Amelia's MA International Criminology experience
My name is Amelia Beel and I am a Postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield studying MA International Criminology. I did my undergraduate degree here in LLB Law and Criminology which opened so many doors for me, and allowed me to explore the many areas of law and find my personal passion for criminology and rehabilitation. As I had found an area of interest, but not a job in this sector, I thought that doing a postgraduate course would give me more time to figure out where I wanted to go after university, whilst also allowing me to explore my passion for Criminology in more depth. Staying in Sheffield was a choice I gave a lot of consideration to, because there are so many courses available across the country, but I settled on Sheffield because of the close connections I had made with the School of Law where I studied, and my amazing experience with the city itself.
The MA International Criminology provides a wide range of modules, meaning I have been able to further explore topics from my undergrad such as Policing and Sexual Offences, whilst also experiencing new areas of criminology such as Globalisation and the Theory of Punishment. The lecturers in the School of Law are extremely knowledgeable on their disciplines and are very approachable when I have had concerns or questions within the course. Since the number of students on the course is small, we have created a close and supportive environment for learning.
As a cohort of Criminology students, we are expected to do a lot of independent work as well as producing extensive team presentations and group work within seminars. I have particularly enjoyed this aspect of the course as it is such an efficient way of learning, and I find that sharing ideas with others can be very beneficial in analysing different perspectives.
We have also been able to explore and share our plans for the future with the help of our department through the employability events available. These range from talks on current issues with the South Yorkshire Police, to career planning for Criminology students, meaning there is always something helpful no matter which direction you intend to take.
After completing my postgraduate studies, I intend to join the Probation Service as a trainee probation officer, or find an equally rewarding role within the domain of rehabilitating offenders. Whilst there is no specific degree required for this career, I believe that completing my MA in International Criminology will allow me to stand out as an applicant, as well as have a deep understanding about how the criminal justice system operates, thus benefiting my intended career in this sector.
Studying at the School of Law has allowed me to explore the real social impact that my area of research can have, and the modules have addressed contemporary issues and current debates in the field, meaning I am well equipped to move from academic life to a practical career.
Whilst being in Sheffield I have really loved the extracurricular activities that the university offers such as the wide variety of societies, and sporting events like Varsity, which I would highly recommend getting involved with, either as a participant or just going to watch some of the events and supporting our university. The atmosphere is amazing and it really highlights the strong sense of community that we adopt at the University of Sheffield. This enthusiasm and kindness extends into the city as a whole, with the people in Sheffield being friendly and always ready to chat. I have really enjoyed the kind nature of people here and intend to live and work in Sheffield for the foreseeable future, which I think says a lot about what kind of experience I have had here.
For students thinking about studying at the School of Law, I would say definitely go for it. I can only speak for my course and my experience, but students receive very high-quality teaching standards, a welcoming and community-based department and learn so much more about themselves and their discipline than expected. I have not regretted my choice of university for my postgraduate studies, and all I can say is that I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to continue their studies in a supportive and highly academic environment.
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