What it’s like studying Criminology at Manchester

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Criminology and Law, Undergraduate | 0 comments

Written by Amy Tyley – Third year Criminology student

As a third (and final) year student on the BA Criminology course, I am here to give you an insight into what it is like to study at The University of Manchester (UoM). This blog post will focus on extra-circular opportunities within the Crim course and what Manchester expect of you when applying to study here.

Firstly, the opportunities. Criminology is one of the courses at UoM which offers the opportunity to study abroad in a different university for a year. You are required to study similar modules to that of the Crim course but is a fantastic opportunity to learn about differing crime problems and the laws surrounding this across a completely different jurisdiction. Unless you apply directly onto the Crim with year abroad course through UCAS, you can apply at the end of your first semester of second year. You are required to get an average of 60% each semester and have to complete an application form for why you should study abroad and where you would like to go. From here you will find out your placement university between March-May depending on where you have applied too e.g., Australian placements often find out first due to the lengthy process of obtaining a visa.

Furthermore, the Q-Step internship. The Criminology programme has 2 modules that qualify for the Q-Step internship: ‘Making Sense of Criminological Data’ and ‘Modelling Criminological Data’. Having completed these i.e., achieved over 40% (although it is very competitive so the higher the grade, the better!), you are able to apply to the Q-Step programme. Each student has the opportunity to apply for 3 internships including ones at the Home Office and within the MET Police, each internship only accepts 1-2 students. The following information provided is accessible on the University website.

The final opportunity from the Crim course that I want to put forward to you today happens in your second year when studying Understanding Punishment (a compulsory module). One lecture will be taught from inside a prison to gain real-world experience of the matters discussed and help better understand the UKs prison system. An opportunity not available at other universities, demonstrating why UoM has been ranked so highly over the past several years in relation to the Crim course.

One thing that really struck me about university in general is how independent it is, very different from the guided sixth form experience, you truly do get out of it what you put in! I was taught very early on about the social life/work/university balance. One of my first-year lecturers said to me, that a university degree should be treated as a full-time job, spending at least 40 hours of your week working towards the degree. For every one hour of contact time, you have (contact time refers to the time spent actually in university e.g., lecture or seminar), you should spend 2 hours at home prepping for your next lectures, making your way through the reading list and planning assignments.

For the Criminology course you will have an average of 12 contact hours a week, meaning you are expected to schedule at least 24 more hours outside of university to be doing independent work. This doesn’t mean to say you can’t go out or have a part-time job, but it really does help put into perspective the demands of achieving a degree, particularly in your third year which counts for 2/3 of your overall grade. Your second-year counts for the other 1/3 (1st year doesn’t count towards the overall grade of your degree on the Crim course, but it’s very helpful to receive constructive feedback on essays!).

I hope you enjoyed reading a little more about what it’s like to study Criminology at UoM, for any questions regarding modules or course structure, please visit this page.