Thomas Crabb graduated with a 2:1 in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies in 2011 and is now working as a police officer.
“I chose the University of Plymouth because of its location – the campus is smack bang in the middle of the city and you are never too far away from anywhere. I can’t think of anywhere else I would have wanted to study. My career ambition has always been to work in the criminal justice sector, particularly the police. I had guidance from a friend who went to university a couple years before me; he told me how helpful the course was in developing a good understanding of how the criminal justice sector works. I feel Plymouth University has helped me to gain a good knowledge of the criminal justice sector and what their goals to tackling problems are.
I enjoyed the different style of teaching compared to school and college; we were encouraged to form opinions based on the information we were taught through lectures and then encouraged to form debates in the seminars. I felt this was a great way of engaging with the subject and really helped to develop my knowledge. The workload, especially in the third year was quite challenging to manage especially with all of the extra curricular activities that I was involved in but I was able to overcome this with support from lecturers and other students.
Take every piece of experience offered to you on the course and through university. When I applied for my current job, I had good insight into how I would rehabilitate offenders and used this in my interview, which helped me to gain employment. However, I do not feel that the qualification alone can help you to gain all the right skills to enhance employability, these have to be gained through other means such as volunteering; you need to learn how to apply your knowledge to the skills required for that area of work. I wish I had taken part in the placement – I feel if you have the opportunity to do it then go for it! It is all part of building a successful CV which will make you stand out when applying for jobs.
I had a short gap between university and my current job in which I completed my training to become a special constable. I am currently an interventions facilitator at Channings Wood prison delivering offending behaviour programmes to prisoners. I work with the prisoners to help them to identify what risks their current thinking and behaviour has on the public, and to help them identify new ways of thinking and behaving that will help them to lower their risk once released. Gaining employment in an area of work that I am really interested in was very important to me.”