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Richard Sen

BSc Criminology and Criminal Justice

'I walked into the reception of the School of Law and saw they offered Criminology courses. I wanted to change career; I thought: “I’ve got something to offer and Criminology is really interesting”, and started doing the Certificate and went on to the degree.

I was attracted to the subject, the quality of the teaching and how it suited working as well so I could work and come here 1-2 times each week in the evening. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the people. It’s one of the few universities where you can carry on working full-time while studying.

Some of the modules are theoretical based – for example, philosophy – which I’ve never done before, so reading Foucault was extremely eye-opening. Then on the other hand, you have the research method and technical classes to learn research skills. Then there are modules on sociology, media and psychology – so it’s really broad, but encompassing crime-related topics.

Whatever your interest – for example mine is youth crime and crime in the media – then there’s something for you. The level of teaching is really good. One part is usually a lecture and one part is the seminar where the teachers want you to have discussions and strengthen your argument skills. They encourage you to try to understand others’ opinions and think critically.

Studying Criminology at Birkbeck has really changed my life in the past few years – not just in terms of looking for a career but also for personal goals – it's developed my skills in public speaking and working independently. It’s been wonderful meeting students of all ages.'

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