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School of Law

Hannah Watts

MRes Criminology

Why did you choose to study this course at The School of Law?

Hannah Watts
Hannah Watts graduated with a BA in Criminology and stayed on at Manchester to study for an MRes.

I chose to stay at The University of Manchester for my Masters because the modules offered matched areas that I was interested in and I had enjoyed UG so much, I was not ready to leave. I chose the MRes instead of the MA, because I had realised that research was a strength of mine and felt that the MRes could take me further in my career.

The application process from UG to PG is super easy and it was the perfect transition for me. 

What most stands out from your time at The University of Manchester?

What stands out for me is the range of possibilities and experiences you can have. During my four years in Manchester I have been fortunate to be involved with the Youth Offending Team, Victim Support and MASH (Manchester Action for Street Health). This really brought my lectures to reality and really helped me to improve my academic writing because I truly understood the topic.

Furthermore, in my second year I was fortunate enough to do an internship at the Home Office in London. I had an eight week placement where I worked on current projects around domestic homicides, child sexual abuse and cyber bullying.

This really opened my eyes to the importance of social research and the influence this can have on policy. Both the BA Criminology course and MRes are flexible, meaning that I have been able to continue sport and a part-time job throughout my time here. 

What do you feel is unique or distinctive about studying at The University of Manchester?

I think the range of expert teaching available. The lecturers are leading academics which not only means they are enthusiastic about their work, but you know you are really learning from the best. They provide you with support and for me, they really pushed me to achieve higher. I would never have imagined achieving a first and carrying onto a masters in first year, but with the support and encouragement from staff I did it!

When I talk to people from other universities they are shocked when I say that we have learnt how to code in a programme called R and that for my dissertation I am analysing tweets. This just shows that Manchester really offers a wide range of topics and really puts you ahead of others. 

What aspects of your time at Manchester's School of Law have most benefitted your career or future prospects?

In second year I applied for a Q-Step internship. This is a scheme that enables students from a variety of degrees to use their data analysis skills in current research. The Careers Service helped me with the application process and the interviews.  I was fortunate enough to get an internship at the Home Office in London. I spent eight weeks working on research into child sexual abuse and domestic homicides and presented my work to the Crime and Policing Analysis Unit.

My work was published in a Home Office paper which I am incredibly proud of. Since graduating my UG degree I have been offered a job on the Civil Service Fast Stream as a social researcher in the Home Office. Without the opportunity of the internship in second year, I would not know that this was the career I wanted to take. 

What advice would you give to those considering studying at The School of Law?

Use the help available to you. I remember so often people were struggling with a module or an assessment but didn’t go to the lecturer. Their doors are always open and getting their advice really helped me to advance in my degree.

Also take advantage of the opportunities around you, in first year apply for volunteering in different areas of CJS, this gives you an insight into not only what career may suit you but will really help you with your studies and applying for jobs. 

If you could name one experience that you will take away with you from your time at Manchester, what would it be?

Graduation day. I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment and pride as I collected my certificate.

All the hard work had paid off and it made me realise that Manchester had been the perfect place for me to go to.