Why emphasise skills?

Key skills that employers look for in university graduates are:

  • The ability to identify, analyse and solve problems, to work with diverse sorts of information, to assess risk and draw considered conclusions
  • The ability to work independently, to use initiative, to pay attention to detail, to manage workloads and meet deadlines
  • The ability to work with others in a team, to communicate, negotiate, persuade and have interpersonal sensitivity
  • The ability to critically evaluate the outcomes of professional practice, to reflect on and review own practice, to participate in and review quality control and risk management processes
  • Appreciation of how businesses operate, through work experience; appreciation of organisations’ cultures, policies and processes
  • Technical competences with materials, processes and equipment, and the ability to use and exploit information technology
  • The ability and desire to learn for oneself and improve one’s self-awareness and performance, as a lifelong learning philosophy

These are general skills that are focal to the expected Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria for all degree programmes in the School of Creative Arts, grouped together under the headings ‘conceptual’, ‘practical’ and ‘transferable’ skills. The basic meanings of these terms are set out here:

Conceptual skills

Ability to:

  • make critical evaluations of your own, and other people’s work
  • follow a personal direction whether working independently or collaboratively
  • respond accurately to a set brief
  • think logically and also to make informed, imaginative leaps in thought

Practical skills

Ability to:

  • choose and use a range of appropriate processes while maintaining good working practices

Transferable skills

Ability to:

  • study independently, manage your workload and meet deadlines
  • review, analyse and evaluate information, taking account of contexts
  • choose and use communications and information technology
  • interact effectively with other people
  • speak, write and communicate visually using appropriate academic conventions
  • make independent, reasoned arguments and judgements
  • present work to audiences in a variety of situations
  • identify personal strengths and needs
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