The Graduate Attributes Policy has been updated, with implementation commencing from Semester 2, 2023. Copies of the previous version of the policy and the superseded procedures are available to view via the links below:




UQ Graduate Statement and Graduate Attributes - Policy

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The UQ Graduate Statement describes qualities, skills, attributes and understandings that students should develop through their learning and the experiences they engage with while at the University of Queensland.

This policy supports the University’s curriculum design, quality assurance and program approval processes through providing a connection between the vision and mission of the University and the learning experiences and outcomes of students. This policy provides details of the University's compliance with the statutory requirements of the Higher Education Provider Standards, as regulated by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), and the associated Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) for graduate attributes.

1.1    Scope

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students and staff at the University of Queensland.

2.0    Principles and Key Requirements

The UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes policy provides guidance in the shaping of curricula, co- curricular and extra-curricular student experiences, supporting students towards enhanced employability and career readiness.

The UQ Graduate Statement reflects the University’s overarching goal for UQ graduates; it provides a single statement that encapsulates who the UQ graduate is and how they behave as part of society.

The UQ Graduate Attributes provide a holistic representation of desirable characteristics in UQ graduates. It is expected that each program will be designed to develop the listed Graduate Attributes alongside any specific discipline and professional outcomes required. It is also understood that students may develop aspects of the UQ Graduate Attributes through additional co-curricular or extra-curricular activities that form part of their university experience.

This policy should inform the design and structure of programs, and subsequently inform the development of Program Graduate Statements, Program Learning Outcomes and Course Learning Outcomes, and should be consider in conjunction with the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes Guidelines.

2.1    Principles that underpin the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes

The UQ Graduate Statement and Graduate Attributes are informed by the principles of being:

  • aspirational and transformative, enabling curriculum and the experience of the University as tools of exploration of identities and foundations for future leadership for students.
  • transferable across disciplines, and between the University and the wider society and workplace.
  • values-driven, reflecting UQ values and mission.
  • embodied and enacted, encompassing the whole person and whole-UQ experience, providing a guide to the formation of a UQ scholar.
  • inclusive of all students and developed through a student-centred approach that values the voices of all students, but particularly those often under-represented.
  • future-focused with an understanding of the consequences that actions taken today have on generations to come.
  • informed by relationality with an appreciation of the social and cultural construction of knowledge including acknowledgment of the value of Indigenous ways of knowing in complementing and extending the presence of the University.

3.0    UQ Graduate Statement

The UQ Graduate Statement provides a synopsis of the attributes, skills, values and understandings of a graduate of the University of Queensland.

The UQ Graduate Statement shall read:

A graduate of the University of Queensland is knowledgeable, curious and connected with the world. They value the perspectives and cultures of all peoples, acting with integrity, empathy, creativity, and courage. They understand complexity and challenge expectations to make positive change.

The UQ Graduate Statement will be used to inform the development of Program Graduate Statements.

4.0    UQ Graduate Attributes

The following Graduate Attributes apply to all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework graduates of the University.

UQ Graduates should be:

4.1    Accomplished scholars

Graduates will have a well-founded knowledge of their field of study and an understanding of how it relates to other disciplines. They will have the ability to engage with different traditions of thought and apply this knowledge in multi-disciplinary and global settings and contexts to enact a positive difference in their world.

4.2    Courageous thinkers

Graduates will have the ability to critically question, analyse, interpret, and evaluate their world and experiences to conceive innovative responses to future challenges. They will draw on their courage and creativity to test, debate and shape new ideas, understandings, approaches, and opinions.

4.3    Connected citizens

Graduates will be responsible, independent, outward-looking global citizens who possess a sound understanding of their communities. They will be active, collaborative, and constructive participants in society.

4.4    Culturally capable

Graduates will have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and global Indigenous peoples’ values, cultures, and knowledge. They will have an appreciation of cultural and social diversity and work with a sense of social and civic responsibility towards a more just and equitable society.

4.5    Influential communicators

Graduates will convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes. They will skilfully use information and work effectively with others to make meaningful, impactful contributions to important conversations and discussions.

4.6    Respectful leaders

Graduates will act with knowledge of, and respect for, ethics and ethical standards within their professional and disciplinary fields as leaders and emerging leaders. They will have the capability to be relational decision-makers who work towards evolving a more sustainable society, economy, and environment.

