As well as gaining a top level degree, the UCLan experience gives all students the opportunity to go out and gain industry level experience. David Green is one of those student who has done just that.
David was presented with the opportunity to go out on a shadowing placement with the Lancashire Constabulary as part of their CSI team, a chance he seized with both hands.
David, who is a mature Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation student, was quick to state how much he enjoyed his placement and how help from his peers and tutors at UCLan helped him to make the most of it.
“I enjoyed the shadowing a lot, it was great! For someone like me who is a little bit older, it’s a bit different for me coming to University. I miss working so to get the opportunity to get out and be on the ground, I really enjoyed it.
“My individual shadowing involved going out with the CSI, starting at their main base. They have their own job sheets which they have to go out and attend to. They chose their sheets in order of severity and it was a string of burglaries which were pretty much along the same street. We attended each one and saw what evidence we could get from each. To finish off the day we had a car crime which they needed to get prints from for evidence. Everything I had learnt from UCLan I was able to put into practice whilst out on the shadowing.”
The CSI shadowing seeks to provide students with an experience of what the industry is like prior to graduation as well as allowing them to use their skills that they have acquired so far during their time studying at UCLan.
Following his shadowing, David stated that as well as developing what he has learnt at UCLan, his time with the Lancashire Constabulary also allowed him to learn new skills for his future career.
“The skills that I learnt whilst on shadowing that I’ll use in my future career are the practical skills. You learn a lot in a short amount of time. Like with your driving test, you learn how to drive and once you’ve passed you begin to drive.
“It’s similar for us with the CSI. We’ve been given a very broad sheet of what we need to learn and when we are out with the CSI, we see how they do it. It was the way that Lancs do it, the way Lancs take fingerprints and the way that Lancs would photograph a scene. It was very interesting to see their mode of working and how it can help me develop.
“I’d recommend taking part in this shadowing and other extracurricular activities because it’s just so beneficial and you get some much from it. Aside from the learning aspect and doing the things that you enjoy. It also looks great on your CV. When I go to get a job and I meet people from competing universities, I don’t think that many of them will have had the opportunities to shadow the CSI like you get at UCLan.”
UCLan’s relationship with the Lancashire Constabulary, as part of the pioneering Lancashire Forensic Science Academy, has helped to make this CSI shadowing opportunity available for students and is just one of the many connections that the University has across a wide variety of courses.
For David, the off-campus opportunities at UCLan were a major selling point.
“I chose to study this course at UCLan because they were the best. Everyone that I talked to and everything that I looked at said that UCLan were the best for the course and it’s the only course that upon completion that you don’t have to do any follow-up courses to be a CSI. That was a massive selling point for me.
“I’d say to anyone who is looking at coming to UCLan to study this degree that you should definitely do it! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t. I don’t regret it. You’re working with some of the best from the entire field and you’re getting fantastic opportunities to go out on the course and do actually work. It’s a great course.”
10 April 2018