I knew I wanted to do criminology, so I looked at different universities and Kent had the most interesting range of modules. Then I came to an Open Day and decided that Kent was where I wanted to go.
I studied psychology at A level and my favourite part of the course was forensic psychology, so I thought criminology would be something that I’d enjoy.
It is quite a jump, but there’s lots of support available. Some lecturers ran workshops to help with essay writing and there’s also the Student Learning Advisory Service which runs classes to help you, so you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Also, you have an academic adviser who you can talk to, mine was very helpful.
That’s a difficult question. In one module we looked at crime and society, it linked some of the ideas and theories in criminology to actual practices and real-life events. So for example one week we looked at graffiti and how criminology theories apply to that. It was fascinating and the examples really help to fix the theories in your head.
I also went to a summer school on quantitative research run by the University. It was fun and challenging; you analyse statistics and data and learn how to compare them and uncover what they actually mean. I hadn’t chosen to do quantitative research initially because I had only studied maths up to GCSE, but the way we were taught in the School made it very easy to pick up. I really enjoy the quantitative research side of my degree and it will open up a whole new area of potential careers.
They’re extremely passionate about their subject, and very keen to engage with students. You can see how their research feeds into their lectures which makes them incredibly interesting. They’re always willing to talk to you and respond within a few days if you email them.
We’re quite a mixed group and I enjoy meeting people from different places and backgrounds. The debates in seminars are always interesting and sometimes carry on after the seminar. In my first year I had a peer mentor who really helped me, so this year I decided to become a peer mentor and do the same for someone else.
I work as a sub-editor for the student newspaper InQuire, I edit articles for the website and for the printed version of the newspaper, and write news articles. It’s great experience and I really enjoy doing it. I’m also vice president for the Turing College Committee and I’m a student rep, which involves talking to the other students and then raising any concerns at various meetings. It was a bit intimidating at first, but the academic staff are so approachable and friendly that it soon becomes easy.
The library is amazing and having a really large nightclub on campus is great. I like Canterbury too. It’s quite a small city but at the same time there’s enough going on so that you always have something to do.
I’m definitely considering a Master’s, either in criminology or something with quantitative research. In the future, I would like to have a career in quantitative research.
Make use of the lecturers, the professors. I know some people find it intimidating, but they’re always willing to talk to you. And join societies because they’re the best way to make friends.