Undergraduate Social Sciences
Context: Louise G. could not decide. She had thought about different courses, about taking a gap year, about leaving education and getting a job. In the end, she decided to apply for Criminology at a number of UK universities. When she got in touch, she did have a personal statement but it was incomplete.
‘I have always had a strong interest in workings of the law and the social and behavioural aspects of what causes criminal behaviour in an individual and in society in general. The workings of the criminal justice system grabbed my attention and attracted me into taking a course in criminology.
This interest was developed further because my cousin is studying psychology and she showed me many studies and cases of criminal behaviour which she was currently studying which tried to explain the reasoning as to why this person may have committed a crime in the first place whether it was due to factors such as low self esteem or poverty. I enjoyed reading books in my spare time which only enhanced my fascination of the mind. I was involved in her studies when she would ask me questions and show me pictures then used the information she had gained to determine my mindset and why my mind was wired in this way. This experience at a young age is what has given me the drive to study criminology. The fact that criminology can lead to such a wide range of different career paths such as policing or urban regeneration that I can freely choose which study I want to focus on primarily and further develop my expertise in this area is a very attractive feature
which draws me to applying for this course. I am studying 3 A Levels. I find the upholding of the law through practices and institutions fascinating with the study of the criminal behaviour and the criminal penalties involved with the violating of the law. (1518 characters).
How did the team at Pain Free help Louise ?
Like all our clients, Louise was assigned her own personal coach/consultant. The consultant set up meetings with Louise to tease out her thinking, her motivation and how she could evidence her suitability for the courses she was hoping to secure a place on.
Our consultant explains:
‘Louise was very anxious as the UCAS deadline was looming. I assured her that working together, we would be able to redraft the statement, expanding some aspects and cutting unnecessary detail as necessary in time to meet the deadline.”
Looking at what Louise had written, her main focus has been on explaining her motivation -i.e she is curious as to why individuals commit crime and how the criminal justice system operates. Her interest has been piqued by her cousin who is studying psychology. She recognises that a degree in criminology opens doors to many careers.
In my discussion with Louise, I asked her to prioritise the above, in terms of impact. She decided that the discussions with her cousin were what gave her the impetus to think about criminology as a degree. Louise wanted to go to university, and given her predicted grades, was confident that she had the academic ability to succeed.
The next stage of our discussions focused on asking Louise to identify her strengths, skills and superpower. With prompting , Louise selected work ethic, determination, academic curiosity and finally, ability to work independently as her superpower.
On to research – what efforts had Louise made to find out more about the world of criminology what had she learnt about the courses she was hoping to study ? How might the subjects she was currently studying link with these – in other words, what transferable skills did she have which would be relevant in the future ?
– Work experience – 3 days at a legal practice – 1 of these in court
– Part-time job/volunteering
– Had completed Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award.
Recognition in school
Louise had acted as a buddy for a Year 10 pupil, suffering from social anxiety and had won an awardfor her commitment.
Louise was undecided about her future – in some ways she was hoping that degree studies would clarify what direction she should take.
From this discussion and these outline notes, it was clear that Louise possessed the raw material for a strong UCAS personal statement. To see the finished product, click here.
How we can help you:
– Our experienced staff can help you as an individual at every stage of the UCAS journey.
– We offer a no obligation 30 minute video consultation call – to
discuss/advise/review your plans.
– We review the initial draft of your personal statement, offer individualised advice and ongoing support as required.
Undergraduate PS – Criminology 3991 characters
Doing a favour for a relative was the spark that lit my interest in criminology. An older cousin, was studying psychology and she asked me to participate in a research project on how individuals may affect and be affected by social situations and social behaviour. This got me thinking about crime in general and explanations for criminal behaviour. Are some people born ‘bad’ or do early life experiences also play a part in creating criminal behaviour? At that time, I was studying ‘Of Mice and Men’ for GCSE English Literature and had taken part in a lively classroom discussion about the fatal shooting. George shoots Lennie in the back of the head – given the context – is this murder or a mercy killing ? This, and several high profile court cases which were extensively covered in the media has fuelled my interest and cemented my determination to study criminology at university. I am also excited by the
broad range of careers which this degree could lead to such as the probation service, social research, or policy making.
My curiosity about criminology spurred me to listen to a range of podcasts on the subject. These ranged from accounts of the murder of individuals and the court cases which followed (UK True Crime on Spotify) to more academic approaches in a series run by the University of Oxford which looked at the social and economic aspects of criminal behaviour. One of the most interesting concerned an initiative based in Rotherham which focused on building resilience in young people as a means of reducing crime. From it I learnt that 18 is the key age at which a young person is most likely to commit crime or desist from committing crime. The initiative focused on building relationships with young people of 17 or older who were vulnerable over a period of 12 months. Many of these individuals had grown up in a chaotic landscape where substance misuse, trauma and neglect featured. Their educational progress was poor, many of them suffered from disabilities such as ADHD or mild autism. Listening to the podcast discussions made me think about the balance between nature and nurture which my cousin had talked about. Were these young people in Rotherham would-be criminals or victims of circumstances over which they had very little control? The outcomes of the initiative were encouraging, if modest. The level of arrests and contacts with police fell while there were increases in victim reports (showing more trust in police) and in self-reported wellbeing. Listening to relevant podcasts such as these and watching a range of TED talks on the subject made me more aware than ever of the complexity of criminology as a topic and whetted my appetite to study it at an advanced level. I am looking forward to delving much deeper into the subject to gain an understanding of crime in a social, historical and political context, to explore the role of the criminologist in the world of policy, and activism, and to know how the criminal justice system operates.
Although my A Level subjects are not directly related to studying criminology, I am confident that transferable skills I have gained from them including self-organisation, research, ability to meet deadlines will stand me in good stead at university. Work experience at a legal practice gave me the opportunity to see law in action from a different perspective. I particularly enjoyed reading client briefs and shadowing the solicitor in the local district court. I achieved the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Silver) through volunteering on a summer scheme and completing overnight hiking expeditions and these activities have sharpened my teamwork skills and self-confidence to assume leadership as needed.
In conclusion, I am confident that I have the ability, commitment and interest to succeed as an undergraduate in criminology. I am excited at the prospect of more personal independence and I relish the opportunity to learn from acknowledged leaders in the field which the degree course offers.
We are so confident that your team can help that we offer a 100% free review call with our team to see if they can help. Our team will be delighted to advise you on how they think they can help!