5.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

5.1    Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is responsible for overseeing the integration of the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes across both curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular student experiences.

5.2    Associate Deans (Academic) and Directors of Teaching and Learning

Associate Deans (Academic) and Directors of Teaching and Learning across faculties and schools support the translation of the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes into appropriate program graduate statements, learning outcomes, and experiences for students within program level contexts.

5.3    Program Convenors

Program Convenors are responsible for the implementation and integration of the UQ Graduate Statement and Graduate Attributes as part of the design and delivery of academic programs across the University.

6.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

Monitoring and assurance of the UQ Graduate Statement policy will be integrated within program review and approval processes with oversight provided by Academic Board and University Teaching and Learning Committee.

The University Teaching and Learning Committee will ensure the ongoing suitability and relevance of the policy.

7.0    Recording and Reporting

Adoption of this policy will be evidenced through program review and approval processes and shall be the responsibility of respective school, faculty and university program approval and teaching and learning committees.

Academic Registrar


UQ Graduate Statement and Graduate Attributes -Guidelines

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes guideline supports the implementation and adoption of the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes policy in guiding development and design of UQ Programs and related curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular experiences.

These guidelines aim to provide connection between the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes policy and the UQ Program Design Policy; they should be read in conjunction with both of these policies and related procedures.

2.0    Overview

2.1    Who are these guidelines for?

These Guidelines are to assist staff with the translation of the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes into meaningful curriculum experiences for students. They are primarily for:

  1. Faculty and school leaders of teaching and learning, including, but not exclusively Associate Deans (Academic) and Directors of Teaching and Learning
  2. Members of the teaching and learning and the program approval committees at school, faculty, and university level
  3. Program Convenors and Course Coordinators who are involved in the interpretation and translation of the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes into Program Graduate Statements and Learning Outcomes.

The UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes should also inform the design and development of co-curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences. These guidelines may provide some guidance for these uses.

2.2    What are “Graduate Attributes”?

Graduate attributes are high-level qualities, skills, and understanding that students should gain as a result of the learning and experiences they engage with while at UQ (Oliver & Jorre de St Jorre, 2018) . These attributes distinguish the graduate from those without a degree. The attributes represent the added value a qualification from UQ provides that a graduate can share with future employers, professional and scholar communities, and the wider society.

2.3    Why does UQ have a “Graduate Statement” and “Graduate   Attributes”?

UQ has a Graduate Statement and Attributes to:

  • Provide an orienting framework for curriculum and student experience, ensuring all UQ students are able to make an important contribution to society and their chosen field

  • Guide students, as agentic learners, in shaping their complex identities progressively across their learning

  • Enable graduates to articulate their capabilities, employability, and career readiness more easily to future employers and the wider community

  • Connect curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular spaces of learning to guide a whole-of- student learning experience across the University

  • Support the University’s quality assurance and accreditation processes.

The UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes are not achieved in a single course. Instead, the UQ Graduate is developed in an ongoing process across the entirety of a UQ student’s experience with the University.

2.4     What is the difference between the UQ Graduate Statement and the UQ Graduate  Attributes?

The UQ Graduate Statement is an overarching expression of who the UQ graduate is and what they will be able to do in the world. The UQ Graduate Statement provides a focal point for the desired learning and outcomes for all UQ students and should inform the development of context specific Program Graduate Statements. It can be used by itself as a short representation of the UQ graduate.

The UQ Graduate Attributes are a more granular and comprehensive description of the UQ Graduate. The Attributes unpack key qualities and capabilities of the gradate, highlighting the ways in which each attribute will benefit the graduate and society.

2.5    How can we claim that all our students will achieve the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes?

Across the student lifecycle the University offers students a range of opportunities to develop Graduate Attributes, both within and beyond the classroom curriculum. Many of the elements of the Graduate Attributes are easily translated into courses and can be readily taught to an agreed level and assessed. Other elements, for example those which are more abstract and attitudinal, are not as straightforward to measure. They are, however, considered to be important outcomes of higher education and what differentiates university education.

