Why did you choose to study your course?
Having studied Psychology and Law at GCSE I knew I wanted to proceed within the social sciences discipline. From the early sixth form days I took up a particular interest with wrongful convictions of offenders having done a shadowing experience on a gang murder case.
The mind of the criminal truly fascinates me and the Criminology programme at Manchester is very content-focused toward criminal behaviour and the justice system. Since being here I have been opened to a whole world of possibilities in the field of wrongful convictions and I genuinely learn something new everyday.
Why did you choose to study at The University of Manchester?
It was important for me to go somewhere that had good connections/opportunities for my specific course as it is very popular across the UK. Whilst the city life amazed me (being from a small town down South), no other open day had made me feel so welcomed and relaxed. So yes, the location of the campus is a massive win, but it was the prioritisation of student needs and pride the University takes in us that made Manchester my first choice.
How did you feel before you got here? How do you feel now?
Like most students going to university straight after sixth form, I was apprehensive of the workload and whether university is as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. I was the only person from my sixth form attending The University of Manchester and many of my friends had decided to stay quite close to home so I was nervous about meeting new people and whether I would settle into a big city.
Nowadays Manchester is my home, I am so proud of myself for taking such a big leap and it has only encouraged me to push myself further (year abroad in Australia), I have learnt so much about myself and I now know I am capable of so many different things. My social and communication skills are so strong; I absolutely love studying in such a big city and I look forward to the days where we can attend campus once again.
What has been the highlight of your course so far?
The opportunities. I receive several emails weekly, even during the COVID era, with different talks and events to attend. The opportunities genuinely are endless, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reaching out of my comfort zone and immersing myself in all that Manchester has to offer. It is through these opportunities that I have met some truly amazing people from all across the globe and I am so grateful to be working through my degree surrounded by such wonderful students.
What has been the most challenging part of your course so far?
I found this question genuinely hard to answer because while the obvious would be COVID-19, I actually feel as though the transition to online learning has been so smooth and easy to adapt to. I suppose the only challenge is the lack of social interaction but that is the same across the whole of the UK and not specific to my course.
Have you undertaken any placements or internships?
While I haven’t specifically undertaken paid placements or internships, I had multiple successful applications to magic circle law firm events during the first semester of my first year. Part of taking up every opportunity available to me, I found myself particularly interested in becoming a solicitor, and The University provided an opportunity for me to essentially trial a day as a solicitor.
I have since learned that I am far more intrigued in the sentencing process and criminal behaviour than the legal side. Had it not been for The University I wouldn’t have been able to narrow down my career path and I do believe the trial and error process I undertook during first year has boosted my employability because I have a vast array of experience rather than just ‘thinking’ I want to do a specific job.
How would you describe your student experience?
Incredible. I feel so grateful to be studying at such an amazing university where student needs genuinely do come first. I have enjoyed meeting so many new people from all across the world, getting involved in so many different opportunities and undertaking various roles for the university.
What is the best thing about studying in Manchester?
The city life is beautiful, with very easy access to cafes and restaurants. It feels like such a tight community despite being such a big city. There are students everywhere you turn, and I very rarely feel unsafe. It is also very useful when looking for placements/internships as some of the biggest global companies are based in Manchester.
Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?
From day one of my journey through university I was applying for various different roles. I work for the Legal Advice centre and with the Miscarriages of Justice review centre. I have been a member of the Criminology society committee for 2 years running and every Wednesday morning I volunteer for FoodParcels in Salford. All of these key roles have enabled me to meet so many wonderful people and build a strong network in and around Manchester as I hope to live here following the completion of my degree. While it may seem scary at first, putting myself out there was the best thing I ever did and I would recommend it to any student looking to study here.
What are your plans for after graduation?
After graduation I am hoping to go onto do a masters focusing more specifically on the criminal justice system. As it stands, I have been offered a place to study abroad at The University of New South Wales and I hope to return there for further study following my graduation from Manchester. The opportunities that I have found and that have come my way truly have shaped my university experience and I am honoured to be attending such an amazing university which I know will support me even after I have graduated.