Prison visit enriches Criminology and Criminal Justice students' experiences

Criminology and Criminal Justice students

Criminology and Criminal Justice students apply classroom learning to work environment with visit to prison education department.

UCEN Manchester students on the Foundation Degree (FDA) and BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice programmes were able to draw on what they had learnt in the classroom and apply it to a real-world environment when they visited a young offender institution.

The visit to HMYOI Wetherby was part of the Youth Crime and Deviance module, which explores the youth justice system, and organised as part of a collaboration between UCEN Manchester and sister organisation in the LTE Group, Novus, who deliver education in prisons. During the visit, which was hosted by Novus Head of Education, Ben Callender, the students toured the facilities and spoke to the staff at the site about their experiences. They also had an opportunity to meet some of the children.

Speaking about the experience, Sharine Mckenley-Walters, student on the Level 5 FDA Criminology and Criminal Justice course, said:

It made my studies real. We talk about young people committing crime but seeing them really humanised them as children. It has given me food for thought, it was very interesting.

Fellow student Signy Njalsdottir, added: “The visit has given me the opportunity to make links to what I have already learnt and given me ideas for how I can develop in the final year of my undergraduate degree. Ben clearly really enjoys his job and wants to make a difference to the lives of the children there, it was inspiring to see.”

Angela Tobin, Programme Leader for Criminology and Criminal Justice, said: “Having access to professionals and experts in the field, means our students are gaining valuable knowledge and experience that will be hugely beneficial in their future careers. To support their learning, we have incorporated visits and guest lectures at every level of the course to ensure that our students can meet those who are working on the front line of key criminological issues.

“I am extremely grateful to the team at HMYOI Wetherby, for giving up their time. They were able to highlight so many of the issues we have discussed during the module and presented the reality, impact, and consequences of complex issues. The experience gave our understanding of Criminology an extra dimension in a powerful and memorable way.”

The visit is just one of a number of opportunities students on the Criminology and Criminal Justice programmes have taken part in this year. Other sessions include meeting industry experienced researchers, guest lectures from a group that provide community-based addiction support and a disability rights campaigner, as well as a walking tour of political Manchester.