Graduate Attributes Framework

Developing employable, resilient, digitally literate graduates


In an increasingly complex and global world, the successful graduate will need to acquire and demonstrate a range of professional and personal skills and competencies. Such skills are invaluable to secure employment, start a business and make a valuable contribution to society. 

The Graduate Attributes Framework aims to provide you with the necessary tools to meet such opportunities and challenges and to demonstrate those skills and competencies to employers.

The digital revolution has already transformed society and that momentum is gaining pace as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, particularly in the workplace. For example, to improve productivity employers will have to employ automation and artificial intelligence, working from home has become the norm for many people and is facilitated by the effective use of technology.

The Graduate Attributes Framework aims to develop your professional and personal skills and competencies alongside your academic subject knowledge through the key attributes of:

  • Employability
  • Digital Skills and
  • Learning for Life

They are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focussed skills related to your subject area including digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal qualities as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving. 

What are Graduate Attributes?

What are Graduate Attributes?

These are the high-level qualities, skills and competences that students should develop from their university experience. They are professional and personal qualities – attributes – that aim to set you apart from others and are particularly valued by employers.

You will develop such transferable skills as:

  • adaptability
  • communication
  • creating portfolios
  • creative thinking
  • critical thinking
  • making presentations
  • problem solving
  • project management
  • report writing
  • self-reflection
  • team working and collaborating with fellow students
  • using multi-media techniques
  • working independently
  • working to deadlines

Some examples of the transferable skills:

Adaptability

Different subjects may need to be viewed through different lenses, which means you will develop the skill of being able to switch to the appropriate lens at the appropriate time for whichever subject they are looking at. It requires careful self-management to be able to do this.

Communication

Your written and verbal communication skills will be developed across different methods as you learn the appropriate communication style for a particular subject area. For example, you might encounter a range of different assessment methods, including essays, reports, blogs, vlogs and examinations, as appropriate to different subject areas.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking skills are used and developed as you look across disciplinary boundaries to consider other viewpoints and also begin to compare and contrast concepts across subject areas.

Problem-solving

By studying across different subject boundaries and by studying a wider range of subjects, you will develop deeper skills of evaluation as you learn a number of different logical and methodical approaches and are able to select the best one to use for particular circumstances. For example, you can draw on your range of academic or subject knowledge to identify solutions of a practical or technical nature.

Why has UWTSD developed the Graduate Attributes Framework?

Why has UWTSD developed the Graduate Attributes Framework?

We have worked with a range of employers to identify the core competencies demanded of new employees, analysed what skills are required of entrepreneurs and listened to what students want to achieve during their time at the University.

We have reflected upon national employment trends. We now know that graduates, in future, will have 12 or more careers and that the future of work is going to be impacted upon by new and emerging technologies.

The aim of the modules, which are delivered online, is to focus on the attributes of:

  • Employability
  • Digital Skills,and
  • Learning for Life

The modules, which are tailored to your subject discipline, ensure that UWTSD graduates are prepared for a digitally enabled workplace that will also see an increased demand for creativity, innovation and resilience.  

How does the Graduate Attributes Framework work?

How does the Graduate Attributes Framework work?

The modules enable you to develop career-focused competencies structured through an exciting digital literacy framework.

The three Graduate Attributes of Employability, Digital Skills and Learning for Life are underpinned by 33 competencies that are relevant to your degree.

You will study up to 40 credits at Levels 4, 5 and 6, which are equivalent to years 1, 2 and 3 of a full-time undergraduate degree.

Graduate Attributes Diagram

The modules facilitate an interdisciplinary approach enabling you to broaden your perspective and understand the importance of diverse thinking in creating ideas and solving problems. One of the modules, for example, introduces the concept of ‘Wicked Problems’ such as inequality, obesity, poverty and sustainability and considers how students can work with others to find potential solutions.

How will I be assessed?

At levels 4 and 5 there are two assessments per module which are designed by the module tutor and are based on a discipline related portfolio of evidence. At Level 6 you will complete a dissertation, project, exhibition, conference or showcase linked to your discipline area.