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College of Indigenous Futures, Education and the Arts

Preparing for TEP

Find out about TEP subjects, study options and expectations of students.

Are you ready for TEP?

Planning and preparation will help you on your journey into university life. We've identified five questions you should consider before enrolling into the TEP program.

Q 1: Do you have the right level of English language skills?

If English is not your first language, you'll need to decide whether your level of English language skill is at the right level for study at university. There's a lot of reading, writing, listening and speaking required to be successful at university.

To complete TEP successfully you need 

  • an IELTS score of at least 5.5 or above in the four macro skills or 
  • an ISLPR score of 3.

If you do not have a score for either of these English language tests, then you can read through the following statements and answer YES or NO to each one to help guide you on your decision.


  • I can talk to people about my life experience. Yes/No?
  • I can discuss ideas about books, films or current affairs with other people and explain my views. Yes/No?


  • I can understand talk on a familiar topic. Yes/No?
  • I can understand televisions news, programs about current issues, and most movies. Yes/No


  • I can read popular magazines and stories which interest me. Yes/No?
  • I can understand televisions news, programs about current issues, and most movies. Yes/No?


  • I can write clearly about my life, interests or work. Yes/No?
  • I can write my opinion on a topic and explain my reasons. Yes/No?

If you answered No to any of these statements, this might be telling you that you need to develop your English language further before applying to study in TEP. To help you make this decision, you can discuss this with the TEP Program Coordinator.

Q 2: Do you have the time to study?

TEP is composed of four units. Each unit requires ten hours of study per week. 

To determine whether you have the time to study, answer the following questions:

  • How many hours do I work (including overtime and travel time)?
  • How much time do I need to commit to my family and children's needs?
  • How much time do I need for sporting, social or other commitments?
  • Can I change my commitments to accommodate more study time?
  • How many hours can I realistically commit to my studies each week?

Now that you have worked out how many hours you have available, you can answer the next question.

Q 3: Should you study part-time or full-time?

One unit = 10 hours of study per week

Part-time studyFull-time study
One or two units a semesterThree or four units a semester
Approximately 10 to 20 hours per weekApproximately 30 to 40 hours per week
Recommended if you're working full time, have other major commitments or if you haven't studied for a while.Recommended if you're working part-time and don't have other major commitments such as young children to look after. 
Q 4: Should you study online or on-campus?
Online (external)On-campus (internal)Mixed study mode
Study is completed online via Learnline so a computer (or mobile device) and reliable internet access is essential.

TEP internal study is available at Alice Springs, Sydney and Casuarina campuses.

Internal students use Learnline as well so you will need access to a computer (or mobile device) and reliable internet.

You can choose to study some units on-campus and others online based on your individual needs.

Each unit has one to two hours of online class each week, which is recorded for students to re-watch or watch if you couldn't make the class. 

Another 8 hours of private study per unit is required to complete the weekly work and assessments.

Each unit requires between four to six hours of class time per week.

Another four to six hours of private study outside of class for each unit is required to complete the weekly work and assessments.

Online study is more flexible and you can adjust when you study to suit your needs.You are expected to attend 80% of classes. 
Ideal if you are working full time and are unable to attend classes.  
Q 5: Do you know about the disability support for CDU students?

CDU assists anyone enrolled in a learning program at the University who may have a disability or condition that could impact on their success in their study. This could be a permanent or temporary disability, and the disability or condition could include:

  • physical (for example, sight, hearing, limb)
  • psychological or mental health issues (for example, anxiety, depression)
  • learning differences (that is, a different way of processing information).

Get more information about CDU's access and inclusion services.

Online study is more flexible, and you can adjust when you study to suit your needs. You are expected to attend 80% of classes. Ideal if you are working full time and are unable to attend classes. 

What is expected of you as a TEP student?

Students sitting in a group

As a TEP student, you'll be expected to:

  • attend and participate in online or on-campus classes, or watch online class recordings if you can’t attend a live session
  • communicate with your lecturers and other students e.g. ask your lecturers questions when something isn't clear or run into problems
  • work on units outside of class times e.g. read set texts/documents, complete learning activities, complete assignments and submit these on time
  • access resources online, even if you choose to study on-campus

Choose where you study TEP


Study TEP virtually anywhere.

When you choose to study online you gain the flexibility to adjust

  • when you study
  • how you study
  • your study load 

to balance other commitments like work or looking after your family.

On campus

Study at one of our three campuses

  • Casuarina campus – located 12 km from Darwin city centre and on a major bus route
  • Alice Springs campus. – located on the East Side of town with a bus stop nearby 
  • Sydney campus– located in the Sydney CBD, close to Central railway and bus station.

Register for the class sessions times you would like to attend via TEP Central Learnline.

Each unit has weekly classes where you can interact with other students, ask questions and get real-time answers from your lecturers about assignments and learning materials. 

If you would like support with your academic work and assignments, there are weekly online and on-campus (Casuarina campus only) support sessions or you can organise individual consults.

Please note, you will need to contact your lecturer in advance if you wish to attend an on-campus class or tutorial.

What will you study?

There is a study plan which outlines what to enrol in depending on which semester in the year you are commencing. 

For further information and advice on selecting and enrolling into units, pleasecontact us

TEP021 - Computing for Tertiary Study (core unit)

Develop your computing skills necessary for university studies. Learn about using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, managing files on a computer and on OneDrive, searching for and evaluating information on the Internet, and referencing online resources in APA style.

Find out more about TEP021 in the CDU course catalogue.

TEP022 - Academic Language and Learning (core unit)

Develop essential skills for effective academic essay writing. You'll also learn critical reading skills and refine your writing style. Study skills are designed so you develop expertise in researching, referencing, note taking, using the library and presenting information. 

Find out more about TEP022 in the CDU course catalogue.

TEP023 - Foundation Maths (core unit)

In this Unit you will develop your mathematical skills and knowledge as a foundation for further studies at university by:

  • Carrying out calculations and solving problems with integers, decimals, fractions and percentages.
  • Using algebraic formulae and solving problems relating to areas, volumes and rates.
  • Interpreting statistical information and representations.
  • Exploring mathematics in real-life contexts.

Find out more about TEP023 in the CDU course catalogue.

TEP025 - Bioscience (specialist elective)

Develop your knowledge and understanding of how science works and how scientific information is communicated through an exploration of the human body. Through these explorations of science and the human body, you'll develop the critical thinking, reading and writing skills needed to study science at university.

Find out more about TEP025 in the CDU course catalogue.

TEP026 - Historical and Contemporary Issues (specialist elective)

You’ll discuss history and consider different views on events of local and global importance. You’ll also analyse media representations of people, places and events. This will expand your understanding of how texts create meanings and convey a particular point of view.

Through these explorations, you'll develop the critical thinking, reading and writing skills needed to study at university.

Find out more about TEP026 in the CDU course catalogue.