Tutor blog: Angela Tobin | Criminology and Criminal Justice

Photograph of Angela Tobin in a classroom setting teaching two UCEN Manchester students.

As a Lecturer on UCEN Manchester’s Criminology and Criminal Justice degrees, I am often asked what we do differently from other Higher Education Institutions and there are three things that really stand out to me.

Bespoke student support

We have small class sizes, usually 15 students or less, which means that we can spend more one-to-one time with each of our students.

In turn, we get to know our students’ strengths and areas that require improvement, and tailor our support offer to meet each student’s individual needs.

We take pride in creating a supportive environment for our students to learn in and do everything we can to give them the best possible opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Unique guest speakers and visits

Part of the work we do to prepare our students for industry involves giving them the chance to speak to, and engage with, practitioners, so they learn first-hand about how criminal justice policies are applied.  We do this by inviting guest speakers to deliver lectures.

Students also get the opportunity to take part in industry visits and meet professionals working in the sector.  For example, our students have been to Claytonbrook Police Complex in Manchester, to participate in the training Police Officers are required to undertake.

On another trip, our students went to Minshull Street Crown Court in the city centre to observe what a court case entails when it goes to trial.  When our students return to the classroom, we link the learnings from these visits to theory and it illuminates Criminology in a way that just wouldn’t be possible in a lecture theatre.

Passionate staff that are still working in industry

The Criminology and Criminal Justice team at UCEN Manchester eat, sleep and breathe the subject.  We all love teaching it and still have a variety of jobs in industry.

There is something really special about seeing our students grow and grasp the core essence of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and its importance in the world.

The ultimate reward is watching our students progress and achieve their career ambitions.  We know that we only have three years to impart our knowledge and experience, but the impact our courses have on the lives of the individuals we have the privilege of teaching lasts well beyond their time in our classrooms.  This is demonstrated in the success stories our students have enjoyed in their chosen careers.