Madeleine Thomas

MRes Criminology 

Why did you choose to study this course?

Madeleine Thomas

I knew that I was keen on choosing a new subject that I haven’t previously studied at school – courses like English and History, although they interest me, just didn’t appeal to me and I wanted to try something new.

Growing up in Central London and being surrounded by crime, and also loving crime documentaries and having an interest in the justice system, led me to choose Criminology at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate.

Did you always know what you wanted to do?

Surprisingly, I didn’t. I didn’t even know that Criminology was a subject in itself, but I knew that I liked the Social Sciences, so when I found out that Criminology existed and that it combined several disciplines, like Psychology, Sociology and Law, I knew it would be perfect for me.

Having now studied it at University, I now know for sure that I want to work in the field, and more specifically, alongside ex-offenders/prisoners, which I had no idea that I wanted to do prior to university.

What was the most surprising takeaway from your course?

I think all the amazing people that work in the Criminology Department – it just struck me how passionate they all were in relation to all their different topics of interest – so for example, one would talk about money laundering and then the next day someone else would talk about human trafficking, and although the topics varied so much, they were all so interesting because the people who taught them were so passionate themselves and were actively doing research at the time of teaching. 

What advice would you give to a student looking to start your course and/or join the University? 

Just come into it with an open mind – I joined uni with no idea of what I wanted to be, and to be honest, I probably changed my mind every couple of months because the lecturers would convince me that one thing was really interesting, and then the following semester, I’d change my mind and find something else even more interesting.

So, I guess just don’t settle early on – allow yourself to learn everything and immerse yourself in all topics before reaching a final decision on your future.