Elicitation and customisation of generic skills in a security major

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Information Science / Centre for Security Research




Williams, P. & Woodward, A (2005). Elicitation and customisation of generic skills in a security major. Developing Partnerships: Proceedings of the First Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education - Asia Pacific (CISSE-AP) (pp.42-50) Mawson Lakes, Adelaide. Conference website available here.


The explicit incorporation of generic skills, termed graduate attributes, into undergraduate courses is currently a major focus for universities in Australia. These skills are defined broadly at a university level, and more explicitly interpreted within each discipline. The School of Computer and Information Science at Edith Cowan University (ECU) has undertaken a process of interpretation of the ECU graduate attributes, and identified the generic skills as they apply to all of the majors within the School. As part of this process, attributes relattve to security studies were specifically targeted and tailored to meet skills that graduates of this course reqUire. A process was devised to deconstruct the meaning of the graduate attributes and reconstruct them within the framework for security students. This process involved all academic staff in the school teaching in, or with an interest in, security. Once interpretation of the attributes was complete, research into how these are embedded into the current course was carried out. The resultant mapping of attributes to the course units povided a complete picture from which omissions in skills and attributes could be identified. This process has allowed development of a pathway for improving the application of these skills, as students' progress through the security course. Further, this research has shown how the exercise of graduate attribute mapping can support and meet the university strategic learning objectives.