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High school students

Find out about study options after high school
High School Students

If you’re a high school student, CDU encourages you to begin thinking about and exploring different subjects to get an idea about the kind of study or career you are interested in.

You may not know exactly what you want to do, but you can start asking yourself questions like:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I like to do?
  • Do I have hobbies that I am passionate about?

Check out CDU's research courses from vocational training through to Higher Education. You can also come along to the various events we hold throughout the year. Speak with your Career Adviser for more information about CDU events available to you.

VET Delivered to Secondary Schools (VETDSS)

At CDU, you don't have to wait until you've finished school to start making tracks in your career.

Our VET Delivered to Secondary Students (VETDSS) program is a training pathway that helps you get job-ready and obtain skills while you finish your high school studies.

You’ll learn industry-specific skills, increase your employability and work towards gaining a nationally recognised VET qualification.

Charles Darwin University offers several VET Delivered to Secondary Schools programs in Darwin, Palmerston, Alice Springs, Katherine and some rural locations to school students in years 9 – 12. Special entry requirements must be met for students under 15 years.

Find out more about VET Delivered to Secondary Schools

University vs High School

 High SchoolUniversity
AttendanceClass attendance is compulsory. Students are marked absent if they do not attend class and their whereabouts is followed up.Attendance is the student's responsibility. If they miss a class they miss course content.
AssignmentsTeachers remind students of deadlines for assignments. Students often use class time to complete aspects of the task.Students are responsible for completing assignments in their own time and for approaching the lecturer if they have questions.
TimetableMost schools have set contact hours, usually between 8am - 3pm.Each student's timetable varies depending on their course and chosen units.
GradesMost schools usually have the basic grading scale of: A B C D E.At university: A = High Distinction (HD); B = Distinction (D); C = Credit (C); D = Pass (P); E = Fail (F).

Higher Education vs TAFE

Higher Education

Higher Education is post-high school education, which includes undergraduate (Bachelor degrees) and postgraduate (Masters/ Doctorate) courses at a university.

Higher Education is traditionally theoretical-based learning, supplemented with some practical components.  

Assessments in Higher Education usually have a research element and can range anywhere from exams and essays to reports and research papers. All applications for admission to CDU Higher Education courses are received and processed through the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

TAFE (Technical and Further Education)

VET covers certificate level courses from I – IV, including diplomas. They're practical courses that offer alternative ways to access education and training. Our VET courses will help you to develop a range of work skills that are in demand in the current market place.

VET courses are also a pathway to Higher Education. Once you have completed a Certificate IV or Diploma you can then use that to access Higher Education at Charles Darwin University in most undergraduate degrees.

Find out more about VET at Charles Darwin University.

Study Pathways

Learn more about the different pathways to Higher Education and TAFE 

Study Pathways

Unique Student Identifier (USI)

All students studying nationally recognised training in Australia are required to have a Unique Student Identifier. A USI is an account (or reference number) made up of numbers and letters and will allow CDU VET students online access to their training records and results. Students wishing to study through CDU VET can obtain a USI number by visiting

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