- Geography and Environment
As I had studied BSc Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough University, I was already aware of the opportunities and challenges that I would face during this master’s programme and knew it would help me develop my skills and knowledge to progress to where I want to be.
My emerging interest in youth justice, social policy and evidence-based research were all major reasons to continue my studies and MA Childhood, Youth and Social Policy offered a great balance of these topics. In addition, having already studied at Loughborough University, I was already aware of the support and encouragement received from fellow students and staff and felt this was the best option to develop myself.
As a whole, I would say there were no aspects of the course that I did not enjoy. It was engaging and enjoyable throughout. Parts of the course that I enjoyed the most were the modules ‘Understanding Social Policy Research’ and my Dissertation project. The modules allowed me to focus on my own interests and develop new skills, such as SPSS. I also enjoyed the freedom of being allowed to research topics of my own interest and then being supported throughout for these choices.
Throughout my time at Loughborough University, I have always been encouraged to push myself, whether this be by fellow students who aspire for the same success or staff who are always there to support you during your studies. Furthermore, I always felt supported to approach staff to help me discuss my career options and how I can further develop myself to give me the best chances of succeeding in my desired interests.
As a student who did not come from a background in human geography I was worried that I was going to be left confused around certain topics or it would not be relevant to my interests. My advice would be to stay open minded throughout the course as there was always an opportunity to relate the course content back to your own interests and I was never left wondering what was being discussed.
For prospective students I would strongly consider contacting the University and I am sure any similar worries will be diminished. I would also advise students to take any opportunity they can to actively participate in any opportunity given to you. For instance, I was the course representative for MA Childhood, Youth and Social Policy. This allowed me to feed into the running of the course and get feedback from fellow students on how things could be improved.
Following my MA, I was commissioned by the Oncology Department of the Royal United Hospital (Bath) to examine, update and evidence the department’s guidelines and standing operating procedures including website overhaul. Following the completion of this temporary project, I am now working for the College of Policing as a Practice Developer.
After a guest speaking seminar as part of one of the modules, I was also in touch with Coventry Council to work as a youth worker based in the Child Sexual Exploitation team (CSE) alongside my studies.
My current role is as Practice Developer for the College of Policing. My main functions are to develop and deliver evidence-based professional practice standards and guidelines for policing though reviewing existing standards and guidance to determine continued fitness for purpose. I also produce critical appraisals of evidence to scope and draft new and revised guidelines and lead national stakeholders in interpreting evidence and defining appropriate guidance and practice.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to transfer my experience from my BSc and MA into a more professional environment, whilst being given the trust and responsibility to start scoping a brand-new guideline and move it forward into development. The College also encourage development throughout, pushing you in the direction to broaden your knowledge in different sectors and giving you the confidence in doing so.
I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge within the College and becoming a more integral and experienced member. In the more distant future I am hoping I can move up through the College by taking on new roles and perhaps moving up into roles, such as Senior Practice Developer.
The proudest moment of my career so far has been successfully completing my MA and master's dissertation during a global pandemic and coming out of it with a job in a relevant field to my studies which I enjoy and believe I can be vastly successful in.