School of Law

James Phillips

BA Criminal Justice and Criminology | 2012-2015

Photo of James Phillips

About Me

I was born and lived in the south coast city of Brighton and Hove before moving to Leeds. Having lived by the seaside all my life, it was a slight shock to move inland and not see the sea every day.

I am a keen sportsman with my favourite sports being rugby and football. I follow Brighton and Hove Albion FC, going to as many home and away games as possible.  I love travelling and going out with my friends. I was previously a Regimental Sergeant Major in the Combined Cadet Force in Brighton and have been on training exercises with the Territorial Army.

Why I Chose Criminal Justice and Criminology at Leeds

I applied to Leeds because I was amazed by the facilities at the School of Law and the University in general. The lecturers at the open days were fantastic and the course itself was attractive because of the inclusion of criminal law with criminology. Leeds is an exciting city and offers a great student atmosphere. It offers a busy city life on one side and a quiet countryside feel on the other; a perfect balance.

My Passion for Criminal Justice and Criminology

I have always been interested in why individuals commit crimes and how the justice system works to punish and rehabilitate offenders. It can be applied to reports about crime that we hear in the media and to real life events.

I did some work experience before coming to University with the Sussex Police which fuelled my passion for the subject. This involved looking around Police stations in Brighton and Hove and shadowing police officers to see what their everyday job entailed. Furthermore, I will be undertaking work experience with the British Transport Police this summer to gain further experience within the UK Police force.

My Course

I have really enjoyed the course so far. I have particularly enjoyed learning about Terrorism and the Law as well as Youth Crime and Principles of Criminal Law.  I have undertaken a wide range of modules that are available as electives. Both core and elective modules I have taken so far have been fascinating and interesting. 

I am looking forward to writing my dissertation next year as this will allow me to use all of the skills I have learnt in the first two years and research in the depth the area that I find particularly interesting.

The Learning Facilities and School Support

The learning facilities of the School of Law and the University in general are brilliant. The Liberty Building (School of Law) is a brand new development offering a large lecture rooms and many smaller rooms for studying. Also, with all the lecturers based in one building, they are always around to help. The University itself has many areas available for studying, research and to seek support. The Libraries are extensive and greatly compliment your studies.

The student support is fantastic within the School of Law. You are given a personal tutor for your three years and they are there to offer advice and support and are more than willing to help with any problem that you may have.

Outside of Studying

There are so many different societies and activities ran by Leeds University Union (LUU), ranging from sports, departmental societies to hobbies. There is something for everyone.

In my first year I joined the University Rugby Union Society, playing rugby for the University team until an unfortunate injury early on ended my season. I also joined the Criminal Justice and Criminology departmental society, CrimSoc. This society offered a chance to get to know fellow course mates from all three years through social nights out and other activities. I currently play in the CrimSoc 5 a-side team who compete in a University league every week. In my second year I became the Social Secretary for CrimSoc. I am responsible for organising the socials including nights out and meals, securing discounts for multiple venues in Leeds. I will continue this role in my third year.

Life in Leeds

Leeds is amazing and has plenty to offer. It balances a student atmosphere with a busy city life extremely well. The University is perfectly positioned just on the northern border of the city centre offering a 10 minute walk into the centre where there are plenty of amenities close by. The position of the University offers beautiful countryside within close proximity, perfect for a walk to get away from busy student life. One of the best parts of Leeds is the fantastic student nightlife all within a short distance from the main student living areas.

My Advice to Prospective Students

If you want to study and understand why people commit crime and find out how the legal system deals with offenders through punishment or rehabilitation then this is the course for you.

After Graduation

After I finish my course I plan to join the Police or Armed Forces. My future career aspiration is to be part of the Counter Terrorism Unit looking after UK national security.

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