Nicole Renehan

MRes Criminology 

Why did you choose to study this course?

Nicole Renehan

The University of Manchester was one of four universities which I researched before deciding to submit an application to the School of Law. I began researching in 2014 while completing my undergraduate degree by contacting universities individually and setting up meetings with course directors. Manchester was the last university I visited but it was definitely my first choice after attending a PGT open day.

The programme directors and research staff were so enthusiastic and were able to answer all of my questions. It was also important to me that I was made to feel that I would be a welcome asset to the University. Additionally, my decision to study this course at the School of Law was influenced by my research interests and potential supervisors. The MRes Criminology programme which I have just completed is recognised by the ESRC and was another major influence on my decision.    

What most stands out from your time at The University of Manchester?

What stands out most for me are the opportunities to engage with the research staff and supervisors. This has been particularly useful in terms of my academic progression when developing critical thinking in both oral and written form. 

What aspects of your time at Manchester’s School of Law have most benefitted your career/future prospects? 

The practical and written assignments, and the feedback provided on these have helped me to engage with research literature in critical manner, and the opportunity to mould each of these to inform my own research interests. I have no doubt that the Mres Criminology pathway being recognised by the ESRC certainly increased my chances in securing ESRC funding for my current PhD at The University of Manchester.

However, I have received excellent guidance, support and feedback from my supervisor and this, I feel, has been the most influential factor in my successful ESRC application for doctoral studies.  

What advice would you give to prospective students?

The MRes Criminology is an excellent programme and you will be learning from some of the best in their field. It is an excellent pathway into relevant careers also.

However, if like me, you wish to pursue a career into academia, my advice would be to take every opportunity to engage with the lecturing and research staff to develop your research ideas and obtain feedback.

The programme requires a lot of commitment but if you want to reach your full potential it will be a worth-while investment in your future.  

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

My best experience would have to be the prizes I was awarded in recognition of my academic achievements. Winning the Excellence Prize for Top Performing Student on a Criminology Masters Degree, and the Chair’s prize for most outstanding postgraduate dissertation was a moment I won’t forget as it reinforced to me the benefit of the two-year commitment I made as a part-time student.

Additionally, securing ESRC funding was by far the highlight of my time at Manchester and, I’m thrilled to say, has secured my another three years here – so I don’t have to say goodbye just yet!