Brenna Matykiewicz

MRes Criminology (Social Statistics)

Why did you choose to study this course?

Hannah Watts

I had three universities I was interested in, and I visited campus to meet with lecturers to ask questions about the course.  Dr. Solymosi explained that I should consider the Criminology course with Social Statistics, since I enjoyed maths. I ended up switching into the Stats course and accepting my offer that day.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?

I took part in a course entitled ‘Understanding Violence’ which was conducted as a part of the Learning Together Initiative. The class took place in HMP Wymott, with students from both The University of Manchester and prison-based students from Wymott. The course itself was very interesting and meeting the students at the prison was an incredible learning opportunity.

Have you undertaken any additional projects/initiatives as part of your course?

I took part in the Manchester Gold Mentor programme; unfortunately it did not work out well because the person I was matched with did not respond. This is a great programme but since my degree is quite niche there were only two people I could match with. I think other students would really benefit from this programme.

What is the best thing about studying and living in Manchester?

I have made great friends from different backgrounds who all share the same interests, and who are happy and willing to help out.

The University also has a great reputation and very supportive staff.  The City of Manchester is right on the doorsteps of the University so there is always something fun going on. Whether it’s concerts, museums, or getting out into nature there is something for everyone.

What has your experience been like as an international student?

As an international student, I felt there are a lot of resources to help students immerse into English culture. I have a slightly different experience because my husband is English so I know a lot about the culture already-but I remember the international society put on a scheme where international students could spend a weekend with a British family to experience ‘family life’ which I thought was a great idea.

If you could name one experience that you will take away with you from your time at Manchester, what would it be?

The one experience I would take away would be what I have learned from working with the prison-based students during my understanding violence course. I learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover, the prison students were so nice and we all got along very well. It helped me to better understand that we all have things in common, regardless of our backgrounds.

Do you have any tips for prospective students?

My biggest tip for students is to get out and enjoy the surroundings. Some of the most beautiful areas in the country, like the Peak District and the Lake District, are a short train journey away and it would be a shame to not experience them. I would also suggest that you find friends who have a similar drive and goals to you, so on days when you are struggling you have people to rely on for support and encouragement.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I have begun applying for jobs that will keep me here in the UK. Manchester has great careers service and they have helped me prepare my CV and helped me know what to look for in a job. My courses focus on Statistics has prepared me for what a lot of employers are looking for and helped my CV stand out from other candidates.