By offering students the opportunity to develop Graduate Attributes, the University is extending an invitation to students to fully engage with university life and learning. Well-understood graduate attributes that are lived through the student experience allow graduates to more easily articulate their capabilities to future employers and the wider community. Likewise, employers and the community are better able to understand the aims and intents of university education. Therefore, the university is not just providing opportunities for students to develop the identified attributes but also for graduates to be able to explain, evidence, and articulate their attainment.

3.0    Understanding the model

3.1    What is the model for?

The UQ Graduate Statement and Graduate Attributes connect the values and wider strategic vision of the University to learning and the student experience. Operating in parallel with internal and external accreditation processes and requirements, such as the Australian Qualifications Framework and/or professional accrediting bodies, the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes inform the design and development of a Program Graduate Statement and Program Learning Outcomes. By mapping and

translating the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes to the program-level, more meaningful and connected learning within a disciplinary context can evolve.

Figure 1: Overview of UQ Graduate Attributes and connection to UQ Values

3.2    How does the model work?

  1. UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes – These high-level sets of skills, abilities, and attitudes encapsulate the essential and distinctive qualities of a UQ graduate. They also reflect the UQ Values and Mission.
  2. Program Graduate Statement – This statement interprets the UQ Graduate Statement in particular program and disciplinary contexts; it connects the broad qualities of the UQ graduate to discipline-specific expectations, skills and experiences. All elements of the UQ Graduate Statement should be included in some form within the Program Graduate Statement. Additional elements may be added which reflect the specific program context and requirements.
  3. Program Learning Outcomes – These outcomes align to the UQ Graduate Attributes and are informed by the Program Graduate Statement. Program Learning Outcomes articulate the specific and contextually relevant learning that graduates of the program will achieve. Program Learning Outcomes should, wherever possible, incorporate all UQ Graduate Attributes alongside any discipline-specific learning requirements.
  1. Program and Course design – Learning outcomes in courses within programs will reflect and contribute to the realisation of the Program Learning Outcomes. Most courses will only respond to one or two Program Learning Outcomes. The suite of core courses across a program, alongside intended co-curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences, will contribute to the full realisation of the Program Learning Outcomes and therefore the Program Graduate Statement.

Figure 2: Policy model for UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes


3.3    Why have a Program Graduate Statement as well as a UQ Graduate Statement?

While University-wide Graduate Attributes are an important statement of the UQ goals for students, University-wide attributes can appear to be removed from the experience of the student within a disciplinary context. Faculties expressed a strong desire for a tool that would help them align the language of the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes with the approaches of their own disciplines. For example, a well- founded knowledge of their field of study is demonstrated differently by graduates from a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Business Management. Likewise professional codes of conduct, methods of communication, and research approaches vary from one discipline to another.

Keeping these necessary differences in mind, the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes policy empowers Faculty, School, and Program leaders, to interpret and translate the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes to the particular context of a program. Program leadership teams may also elect to simply adopt the attributes as their program outcomes if they wish to do so.

4.0    Using the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes

4.1    Connecting UQ Values, Attributes and Learning Outcomes

The policy creates a model of design whereby the university-level graduate statement and graduate attributes will be translated into program-level graduate statements and learning outcomes, with course learning outcomes and assessment mapped appropriately within the program design. The policy removes the requirement for Course Learning Outcomes to be mapped to UQ Graduate Attributes directly; instead learning within courses will be mapped to Program Learning Outcomes.

The following provides an example of how a UQ Value is represented in the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes and translated to program and course level design. Underlining identifies the translated elements across the different levels of design.


4.2    A stepped approach to implementation

Step One – Understanding the application of the UQ Graduate Statement 

Faculty, School and Program leaders of teaching and learning leaders decide on how the UQ Graduate Statement can be reflected in student experiences and learning across their disciplines and programs. Consideration should be given to how programs differ from one another, whether there is a common language or approach across a School or Faculty, and the types of experiences, skills and attributes expected of graduates within these programs.

Step Two – Faculty, School and/or Program team interprets the UQ Graduate Statement and UQ Graduate Attributes to create a Program Graduate Statement

To interpret, and translate, the UQ Graduate Statement and UQ Graduate Attributes into a Program Graduate Statement, program convenors may need to be supported with time, expertise, resources, and connection across teaching teams. Discussions around the Program Graduate Statement should form part of the process of program design (for new programs) and review (for existing programs), with the statement to be included in approval documentation.

