Graduate Attributes

How do Graduate Attributes apply to me?

The University of Edinburgh has created the Graduates Attributes Framework to help staff and students understand what skills, abilities and mindsets students have opportunity to develop while completing their degree.

How Graduate Attributes apply to students

When you start studying at the University of Edinburgh we don't expect you to have the Graduate Attributes as soon as you start. You may already have the foundations for some of them from your previous experiences, and while you study at the University they will develop and will continue growing in your life after graduation.

Developing your Graduate Attributes comes from all parts of your life.  From your studies, from extra-curricular activities such as a part-time job, or from co-curricular experiences such as joining a society or helping with a research project.


Having the Graduate Attributes Framework helps you:

  • recognise the skills and mindsets you already have and how these can be used, now and in the future
  • think about your experiences (within and outside your degree) in a different way and recognise the value and learning you are gaining from them
  • identify what skills and abilities you need and how these can be developed
  • seek out opportunities to develop your unique set of attributes.

You should reflect on your current strengths, what skills and abilities you need and how these can be developed. More information about how to do this can be found on the following webpages:

Students: developing your Graduate Attributes

The University of Edinburgh Graduate Attributes Framework


Do Graduate Attributes help me get a job?

In short, yes, but there is a lot more to the Graduate Attributes than just getting a job when you graduate. They help develop and shape your whole student experience - developing a strong set of Graduate Attributes will help you in being more successful in your career, in your studies and research, and in your contribution to society.


How Graduate Attributes apply to staff

Having the Graduate Attributes Framework helps staff:

  • make clear to current and prospective students the wealth of opportunity that studying at the University offers them and therefore encourage them to capitalise on their time at Edinburgh
  • describe a common experience for students studying in varied and disparate areas
  • provide an easy and coherent structure for highlighting the value and impact of new developments, especially in relation to learning and teaching.

You should be helping, supporting and encouraging students to develop these attributes, thinking about what they mean within their particular discipline or context.


Graduate Attributes in context

Developing Graduate Attributes shapes student success and impact across their lives:  

  • in academia – the type of students and researchers they are/can be
  • in society/community – their contribution to society and citizenship
  • in work and career – their employability

Employability is the outcome of applying Graduate Attributes in one context: work and career.  Graduate Attributes in their fullest sense are much broader than just employability – they relate to all aspects of the student experience.  Equipping students with the attributes required for success is therefore fundamental to the University's mission and a constant thread throughout the University’s Strategic Plan, linked to learning, teaching and research.


More information can be found on the following webpages:

The University of Edinburgh Graduate Attributes Framework