Meet Alice

Third year student Alice tells us how she's taking criminology from an interest to a future career.

What's crime?

We were asked that in our first lecture. It seemed such a simple question, but what is crime? Is it the laws we've written down, or are some things always crimes?

I remember this because it set us up for the rest of the course, it got us to question everything. I realised straight away that studying criminology at UCLan wasn't just about remembering things from textbooks, it was about challenging ideas, researching, debating the truth.

It was about questioning crime.

Meet Alice
Meet Alice

When I finished my A-levels I thought that was the last time I'd be in education, I'd said goodbye to exams and turned part-time waitressing into my full-time job. It didn't take long for me to realise I needed a change.

I'd always had an interest in crime and criminology, but it never felt like a real career option. That was until I found criminology at UCLan. It made me realise that I could get a career doing what I enjoyed, you can go into so many areas like the police, probation, prison, courts, law, government or even working in research and academia. I really wanted to keep my options open and this felt like the best way to do that.

"Criminology isn't directly tied to one career path, it gives you so many opportunities for where your future career could go."

While I've had to say hello to exams again, it's an entirely different experience from my time at school. I'd always worked hard, but it was never easy. In my first year at Uni I found out why, I was diagnosed with ADHD.

I was hesitant to tell people at first because I didn't want it to become an excuse. When I finally did the academic team were so supportive. They reassured me that there were ways the Uni could help and I didn't need to feel guilty about it. Their door was always open and I never felt like I couldn't talk to them about things. They are experts in criminology and often active researchers, some have even written books.

Criminology lecturer Abigail Stark co-authored 'Prisons and Imprisonment: An Introduction" with Cormac Behan.
Criminology lecturer Abigail Stark co-authored 'Prisons and Imprisonment: An Introduction" with Cormac Behan.

The Uni as a whole has been incredible, especially in understanding that life exists outside of university. They were able to adjust some of my timetable so I could continue my part-time job which was a massive help for me.

I've also had some amazing experiences on this course outside the classroom. Most recently a trip to the international courts in The Hague. It was amazing to see what we're learning in action and where someone with my degree could end up. We also got to spend some time exploring Amsterdam which I loved as I'd never been before.

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Alice visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Alice visited the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

I'm in my 3rd year now and graduation is fast approaching. It feels like a long time ago that I was worrying about leaving my job to join UCLan and I'm very glad I decided to do it. The next step for me is to stay on here and study a criminology master's degree. I love what I do and I can't imagine my life without it. 

Ready to start your journey? Find out more about studying criminology at our next open day.

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