I’m from a small village in Cumbria and studied criminology at undergraduate and master’s level at Lancaster University.
Before I went to university I studied Psychology, English Language and Religious Studies at A Level. I really enjoyed these subjects and knew that I wanted to pursue them further. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do but knew that higher education was something that I was interested in. I didn’t know what direction to go in and for a long time I was stuck between choosing to do a degree apprenticeship or go to university.
Why I chose to go to university
In the end I decided to go to university. I went to Lancaster University and completed my undergraduate degree in criminology in 2021. I also stayed at Lancaster to complete my master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I chose to go to university because I love learning and wanted to pursue my interests in the A Level subjects that I studied. I also wanted to meet new people and try new things. I come from a rural village in Cumbria so was excited to move a bit further away to try new things, but I was close enough to Cumbria that I could visit home if I wanted to.
Where I went
I chose to go to Lancaster University because I loved the campus when I went to visit on an open day. I applied to other campus universities, and initially was set on going to University of York or Keele University. Before attending the open days, I didn’t really plan on going to Lancaster and was leaning more towards York. However, after visiting Lancaster on an open day I loved the campus and decided to make Lancaster my firm choice. I also chose Lancaster because of the criminology course on offer there as the selection of modules appealed to my interests. Studying at Lancaster also allowed me to study minor modules in politics and law.
What I studied
As I have briefly already mentioned I studied criminology at undergraduate and postgraduate level at university. My passion for my A Level subjects meant that I wanted to pursue them further, I just wasn’t sure how I would do that. Studying criminology meant that I could incorporate parts of the subjects I had already studied. I was also interested in crime and criminal justice so knew that a criminology course would allow me to have a deeper understanding of the processes and issues that underpin both topics. I chose the criminology course at Lancaster because of the modules on offer. During my undergraduate degree I studied modules like prisons and punishment, crimes of power, and organised crime. I loved my criminology degree so much that I decided to complete a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice which allowed me to further develop my interest and passion in criminology.
Which obstacles I encountered
During my time at sixth form, I had no idea about what I wanted to do next. I found all of the decisions and options that I had quite overwhelming and didn’t know where to start in deciding what to do next. During this time, I found it useful to go to lots of open days, taster sessions and talks from higher education providers. I also focused on what I was interested in and passionate about, because this was the most important thing for me when deciding what to do next. Once I realised that criminology was what I was interested in, this made the process a bit less overwhelming because I could focus on this subject when attending open days.
My advice to anyone considering higher education would be to explore all your options. I wouldn’t have gone to Lancaster if I hadn’t gone to the open day! Also, focus on what you are interested in and passionate about. I loved my time in higher education and am excited to apply some of the skills I developed at university to my role at Hello Future.
If you’re unsure of your next steps, or have any questions about higher education please contact us for information.