NT residents applying for NTG subsidised qualification – zero fee for 2019
  • 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 the exempt from VET tuition fees categories

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 (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) via the government eCAF system to defer their fees to Tax. It is also the last day for students to withdraw from their units without incurring fees or a VET Student Loan debt. Census dates for each Teaching Period are below:

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

Students who do not pay their fees upfront 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 fees owing, 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.

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 payments are not available to students who are eligible for VET Student loans.

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.

Note: 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
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday8:30am - 4pm
Wednesday8:30am - 6pm
Friday8:30am - 3pm

Darwin Waterfront - 21 Kitchener Drive, Darwin

(no cash accepted)

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

8.30am - 4pm


8:30am - 6pm

Friday8:30am - 3pm
Alice Springs campus - Building 1
Monday - Friday8:30am - 4pm
Palmerston campus - Building A
Monday - Friday8:30am - 3:30pm
Regional locations

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

All have credit card facilities except Jabiru.

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

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