Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Report submitted for PG Diploma in Practitioner Research Projects, DIT, 2018.


According to the Department of Education and Skills (2011), as cited by Murphy and Whelan (2016), there has been a growing emphasis on the importance of graduate attributes in higher education in Ireland. This not only places emphasis on the application of disciplinary specific knowledge, but also on the ‘soft skills’ highly sought by employers. By providing an authentic learning environment, higher education institutes can facilitate the development of graduate attributes while also ensuring graduates are gaining disciplinary specific knowledge. This project explores how Student Managed Funds (SMFs) represent an authentic learning experience through which students achieve a range of graduate attributes.

In addition to the literature review that follows, we also provide details of the recently established Technological University Dublin (DIT) Student Managed Fund (SMF) and a step-by-by guide to the establishment of an SMF, whilst also showing how the DIT SMF learning experience maps to the DIT graduate attributes. Finally, we have developed an infographic that summarises how SMFs are authentic learning experiences that achieve graduate attributes and provide tips for practitioners wishing to set-up an SMF.