In common with many other universities, nationally and internationally, the University of Aberdeen has underpinned the student experience of its curriculum and co-curriculum with a defined set of qualities that all students will have the opportunity to develop and enhance during their time at university. These form the nineteen Graduate Attributes, which students from Aberdeen will take with them into the world of further study, employment or life experience. 

Download this full Graduate Attributes resource which includes information for all year levels or you can review materials for the level you are preparing for if you access resources for meeting content by Year Level for September and March.

What are the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?

They are grouped under four main categories:

Academic Excellence

  • In-depth and extensive knowledge, understanding and skills at internationally-recognised levels in their chosen discipline(s);
  • A breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills beyond their chosen discipline(s);
  • An ability to participate in the creation of new knowledge and understanding through research and inquiry;
  • A contextual understanding of past and present knowledge and ideas;
  • An intellectual curiosity and a willingness to question accepted wisdom and to be open to new ideas

Critical Thinking and Effective Communication

  • A capacity for independent, conceptual and creative thinking;
  • A capacity for problem identification, the collection of evidence, synthesis and dispassionate analysis;
  • A capacity for attentive exchange, informed argument and reasoning;
  • An ability to communicate effectively for different purposes and in different contexts;
  • An ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • A diverse set of transferable and generic skills

Learning and Personal Development

  • An openness to, and an interest in, life-long learning through directed and self-directed study;
  • An awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses;
  • A capacity for self-reflection, self-discovery and personal development

Active Citizenship

  • An awareness and appreciation of ethical and moral issues;
  • An awareness and appreciation of social and cultural diversity;
  • An understanding of social and civic responsibilities, and of the rights of individuals and groups;
  • An appreciation of the concepts of enterprise and leadership in all aspects of life;
  • A readiness for citizenship in an inclusive society

Why did the University develop the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes?

To reflect an increased focus on the breadth of the student experience.

To encourage staff and student engagement with a reflective and developmental process that would extend across the curriculum and co-curriculum, at all levels of undergraduate study.

To enhance student employability in the global employment market.

How are they to be embedded in the student experience?

Through engaging staff, student and employer awareness and development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes.

Through stating explicitly in each course how it supports the development of Aberdeen Graduate Attributes and encouraging students to articulate their reflections and development of them.

Through establishing ACHIEVE, a central site located in MyAberdeen, which offers undergraduate students resources to assess and reflect upon their skills and development needs in the curriculum and the co-curriculum.  ACHIEVE also refers them to relevant support services, including the Student Learning Service and the Careers Service.