Skills and attributes

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


Through the choice of learning, teaching and assessment methods, provision of a curriculum that enhances students’ non-technical skills and attributes in a coherent and developmental way.

Relevance for student development, employability and careers

Beyond the valuable knowledge and technical skills they gain from their degrees, ensuring that students have developed and are aware of a range of skills and attributes is critical to supporting their employability, but also their studies and their role within society.  Designing each attribute’s development to be progressive over a student’s degree programme can help boost the effectiveness, strength and flexibility of these attributes.

Tips and things to consider

Below you will find some key tips and guidance to consider when incorporating skills and attributes into curricular provision.

The Careers Service has researched the literature on the future of work and produced a summary of the skills and mindsets needed.  The glossary provides definitions of the skills, explains their importance and gives examples of how they can be developed.  

Information on future of work skills



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

The Teaching Matters blog highlights a range of relevant practice.  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 set the context for why developing skills and attributes is important for employability generally, as well as for students’ future careers.  The references explore how it is becoming increasingly common for graduates to go through a range of careers, and that employers tend to look for students with strong ‘soft skills’ as people will often find careers outside their degree discipline.  This puts an increased emphasis on developing a wide range of skills that can ‘future proof’ students and allow them to succeed in different contexts; for example, skills such as adaptability and learning how to learn are seen very favourably.