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Case Study

Alastair Scott

Sunderland, UK

BSc (Hons) Criminology

Alastair Scott had tried university before, but felt he chose the wrong course and left. He then joined the Army for a brief time and worked in various jobs, but found that none of these routes were right for him either. He then decided to go back to university and chose to study BSc (Hons) Criminology at Sunderland. He now works for Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a police officer, achieving a childhood dream.

The University of Sunderland was the only place I wanted to go to study for my degree. I'm a local lad and wanted to stay in the North East, plus friends who had previously studied at Sunderland told me how great the social life was and how friendly the lecturers were.

I originally started university at 18, but I hated it as I chose the wrong course. I then joined the Army, but found that wasn’t for me either, so I left and began working in bars, call centres and other places of employment. I knew I needed to do more with my life, so I decided to go back to university and study on the BSc (Hons) Criminology course, which I applied for through Clearing.

The whole Clearing process at Sunderland was very laidback and the staff who helped me were friendly, helpful and outgoing. We discussed my qualifications and they assessed my suitability for the course over the phone. I'd actually initially thought of studying Law, but I changed my mind and switched to Criminology instead.

The course gave me a sense of purpose again and I found that I was actually good at something, but the best thing for me was the lecturers. I have never felt more supported in my life – they responded to my emails quickly and were always around to speak to if I had any concerns. The course content is amazing and constantly updated, and the lecturers are always asking for feedback so they can keep things interesting. I have always been interested in counter-terrorism studies and therefore I chose modules that covered this when I was in my final year.

I always wanted to join the police force, and in my final year I became a special constable for Northumbria Police, a voluntary role that helped me grow in confidence and develop transferable skills. After I graduated I was very fortunate to gain a place on the Police Now graduate scheme. I specialised in neighbourhood policing, applying problem-solving skills to eliminate local crime, which was very relevant to my degree. I now work and live in Cambridge where I work for Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a police officer, which is a childhood dream come true.

I would recommend the University of Sunderland to other students – it was the best decision of my life to study here and I never shut up about it! In my interviews for the police, senior officers knew my lecturers and spoke highly of them. That really hit home for me and I realised the vast experience I could bring to the force – you don’t get that very often.

This is me set for life now. This would not have been possible without the University of Sunderland – the best out there by far.”

Published 7 February 2020

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