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Initiatives and Projects

Graduate Attributes Project

A key aspect of the UTS strategic plan (2009-2013) is to strengthen graduate attributes for a global workplace and systematically embedding them in the curriculum.

To ensure we achieve these strategic objectives, the University is funding a three-year project sponsored by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Teaching Learning and Equity).

This project aims to enable UTS to meet and exceed the TEQSA Threshold Standards for providers, qualifications and teaching and learning, including meeting the requirements of the AQF by 2015.

Our Graduate Attributes

In recent years there has been an observable shift in the graduate attribute landscape. Graduate attribute frameworks have been established in many Australian universities to ensure that their graduates have been introduced to, and demonstrate, a range of professional, personal and intellectual attributes. These frameworks also provide guidance to teachers and students on the level of student achievement throughout a course. Ideally, every assessment item, whether an essay, practical project or performance assessment, will be linked through a set of performance criteria that contribute to the achievement of one or more graduate attributes. In this way, students progress towards achieving the graduate attributes can be tracked as they progress through the subjects in a course and successfully complete the related assessment.

FASS student extra curricular

UTS courses have been expected to describe the attributes developed at the end of a degree since 2001. These graduate attributes are grouped in three broad domains, as described in the UTS Graduate Profile Framework (PDF 135 kB).

At the completion of their course every graduate of UTS:

  • is equipped for ongoing learning in the pursuit of personal development and excellence in professional practice
  • operates effectively with the body of knowledge that underpins professional practice
  • is committed to the actions and responsibilities required of a professional and a citizen.

Rather than describing a set of more specific generic attributes that must be developed in all courses, the UTS approach asks course designers to consider how students might develop intellectual and personal attributes in the context of professional (or disciplinary) knowledge and practices. Some of these attributes, such as communication and teamwork skills, would be considered desirable for graduates from all courses, but could be developed in very different profession-relevant focuses.

Graduate Attributes and the UTS Model of Learning

Embedding the UTS Model of Learning in the curriculum enables students to develop graduate attributes that are compatible with the UTS goal of providing practice-oriented, globally relevant, research-focussed courses. The UTS Model of Learning provides a way of focusing on the development of particular attributes in the context of what, where and how the attributes are developed.


Critical and independent thinking

Disciplinary, professional and technical knowledge

Spoken and written communication

Managing own work


Information technology literacy

Application of expertise appropriate to the practice context

Understanding the contexts of professional work

Working with others

Cross cultural understanding


Information literacy

Ethical understanding

Capacity for initiative and innovation

Capacity for community engagement


Attributes that may be emphasised by the different aspects of the model include:

  • professional dispositions and ways of thinking and practicing as ethical professionals, developed through an integrated and diverse exposure to professional practice, review and reflection;
  • the international perspectives and cultural competencies necessary to be a successful professional and citizen, developed through diverse forms of international and cross-cultural engagement, self-awareness, communication and teamwork;
  • ways of inquiring into, critically analysing, generating and extending professional and disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and practice, developed though research inspired and integrated learning;
  • lifelong learning capabilities, including the values, the communication, information and technological literacies and the capacities for judgement that underpin responsible professionalism and citizenship, developed through the integration of these themes into the curriculum overall.

Students may also experience aspects of the UTS Model of Learning through their broader engagement in extra-curricular activities. Embedding of the UTS model in the university more broadly might be further achieved by enhancing the connections between course curricula and students’ engagement in university life.

FASS student extra curricular 2