Senior College


“Senior College students participate in a unique and dynamic learning experience designed to maximise their chance of academic success at university. This educational journey is very much about where students are going rather than from where they commenced their journey"


  • A campus of The Essington School Darwin at the Casuarina Campus of Charles Darwin University
  • Opened January 2011 for Year 11, and extended to Year 12 in 2012
  • A unique, quality senior secondary experience for Northern Territory and overseas students
  • Teaching the NT Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET)
  • Providing international study, work experience and community service opportunities.

    Please check out Study North Australia website for more information

  • Providing a seamless transition to university and post-secondary education

The Essington International School Darwin is an Australian school with a difference. It is a parent owned, non-denominational, co-educational school known nationally for its innovative programs and outstanding success in national and international assessments. The school seeks to offer an international education and curriculum experience for its students by extending the local curriculum. The School offers a seamless educational program from its two child care centres, Preschool, Early Years Program, Junior School, and Middle School through to its expanding Senior Secondary program.

Charles Darwin University is an Australian University with a difference. It offers unique and exciting study opportunities in one of the world’s most culturally and biological diverse regions. Its students come from all parts of Australia and from more than 50 different countries around the world. The University offers a comprehensive, multi-sector university with nationally accredited courses in higher education bachelors, masters degrees and advanced doctorates as well as in Vocational Education and Training (VET). It continues to expand its enrolment and courses, including recent developments in Health Sciences, Pharmacy and Medicine. It also continues to grow its international profile, especially in Asia.

From the beginning of 2011 The Essington International School Darwin and Charles Darwin University have offered a unique senior secondary program to Northern Territory students – and a high quality, planned transition into university and post-secondary studies. The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, is located on the Casuarina Campus of Charles Darwin University, Darwin, and immersed into the University. Students will have their own Senior College building but use specialist teaching, sporting, cultural and recreational facilities on the campus. The Senior College, modelled on the successful University of Adelaide Senior College, and Flinders University Senior School, is different again. It is similar, however, in providing students with an outstanding transition to university and post secondary studies using university standard facilities.

We at The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, enjoy working closely with Charles Darwin University to provide our students with the best passport for a better future.


The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, is located on the Casuarina (Darwin) campus of Charles Darwin University in Orange Building 4.

Charles Darwin University (CDU) has four campuses at Casuarina (Darwin), Palmerston (Darwin), Alice Springs and Katherine. The Essington International Senior College is located on the Casuarina Campus of the University. Students from the Senior College will, however, also access programs during the year offered on the Palmerston and Katherine Campuses.

Casuarina Campus

The Casuarina campus is the main campus of Charles Darwin University located in the northern suburbs of Darwin, 12 kilometres from the Darwin city centre. The campus covers 56 hectares with lush tropical gardens and state-of-the-art facilities. These facilities include an extensive library with IT enabled learning precinct, well equipped air-conditioned lecture theatres and research laboratories, cafes, post office, bookshop, commercial printer, student recreation areas, sports ovals, gymnasium and a new sports complex, and basketball courts.

The campus is close to Casuarina Beach, a short walk to Darwin’s largest shopping precinct, Casuarina Shopping Centre. It is serviced by regular air-conditioned buses and is connected to the suburbs and city centre by extensive cycle tracks.


The University’s library holds a stock of over 300,000 items including print, electronic, microfilm, computer software, compact disc, and other audiovisual material and online access to over 17,000 journals. The Casuarina campus library is open for 77 hours per week during semesters, with access to electronic collections on a continuous basis. Students can borrow from the library’s collections or access the extensive online collections.

The Learning Precinct in the Casuarina campus library is an IT-enabled learning space, with individual student and collaborative workstations configured for laptop wireless networks. Laptop computers are available for loan within the library using the wireless network. Library staff provide assistance and training in the use of library and information resources to ensure students gain life-long skills in accessing information.

Recreation and Sports Facilities

CDU Sport provides sporting and recreational services and opportunities to students and staff of the University and the Senior College, as well as the wider Darwin community. CDU Sport-Fitness Unlimited is a fully equipped, air-conditioned and modern gymnasium featuring an extensive range of cardio equipment, machine and free weights and group fitness classes.

CDU Sport also offers a wide variety of associated sporting clubs which students can join. These provide opportunities for students to get involved in sport, in a competitive and social atmosphere. Sports include: netball, basketball, cricket, hockey, badminton, rugby union, soccer and volleyball.

Teaching Facilities

The Casuarina campus has well-equipped air-conditioned classrooms, laboratories and lecture theatres. Many of these have overhead, video and data projection facilities and are connected to the internet. There are 12 Computer Laboratories for general teaching and individual student use, and specialised Science and Engineering Laboratories. The general Computer Laboratories are usually open from 7 am to 1 am every day.


The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, expects students to:

  • Maintain full-time attendance
  • Be committed to their studies and maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Complete all set work on time
  • Attend classes fully prepared and with necessary materials
  • Attend additional holiday classes if their grades are insufficient for their planned future university/post secondary study pathway
  • Abide by the rules and regulations of the University, and of the Senior College

The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, may cancel or suspend a student’s enrolment under the following circumstances:

  • Non attendance at classes Non completion of assessments
  • Unsatisfactory academic progress
  • Serious misconduct including plagiarism
  • Failure to follow the rules and regulations of the University, and of the Senior College
  • Failure to pay tuition fees


The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, with the cooperation of Charles Darwin University, member schools of the Council of International Schools, sister schools in Asia, the Asia Education Foundation and Australian businesses in Asia provides Year 11 and 12 students with access to a range of opportunities for short term work experience, student exchange and community service in Asia. This enables students to develop a global perspective, and an awareness of the opportunities available to them for study or work in the future.

The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, has contacts in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Charles Darwin University has contact with programs in Austria, France, Sweden, Brunei, Germany, Thailand, Canada, Indonesia, United Kingdom, China, Malaysia, USA, Denmark, Phillipines, and Vietnam.

The Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (NTCET)

What is the NTCET?

The Northern Territory Certificate of Education & Training (NTCET) is a qualification awarded to students who successfully complete their senior secondary education (Years 11 and 12).

The NTCET has been updated and strengthened to ensure it meets the needs of students, families, higher and further education providers, employers and the community. The new NTCET builds upon the achievements of the previous Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE) and helps students develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed – whether they are headed for further education and training, university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workforce.

The Certificate is based on two stages of achievement: Stage 1 (normally undertaken in Year 11) and Stage 2 (Year 12). Students will be able to study a wide range of subjects and courses as part of the NTCET. 

>> Click here for more information


New Senior College Officially Opened By Honorable Paul Henderson, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

The Essington International School Darwin made history on the 27th January, 2011, when its new senior secondary college opened on Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus.

The Essington International Senior College, Charles Darwin University, is located in a building at the entrance to Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina Campus. The senior college is an initiative of The Essington International School Darwin and an agreement with Charles Darwin University.

Professor Barney Glover, Vice Chancellor of Charles Darwin University, said it was a huge shot in the arm for the University to be so closely associated with Essington’s excellent academic record throughout all areas of study.

“By immersing these students into the dynamics of university life, they will essentially hit the ground running when they embark on their own tertiary experience, which we hope would be with CDU”, he said.

“As a multi-sector education provider, CDU already provides unique pathways for students, from school-based vocational training through to advanced research degrees, and Essington’s seamless educational pathway for students through to university is a hugely welcomed addition.”

Peter Rogers, Essington School Board Chair at the time said, “The new Essington Senior College at Charles Darwin University marks a significant milestone, not only for the Essington School and Charles Darwin University, but also for education in Darwin. The College will provide additional choice to Darwin families and will allow Essington students to continue their seamless educational journey into post secondary and university studies”.

Students First Day

Essington Senior Secondary students spent their first day at the new Senior College on Tuesday 25th January, 2011, and met their teachers who have come from the Essington School and school interstate and overseas.

They also spent time exploring the University campus before attending their first classes. Of interest to students were the excellent music education facilities at the University, immediately adjacent to the Senior College building.

Over the next week, students will also be introduced to the university’s specialist learning facilities that they will be using. These include the Science laboratories, computer facilities, library, recreation facilities – and the Cafeteria.

Educational Excellence

The new Senior College is planning to provide extension learning activities and programs for all students through out their Year 11 and 12 years.

All Year 11 students have laptops and will be using them in their daily classes.

Year 11s are also enrolled in a University subject, Academic Literacies, to teach them the skills and knowledge of study and research skills, and how to be effective and efficient learners. This will also prepare them for post secondary studies.

Access to lecturers at the University for occasional lectures relevant to their subjects will provide students with the latest knowledge on topics being studied in Year 11 and 12.

Students will also have easy access to VET and University courses offered at the university. It is expected that a number of students will be involved in some undergraduate university programs whilst they are in Year 12.

Academies of Excellence: in Maths, Science, Technology and The Arts

 The College, the University and other education and research institutions are working to develop extension programs through its Centres of Excellence Programs in Maths, Science, Technology and Visual Arts. Programs include vacation schools at the University in July.