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Charles Darwin University



Charles Darwin University (CDU) is a leading Australian university for graduate employment and salary outcomes. Performing across global university rankings, this sustainable, creative, innovative and inclusive new world university teaches approximately 20,000 students from more than 68 countries, across 11 campuses and training centres in over 100 regional and remote locations.

CDU is the only university in the Northern Territory region of Australia, and is the Australian university closest to Asia. Due to its long heritage of educational delivery in northern Australia and history of innovation, the university is well positioned to improve lives and contribute to the future development of the region and wider Asian continents. CDU has built itself on the key values of innovative thinking, maintaining a clear focus on the future and developing solutions to contemporary injustices.

The university recognises the capacity of all its students to create a positive impact in the world, and as a result invests heavily in providing its learners with the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to improve lives. Whether it's quality taught programs or cutting-edge research, CDU brings them together to deliver quality outcomes for students.

The university's main campus is located just 20 minutes from the city of Darwin and 10 minutes from an international airport, a perfect location for students looking to explore everything Australia has to offer and learn within a welcoming, vibrant community.

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What's new

What's new

In November 2020, Charles Darwin University (CDU) became Australia's first university to welcome international students back to the country, with 63 students arriving in Darwin, Northern Territory.

These students, from Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, were the first international students to enter the country after strict COVID-19 international travel restrictions had been imposed in March 2020. The pilot program is an essential first step in the recovery of the international education sector in Australia.

Here's what a Japanese student, Hoshi has to say about the experience: ''The entire charter flight experience has been outstanding and will become one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. I cannot thank CDU and all the staff anymore!''

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said that, ''International students are vitally important to CDU. It has been a tremendous effort by our staff to make this pilot program a reality.''

Andrew Everett, CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Strategy and Advancement, confirmed the university followed all required health and safety measures as given by the Chief Health Officer of the NT.

For more information about the CDU Charter flight visit the website.

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Study options

Study options

CDU is a dual-sector university offering students a range of study options from pathways, certificate II courses, diplomas, VET courses through to higher education and research courses, such as PhD programs.

CDU International College

CDU International College and UP Education prepares students for higher education by offering foundation courses, diplomas and preparation courses for postgraduate degrees.


Study options are offered across the university's colleges:

  • College of Engineering, IT & Environment
  • Asia Pacific College of Business & Law
  • College of Education
  • College of Health & Human Sciences
  • College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society
  • College of Nursing & Midwifery


CDU offers a range of scholarships for its pathway, Vocational Education and Training, undergraduate, postgraduate, and research level programs. For more information on scholarships, visit the CDU website.

Study areas

Some of the study areas students can choose from include:

  • Engineering
  • IT and network engineering
  • Business and accounting
  • Arts and humanities
  • Health science and services
  • Hospitality
  • Laws and legal studies
  • Culinary arts and baking
  • Education
  • Emergency and disaster management
  • Nursing and midwifery
  • Environmental science
  • Psychological science
  • Exercise and sports science
  • Public health
  • Hairdressing and beauty services
  • Social work
  • Indigenous knowledges

Students must visit the CDU website for more on study options.

Entry requirements

To gain admission to study at CDU, students must meet academic and English language entry requirements.

Students can find the academic requirements for courses on the CDU website.

Details about the English entry requirements for CDU courses can be found in the course page under the 'entry requirements' tab.

Students who do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry to CDU programs can take up pathway programs at CDU International College.

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Accommodation & safety

Accommodation & safety


Students can choose to live on or off-campus while they study with CDU. They will find their home away from home at CDU.

On-campus accommodation

  • International House Darwin (IHD) – CDU Casuarina Campus

At International House Darwin (IHD), students come together as a community. The relationships and daily interactions shape not just studies and careers but personal journeys and futures. Visit the IHD website for more information.

  • Alice Springs

Students can visit the CDU website for more on this.

Off-campus accommodation

CDU offers students free advice about off campus accommodation options, tenancy advice and assistance where required.

Student safety

CDU is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students.

CDU's security are well-trained in first aid and have easy and quick access to first aid kits if there is a need for medical assistance. They are also trained as first responders in the event of any emergency/incident on campus.

The university security officers can help students by escorting them between buildings, local public transport points at several university sites, and campus car parks after hours.

Students can also follow the 'corridors of light' walkways, all of which are placed strategically around the campus. These corridors run from every main building to all the car parks.

COVID-19 health and safety

CDU is committed to ensuring that all campuses follow the chief health officer's measures on all aspects relating to COVID-19 health and safety. All students enrolled as on-campus students can be assured that the following measures are in place.

  • Classes on campuses are adopting social distancing protocols
  • There are increased hygiene practices undertaken around the campus with increased cleaning and hand sanitisation stations

Staff and students are required to check into locations around CDU campuses for contact tracing.

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Industry partnerships

Industry partnerships

CDU provides higher education and vocational education training (VET) - being a dual sector university.

CDU has built a range of strong networks in research and education. It has developed various industry relationships with not-for-profit organisations, professional associations, government-funded research agencies, and regional partnerships.

The university's higher education partners offer students opportunities to gain practical experience. CDU enjoys collaborations for training that are extensive with the regional trades, businesses and industry.

The university enjoys connections with organisations and universities across the globe, in countries such as:

  • Canada
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • United States
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Vietnam
  • France
  • Malaysia
  • China PRC
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Sweden

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Research at CDU

Research at CDU

CDU has become one of the most research-intensive and innovative teaching universities in Australia in a relatively short space of time. It ranked as a top 100 university globally for its research and impact (Times Higher Education 2020).

The university's research institutes and centres include:

  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods
  • Northern Institute
  • Energy and Resources Institute
  • The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre
  • The Australasian Centre for Resilience Implementation for Sustainable Communities

Learn more about research at CDU on the website.

Innovative research universities

CDU belongs to the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) group, a university network dedicated to inclusive excellence in research and teaching in Australia. The IRU members are Charles Darwin University, Flinders University, Griffith University, James Cook University, La Trobe University, Murdoch University, and Western Sydney University. The IRU seeks to promote the partnership between member universities in many areas, including teaching and learning, research, management and leadership training, and internationalisation.

Research excellence

According to the ERA (Research Excellence Rankings Analysis), 82 per cent of CDU's research is rated as world standard and above it enjoys a rating of 5 in: environmental science and management (4-digit level), medical and health sciences (2-digit level), and ecology (4-digit level). It also has a 4 at the 2-digit level in: biological sciences, environmental sciences, agricultural and veterinary sciences.

Indigenous research

CDU offer Indigenous education and research across the Northern Institute and The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre.

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Graduate outcomes

Graduate outcomes

Graduates from CDU have access to the best employment and career prospects.


The following are some of the university's rankings:

  • CDU ranks as the No.2 Australian university for full-time employment and starting salaries for undergraduate students (Good Universities Guide 2021)
  • CDU graduates are at least 10 per cent more likely to gain employment than the average university students and earn at least 5 per cent more within four months of graduation (2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey National Report)

CDU students are well equipped with the skills needed when entering the workplace. A testament to this is the large and successful university alumni working across the globe and in various industries. CDU was among Australia's top two universities for undergraduate employment outcomes from 2016 to 2021.

The Northern Territory has a high demand for qualified and skilled workers in engineering, accounting, tourism and hospitality, health, nursing, IT communications, the public services sector, and education.

Students can visit the CDU website for more information on career support and employability at the university.

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International students

Average cost of living in Australia

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501st  / 1250

THE World ranking

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Total average cost: $2462

  • $1030
  • $898
  • $138
    Daily life
  • $396
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