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Criminology at ULaw: An interview with Class Representative Jess Ward

Current student Jess Ward is studying the BA Criminology at our Leeds campus. We caught up with Jess to discover what inspired her to study criminology.

By Cara Fielder. Published 11 July 2022. Last updated 23 November 2022.

I decided to study criminology as I have always loved true crime and I really wanted to take it forward and find a career surrounding it. I studied law at A-level but found it did not feel quite right as a degree. So, I had a look at criminology degrees and I just knew I needed to study it.

I chose to study criminology at ULaw over other universities as I found the modules ULaw offered over the 3 years felt far more exciting, interesting, and relevant to the modern day. The small class sizes also really attracted me as you have a much more personal relationship with your tutors. I think ULaw really is at the forefront of how university education is delivered as it's really innovative and hands on. 

The main thing I love about the BA Criminology is how up to date all the content is; everything we learn has relevant, real-world applications. Even the historical parts of criminology, we learn in the context of today's society, and it is fascinating to see how things have changed and progressed over time. I really enjoyed the Foundations of Criminology module; whilst it may seem quite basic, it is interesting to see how criminology theory has developed through the centuries. It has been a really helpful module and I have been able to apply the knowledge I gained from it to other modules on the course.

The course really feels like it is made for employability in the modern criminal justice system. At first, I thought the small class sizes would be an issue socially, as I only had six other people on my course at Leeds. But I grew to love this, as you form very close bonds with all your course mates. At the Leeds campus, we have the option to join in with some of the University of Leeds societies which is great as you get to know more people outside of the course and University.

My advice for students coming to study criminology at ULaw would be to prepare yourself for a lot more preparatory reading than your friends may get at other universities. I would also recommend Queer Criminology by Carrie Buist and Emily Lenning which was an insightful and interesting read. ULaw offer a Welfare Team who are amazing, they helped support me and the counselling service they offer was truly a life saver.

After graduating I would love to do a masters, hopefully, something in criminal psychology as that really interests me. Then after that, I hope to go into the polices service or youth justice.


Learn more about our criminology courses and take your first steps towards an exciting new career.