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Case Study

Bethany Martin

Gateshead, UK

BSc (Hons) Criminology

MSc Practice Development


Bethany Martin discovered she liked Criminology when she got the chance to study it during her A Levels, and subsequently decided to choose it as her degree at the University of Sunderland. Since graduating, she has begun a career in the Police as a 999 and 101 call handler and is currently studying MSc Practice Development, after which she hopes to become a researcher within the police force.

I decided to carry out my A Levels at Gateshead College and found them both challenging and rewarding. In my final year of college I studied a Criminology module during my Sociology course and immediately took a liking to it, finding myself good at the subject too, which led to my subject choice for university. From a young age I was always motivated to go to university as I was always aware of the benefits it would have for my future. Although there are other options for further education, I knew university was the right step forward for me to take. I chose to study at the University of Sunderland as the website included honest and positive views from previous students and, after seeing their successes, I knew it was the right University for me.

I loved how varied the BSc (Hons) Criminology course was and how the different modules bring in aspects of Sociology and Social Work. You're able to work with lecturers and learn from other students from a range of different backgrounds, which makes seminars really dynamic.

I would advise any prospective students to research the University and the course they are thinking of studying well before making their decision. University is a great place to learn and grow as a person as long as you are motivated to do so and love a challenge.

Since graduating from BSc (Hons) Criminology I have begun a career in the police as a call handler, which means I take 999 and 101 calls for the entire force. I have worked for Northumbria Police in the control room for almost a whole year now and I love how I learn something new every single day whilst helping the public as best I can. I have gained so much knowledge from this role, but my degree has certainly helped with the learning process. Once I complete my MSc in Practice Development, I am looking to become a researcher within the police force. I would love to research counter-terrorism policing as this is what I conducted my undergraduate dissertation in and I am still very interested in this side of policing. As well as this, I am part of the University partnership with Northumbria Police Special Branch and have volunteered with members for over a year now. I’m finding this partnership very beneficial for my career and it has been a great way to make new contacts within the police and partner agencies.

I would recommend the University of Sunderland to other students as it is the reason I have begun a career in the police and I'm very grateful to all of the lecturers who have pushed me in this direction. I always felt supported throughout my course and there were a lot of resources and support available if it was ever needed. As well as academic support, I used the University student support services available and went to the University counselling service when I was struggling with my work-load and subsequent stress. There was no waiting list for this service and the staff were all very understanding and helpful. I found this service to be a credit to the University and would recommend this to any current or prospective student who requires support.

My experience at the University of Sunderland was amazing. It was here where I decided what I wanted to do as a career and made the first steps towards it with the support of my lecturers.”

Published 28 January 2022

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