Science Graduate Attributes

What are Graduate Attributes?

In Generic Capabilities of ATN University Graduates, Bowden et al. (2000) provide a definition of graduate attributes that has become commonly accepted and applied in many Australian universities:

‘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.’


Faculty of Science Graduate Attributes

Within the Faculty of Science we have developed a set of attributes for all our Science Programs. This was developed taking into consideration the UNSW Graduate attributes at the time:

  1. 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 enquiry, critical analysis, problem solving, research and inquiry.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Communication.
    Effective and appropriate communication in both professional (intra and inter disciplinary) and social (local and international) contexts.
  5. 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.
  6. Information literacy.
    Ability to make appropriate and effective use of information and information technology relevant to their discipline.

It would be expected that as a UNSW Science Graduate you would have developed the above attributes / capabilities during the course of your studies.

The Faculty of Science will be reviewing and updating the above list of attributes in line with the newly approved UNSW Graduate Attributes list: