Criminology students discover how emerging drug trends impact our communities

Professor delivers guest lecture to Criminology students
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Professor of Criminology and Social Policy delivers a guest lecture on the impact drug trends can have on users, the prison population, and the criminal justice system.

Professor Rob Ralphs, Professor of Criminology and Social Policy at Manchester Metropolitan University, recently visited UCEN Manchester to talk to our Criminology students about emerging drug trends, including spice, and the wider implications that this has on our criminal justice system. 

Professor Ralphs also discussed how this knowledge can be applied to various careers in the criminal justice sector. Watch the video above to learn more about Professor Ralphs’ lecture.

Louise Kay, a criminology and criminal justice lecturer at UCEN Manchester, said: “Professor Ralphs illuminated the issues of substance use in custodial environments and the trends relating to substance use over time.

He also explained how the information he gave related to employability in a variety of roles within the criminal justice sector, highlighting the vast array of career opportunities available to our students once they have completed their studies.

Level 5 Criminology student Nimra Afzal added "Professor Ralphs’ lecture was very informative and engaging. It gave me an insight on drugs in prison that I believe will be very useful in Level 6 of my degree and beyond."

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


My name’s Rob Ralphs. I’m a Professor of Criminology and Social Policy at Manchester Metropolitan University. My main research area is around drug use, emerging drug trends and drug markets.

I was invited in to give a guest lecture to Criminology students to talk about some of the emerging drug trends, and in particular about spice. But also, the wider implications, the impact it has on society, on users, and the effects on the prison population, the criminal justice system, emergency services for example.

Thinking about kind of employability the skills or the sectors this can go into. They could work in prisons, in housing, mental health, social care, there’s lots of different ways that you can use this information. You know, lots of different sectors that you can take this kind of knowledge into.

The students were great. They were really engaged. They asked lots of questions. It’s a pleasure to come in and teach such an engaged group of students.