Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University

The beginnings of Charles Darwin University (CDU) can be traced to 1989 when the region's first university named that of the Northern Territory University, was established. This was the very first university with dual sector in Australia that offered higher education and vocational training. It was established in 2003. Charles Darwin University was established as a result of an act passed by the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly by merging the Northern Territory University, the Northern Territory Rural College in Katherine and Centralian College in Alice Springs together along with Menzies School of Health Research. Presently, the university has its membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning (ASAIHL) as well as the Innovative Research Universities (IRU).

Charles Darwin University Campus

Charles Darwin University has five campuses in Casuarina, Palmerstone, Katherine, Alice Springs and Sydney which offer higher education, Vocational Education and Training (VET) as well as Research education at nine locations across Australia.

  • Casuarina campus, located close to Darwin International Airport is CDU's largest campus as well as the principal campus in the Higher Education, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and research programs. The campus is situated within 56 hectares of land and has a range of recreation and study areas that are both indoor and undercover. Additionally the campus also houses an Art Collection and Gallery, and a children's care center.
  • Palmerston campus is located close to Palmerston city centre, which includes two major shopping malls and pubs, restaurants as well as various sporting clubs water park, skate park, cinema, and other things. The campus also has libraries, computer rooms as well as cafes restaurants beauty and hair salons.
  • Katherine campus is situated 16 kms to the north to the Katherine CBD and is considered to be a growing mining agricultural, horticultural, and tourist destination.
  • Alice Spring campus has an impressive library, an online Learning Resource Centre, and a multi-Brolga Award-winning Desert Lantern Restaurant. In addition it also has an up-to-date 85-seat lecture theater, a science lab for higher education, specialized IT classrooms as well as an educational laboratory for clinical nursing.
  • The Sydney Campus is home to a prayer room, five state of the art classrooms that have collaboration equipment, a students lounge, kitchenette as well as a computer area and study spaces. The campus also has students with an internal phone that students can connect with faculty and teachers.


In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings of 2021, Charles Darwin University is placed 501-600th around the globe as well as 29th within Australia. It also ranks 101-150th globally for the year 2020. Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 list, which makes it the most youthful institution in Australia to make the list.

The 2019 Students Experience Survey, Charles Darwin University reported an overall satisfaction score of 75.2.

  • Rated 936th according to US News for their 2021's Best Global Universities Rankings
  • Ranked 501-600th in World University Rankings 2021 by Times Higher Education
  • They were ranked 701-750th according to QS Best Universities on their Global World Ranking for 2021
  • Ranked 1056th by CWUR's Global Rankings for 2019-20
  • Ranked 33rd in Best Global Universities in Australia Rankings 2021 by US News
  • Ranked 29th in Australia by CWUR for 2019-20

Student Association

The students are represented through students are represented by the CDU Student Council (CDUSC) as well as postgraduate students through CDU Postgraduate Student Association. CDU Postgraduate Student Association, which is a member of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations. There are several student associations for each school such as CDU's Law Student Society which is affiliated with the Australia Law Students Association. There is also the CDU Women's Collective For Innovation and Change and the CDU Business Students Association. These student associations provide academic, professional and career assistance to their members in addition to organising social occasions throughout the year.


The university provides a variety of extensive programs across a range of disciplines including accounting, culinary arts and sports, social science as well as health, law nursing, education and business, as well as social work, education tourism, IT, hospitality and food, psychology and design, languages, and engineering. The campus has more than two thousand students with a majority of them international students from 55 nations and a formidable faculty of more than 700 outstanding faculty members.

Research Institutes and Centres

The research institutes of the university and centers comprise

  • North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas
  • Menzies School of Health Research (see the above)
  • The Northern Institute
  • Research Institute for Environment & Livelihoods
  • Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education (ACIKE)
  • Research Centre for Health and Wellbeing
  • Centre for Renewable Energy
  • Centre for School Leadership, Learning & Development
  • International Centre for Education (IGCE)


Frequently asked questions