School of Law

Oliver Bowling

MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology | 2016 - 2017

Photo of Oliver Bowling

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I was a bit late to university. I spent a couple of years on and off in South America, then moved down to London before deciding that getting a degree would help me get on the career path that I wanted.

I’m from near Lincoln and have lived there since graduating from the University of Kent in 2011. Since that point I’ve largely worked in the third sector, with adults with learning difficulties and nearly 4 years working with homeless people in Lincoln. I moved to Leeds in 2015 because my girlfriend started her training in social work here and I worked for the Princes Trust in Wakefield.

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you chose Leeds?

I’ve worked around people that have had a lot of contact with the criminal justice system but my previous training through work or university has largely focused on the social policy side of things. I’ve always been interested in criminal justice and the course just ticked a lot of boxes for me. I wanted to expand my knowledge and with the new postgraduate loans I decided that it would be worth dropping out of employment for the longer term benefits.

Living in Leeds made the decision a lot easier, but the fact that the University and Law School is so well regarded helped. I have friend who have studied here and I knew how much they enjoyed their time here.

What do you think of your course, have there been any particular highlights for you?

The course is really interesting and I’ve felt challenged. It’s intense but I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s very varied and the staff are excellent.

I don’t think there are any particular highlights, it’s all been enjoyable. We’ve got a really good student committee who have been great at organising socials which has been good. Because the course is so intense and there’s a lot of independent study I think a lot of people put socialising to one side, or have their own lives outside of university so it’s good that we’re all brought together for events.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?

The staff are great. Both the support staff and the academic staff. Every tutor I’ve had has been really helpful when I’ve needed them. They’re all very approachable and genuine.

We also get updates on news or events inside or outside the school on events that are connected to our course. There’s even one tutor who sends me lots of things on homelessness because she knows that’s one of the subjects I’m most interested in.

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

Fantastic. The libraries are great. It’s a brilliant campus, really green and in a great location. We’ve got a common room to work in at the School too, as well as a big foyer space so we’re really lucky.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?

I volunteer at the University Music Library which is a huge library started in the 60s with about 6000 records and probably a couple of thousand CDs. It’s a great place to meet likeminded people and they put on some cool events too.

© Copyright Leeds 2018