News and events

Sarah Barber

Sarah studied BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) but felt that there was so much more she wanted to learn and contribute, so she went on to do a master's by research in the education and social science department.

After graduating from her master's degree, Sarah secured her dream job as a ComPaSS Officer. ComPaSS is the partnership Community Profiling and Problem Solving resource for Northamptonshire’s community safety partnerships. In this job she worked with the police, council and other agencies to deliver evidence-based, shared solutions for crime and disorder problems within the community.

When asked about her greatest achievement since graduation, she explained how it was her thesis being published on the Internet Journal of Criminology, which is a free access, peer reviewed Journal. “I just love the thought that students out there could be quoting me,” she said.

Giving advice to potential students, she commented: “If you pursue further study, make sure it is something you are incredibly passionate about so that you can stay motivated even when it gets hard. One of my supervisors told me that writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and he was right!”

When asked if her degree has affected her employment or life in general, she responded: “Massively! Although my BA was interesting, it taught me how inefficient our criminal justice system is and this was partly the impetus for my master's research into the National DNA Database”.

Sarah also talked about how she wanted to contribute to knowledge within the criminology field and feed discourse on new concepts. She went on to talk about her master's, and how it equipped her with a range of skills and made her more employable: “The course also wakened me to the reality of my own weaknesses and I learnt how to overcome these through perseverance."

Sarah left Cambridgeshire County Council in 2013 and moved on to the Cambridgeshire Constabulary as a Customer Service Operator. In this role she responded to non-emergency and emergency calls, and also raised crime reports in accordance with National Crime Recording Standards.

She said: “This was a very enjoyable and rewarding role but I didn’t love the shift work!” Sarah has now secured a position as a 'Source to Pay Helpdesk Analyst' within the Procurement Department at the Coventry Building Society.

Speaking about her time at UCLan, Sarah said: “I have nostalgic memories of my fantastic, supportive tutors! I would never have finished my BA or MA without the understanding and patience I received by all of the staff at UCLan. Thank you so much!”