What is it?

Subject Specialists

 Attribute DimensionUniversity of Glasgow graduates...
  Academic  Understand and respect the values, principles methods and limitations of their discipline(s)
  Personal  Possess a breadth and depth of knowledge within their disciplinary area(s)
  Transferable  Possess discipline-relevant professional skills, knowledge and competencies



How will my degree develop it?

How will my degree develop it?

Graduate attributes may be the skills, qualities and abilities that all students have the opportunity to develop at Glasgow, but that doesn’t mean that every student comes out the same.

Subject specialism is the collective term for the knowledge, methods, principles and values unique within each discipline: it’s the focus which makes a doctor distinct from an archaeologist, or separates a sociologist from a psychologist.

The subject-specific knowledge and abilities you develop in your studies will make you more employable in related fields and industries, and in some areas are essential for professional accreditation.

Subject specialism is a particularly important attribute because it underlies all of your other generic graduate abilities: the different demands of each discipline will mean you may develop some skills more than others, or pick up practices particular to your field.

The more you develop your academic identity, the less generic your other attributes will be – and the more likely you are to stand out from the crowd.

How else can I develop it?

How else can I develop it?

It'll come as no surprise that the best way to develop your subject specialism is to throw yourself into your studies. But there are other steps you can take as well:

  • Ask your lecturers whether there are additional opportunities available within your school; a number of subject areas offer summer research placements
  • Join clubs and societies with close ties to your discipline
  • Read around your subject – pay attention to the latest research in relevant journals and the media

You might find it helpful to learn more about what specialists in your field go on to do:

It may sound strange, but a solid grounding in scholarship is just as important to your subject specialism as the specific skills you’ll pick up – you need that appreciation of the basics of academic practice to build upon.

There are plenty of excellent university resources to help you in developing as a scholar: