The University of Edinburgh’s Graduate Attributes

Information about the mindsets and skills that make up the Graduate Attributes Framework

What does it mean to be a University of Edinburgh graduate?

Every student and graduate is unique.  They each have their own experiences, learning, and way of approaching life.  The quality, depth, and breadth of their experiences while at the University of Edinburgh develop characteristic attributes that set them apart.

University of Edinburgh graduates have:

  • curiosity for learning that makes a positive difference
  • courage to expand and fulfil their potential
  • passion to engage locally and globally

University of Edinburgh graduates are:

  • creative problem solvers and researchers
  • critical and reflective thinkers
  • effective and influential contributors
  • skilled communicators


The seven aspects complement each other.  Various combinations of the attributes will be used in different contexts throughout our students' and graduates' lives, within and beyond their career, academia, and citizenship.

Shaped by our students' experiences, personalities, and academic subjects, these graduate attributes evolve over time.  They divide into two types: mindsets that influence our students’ and graduates’ behaviours, and groups of skills that empower their actions.


Definitions vary, but in general:

  • mindsets – our usual ways of thinking about something and our attitudes towards it.  Our mindsets evolve and can change with time and experiences, they influence our behaviours, and they are shaped by our individual values
  • skills – abilities that allow us to perform a task and enable our actions.  Our skills get stronger and more flexible through using and reflecting on them in different experiences.   

University of Edinburgh Graduate Attributes: Mindsets

University of Edinburgh Graduate Attributes: Skill groups


A printable Graduate Attributes summary:

 Graduate Attributes Summary (404.17 KB PDF)