Admission requirements

There are many pathways for admission into CDU, which has campuses all over Australia, including Darwin, Melbourne and Sydney plus many regional centres in-between. We offer most of our courses on an external basis to reach anyone ready to continue their education journey.

Depending on your chosen course, our flexible semester entry means you may be able to start in Semester 1 (Feb), Semester 2 (Jul) or Summer Semester (Nov). All important dates are available for you to become familiar with the annual University cycle.

For guidance on where to start contact our professional staff at Student Central.

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Admission requirements panel icon 1Admission criteria

Entry Pathways

Applicants with higher education study

Previous students who have completed at least a 0.5 year of full-time study (or equivalent) can apply based on their GPA. The minimum GPA is 2.24 for most courses at CDU.

Completed bridging or enabling course (18 yrs and over)

For students who don’t meet course entry requirements or need a hand to get into the swing of study, we offer a free Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP) or Preparation for Tertiary Success (PTS) for Indigenous students. With TEP or PTS, you’ll have the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence you’ll need to succeed at university.

You can complete the program online or on campus in as little as 16 weeks, and you’ll then meet the requirements to apply for entry to most CDU undergraduate degrees. CDU also accepts similar bridging programs offered at universities around Australia.

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

Applicants who have completed a national qualification at Certificate IV or above meet the minimum entry requirements to most courses CDU.

Applicants with special tertiary admissions test (19 years and over)

If you are applying for a CDU course that accepts special entry, you may choose to sit the STAT or be considered by your previous STAT result. A result of 135 or more received after 2009 or 145 before 2009. Students who have completed more than 12 months full-time study in the last three years are not eligible to run on STAT.

Applicants with work and life experience

Applicants that successfully completed year 12 receiving an ATAR (or equivalent) can continue to compete with that qualification until they have completed more than 18 months of higher education. If you have not received an ATAR (or equivalent) or other qualifications you can submit a Personal Competencies Statement and/or Employment Experience. This provides applicants with the opportunity to demonstrate that they meet the following criteria:

  • Tertiary Preparation and maturity
  • Independent Learning Strategies
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Achievement and experience
  • Skills and Knowledge

Further information on how to write the Personal Competencies statement according to the guidelines can be found on the SATAC website.

Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years)

You will meet the entry requirements to most courses with a minimum ATAR (or equivalent) of 60, however, some courses are more competitive than others and may cut with a higher score. Visit Find a course and check the course detail page of your chosen course to see the ATAR cut-off score.

ATAR related adjustments

CDU offers two bonus point schemes:

  • University Equity Scheme for Year 12 completers from selected schools. 
  • Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme. Offered to Year 12 completers who studied specific subjects at school. 
Bonus typeNumber of bonus points
Universities Equity Scheme5
Universities Language, Literacy and Mathematics Bonus Scheme2 or 4
Total Maximum bonus Points9

Any bonuses applied by the universities will be added to the university aggregate (not the ATAR) from which selection ranks are calculated.

Criteria that may apply in addition to ATAR 

Bachelor of Clinical Science  

It is expected that applicants will need to achieve an ATAR of 90 or above, 85 for indigenous students (after the addition of any Universities Equity Scheme) to be competitive for a place in this course. Ranking for offers of places will be based on an entry score combining ATAR (90%), and Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) - derived score (10%).

All courses in the field of education

Applicants must complete a non-academic assessment to demonstrate their motivation to teach, their strong interpersonal and communication skills, willingness to learn, resilience, self-efficacy, and strong organisational and planning skills.

Special consideration

Special consideration may be given to applicants who have special circumstances, including a long-term medical condition, that may have disadvantaged them in their studies and which they wish to be taken into account in the assessment of their application.

Applicants who seek special consideration as part of the application process will be able to download a confidential questionnaire and information on the supporting documentation that will be required.

Current year 12 students cannot seek special consideration through the SATAC process.

In South Australia and the Northern Territory, year 12 students who have special circumstances should seek consideration from the SACE Board. Information is available from their website at

Year 12 students studying elsewhere in Australia (not South Australia or the Northern Territory) who have special circumstances should seek consideration from the board of studies in their state/territory or directly from their school.

Admission requirements panel icon 2Additional information

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Applicants that do not meet the University's minimum entry requirements are invited to enrol in the free of charge Preparation for Tertiary Success Program which has been specially designed for Indigenous students.

