Optional modules are the fantastic opportunity to tailor your undergraduate degree to your own personal interests. It means that one Leicester Criminology degree can end up completely different to another, which is great! We have the opportunity to engage in topics that truly interest us personally rather than being confined to a strict syllabus like we were at school. It also means that when we pursue our careers, we’ll be equipped with knowledge on topics that are compatible with what we want to do, and of course that means we can impress potential employers!
First year in Criminology consists purely of core modules which are designed to introduce you to the over-arching subject of Criminology. It is so useful for fine-tuning what we think we know about the subject and provides a really good basis for developing our skills as well as illuminating which areas we find most interesting.
In second year, we get our first optional module. The core modules are just as important as the core modules in first year as we learn about the fundamentals of policing, penology, research methods important for dissertation preparation, and working in criminal justice. On top of that and more, we have a huge and varied choice for our optional module. Some are sociology-based with options such as The Global Sex Trade, Japanese culture and history, and fashion! I’m not sure how fashion links with Criminology, but my friends who took the module speak highly of it! There is also a wide choice of modules which are criminology-based including Drugs and Crime, Advanced Policing and Psychology and Crime. I chose Psychology and Crime and have recently submitted my 4,000 word essay about offender profiling, which was fascinating to study. Within the module, we learn about an array of areas, but even within our optional module, we have the opportunity to fine-tune our studying to one particular area which interests us most for our final assessment.
Finally, just a couple of weeks ago, I decided my optional modules for third year (seriously how has that happened already?)! We get three optional modules in third year, two of which are Criminology-based and one of which is Sociology-based. With a whole module each term dedicated to our dissertation, this means third year is very much based on your personal interests! I’m still waiting to hear which of my top choices I’ll be studying next year, but I’m really excited about the Forensic Science module if I get on it!
Ultimately, studying Criminology at Leicester feels very much like a personal journey in education and unlike any other type of studying I’ve done before. It’s super exciting to think about how much I’ve learnt and how much my learning style has changed since I finished school.