Tim Colman was a student on the Criminology and Criminal Justice MA at City, University of London. He graduated in 2003.
Why did you choose to study at City, University of London?
I chose City for a few reasons. Friends of mine had studied at City previously, and talked very highly of it. I’d also been to an open day and met some of the members of the Sociology and Criminology schools which gave me great encouragement to apply. Finally, the location was perfect for me, given I work near Clerkenwell.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
I had worked in the criminal justice system for a few years before I began studying at City and I was beginning to develop a practical understanding of how the sector worked. Studying at City has enabled me to build on this practical understanding with theoretical knowledge and access to really stimulating research. I’ve met some really great people on the course, too.
What has been your favourite module and why?
Criminal Minds was great. Eugene’s teaching was infectious, and the course covered a huge amount of interesting subject matter, from the banality of evil to the psycho-social process through which an individual becomes a suicide bomber.
What has been a highlight of your course so far?
Hard to pick one highlight. I’ve found all the modules interesting, and they’ve genuinely helped me progress in my work away from studying, too. Having never conducted my own research study, I’ve found that process a really positive challenge. Working with my supervisor to create a piece of work that is interesting to me, and one I hope will prove to be a valuable contribution, has certainly been a highlight.
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective City Criminology student, what would it be?
Throw yourself into it! You will get out of the course what you put into it. Make the most of the expertise of the teaching staff to learn as much as possible from their experiences. Contribute during lectures and seminars – the discussions can be a real highlight when everyone is involved. Also, you’re in London. Use the time you have here to volunteer or engage with the criminal justice system as much as possible.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Immediately, I’ll be continuing to build a career in criminal justice, working towards improving our prison system and making sure that there are the right services for prison leavers post-release. Beyond that, studying Criminology at City has made me seriously consider conducting more research at PhD level, so that’s definitely a longer-term option.
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