Hi my name is Laura and I am currently in my third year at Flinders University studying Criminology.
For as long as I can remember, my career goals have revolved around working for the South Australian Police (SAPOL). I’ve always been set on SAPOL so throughout high school I remember tailoring my Personal Learning Plan (PLP), work placement opportunities and volunteering to help me develop relevant experience. As I got closer to finishing year 12 I realised that I was quite young, and wanted more training and experience before applying. I was confident that I was capable of tertiary studies so I began looking into what degrees were available at different universities. I began looking for a degree which would complement my future career aspirations and I discovered Criminology at Flinders – it was a perfect fit!
I did a lot of research into Criminology, including the opportunities within it. I was drawn to the degree not only out of my own interest, but also because Flinders has some of the best academic staff from all over the world. It was fascinating to me that lecturers at university publish research work, write reports for the Attorney-General’s Department and research for the Australian Crime Commission alongside their teaching role.
The Criminology degree goes for three years and I mostly study Criminology, Legal and Justice topics. When studying Criminology topics at Flinders I learn about key theories used to answer questions such as: what is crime? Where does it happen? Who is the criminal? And, why do we need crime? We also study legal topics which allow us to critically examine how criminals are brought to justice within our courts. Justice topics within Criminology gives a broad knowledge about how different areas in the Criminal Justice System (police, correctional services and the courts) interact with each other, and how those interactions could be improved.
I recommend Criminology to anyone who wants to work in any aspect of the Criminal Justice System, or if students have an interest in understanding or researching crime. People in my degree want to use it for many different reasons, some want to join SAPOL or the Australian Federal Police (AFP), others want to work with at-risk youths or other vulnerable demographics, and some wish to work in intelligence and security services.
Advice I like to give school students is: Follow your passions! There are so many different areas of study at Flinders University. Use your time at school to look into what you can study. When you find a course that interests you – research it, ask questions, and attend Open Days! Tools like Course Navigator can be a really good start, as well as browsing our undergraduate courses.
Thanks for reading! Laura