Criminology course has shown Laura a pathway to helping young offenders

Criminology student Laura Roberts
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Laura Roberts has found that studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at UCEN Manchester has opened her mind and helped her discover a new passion.

We spoke to Laura to find out how her course changed her outlook, why she chose UCEN Manchester, why she returned to higher education and more.


My name is Laura Roberts, and I am studying the criminology and criminal justice system. 

Why did you choose to study Criminology and Criminal Justice?

I did Social Studies over at The Manchester College. I really enjoyed the criminal part and the sociology part. So, I just started looking at different options that included them and that’s why I chose to do the Criminology course. 

How did your course change your outlook?

It opens your mind so much.. Previously, I   it was just about the law, criminals and criminal justice. Doing the course though has shown me  that it is so much more than that and  I don’t just want to join the police now. I want to do so much more with different things, like working with young offenders. 

What opportunities did you gain from study?

I picked up my working role at Barton Moss Secure Children's Home. It’s a children’s security for ten- to seventeen-year-olds that have either been convicted for a criminal offense or they’re at risk of becoming criminalised, taken advantage of, or are on a care detention order.

What would you like to do in the future?

I want to continue working with young offenders or working with offenders in general, to help themto improve their lives. 

Why did you choose to study at UCEN Manchester?

There’re so many more benefits to coming here. You get your Achievers Scholarship which is a recognition of your hard work from The Manchester College. The financial support, the emotional support, smaller classes and more one to one with your tutors. It is a  whole package .  that makes you feel a little bit more confident and comfortable and you can continue with the same people, and you build a bond. You always feel you can help each other and can rely on other people and benefit from different  perspectives. 

The UCAS points was another thing as they were lower than other providers and it’s exactly the same degree that you get at the end.

Why did you return to higher education?

Well, I’m a single parent of four children  and I wanted to  show them that educationis enjoyable and you can make something from it and that you’re never too old to go back an rectify mistakes. 

What advice do you have for others considering higher education?

Fight your fears. For me, from where I’m from, you wouldn’t think of going to university, you wouldn’t think it was an option or something that you could achieve when you come from a deprived area. Because of that you kind of pull yourself back,  whereas, if you just take a shot at it, you’ll surprise yourself yourself.

Find out more information about the Criminology courses available at UCEN Manchester and apply now.