When I first started looking into criminology as a degree I was constantly asked what I could do afterwards. I looked into a lot of different types of criminology degree, at different universities, and realised all these people actually had a point. What could a criminology degree give me in the long run? What jobs had other students before me achieved with this degree? Well, throughout my education I always wanted to be part of the police force, I wasn’t entirely fussed about where in the police force I worked, as long as I wasn’t stuck in an office all day. This is how I knew I wanted to do a criminology degree; I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything other than this degree and it has certainly lived up to my expectations!
I read an article this morning which says the number of young police officers has fallen by around 50% in two years due to financial cuts (BBC, 2013), which made me realise that my aspirations of eventually joining the police force may not be a realistic target. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for those who really work for something will get there in the end, but luckily I have found there are many more options open to me, which all have become apparent through studying for my degree.
BA Criminology is a great course for allowing students to specialise in what interests them the most. In first year, I remember the majority of people doing criminology wanted to join the police force. However, after many years of studying many different modules, I think a lot of these people (including myself) are now looking into other interesting options. The degree looks at many aspects of crime from the criminal justice system itself to terrorism. In first year all modules are compulsory and include theories about crime and a module about how changes in society can affect crime. Second year is where it gets interesting, as students have the opportunity to choose some of their modules. Personally I chose the Global sex trade module, which was a sociology module and one which I found incredibly interesting. Also students move onto more advanced theories, such as psychological aspects of offender behaviour, as well as looking into policing and prisons. Students doing criminology are able to choose from sociology options throughout the degree, which makes choosing module options at times quite difficult because of the range you can choose from. Obviously, there will be modules that no one wants to do, like research methods, but by third year I was so thankful I had done these modules, as I don’t think I would have any clue about my dissertation without them. Towards the end of third year there have been so many modules available to study, such as a drugs module, crime and the media, a football module, youth culture, forensic science and loads more.
I didn’t think my mind would waver when thinking about what career I wanted, but after having the options I have had, I can easily see myself in a completely different job than I first expected. This post intended to give a little more information to exactly what is involved when studying a BA Criminology degree at Leicester and shows the huge amount of options available to students.
BBC (2013) ‘Sharp Fall in young police officers’ BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20998800 (accessed 13/01/2013).