Graduate Attributes


What does a UNSW Science graduate look like?

Universities use graduate attributes to describe their graduates:

‘Graduate attributes are the qualities, skills and understandings a university community agrees its students should develop during their time with the institution. These attributes include, but go beyond, the disciplinary expertise or technical knowledge that has traditionally formed the core of most university courses. They are qualities that also prepare graduates as agents for social good in an unknown future.’

Bowden et. al. (2000)
Generic Capabilities of ATN University Graduates




UNSW Science Graduate Attributes

Based upon UNSW Graduate Attributes, UNSW Science has developed a set of attributes for all our Science degrees. It would be expected that a UNSW Science Graduate would have developed the above attributes / capabilities during the course of their studies.

Research, inquiry and analytical thinking abilities

Technical competence and discipline specific knowledge. Ability to construct new concepts or create new understanding through the process of critical analysis, problem solving, research and inquiry.

Capability and motivation for intellectual development

Capacity for creativity, critical evaluation and entrepreneurship. Ability to take responsibility for and demonstrate commitment to their own learning, motivated by curiosity and an appreciation of the value of learning.

Ethical, Social and Professional Understanding

Ability to critically reflect upon broad ethical principles and codes of conduct in order to behave consistently with a personal respect and commitment to ethical practice and social responsibility. Understanding of responsibility to contribute to the community. Respect and value social, multicultural, cultural and personal diversity.


Effective and appropriate communication in both professional (intra and inter disciplinary) and social (local and international) contexts.

Teamwork, collaborative and management skills.

Ability to recognise opportunities and contribute positively to collaborative scientific research, and to perceive the potential value of ideas towards practical applications. Demonstrate a capacity for self management, teamwork, leadership and decision making based on open-mindedness, objectivity and reasoned analysis in order to achieve common goals and further the learning of themselves and others.

Information literacy

Ability to make appropriate and effective use of information and information technology relevant to their discipline.