Generic attributes are qualities, skills, and abilities that are valued
in study, social situations and employment. They include problem solving
ability, teamwork, critical thinking, self-management and basic numeracy.
Because the teaching of these skills is integrated into the curriculum
without particular emphasis, it can be difficult to realise that they
are being acquired or developed.
You will increase your level of generic attributes whilst undertaking
your chosen degree, though the skills acquired can vary from subject to
subject. For example, skills such as creativity and problem solving may
be given a different emphasis in a degree such as music compared to science.
You will probably find that your future employer will be more concerned
with your generic skills than your knowledge of the third law of thermodynamics!
Surveys have shown that generic attributes such as problem solving, data
analysis, computing skills, numeracy, and the capacity to work and communicate
effectively in teams are valued highly by employers. Universities are
now placing emphasis on these attributes in order to encourage their development.
This will help to prepare you for the working environment, allowing you
to become a more employable graduate and thus increasing employer satisfaction.
In addition, you will be more able to apply these skills to your study
and social activities.
Titrations, which students often perform during
their chemistry course, aren't only about volumetric analysis.
Great Titration Adventure" to find out how titrations can
help you improve your generic attributes!
||As a first-year student, you will obtain a vast body of knowledge
of your chosen field from attending lectures and practical classes,
and undertaking self-directed study. You should be able to identify,
access and organise that information for assessment via exams and
Application of theory to practice
||You should be able to use the knowledge that you have obtained in
familiar and unfamiliar situations. In chemistry, this will be a useful
skill during practical classes, where lecture content will enhance
your understanding of the experiment. The practicals will, in turn,
help you to understand the theory.
Critical thinking and judgement
You will increase your ability to think critically and independently,
to make judgements and to stand by your decisions. Skills such as these,
as well as creativity, imagination, and logic, are useful in exams, assignments
and practical classes.
Teamwork and communication
Your ability to communicate clearly and effectively in either written
or oral form is a valuable attribute. Equally important is your
ability to work with others to achieve a shared goal. This skill
is enhanced greatly during practical classes, where you will often
work in pairs.
||As a chemistry student, you will become familiar with laboratory
equipment, basic chemical techniques and some research techniques
during your first-year practical sessions. You will also be able to
analyse and understand your experimental results.
Safe working practice
Safety in the chemical laboratory is crucial, and your compliance
with safety procedures such as the wearing of safety glasses and
covered footwear is required. An understanding of the potential
dangers of working with chemicals will be gained from your laboratory
Numeracy and use of technology
A familiarity with basic mathematical skills such as equation manipulation,
estimation, and use of fractions will be achieved, with the ability
to apply these skills to chemical concepts and calculations. Equally
valuable is your ability to use appropriate technology - for example,
scientific calculators, computer programs, WebCT and the internet
- for research or for assessment purposes.
You will increase your ability to plan and organise self-directed study
and work activities, and you should be able to achieve the goals you have
set for yourself. Time management is a valuable skill that should be developed
through your study timetables and your effective use of time in practical