If you have not studied in a while or completed year 12 and are unsure about whether you can succeed, our PTS program helps you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to be successful at university.

Successful completion will give you the minimum entry requirements for most Diploma and Bachelor programs at the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education (ACIKE), Charles Darwin University (CDU) and universities in South Australia.

Diploma of Yolngu Studies

If you do not meet the minimum entry requirements, you may still be considered for entry into this course if you are:

  • a native speaker of a Yolngu language
  • recognised by the Yolngu advisors to the school as having basic literacy skills or experience in research or education
  • in regular contact with Yolngu and can demonstrate a sound knowledge of culture and language proficiency.

Domestic applicants with overseas qualifications

Overseas qualifications deemed to be equivalent to meeting the minimum entry requirements by (NOOSR) are eligible to apply based on these.

English language proficiency

IELTS remains the principal English language proficiency qualification (equivalent courses accepted). All tests are valid for two years from the date of the test to the date of commencement at CDU, unless otherwise specified.

Admission requirements panel icon 3How to apply


If you are a first-time applicant or didn’t complete your previous study with us, you should apply through SATAC to gain a place in the course.


If students have successfully completed one of the following courses at CDU, they can apply directly to CDU via MyNextCourse:

  • a completed TAFE/VET Certificate IV or above qualification
  • a completed Tertiary Enabling course (excluding TEP1)
  • a completed CDU undergraduate course

Admission requirements panel icon 4Enrolment

Acceptance of offer

Once you receive your offer, follow the instructions in the email sent to you by CDU. Familiarise yourself with your recommended study plan in the Course Catalogue and visit MyStudentInfo to enrol. You can use the enrolment help guide to help you through the process.

Credit transfer/advanced standing/recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Credit Transfer is the recognition of academic credits gained through formal study at CDU, other universities, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), or professional bodies. (Credit Transfer is sometimes referred to as Exemptions or Advanced Standing). Visit CDU's credit transfer and pathways information to find out more.

Professional experience and subsequent training may also be taken in to account. Students enrol in a unit and will be given a Professional Assessment (PA) grade if it is determined they are eligible for the exemption based on this experience.  


When responding to your offer via SATAC, you can select the option to defer for 6 or 12 months. There are no deferrals for MyNextCourse; when you are ready to commence your studies, simply reapply. 

Fees and charges

Visit Fees and Payments for further information.

Admission requirements panel icon 5Student and campus services

Library Services

The Library has a host of services and resources available regardless of your study mode (on campus or via distance) to support you throughout the year and beyond.

Equity Services

CDU students can contact Equity Services for confidential and free of charge assistance in the following areas:

Make an appointment or call reception at Equity Services and we will connect you with the relevant area.


CDU offers accommodation at Casuarina Campus and can also recommend off-campus lodging.

Child Care Centre

The Charles Darwin University Child Care Centre is located in Green 3 on Casuarina campus, just off Lakeside Drive.


CDUSA - Charles Darwin University Students Association 

Admission requirements panel icon 6Financial assistance


CDU scholarships are sponsored by individuals, businesses, government, community groups and the University to assist students with the financial burden of studying.

We offer scholarships in many categories. Some scholarships give the opportunity to participate in paid work experience during semester breaks.  Scholarships are open to all students currently enrolled at CDU or have applied for a place at CDU. 

Financial and other assistance

Your qualification is an investment in your future. We understand that studying at university can be financially challenging so we have put together the following information, which will help better manage your finances while studying - financial and other assistance.

Admission requirements panel icon 7Student profile

The table below gives an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students at CDU. It provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date in Semester 1, 2017, including those admitted through all offer rounds, across all Australian campuses, and international students studying in Australia.

Applicant backgroundSemester 1, 2017
Number of studentsPercentage of
all students

Higher education study

(includes a bridging or enabling course)

Vocational Education and Training (VET) study23314.72%

Recent secondary education (ATAR)

  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
    (regardless of whether this includes the impact of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)
  • Admitted where both ATAR and UMAT were considered
    (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)

Work and life experience

(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement other than the above)

International Students19112.07%
All students1583100%

L/N - Low numbers; the number of students is less than 5.

N/A - Data not available for this item.

N/P - Not published; the number is hidden to prevent calculation of numbers in cells with less than 5 students.

Admission requirements panel icon 8Where to get further information

  • SATAC - South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre
  • CMU - Complaints Management Unit
  • QILT  - Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching
  • TEQSA - Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency