Inherent Requirements Social Science and Indigenous Studies

Social Science and Indigenous Studies

JCU Inherent Requirements for Graduate Diploma of Social Science (103406) and Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies (121411)

James Cook University is committed to enhancing student access, participation and success in higher education and embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. The inherent requirements listed for the each course are designed to assist prospective students and all current students to make informed decisions for study.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession.

Reasonable adjustments

JCU assists students who are experiencing a disability to participate in these courses, and achieve the inherent requirements of the course, on the same basis as someone who is not experiencing a disability. To do this, JCU works with our students and placement providers to develop agreed reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Student Disability Policy.

A reasonable adjustment is an arrangement, support, or modification, agreed in an Access Plan  to enable participation in learning and achievement of course requirements. Contact JCU’s AccessAbility Services to discuss possible adjustments. Please note that the process of negotiating and implementing reasonable adjustments may take several weeks.

In assessing whether an adjustment is reasonable, the University is entitled, in accordance with the Disability Education Standards, to maintain the inherent requirements of a course. If inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, the University provides guidance regarding other study options.

How to interpret the inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are presented below as domains and sub-domains and contain the following information:

  • The definition of the inherent requirement
  • A rationale as to why it is an inherent requirement
  • Examples of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities that are required to satisfy the inherent requirements of these courses.

The inherent requirements for these courses should be read in conjunction with the Course and Subject Handbook.

The inherent requirements of the Graduate Diploma of Social Science and Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies are:

Inherent requirement:Demonstrate knowledge of, and engage in, ethical and professional behaviour consistent with all relevant standards.
Rationale:Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines, and policies that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships for all students/graduates and the people they engage with, supports the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of all.
  • Uphold standards, codes, guidelines, policies, and cultural frameworks that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships within professional and academic environments.
  • Pursue ethical decision-making, reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues, and take responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical behaviour.
  • Apply ethical and professional standards in workplace and academic settings.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity in professional and academic settings.
Inherent requirement:Safe and inclusive practice sufficient to meet professional and academic performance standards.
Rationale:Safe practices protect the rights, interests, and safety of all stakeholders.
  • Contribute to safe professional and academic environments, including adhering to the requirements of informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality in professional and academic settings.
  • Initiate and uphold relevant workplace health and safety policies in professional and  academic settings.
  • Ability to assess risk, and practice safety assessment and risk reduction.
  • Identify and respond to alarm systems in a time-sensitive manner.
  • Demonstrate awareness of culturally safe practice, and work to prevent and eliminate discrimination.
  • Ability to work effectively, responsibly, and safely in diverse contexts and interdisciplinary teams.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent requirement:Demonstration of the necessary knowledge and cognitive skills to acquire disciplinary understanding and provide professional, competent practice.
Rationale:Successful completion of this course is based on knowledge that must be sourced, understood, and applied appropriately.
  • Capacity to research, recall, and process appropriate and relevant information, and evaluate its significance to make informed professional and academic decisions.
  • Ability to critically review, analyse, consolidate, and synthesise information and evidence, and evaluate its significance for specific purposes.
  • Ability to integrate the knowledge of the diversity of cultures and peoples, their differences, and their commonalities.
  • Demonstrate skills to reflect, evaluate, adapt, and implement cognitive strategies for improved practice.
  • Ability to research and apply national, regional, and global perspectives to identify and solve complex problems facing peoples and societies locally, nationally, and globally.


Inherent requirement:Apply English literacy skills to accurately acquire and interpret information and convey appropriate messages to meet professional and academic standards.
Rationale:The ability to read, decode, comprehend, interpret, and apply multiple sources of information are essential competencies required for effective professional and academic practice.
  • Capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly and discipline-specific manner, and within a specific timeframe.
  • Interpret written and spoken language to enact verbal or written directions.
  • Ability to communicate concisely and clearly, with the capacity to develop skills in providing and conveying learned knowledge and solutions to complex problems.


