Toby - Criminology
Studied: BA(Hons) Criminology.
When high-flying Criminology student Toby was choosing a university, he was attracted to the placement on UWE Bristol's course, which included carrying out a piece of criminological research. He took this option in his third year instead of a traditional dissertation.
"There's no better preparation for entering your chosen career than immersing yourself in it. I was fortunate to shadow the police as part of the research for my dissertation."
Experiencing crime on the front-line
During his placement with Avon and Somerset Police, Toby designed and conducted research. This involved dealing with staff and officers from a range of different ranks and positions.
"The experience definitely improved my confidence and communication skills. These are invaluable when it comes to applying for jobs or doing interviews."
When he wasn't on his placement, Toby studied hard and enjoyed learning about the subject.
"I like Criminology because it is relevant. Current or recent affairs can often be linked to it making it easier to relate to. It's also based around sharing ideas. You can have your perceptions widened or even changed through discussions with classmates."
The hard work paid off and Toby graduated with a first-class degree in July 2012. He also received a prize for achieving the highest grades in his year.
Shortly after graduating, he went into a temporary position in the change management unit at Avon and Somerset Police. This has recently become a two year contract.
"The research and analysis from my dissertation, which I carried out on placement, was useful for this job. I hadn’t met any of my current employers through the placement, but I’m sure my experience of working with the Avon and Somerset Police gave me a headstart.
"I couldn't have hoped for better really. Two years solid experience will give me a good grounding, and I’ll be able to decide what role I want to progress into. I've been considering becoming a police officer - we’ll see how the next few years go."