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Graduate Attributes

The University aspires to equip its research students to become leaders in their chosen field, be that within academia, industry or the wider community, and to be aware of the ethical, social and cultural issues in the exercise of their professional duties.

To facilitate this goal, the University seeks to provide an environment in which students are supported to develop self confidence, independence of thought and creativity. In the course of undertaking their research and producing a thesis, students develop diverse graduate attributes. The importance of these attributes both to your personal development and to your future employment prospects is not to be underestimated.

On conclusion of your research program, you can be confident that you will have acquired the following graduate attributes, to a level consistent with the timeframe for completion of your degree and its objectives:

  1. The capability to conduct research independently at a high level of originality, quality and creativity. This will be evidenced by the conceptual design and implementation of a research project that leads to a contribution to knowledge and/or to the production of a body of creative work. Indicators will include peer review, milestones set and goals achieved, the ability to frame questions and explore emerging issues and, where appropriate, to identify solutions using a wide range of analytical methods. A contribution to knowledge, or the production of a body of creative work, will be achieved through one or more of the following:
    • The discovery of new information
    • The formulation and defence of new theories
    • The innovative re-interpretation of known data and/or established ideas
    • The innovative re-interpretation of the practice of the profession.
  2. A deep knowledge of the field of study. This will be evidenced by:
    • The ability to critically review information from a wide range of sources, and to develop a comprehensive understanding of relevant prior research
    • The demonstration of a sound theoretical basis of knowledge, as evidenced by the arguments presented within the thesis, or a series of publications or creative works, produced during candidature.
  3. The ability to communicate research significance clearly and concisely with audiences at all levels and to demonstrate its relevance to the broader community. This will be evidenced by:
    • Successful examination of the thesis; peer reviewed publications or professional outcomes; participation in specialist and generalist conferences, public forums and other professional contexts
    • A capacity to apply theoretical knowledge to discipline specific practical activity, where appropriate
    • Being sought after by employers.
In addition to those attributes that you have developed naturally during the course of your research candidature, many of you will have taken the opportunity to broaden your research experience by undertaking professional development in a range of areas of interest through the framework provided by the development component of the structured program. It is hoped that recognising the attributes you have acquired during the course of your research candidature will assist you to market your unique skills and competencies to your future employers and the community.

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