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Inherent course requirements

What are inherent requirements?

Every course has academic and other requirements that are essential to the nature of the particular course. Although the term has no generally accepted definition, the University of Western Sydney has provided a useful definition of inherent requirements as:

"the fundamental components of a course or unit, that are essential to demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit, while preserving the academic integrity of the university's learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Note: Making a requirement compulsory does not necessarily make it an inherent requirement" (UWS Academic Senate Education Committee, 2010).

Why have inherent course requirements

Inherent course requirements:

  • enable students to understand the standards they need to meet to get access to higher education and succeed in their studies. While inherent requirements have traditionally focused on students with a disability, they support inclusivity for all students regardless of their circumstances or identity
  • support informed decision making by giving students the information they need to make informed choices around educational options
  • support academic integrity by clearly stating expectations for participation, enabling staff to uphold the principles of academic integrity - honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility
  • encourage problem solving and creative solutions by making it easier to assess the potential for making reasonable adjustments and alternative arrangements.

While inherent requirements are relevant to all student in higher education, the Disability Standards for Education require universities to apply reasonable adjustments to enable students with disability to participate in study on the same basis as students without disability. When making reasonable adjustments, universities are legally required to meet the course inherent requirements and ensure the integrity of the course.

Documenting inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are being documented for all courses offered by Deakin University. Inherent requirements in the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies Handbook. Identifying and documenting inherent requirements can be a challenging process, and one that takes some time to complete.

If you want more information on inherent requirements, you can download the 'Determining core course requirements' information sheet.

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