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BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Behaviour

Aimee is in her final year of the BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Behaviour degree at Bradford.

Here, she shares her experience of being a care leaver coming to university, and the advice she'd offer to new students.

This is Aimee's story...

My early life

“I used to stay up late to watch crime shows.”

"My mum was always interested in crime shows and films that were based on real-life crime cases, so in the school holidays I'd be allowed to stay up late to watch them. One that really stuck with me was the case of Steven Stayner, who was kidnapped when he was seven - it made me want to understand why people commit crimes like that.

"After doing my GCSEs, I went to college for a year to study childcare. But back at home, my life changed and I became estranged from my parents, leaving me unsure of what to do next. I went off the rails for a while, avoiding foster homes and wondering what my future would look like."

A student smiling at the camera

Unsure about a career?

“I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to help people."

"I started thinking about uni when I was 19. I found out that I couldn't get in with the Level 2 qualification that I had, so I went to Keighley College to do a Level 3 in Health and Social Care.

"I went to an Open Day at the University of Bradford and that's when it clicked with me - I didn't have to go into nursing or a health profession to help people. I could study what I loved, which was criminology, because the ultimate goal was surely to help and rehabilitate people.

"I attended some of the Experience Days and chatted to the academics. I loved that I could explore everything from the psychology of criminals, to how to rehabilitate offenders.

"I could really see myself at Bradford. All the staff and students seemed genuinely happy, it was the real deal."

A serial killer uncovered

“I love how much history you learn about on the course.”

"In the first year, we learned all about the history of crime and punishment, from as far back as the 1300s. It's interesting to see the context of crime and how it's developed.

"I've also loved learning about theories to solve crimes, things that aren't covered by the documentaries and films I watch. In my second year, I did a case study on Jeffrey Dahmer, which delved into the reasons why he committed those crimes well before the Netflix show came out!

"I've also enjoyed the social work module in the second year, it was really interesting. I can't believe I'm now in my final year writing my dissertation, which is all about radicalisation."

A student smiling at the camera

Bradford was my preferred choice. The course modules appealed to me the most, and the University also offers a lot of support for care leaver students like me. No other university seemed to do that.

Crime pays: giving back to others

"After uni, I'd like to learn how to teach criminology."

"I thought I'd want to work in the police, in prisons, probation, or youth work, but actually I've realised I just want to talk all day about theories!

"I'm speaking to the careers team about potentially doing a PGCE when I finish university, and maybe getting a teaching assistant role over the summer to get some experience.

"Bradford champions care leavers. The University absolutely deserves its Social Mobility Award. If you are a care leaver like me, make sure you read the University website to see what they do specifically to support care leavers, and ask when you visit.

"Also, if you suffer from anxiety as I do, look at whether the University offers good counselling and mental health support."

The care leavers team at Bradford have helped me so much, even with things like learning how to budget my money, and about mortgages and tax.


“I'm going to miss Bradford!”

"It's crazy to look back at life before I came to University. I wasn't getting up to go to college, I was at the Job Centre receiving income support. But my attendance has soared, and I actually feel excited to get up and learn. Every day is different.

"My advice to new students would be to just make the most of it, attend all your lectures, pick up journals, and make sure you read. Don't just rely on TV and internet sources, and definitely don't use Netflix as a reference!"

Interested in studying Criminology and Criminal Behaviour?

Find out more about our course, entry requirements, and how to apply.