Joe is in his second year studying Criminology and Sociology.
What attracted you to Kent?
I’ve always had an interest in the study of crime and chose Kent because it has a very good reputation for criminology – the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is particularly active in research. When looking at universities, Kent had the most support available in terms of financial aid opportunities, which was another major attraction. I also loved Canterbury and it’s not too far from home.
How is your course going?
It’s going very well. Criminology is an inspiring subject to study – it has really changed my perspective and has made me passionate about certain issues. I’m enjoying the informal and relaxed atmosphere of the seminars, which makes it easy to discuss things openly. It’s also great to be working alongside academics who have written the books you are reading.
How would you describe your lecturers?
The lecturers have all been amazing! They are very enthusiastic about their subjects and try to keep the lectures lively, incorporating images and YouTube clips to their presentations. They are also friendly and approachable, and are always happy to answer any questions and provide feedback on your work.
What’s the level of support like?
There’s lots of support available. The School runs an academic mentoring programme, where students are paired with an academic who will mentor them during their studies, and seminar leaders are always on hand if you need to talk to them. The University also runs a peer mentoring scheme, where students can mentor each other in a more informal way. There’s so much help if you need it.
How would you describe your fellow students?
My friendship group is made up of students from across the School, so there’s a real mix of ages, nationalities and subject interests. In seminars, someone will often present another angle on a topic that you may not have thought of. It’s nice to be exposed to so many different perspectives.
How have you found the facilities on campus?
There’s a good range of campus accommodation. I lived in Park Wood in the first year and loved my time there – it has a nice student community atmosphere. On campus, there’s the Venue nightclub and so many different bars and places where you can grab something to eat. You have everything on your doorstep.
What sort of things do you do in your spare time?
I’m a member of the Social Studies Society, which runs talks on topical issues and often hosts guest lectures and panel debates. The Society also organises social events and trips, too – we recently travelled to Amsterdam, which was a lot of fun.
I am also a School Rep, which means I regularly meet with academics and work with them to ensure that the students’ views are represented.
What kind of career do you hope to follow when you leave, and why?
At the moment, I would like to run for Vice President for Education at Kent Union, which would be great experience. I then plan to take a year out to travel before returning to education to do a Master’s. Beyond that, I am undecided, although I have been looking at areas such as publishing. The great thing about my degree course is that it provides an awareness of lots of issues and equips you with skills that can be applied to many different fields.
Any advice for other students coming to Kent?
Definitely come. The course opens your mind, you become more independent and you have the chance to meet people from all over the world. From the moment you arrive here, there are so many opportunities that you can take advantage of; you will never be bored. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to study in the library or prefer to just sit on the hill and chill with friends.