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Study pathways

Pathways for international students

CDU has developed a reputation as one of the most innovative teaching and learning, and most research-intensive universities in Australia. CDU qualifications are recognised globally, and graduates are highly valued and sought after. Studying with CDU has never been easier and we have options to suit everyone. 

Charles Darwin University International College Pathways program

CDU’s International College Pathways program is suitable for students at all levels of education. We provide clear pathways and easy transition between courses from vocational through to postgraduate study. We are offering three pathways within our International College:

  1. International Foundation Studies Program
  2. First year Diplomas (International Diploma of Business Studies or International Diploma of Information Technology)
  3. Pre-masters (International Masters Preparation Program or International Masters Qualifying Programs)

These are specifically designed programs to ensure you get the most out of your studies. We want to help you meet your goals and prepare yourself for the real world. 


Students seeking credit transfer

Credit transfer, or advanced standing, is awarded based on previous relevant studies completed successfully within the past seven years.

To apply for credit transfer, you must apply to study at CDU and submit these relevant supporting documents:

  • HE113 Application for Exemption Form (PDF, 216.84 KB)
  • Official Academic Record (Academic transcript and award certificates)
  • Unit outlines or syllabus matching time-frame of studies. Unit outlines must be specific to the teaching period in which the unit was undertaken and must include:       

    • aims/objectives
    • learning outcomes
    • assessment items         
    • resources required and institutional identifiers (web links are not accepted, these must be converted to PDF prior to submission)          

Please make sure you submit all of the required documents with your application to ensure processing time is reduced.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is a process of advanced standing where credit is granted based upon the assessment of a student's prior formal, non-formal and informal learning (or a combination thereof) to determine the extent to which the student has achieved the required learning outcomes of a specified unit. 

To apply for RPL, please make contact with the College of your chosen course.


VET - Higher Education Pathways

As one of the only Australian universities with dual-sector status, CDU can offer both Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education courses. We believe that every learner should be provided with alternative pathways to access education and to acquire globally applicable skills and experience.

Students can qualify for entry into a CDU bachelor’s degree by completing a CDU VET qualification. CDU offers many pathways and options for your career. See the course information section for more information.

  • Certificate IV (up to 40 Credit Points)
  • Diploma (up to 80 Credit Points)
  • Advanced Diploma (up to 160 Credit Points)
  • Bachelor’s Degree


Explore our 2022 courses

If you're ready to start studying, we've got hundreds of courses to help you build your new world.

Submit an enquiry

Are you thinking about studying, but not sure which course or campus is the one for you? Unsure of the entry requirements, study options, or how to apply to CDU? Submit your details below, and we'll be in touch.

Hear from CDU's VET students

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    Her peers were settling down, but Pat followed her dream

    Experienced hotelier Pat made the move to the quiet city of Darwin from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to study Commercial Cookery and Hospitality Management. Her dream is to become a hospitality entrepreneur. 

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    Shailee’s path to a full-time IT career

    Shailee was unsure about her future after finishing high school, but through a traineeship with NEC, she has successfully completed a certificate in information technology. This led to a full-time job and a nomination in the 2020 Northern Territory Training Awards.

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    A recipe for success: Hands-on training for Samantha

    Arriving in Australia as a backpacker from China, Samantha worked in restaurant kitchens to earn a living. The kindness of the chefs she worked with inspired her to take her next steps towards her dream career.

    Read Samantha's story