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Study in Darwin, Australia

Population: 130,000

City Overview

Darwin is a city of contrasts. This modern metropolis is where Australia’s urban meets its Outback, where Aborigines meet settlers and where the population ebbs and flows with the seasons.

As the capital of Australia’s sparsely populated Northern Territory, Darwin has grown from a small outpost into one of Australia’s most multicultural and forward thinking cities, which is also a strategic point for entry into Asia.

If you want to see a different side to Australia, a graduate program in Darwin is just the ticket.

Education profile

Darwin is home to just one university offering postgraduate courses, but it’s a good one: The Charles Darwin University has four campuses throughout the Northern Territory, with the largest in Darwin.

Like most Australian universities, Charles Darwin University has a global reputation for the quality of its research, making the institution an attractive option for those looking to study postgraduate courses.

Most Masters degrees in Darwin take one year to complete full time, with PhDs taking up to four years to finish.

Immigration and visas

In order to undertake a graduate program at Charles Darwin University you will need to acquire a temporary visa. This visa will allow you to study at the institution and work unlimited hours whilst completing your postgraduate course, and will also allow dependent family members to accompany you whilst you are in the country.

In order to obtain your student visa you will need to pay a visa charge at your nearest Australian Embassy, where you will also have to present:
  • A completed form 157A
  • The confirmation letter from the university where you will be studying
  • Four recent passport sized photographs
  • Copies of passport pages
  • Evidence that you have Overseas Student Health Cover for as long as you will be in the country
You can apply online for your visa via the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Life in Darwin

Life in Darwin is different from life in other big cities. This isn’t a city where you’ll be sipping skinny lattes in a cafe all day. Darwin is seen by some as the last city true to typical Aussie down to earth culture. It’s not for nothing that Darwin is known as the beer-drinking capital of the world.

However, Darwin is also an amazing place to live if you love nature. Kakadu National Park is a 20,000 sq km wilderness jungle, which is home to wallabies, kangaroos, parrots, crocodiles and snakes. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia and is well worth visiting in both the dry and wet seasons in order to get a different feel.

Working in Darwin

Darwin’s two largest economic sectors are mining and tourism. The mining industry in Darwin gives the city more than AUS$2.5billion per year, with gold, zinc and bauxite the most lucrative and productive resources.

Tourism employs 8% of all Darwin residents, with many visitors using the city as a stop off point on the way to Kakadu National Park or en route to the Red Centre and Ayres Rock. More tourism is expected as Darwin’s importance as a port continues to grow.


Most postgraduate students coming to Darwin live in on-campus accommodation such as International House Darwin, which is a residential community of home and international students on Casuarina campus.

Alternatively, it is possible to get private accommodation in Darwin through estate agents or other providers. Some popular districts in Darwin are:
  • Wanguri
  • Tiwa
  • Casuarina
  • Brinkin
  • Nightcliff
Expect to pay around AUS$140-$200 (£92-£131) per week for a room in a shared house. 

Weather and Climate

Darwin has a tropical climate with two distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season runs from May until September, with the wet season running from December to March, when thunderstorms are common and humidity can hit soar to more than 70%. The wet season in Darwin can also bring tropical cyclones, monsoon rains and hurricanes.

Temperatures in Darwin are similar all year round, averaging around 30C, with November normally the hottest month.

What to do next

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