Inherent requirement:Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts for effective professional and academic practice.
Rationale:Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential competencies required for effective professional and academic practice.
  • Ability to accurately interpret and process quantitative research data in professional and academic contexts.
  • Apply numeracy skills to interpret and solve problems in a range of professional and academic contexts.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Inherent requirement:Apply ICT processes and tools fundamental for effective professional and academic practice.
Rationale:Competent knowledge and application of ICTs is necessary for effective practice.
  • Select appropriate ICTs to successfully accomplish professional and academic tasks in a timely manner.
  • Ability to use relevant digital technology appropriately to undertake activities in professional, academic, and community environments.

Verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Effective, respectful, and professional verbal communication in English to meet professional and academic standards.
Rationale: Effective interaction with spoken English is required for effective learning and to interact appropriately in different situations.
  • Ability to process complex verbal information, convey instructions, and respond clearly, accurately, and appropriately, in time-constrained academic and professional environments.
  • Participate in meetings and consultations, and present to groups in professional, academic, and community contexts.
  • Convey spoken messages clearly, accurately, and effectively, and communicate in a sensitive manner that responds to cultural and individual differences.
  • Ability to communicate in a timely manner when speed and interactivity of communication are critical for individual safety and/or assessment.

Non-verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Recognise, interpret, and respond to non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others.
Rationale: The ability to recognise, interpret, and respond to non-verbal cues, communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication is required for safe and effective professional and academic interactions.
  • Convey non-verbal behaviour that is respectful of others and consistent with the nature of discussions and presentations in both professional and academic environments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise non-verbal cues.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural and individual differences when using non-verbal communication.

Written communication

Inherent requirement: Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional communication, with language usage and style which can be tailored to a specific audience.
Rationale: Effective written communication, in English, is an essential professional and academic capability.
  • Construct and communicate complex professional, academic, and discipline-specific perspectives in writing, and in a time-constrained environment, using appropriate formatting and referencing when required.
  • Demonstrate applied skills in academic writing conventions and sustained and organised academic argument.
  • Ability to understand and communicate using discipline-specific characters, symbols, vocabulary, and language.
  • Produce accurate, concise, and clear written documentation which meets professional, academic, and, where appropriate, legal requirements.


Inherent requirement:

Sufficient visual acuity to meet professional and academic performance requirements.

Rationale:Aspects of the teaching, learning, and working environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required for effective professional and academic performance.
Examples:Ability to process the visual information required to perform duties, use resources, and provide a safe professional, academic, and research environment.


Inherent requirement:Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to meet professional and academic performance requirements.
Rationale:Aspects of the learning and working environments are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required to uphold safety and for effective professional and academic performance.
  • Actively listen, and contribute to, professional and academic discussions.
  • Respond to verbalised instructions in a timely manner.
  • Capacity to acquire auditory information accurately and effectively in placement, fieldwork, and academic settings.
Inherent requirement:Sustained physical, cognitive, and psychosocial performance sufficient for safe and complete performance in a time-constrained environment.
Rationale:Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in varying periods of time to provide safe and effective practice.
  • Ability to sustain study performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a 13-week and/or intensive study period, and for the degree, within a timeframe.
  • Capacity to maintain consistency and quality of professional and academic performance, and complete all required tasks throughout a designated period of time.
Inherent requirement:Demonstrate behaviour that adapts to diverse and changing situations in professional and academic environments.
Rationale:Behavioural adaptability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Students may be exposed to highly complex situations and are required to have behavioural adaptability to manage these events.
  • Adjust ways of working within teams of varied personal and professional backgrounds and opinions to facilitate effective decision-making.
  • Ability to manage your own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with multiple and/or changing demands in a range of settings.
  • Be receptive and respond professionally to constructive feedback.
  • Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads.
  • Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a high level of professionalism.
  • Ability to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in complex and time-sensitive situations.