Useful considerations may include:

  • A Program Graduate Statement should be aspirational and inclusive of all students. It would be beneficial to reflect on the principles that underpin the UQ Graduate Statement and consider how these apply in a discipline’s context.
  • Whilst the Program Graduate Statement should prioritise the learning experience of students, it may also present as a useful statement for external audiences (e.g. future students, employers); as such it may be valuable to include marketing and communication teams in shaping language.
  • Student learning occurs within and beyond classroom curriculum, therefore there is value in incorporating the total student experience in shaping the Program Graduate Statement.

Step Three – Creating Program Learning Outcomes       


Historically, UQ Graduate Attributes have been mapped to course learning objectives. The revised policy requires integration of the UQ Graduate Attributes into the Program Graduate Statement, from which Program Learning Outcomes are created. Some background on writing program learning outcomes can be found at:

The following table provides some guidance for the type of learning and experiences associated with the listed UQ Graduate Attributes, which may inform the development of program learning outcomes and experiences within programs; noting that these are indicative and not exhaustive.

Step Four – Mapping of courses to Program Learning Outcomes

Students’ experiences across the full suite of courses offered in a program should enable them to demonstrate and experience all or most elements of the UQ Graduate Attributes, as expressed through the Program Learning Outcomes. The collection of courses across a program (usually focused on core courses) will contribute to the realisation of Program Learning Outcomes. Single courses may focus on one or two Program Learning Outcomes, enabling meaningful engagement with how these outcomes are taught, experienced, and enacted through learning in the course.

The experience of students extends beyond the classroom; it may incorporate work- and community-related activities, co-curricular, and extra-curricular learning. Mapping of learning across a program does not include these experiences and there is no expectation that Schools and programs will monitor student participation in these activities. These experiences are, however, available to students as they work towards developing the larger UQ Graduate Attributes. Course and Program Coordinators may wish to encourage students to engage with particular activities as a way to enhance their learning and development.

5.0    Resources and support

Program Convenors are encouraged to connect with the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI) and their Faculty and/or School-based Learning Managers and Learning Designers for assistance with program design, related professional learning activities, and evaluation.

The following websites and resources provide further guidance for staff in the planning and design of curriculum, co-curricular and extra-curricular learning experiences.

Higher Education Learning Framework The framework has been developed through a Science of Learning lens that threads together the often-

disparate thinking in education, neuroscience and psychology to offer a convergent framework on effective learning in higher education that can broadly guide the sector.

Curriculum design and review

This site connects to the Curriculum Making and Transforming Curriculum sections of the ITaLI website, and provides access to processes involved in designing curriculum and developing generic abilities across the curriculum.

Employability Framework

This site provides guidance on UQ’s approach to student employability development based on experiential learning, co-curricular, and extra-curricular experiences.

Program Design – Policy

This policy sets out the principles and requirements that inform the structure and design of all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs leading to the conferral of a UQ higher education award.

6.0    Key references and research

The following are a few identified research publications which may guide the planning and decision-making of leaders in translating and applying the UQ Graduate Statement and Attributes policy.

Barrie, S. C. (2012). A research-based approach to generic graduate attributes policy. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(1), 79-92.

Daniels, J., & Brooker, J. (2014). Student identity development in higher education: implications for graduate attributes and work-readiness. Educational Research, 56(1), 65-76.

Mahon, D. (2022). The role of graduate attributes in higher education. A review of the issues associated with graduate attributes and the case for their measurement. Interchange. 022-09457-5

Maxwell, R., & Armellini, A. (2019). Identity, employability and entrepreneurship: the CHANGE framework of graduate attributes. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 9(1), 76-91.

Normand, C., & Anderson, L. (2017). Graduate attributes in higher education: attitudes on attributes from across the disciplines. Routledge.

Oliver, B., & Jorre de St Jorre, T. (2018). Graduate attributes for 2020 and beyond: recommendations for Australian higher education providers. Higher Education Research & Development, 37(4), 821-836.

Wong, B., Chiu, Y.-L. T., Copsey-Blake, M., & Nikolopoulou, M. (2022). A mapping of graduate attributes: what can we expect from UK university students? Higher Education Research & Development, 41(4), 1340-1355.


Academic Registrar
Academic Registrar