School of Law

Emma McNamara

BA Criminal Justice and Criminology | 2013 - 2016

Photo of Emma McNamara

About me

I was born in Leeds and grew up in the Burmantofts area of the city. It was not the most affluent of areas by any means.  I think looking back that people’s life chances were definitely limited.  Gaining an education was not very high on many people’s lists of priorities. I am a single parent with a daughter who is a major reason for me returning to education, as well as building confidence for myself and trying to make a better life for me and my daughter.

Why I chose Criminal Justice and Criminology at Leeds

I first learned about the Preparation for higher education whilst doing a maths GCSE at Leeds City College. I applied for the foundation degree at the LifeLong Learning Centre within the university and then it was just a natural progression from the PHE to the Law School at Leeds. I live in Leeds and it made sense to apply to Leeds, I have also heard many encouraging comments about the university.

What makes me passionate about Criminal Justice and Criminology?

I think it is the background I came from, seeing people trapped in a life where they have no hope or aspiration, because they don’t have the right information or support to guide them and I want to help people know that there is hope.

My Course

I think the course has been highly stimulating so far. I have enjoyed the Crime and social exclusion module as well as thinking sociologically, but overall I have enjoyed most areas.  I am looking forward to studying urban disorders and social control as well as youth crime and justice.

The Learning Facilities and School Support

The facilities have been great within the university, everything I have needed has been available, including access to computers and printers. The libraries are brilliant, especially skills@library. The support in the school has been second to none. I have had a quite difficult year with family issues and bereavement and the School has been really supportive.

Outside of studying

I have joined the crimsoc society, but as I am a mature student and I have family commitments as well as my volunteering I have been so busy that I have not become fully involved with the activities on offer. Leeds is a vibrant city and a great place to live.

My Advice to Prospective Students

I would say definitely go for it, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I feel very proud to be a part of the Law school at Leeds. The course content is thought provoking and very interesting.  If you’re interested in learning about crime and what causes people to commit offences then this is the course for you.

After Graduation

I have become quite a natural speaker  through my volunteering for the Life Long Learning centre at Leeds University. My work involves speaking to groups of people from various walks of life and I would like to go on to help people who have suffered from addiction and have continued to re-offend throughout their life. 

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