This page focuses on the element ‘reflection’. It provides a description of the element, highlights its relevance, and provides examples of reflection in the curriculum.


Regular opportunities for students to reflect on and articulate their learning and development, and to plan further growth and learning opportunities.

Relevance to student development, employability and careers

While the term and definition used may vary between disciplines, reflection is critical to students’ current and future employability, and valuable in general.  Reflection can support students in: deepening their learning and development; making their skills and learning explicit; communicating their strengths and abilities; and analysing their own actions and thinking, identifying areas of development.

Tips and things to consider

Below you will find some key tips and guidance to consider when incorporating reflection into the curriculum.  Some of the tips below are particularly important if you choose to assess reflection.

For more information and guidance on any of these points, including examples, see the Reflection Toolkit.

Reflection Toolkit 


Examples of practice in the University of Edinburgh

There is diverse practice across the University that can be used to stimulate thinking about what is possible in your setting. 

Below is a link to a range of relevant practice from the Teaching Matters blog.  The examples come from multiple parts of the student experience and relate either partially or substantially to this element.  New articles are automatically added so check back in the future to discover some of the latest practice.

Teaching Matters: relevant articles


Further reading and external perspectives

The references below provide some background on this element as well as some of the external drivers and motivations for including it.  


These references highlight how the Scottish Government sees reflection as an important skill in its plan to develop a highly-skilled workforce, as well as being essential to personal development planning, which the QAA highlights as vital in higher education.  These external drivers for incorporating reflection into student life at university are presented together with a range of studies evidencing positive effects of using reflection in university contexts and beyond.