Foundation Studies Programme

CRICOS course code 0101533

Foundation Studies programmes are a direct academic pathway to first-year undergraduate degree study, or equivalent. The programmes act as a bridging course for international students who wish to study a university undergraduate degree course but don’t yet meet academic requirements and/or English language skills for tertiary study.

Charles Darwin University is one of the most unique study destinations in the world, and one that is rising fast in international rankings.

UP Education partners with the university to deliver a range of bridging programmes to enable international students to pathway from their home country into an undergraduate degree.

Charles Darwin University International Pathway College is where these programmes are delivered and is based at Darwin, Australia.

Charles Darwin University CRICOS Provider Code 00300K (NT/VIC) 03286A (NSW), RTO Provider Code 0373

CDU Foundation Studies Program

Foundation Studies Programme

A Foundation Studies programme guarantees entry into a first-year CDU undergraduate degree course^* provided the student:

  • Meet all course requirements
  • Pass all required compulsory and elective units
  • Attain a 60% minimum grade in all English language units

^Some degrees may have additional entry requirements – see CDU website for further details.

* Students enrolled in the Summer Semester intake are unable to progress to Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Occupational Therapy as the pathway is unavailable for Semester 2. 

Teaching style

Teaching is face to face and utilises a ‘blended’ approach in a classroom setting. Classes introduce and develop knowledge and skills, with follow-up activities such as discussion, investigation, assignments and appropriate web-based and digital resources.

Academic English

Foundation Studies programmes in Australia are bound by the accrediting authority (TEQSA) to include dedicated English studies to develop students’ English language proficiency required for entry into higher education studies.

The development of academic English skills is integrated into all activities. Individual projects, scaffolded learning and monitored small group discussions are encouraged, as well as tertiary skills such as listening to academic lectures, taking effective notes, reading academic texts in an effective and timely manner, and research and referencing skills.


Programme Structure

From 2020, Charles Darwin University International Pathway College will offer:

Foundation Studies Programme (8 units over 2 semesters)

Core units

The following units are compulsory for the Foundation Studies Programme:

  • English A
  • English B
  • English C (Australian Culture and Society)

Elective units

(Choose 5 including at least 1 Mathematics)

  • Accounting
  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Health Science
  • Marketing and Tourism
  • Mathematics with Calculus
  • Mathematics with Statistics
  • Media Studies
  • Physics

Each Foundation Studies programme can be undertaken in one of 3 intake dates. In addition to core units, students select several elective units to fulfil the requirements for a stream.


Progressing to an undergraduate degree

Successful completion of a Foundation Studies Programme enables students to progress to an undergraduate degree course^* at Charles Darwin University. Each undergraduate degree requires applicants to have achieved a specific GPA score in the Foundation Studies Programme. The score varies from programme to programme.

Explanation of Grade Points

Grade Range Contribution to GPA
High Distinction 85 to < 100% 7
Distinction 75 to < 85% 6
Credit 65 to <75% 5
Pass 50 to <65% 4
Pass ungraded   NA
Pass conceded May be used for mark 45 to <50% 3
Fail <50% 0
Fail not submitted    

For more detailed information please refer to this document.

^Some degrees may have additional entry requirements – see CDU website for further details.

*Students enrolled in the Summer Semester intake are unable to progress to Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Occupational Therapy as the pathway is no longer available for Semester 2. 

Intakes and Fees

The pricing below is only for enrolments in 2021. Fees for 2022 enrolments will be published in due course. 

Programme lengthIntake Date (2021)2021 fees (AUD)
2 semesters1 March
19 July
8 November

Semester Dates


Latest Application Date (Offshore)

Latest Application Date (Onshore)

Latest Acceptance Date


Teaching begins

Census Date

Teaching ends



Semester 1 2021

15 Feb 2021

26 Feb 2021

22 Feb for offshore & 1 March for onshore

25-26 February 2021

1 March 2021

22 March 2021

28 May 2021

7-18 June 2021

2-9 April 2021

Semester 2 2021

5 July 2021

16 July 2021

15 July for offshore & 19 July for onshore

15-16 July 2021

19 July 2021

30 Aug 2021

15 October   2021

25 October- 5 November   2021

30 August – 3 September 2021

Summer Semester 2021 – 2022

25 Oct 2021

5 Nov 2021

1 Nov for offshore & 8 Nov for onshore

4-5 November 2021

8 November 2021


11 February    2022

21-25 February   2022

20-31 December   2021


Entry Requirements

Age requirement

The minimum age for entry into the Foundation Studies Programme is 17. Students close to their 17th birthday may be admitted, if approval is granted by the Head of the International Pathways College.

English language requirements

Students must provide evidence of English language proficiency with an IELTS qualification, or agreed equivalent.

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements

Students must have completed Year 11 of Australian secondary school or equivalent in another country. 

Country Standard Programme
Australia Completion of Year 11 with a pass in 3 academic subjects
Bahrain Successful completion of the General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjahiya or Shehadet AlThanawiya) with an overall achievement of 75%
Bangladesh HSC grade point average (GPA) of 2.0
Bhutan Bhutan Year 11 with 60% in relevant academic subjects, or,
Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate (Year 12) – 46% average in relevant subjects
Brazil Certificate de Ensino Medio: 7.0 in 4 relevant subjects
Brunei 3 passes at O Level
Cambodia Diploma of Upper Secondary Education with C grade in four relevant academic subjects
Canada Completion of Year 11 with 70% in 4 academic subjects
Chile Successful completion of Licencia de Education Media – GPA of 5.0
China Senior year 2 or Senior 3: 65% or above in relevant subjects
Colombia Bachillerato with 7.0 in 4 relevant subjects
Ecuador Bachillerato with 15 in 4 relevant subjects
Global Assessment Certificate Level 2 GPA of 2.6
Ghana 5 passes in SSCE at minimum grade D or successful completion of GCE O Levels with minimum of C average in 4 subjects
Hong Kong HKDSE: 3 relevant subjects at Level 2 OR completion of Form 5.
India Year 11 60% (from CBSE), or
Year 11 75% (from State Boards)
Indonesia SMA2: GPA 6.5 in 4 academic subjects (private schools), or,
SMA2: GPA 7.0 in 4 academic subjects (government schools), or,
SMA3: GPA 5.0 or 50%
International Baccalaureate Completion of first year of IB diploma with Grade 4 in 4 relevant subjects
Iran Completion of Year 11 with 14/20 in (relevant) academic subjects
Japan Kotogakko / Upper Secondary School Certificate year 2: C grades in 4 academic subjects.
Kazakhstan Successful completion of Certificate of Secondary Education
Kenya Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education with D- grade average
Kuwait Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama/General Secondary School Certificate – 75% in 4 relevant subjects
Laos Completion of Baccalaureate with 65% in 4 relevant academic subjects
Macau Form 5 / Senior Middle 2 65% in academic subjects (Band 1 schools), or,
Form 5/Senior Middle 2 70% in academic subjects (other schools)
Malaysia* SPM (forecast/prelim/actual): aggregate of 20 or less across 5 academic subjects
Mexico Completion of Bachillerato with 7.0/70% in 4 relevant subjects
Mongolia Completion of Certificate of Complete Secondary Education with 2 C grades and 2 D grades in 4 relevant subjects
Myanmar BEHS/Matriculation Exam – 65% average in 4 relevant academic subjects
Nepal Pre-2018: Higher Secondary Certificate – 50% average in best 4 academic subjects including English; non-academic subjects are not considered, or,
2018 onwards: minimum GPA of 2.2 in best four academic subjects
New Caledonia Successful completion of Senior Secondary School / Lycee General et Technologique / Lycee professionnel
New Zealand Completion of NCEA level 2
Nigeria 5 passes in SSCE at minimum grade D or successful completion of GCE O Levels with minimum of C average in 4 subjects
Norway Vitnemal – Grunnskolen (Leaving Certificate from Compulsory School / Lower Secondary School) with grades of 3 or higher in three subjects
Oman General Secondary Education Certificate (Thanawiya amma) – 70%
Pakistan HSC Year 11: 60% average
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea High School Year 11 with a 50% average
Peru Successful completion of the Certificate of Completed General Secondary Education with an average grade of 14
Philippines K-12 System: Year 11 – 75% in relevant subjects, or,
Old high School Diploma: 80% in relevant subjects
Russian Federation Certificate of Secondary Education (Attestat): Grade 3 in 5 subjects
Singapore Singapore O levels (or forecast) – aggregate of 25 or less across 5 academic subjects
Saudi Arabia Tawjihiyah/General Secondary Education certificate – 60% in academic subjects
South Africa Completion of Year 11 with 70% in four academic subjects
South Korea Successful completion of Year 2 with 60% average in academic subjects or CSAT score of 269
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka O level 2 x C, 2 X B grades in 4 academic subjects
Sweden Leaving Certificate awarded on completion of compulsory education (Slutbetyg fran Grundskola)
Taiwan Senior Year 2: 60% or above in 4 academic subjects
Thailand Matayom 5 GPA of 2.3 in academic subjects
Turkey Devlet Lise Diplomasi – Grade 2 in 3 subjects and Grade 3 in 2 subjects
Ukraine Attestat pro Povnu Zagal’nu Sersdniu Osvitu, (Grade of 6 acceptable where Ukraine grading is on scale of 1-12)
United Arab Emirates Secondary school certificate Year 12: 75% in relevant subjects
United Kingdom 2 Passes at GCSEs
United States Completion of Year 11
Uzbekistan Certificate of Completed Secondary Education with 60%
Venezuela Bachiller with 14 in 4 relevant subjects
Vietnam Year 11: GPA of 6.5
Zambia O levels with 5 Academic Subjects
Contact us

345 Queen St
Auckland, New Zealand

Postal address
PO Box 78-359
Grey Lynn, Auckland 1245

T +64 9 307 5399
F +64 9 377 7125


Level 3, West wing
Wellington Railway Station
2 Bunny St
Wellington 6011, New Zealand

T +64 4 9795566

From 11:59pm on 2 November, Auckland, the Northwest Waikato (including Hamilton), and the Upper Northland are at Alert Level 3. Students will continue their studies online. For certain courses, onsite learning will resume under strict Level 3 guidelines. You will be notified if this applies to you. The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2. For regular Alert Level updates, visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website.