The Sheffield Graduate Attributes

Our students gain an impressive range of knowledge and skills whilst at University.  We want these to be clear to our students and to employers, so in 2005 we identified 'The Sheffield Graduate' attributes as part of our commitment to supporting your development. These since been further refined, most recently to align with our Learning & Teaching Strategy (2016 - 2021).

Some of the attributes are embedded within your course and others are complemented through access to an unparalleled range of extra curricular opportunities.  Throughout your studies we offer access to support, guidance and exciting schemes that can help you stand out from the crowd. 

Our aspiration is to create opportunities for all students which enable them to graduate with the abilities listed below. Faculties and departments may also supplement this list in ways appropriate to their own areas of study.

Through their studies at Sheffield, all graduates will have had the opportunity to become:

Discipline-based knowledge

  • knowledgeable in their subject area
  • equipped to work collaboratively and confidently both outside and across disciplines
  • confident in applying their knowledge and skills to authentic challenges
  • able to exhibit ethical behaviour


  • experienced in the processes and methods of research
  • a critical, analytical thinker
  • creative and innovative, and able to understand and manage risk
  • equipped with appropriate information and digital literacy skills

Application of knowledge

  • confident in considering issues within local, national and international contexts, equipped to work in diverse cultural settings
  • aware and respectful of a range of perspectives and considerate of diversity
  • experienced at working in partnership with others, including communities and external partners
  • able to translate and adapt knowledge, and apply lateral thinking in problem solving


  • a lifelong learner who understands the importance of continual development
  • an excellent team worker, and able to manage their time efficiently
  • a skilled communicator, comfortable with different styles and audiences
  • reflective, self-aware and able to take ownership of their own learning
  • professional and adaptable, resilient and flexible in their approach.

The Sheffield Masters Graduate

In 2016-17 a further set of attributes were also developed, entitled 'The Sheffield Masters Graduate', to outline the knowledge and skills our postgraduate qualifications enable you to develop.

Please see the downloads box on the right hand side of the page for further details.