Embedding reflection on graduate attributes to promote student engagement in employability

Maxine Swingler, Gillian Hendry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review

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The aim of this project was to increase student awareness of graduate attributes (GAs) at an early stage in their undergraduate career by embedding graduate attribute reflection activities within Level 2 Psychology.

Students reflected on how skills gained from their curricular and extra-curricular activities were linked to graduate attributes. Study 1 evaluated the impact of the reflection task by measuring self-efficacy in specific GAs. Study 2 used a mixed-methods design to explore student perspectives on the activities and their views on GAs.

Study 1: Participants were second year psychology undergraduates at the University of Glasgow (N=107). Self-efficacy in each of the dimensions of the University of Glasgow GAs Framework was measured before and after the reflection task, along with measures of self-efficacy in higher education and self-esteem.
Study 2: Participants (N= 178) from the same cohort completed the Employability Experience Questionnaire followed by questions about the GAs reflection exercise and their intentions. These questions were discussed in detail in student led focus groups (N= 9).

Study 1: Non Parametric analyses indicated that self-efficacy in specific GAs increased after the reflection exercises, and were positively correlated to H.E self-efficacy, and self-esteem.
Study 2: Qualitative analysis elicited themes on the “Value of GAs”, “Practicalities”, and “Looking to the Future”.

Embedding a GAs reflection task within the psychology curriculum improved students’ self-efficacy, and motivated them to seek further opportunities. Limitations of the design, and implications for skills development in the psychology degree will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2019
EventEuropean Society of Psychology Learning and Teaching 2019 Conference - Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Sept 201927 Sept 2019


ConferenceEuropean Society of Psychology Learning and Teaching 2019 Conference
Abbreviated titleESPLAT Conference
Internet address


  • graduate
  • attributes
  • employabiity


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