Inherent Requirements Postgraduate Research Methods

Postgraduate Research Methods

JCU Inherent Requirements for Graduate Certificate of Research Methods (114711) and Graduate Diploma of Research Methods (114206)

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 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 Certificate of Research Methods and Graduate Diploma of Research Methods 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.
  • Engage in complex ethical decision-making, reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues, and take responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical behaviour.
  • Apply ethical and professional standards and independent judgement in research and academic settings.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding to prepare relevant ethics and/or biosafety applications as appropriate for the field of study/discipline.
  • Uphold privacy and legal standards in data collection, data management, and the use of technology.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity in professional, research, and academic settings.
Inherent requirement:Safe and inclusive practice sufficient to meet professional, research, 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, research and academic settings.
  • Initiate and uphold relevant workplace health and safety policies in professional, research and academic settings.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent requirement:Demonstration of the necessary knowledge and cognitive skills to acquire disciplinary understanding.
Rationale:The ability to acquire information, accurately communicate, and read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for effective practice.
  • Capacity for independent critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, critical analysis, decision making, rational inquiry, and self-directed learning.
  • Capacity to attain and apply specialised knowledge and skills to formulate a research proposal.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of research principles, methods, techniques, and tools to an independent research project.
  • Ability to analyse and interpret research data
  • Capacity to design, plan, conduct and complete a substantial research-based thesis with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability.


Inherent requirement:Apply English literacy skills to accurately acquire and interpret information and convey appropriate messages.
Rationale:The ability to read, decode, comprehend, interpret, and apply multiple sources of information are essential competencies required for effective practice.
  • Capacity to demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the relevant research area and/or related area of professional practice.
  • Capacity to identify, investigate, analyse, and synthesise a research problem applying methodological concepts and theories in a research project.
  • Communicate specialised knowledge and complex academic perspectives clearly and coherently using advanced written and oral English language skills and a variety of media.


Inherent requirement:Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts.
Rationale:Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential competencies required to collect and interpret numerical data.
  • Ability to accurately interpret and analyse quantitative research data in a discipline-specific context.
  • Capacity to formulate a budget for a research proposal/project.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Inherent requirement:Apply ICT processes and tools fundamental for effective research practice.
Rationale:Competent knowledge and application of ICTs is necessary to facilitate the effective delivery of a research project.
  • Capacity to effectively use discipline-specific ICTs to develop and execute research proposals and projects.
  • Apply the technical skills required to disseminate research results to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Capacity to effectively use ICTs for data acquisition, queries, management, analysis, and visualisation.

Verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Effective, respectful, and professional verbal communication in English.Effective, respectful, and professional verbal communication in English.
Rationale:Effective interaction with spoken English is required for effective learning, to interact appropriately in different situations and to communicate research findings.
  • Ability to communicate in a timely manner when speed and interactivity of communication are critical for individual safety and/or assessment.
  • Capacity to clearly and accurately present stages and outcomes of a research project to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

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, research and academic capability.
  • Construct and communicate research perspectives in writing, and in a time-constrained environment, using appropriate formatting and referencing when required.
  • Capacity to produce a written research dissertation which meets professional, academic, and, where appropriate, legal, and ethical requirements.
  • Communicate, in writing, specialised knowledge, ideas, and arguments accurately, coherently and creatively to a variety of audiences.


Inherent requirement:Sufficient visual acuity to meet professional, research and academic performance requirements.
Rationale:Aspects of the teaching, learning, and research environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required to provide safe and effective performance.
Examples:Ability to process, and respond to, the visual information required to provide safe and efficient research settings.


Inherent requirement:Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to meet professional, research, 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 provide safe and effective professional and academic performance.
  • Capacity to acquire auditory information accurately and effectively in professional and academic settings.
  • Actively listen, and contribute to, professional and academic discussions.
  • Ability to respond to verbalised instructions in a timely manner.
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 and research workload within a set timeframe.
  • Capacity to maintain consistency and quality of 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.
  • Ability to manage your own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with multiple and/or changing demands in a range of settings.
  • Ability to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in complex and time-sensitive situations.
  • Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads, and be receptive and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.
  • Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a high level of professionalism.