Communication programs - Inherent Academic Requirements | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Communication programs - Inherent Academic Requirements

For double degrees, please check the Inherent Academic Requirements for both single degrees

Committed to equity and diversity

At UniSC, we are committed to facilitating the integration of all students into the University Community.

Reasonable adjustments in teaching and/or assessment methods can be made for students provided those adjustments do not compromise the inherent requirements of the program.

The inherent academic requirements of the Communication suite of programs, are the fundamental skills and abilities that the student must be able to achieve in order to demonstrate the essential learning outcomes of the  programs.

This Statement provides realistic information about the inherent academic requirements that you must meet in order to complete your program and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for these programs so you can make an informed judgement about your ability to fulfil them.

Skills you need

The Communication programs have inherent academic requirements in three categories: 

  • Communication skills
  • Behavioural and social skills
  • Intellectual, such as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities 

Before you enrol

If you intend to enrol in a Communication program at the University of the Sunshine Coast, look carefully at the inherent academic requirements listed in this statement and think about whether you might experience challenges in meeting them.

If you think you might experience challenges related to your disability, health condition or for any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a University Ability Adviser or School staff.

Reasonable adjustments

Students with disabilities or other special circumstances may be provided with reasonable adjustment to enable them to meet the inherent academic requirements of the Communication programs if the adjustment is:

  • logistically reasonable
  • likely to result in the student being able to perform the skills adequately and in a timely manner
Support and further information is available from UniSC

Communication skills

  • Verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills
Verbal and nonverbal communication skills

Students must have the capacity to demonstrate

  • an ability to communicate, and to understand accurately verbal communication in English, and respond verbally, in English, to a standard that allows fluid, clear, timely, and comprehensible two-way discussions
  • an ability to understand and to provide clear instructions in the context of the situation
  • an ability to express ideas concisely and clearly with the capacity to develop skills in verbal reasoning
  • listening comprehension skills that equip the student to deal with varied situations, from note-taking in lectures to work placement situations
  • sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences in their communication and ability to interact appropriately in different situations

This is an inherent academic requirement of the Communication programs because:

  • Effective, respectful, and professional two-way communication, via verbal and non-verbal means, is required to participate in tutorials and group assessment tasks and, for creating safe learning environments.
  • English language and literacy skills are the foundation from which students will develop and engage in sustained and organised academic argument.
  • Interactivity of communication is necessary for receiving and implementing instructions and feedback and for resolving complex problems experienced in the academic and the professional disciplinary settings.

Adjustments must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity, and accuracy issues to ensure appropriate support.


As a student, you must:

  • engage in discussions, make verbal presentations and participate in tutorials and groupwork, conveying spoken and written messages, including complex academic perspectives, accurately and effectively
  • recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to verbal communication and non-verbal communication cues accurately and appropriately
  • demonstrate appropriate awareness of own behaviours and their impact on others and show sensitivity to individual and/or cultural differences
Written communication skills 

Students must have the capacity to demonstrate:

  • an ability to construct coherent, timely, and professional written communication in English that complies with academic writing standards and is appropriate to circumstances and context.
  • reading and comprehending of a range of literature and information in English.

These are inherent academic requirements of the Communication programs because:

  • Construction of written tasks that adhere to required academic standards is necessary to communicate understanding of relevant subject matter.
  • Effective written communication in English is a fundamental aspect of professional practice.

Adjustments must allow students to meet necessary standards of clarity, accuracy, and accessibility to ensure effective acquisition, recording, comprehension, and exchange of arguments and knowledges in academic and work placement settings.


As a student, you must:

  • construct essays, reports, creative works, and other written work that meet academic and professional standards
  • paraphrase, summarise, and reference in accordance with appropriate academic, professional, and organisational practice conventions

Information and communication technology (ICT) skills

Students must have the capacity to acquire and demonstrate:

  • sound working skills in applying information and communication technologies (ICT) to communicate via a range of ICT applications and systems in both academic and professional settings.

These are inherent requirements of the Communication programs because competent ICT skills are essential to:

  • successfully accessing, applying, manipulating, and communicating digital information and objects to meet learning outcomes
  • preparing and completing assessment tasks and submitting assessment items online

Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to effectively adapt to and use a range of ICT to apply and communicate accurate information. UniSC has in place a range of strategies and technology to support students with disabilities. Adjustments specific to the individual can be discussed with the University’s AccessAbility Service.


As a student you must:

  • interact with technology in a constant, creative, confident and critical basis and use a range of software, applications and devices for academic, research, and placement purposes, in face-to-face and online synchronous and asynchronous communication environments
  • be agile and confident in your engagement with technology, adopt new technologies with ease and employ a range of ICT skills (such as internet searching, word processing, video and sound editing) to complete written and audio-visual learning and assessment activities
  • develop and manage a meaningful digital identity

Behavioural and Social Skills

Students must have the capacity to demonstrate:

  • behavioural stability and adaptability in academic and professional environments which may be at times challenging and unpredictable
  • an ability to work with others and share responsibility for outcomes in a range of roles and contexts
  • cultural, environmental and social awareness and ethical and reflective practice – e.g. in tutorials, workshops, field trips and/or work placements

These are inherent academic requirements of the Communication programs because students must be able to work constructively and ethically in socially and culturally diverse academic and placement environments.


Adjustments must support stable, effective, ethical and professional behaviour in academic and professional settings.


As a student, you must:

  • engage with peers and staff appropriately and with sensitivity in discussion settings in the classroom, and in team tasks and be receptive, appropriate, and professional in responding to constructive written and verbal feedback.
  • reflect on ethical considerations and issues and take responsibility for your own ethical behaviour and development.
  • manage your own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with others both in University, work integrated learning placement and professional settings.

Intellectual – Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities

Students must have the capacity to demonstrate:

  • numeracy, literacy, knowledge, cognitive and metacognitive skills appropriate to the discipline
  • capacity for independent critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, critical analysis, decision making, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • ability to develop intellectual, cognitive and creative/artistic skills in a variety of academic and professional contexts relevant to the discipline and to apply acquired skills and knowledge in practice

These are inherent academic requirements of the Communication programs because conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities are necessary for the students to be able to fulfil the required range of academic and practice tasks.


Adjustments must ensure that a clear demonstration of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded.


As a student, you must:

  • conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge to fulfil academic assessment tasks
  • read, interpret, synthesise, and comprehend information from multiple sources
  • build strong conceptual frameworks and apply theories, models, concepts, policies, procedures, and practice in classroom discussions, groupwork, assessments, and professional contexts
  • be aware of your own thinking and demonstrate skills to reflect, evaluate, adapt, and implement strategies for improved learning
  • complete complex and challenging tasks in both the academic and the work placement/internship contexts which may require you to undertake and/or observe and monitor multiple tasks simultaneously and to employ high levels of mental concentration and attention to detail for sustained periods of time