I'm a mature student, and Sunderland is my hometown; we have such a fabulous university here.
I read about my chosen course on the University website and was really impressed with both student feedback and the facilities available. I graduated with an HNC in Health and Social Care in 2016 and had initially applied to study that subject at the University. However, while attending an Open Day, I realised that my interests lay in Criminology as I had been volunteering within a court setting and enjoyed assisting people going through the court process. I spoke with one of the academic staff about the Criminology degree and I changed courses there and then. I am so glad I did.
The academic staff are passionate and knowledgeable about their subjects and this really shows in the efforts they make to help and guide students. The modules are challenging and interesting. I especially enjoyed learning about surveillance and social control and also about the criminal justice system and how it operates. Having the opportunity to visit a criminal court in session and write a report about the experience was really good.
I believe students can really benefit not only from the academic side, but the many opportunities that the University offers, such as volunteering experiences and so many clubs and societies to get involved in.
I would advise prospective students to read everything on the website and read the prospectus cover to cover. Attend open days and ask questions. Take part in summer school where you get to live as a student for a whole week. It's a fantastic experience and will help you to adjust to your new life and make new friends. Once at university, I would advise students to just enjoy everything and get involved. Attend your lectures and seminars as they are so important and never be afraid to ask for help. The support services are excellent.
As a mature student, I'm not looking for a long-term frontline career in the police or probation service like my younger peers, but I want to be qualified to work within the criminal justice systemshow. I'm interested in working alongside people who are affected by crime and assisting them through whatever process they need to go through. This could be working with families, victims, offenders, or a mixture of these. I'm best suited in an advocacy role, empowering people to move forward and to find new purpose away from criminal behaviour. I believe this degree will equip me with the skills to do this.
I am embarking on a journey of discovery and learning that is breathtaking, challenging, enjoyable and worthwhile, moving forward to a fabulous future."
Published 25 July 2017