School of Law

Joanne Nelson

BA Criminal Justice and Criminology | 2010 - 2013

Photo of Joanne Nelson

Why I chose Criminal Justice and Criminology at Leeds
I began to really like Leeds as a city when my older sister was studying for her degree a few years ago. I felt it had a welcoming and exciting vibe and coming up to visit meant I knew my way around more than I would if I were to study in a city I had never been to before.

I was attracted to the course in the School of Law as many universities only offered a straight criminology degree, whereas the BA Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Leeds offered a slightly different stance which allows a bit more of the law side to come through within the course content - which I thought would be really interesting.

My passion for the subject
I have always had a deep interest in crime and wanted to learn more about the societal reactions to criminal behaviour and look further into why people commit offences in the first place.

Since studying at the University of Leeds, I have gained a lot of knowledge surrounding these areas and have developed more interest into other areas such as victims of crime and the criminal justice process.

The course
I have really enjoyed most aspects of my course, especially in second year when we could choose our own modules to study.

This gave me the chance to select something that was of great interest to me, which made studying for the modules more enjoyable.

I have just started my research for my dissertation which will focus upon the topic of domestic violence against women. I am looking forward to getting stuck into this piece of work and feel that it will be a huge achievement when it is finished, it will be the largest piece of written work I will have ever written.

The lecturers I have had so far have been very knowledgeable around their subject areas and are very happy to help in any way that they can.

The learning facilities
The library website has just been updated and contains a wide array of information which can help with your academic studies. I have just started to use it whilst starting my dissertation and the information has been very useful in pointing me in the right direction in the way of starting to read for my dissertation and how to make appropriate notes.

It is also good to help you with time management skills.

Support for students
Student support is excellent within the School of Law. All lecturers have student support hours which can be used to talk through assessments or just any problems you may be experiencing. I would advise these hours to be used as they are there to help you and you can gain a lot from them especially when writing essays.

Outside of study
There is a wide array of activities to get involved in from clubs and societies to playing sport for the University or your course. 

I am a member of ‘Crim Soc’ which is Criminology and Criminal Justices’ very own society. This was an excellent start to making new friends on my course and we have had some excellent socials. We have also visited Armley prison which was very interesting and I gained a lot of useful knowledge about the prison system and life within a prison.

I very much enjoy socialising with friends and I am also a volunteer for victim support and so I try and do as much volunteering for them as I can, which has given me much more confidence and I enjoy being able to help someone in any way that I possibly can.

City life
Leeds is a vibrant student city with so much going on all year round. There are so many students which makes it much more welcoming when first moving here. The shopping in Leeds is also great.

My future
I am still undecided as to what career route I want to take. I am going to take a gap year after I graduate and hopefully go travelling. I would then like to apply to do a Master’s degree in Social Work in the hope of working with young offenders.

I would definitely recommend the BA Criminal Justice and Criminology course here; I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.

There is so much to learn from the course content and many opportunities to further your knowledge with guest speakers and the chance to do work experience in a prison in your final year.

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