More about Rory
What inspired you to study BA (Hons) Professional Policing?
"I chose to study Professional Policing because becoming a Police Officer has been my ambition since I was about 16 years old. I wanted to find a career in which helping people was deeply rooted and where I would be doing something different every day.
Policing stood out to me because I wanted to enter a profession which heavily involved teamwork with people who have shared values and a job with a real sense of camaraderie. I wanted my leadership skills and integrity to be tested and feel like I was a part of something bigger."
Why did you choose your course and NTU?
"I chose to study Professional Policing at NTU for several reasons.
I had thought about joining the Police prior to joining the Professional policing course at NTU, however, I did not believe that I was mature enough because I was only 18 and had lived at home my entire life. I realise now that going to university was the best thing for me because it allows for a smooth transition into adulthood. I also chose to study the Professional Policing degree because, at the time, it was planned to become the only way into the Police.
I also knew that NTU worked in partnership with Nottinghamshire Police to offer the chance to become a Special Constable alongside your studies. This was a big factor in why I chose to study at NTU because I am more of a practical learner.
I also chose to study at NTU because I have an older brother who was studying here at the time and he had always praised the quality of teaching. NTU is renowned for having a brilliant nightlife and Nottingham is a big student city, this made me think it would be a very diverse and lively city to police."
What’s your experience been like of your course so far?
"The Professional Policing Course at NTU has done a brilliant job of immersing me in the world of policing and preparing me for the role of a Police Officer. I have gone from knowing very little about policing to securing a job as a Police Constable.
The course has given me an outstanding understanding of the basic skills necessary to be a Police Officer including legislation, procedures, decision-making models, and techniques such as police interviewing. The course has also developed my critical thinking abilities and it pushes students to develop their own opinions on past police failings.
One highlight of the course was the police interview assessment. This was so much fun because it made me feel as if I was a detective and it tested my ability to comprehend and process information and use it to my advantage."
Have you been involved in any projects or extra-curricular activities that have supplemented your studies run through NTU?
"During my first year at NTU, I got involved with the Tabletop Society which was great fun. I ended up joining a group to play Dungeons and Dragons and I loved every minute of it. This was an awesome way to make new friends.
Due to the smaller class sizes compared to other courses at NTU, I made lots of friends with my coursemates. Most of us shared the goal of ultimately joining the police once we left, so it was much easier to get along with everyone."
What does Social Sciences mean to you?
"To me, studying the Social Sciences from a policing point of view has been phenomenal. The course focuses students on teamwork and communication and ingrains values which are synonymous with the police; making the transition from classroom to police station much easier."
Have you completed any work placements on your course?
"During my first year at NTU, I applied to become a Special Constable for Nottinghamshire Police and was accepted. I then went through training and was stationed on response at the beginning of my second year of NTU at Broxtowe Police Station in Nottinghamshire.
A Special Constable holds the same legal powers as a regular Police Constable, the difference is that you can choose your hours and it is an unpaid position. Becoming a Special Constable was one of the best decisions of my life; I was able to experience the life of a Police Officer and gain real-life on-the-job experience to back up my degree learning. To me, becoming a Special Constable has been invaluable in contributing to my academic success.
Whilst on duty as a Special Constable I developed my decision-making skills, assertiveness, professionalism, accountability integrity and leadership skills. Developing these skills has not only benefited my studies, but I have also been able to carry them through to all aspects of my life."
Do you have any memorable moments from your placement?
"Blue lighting to an incident in a response car is a feeling that is hard to describe. I suppose it’s a mix of adrenaline, excitement, fear and trying to seem unphased to your colleagues who do this every day.
Arresting people will always be something I remember from my time as a Special Constable. It is a very strange feeling because no one except your colleagues know you’re a ‘part-time Police Officer’ so you won’t be cut any slack. You must remain completely professional and most importantly, know what you’re doing! However, felt very prepared for my first arrest because I had spent over a year studying at NTU on the procedure and relevant legislation."
What do you think of the support available from tutors and staff at NTU?
"I have really enjoyed the style of teaching offered by my lecturers at NTU over my 3 years of study. The class size was relatively small which meant that we all got to know each other very well and gained personal connections with the lecturers. I was always made to feel comfortable asking questions and asking for help when working on assignments. The lecturers are very quick to email back and often go above and beyond for you if they know you’re trying your best.
I really appreciate the level of support given to me by the lecturers on the course. They gave me all the support I needed when my mental health declined due to a personal situation and deadlines were approaching. I also found the lecturers and heads of year on the course incredibly supportive throughout the process of me joining Nottinghamshire Police during third year."
Outside of the Lecture Theatre
Did you find it easy to make friends and settle in at NTU?
"My first year at NTU was during COVID restrictions, however, that did not affect my ability to make new friends and settle in. I lived in the NTU accommodation Gill Street South and I made some friends for life.
I also met other people at the accommodation who were living in different flats and have developed many long-lasting friendships as well as meeting my partner whilst at NTU. The people that I have met whilst studying at NTU have quickly become some of my closest and best friends."
The Next Steps
What’s next for you after NTU?
"I have managed to secure a place in Nottinghamshire Police as a Police Constable following on from my role as a Special Constable.
I cannot wait to start because this has been my goal for the longest time! I am very confident in the skills that NTU’s Professional Policing Degree has given me and I feel confident that they will still be of use however high up I rise in the ranks."
How is NTU helping you to achieve your career goals?
"Studying at NTU has given me the opportunity to join Nottinghamshire Police as a Special Constable alongside my degree. This was incredibly helpful in terms of my academic learning development and I would highly recommend doing this to anyone on the course.
It has also given me the necessary skills to confidently join the police and be certain in my abilities and knowledge when on duty as a Police Officer.
The professional Policing Degree at NTU often goes above what is required of a standard Police Constable so that your degree does not become redundant if you rise through the ranks. The NTU Professional Policing Degree gives prospective Police Officers a fantastic understanding of core principles of policing and solidifies knowledge that will be of use throughout their entire careers.
The Professional Policing Course also makes arrangements for students to speak to current Special Constables in higher years to hear what it’s like first-hand. They also frequently arrange guest lecturers from other forces around the country to give talks on their specialisms. We also went on a trip to Greater Manchester Police Headquarters to hear about careers and what they have to offer.
The lecturers always seem to be on your side and seem to really want to help students join the Police after leaving University."
What top tips would you give anyone thinking about studying your course at NTU?
"My advice to anyone thinking about studying Professional Policing at NTU is to give it your absolute all because you will get out of it exactly what you put into it. If your goal is to eventually join the police in any aspect, I cannot recommend studying this course at NTU enough.
A top tip of mine would be to seek advice from lecturers when you’re stuck with something, from my experience they are always happy to help. Definitely make sure to ask ‘stupid’ questions when in class, it can be immensely helpful to get extra clarification when you are unsure and you can benefit the whole class by doing so.
The biggest piece of advice is to definitely consider becoming a Special Constable alongside your degree. This decision has had a massive impact on my life and shown me what policing is really like. Being a Special Constable complemented my unique learning style by giving me practical experiences to back up the in-class learning."