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Hannah McCormickHannah McCormick, 19, from Clock Face, St Helens secured a place at University Centre St Helens through Clearing.

She joined the foundation degree in Criminal Justice at University Centre St Helens after struggling in her first year at a large university in Manchester. Although Hannah loved the socialising aspect of what moving away to university brings, she struggled to cope with the size and scale of the university setting, which began to have an adverse effect on her studies.

Hannah explains: “After successfully completing my A levels and gaining A's at Sixth Form – University was the natural progression route and with all my friends moving away, I felt pressured to follow suit, with my teachers pushing me to apply to the larger universities. However, throughout the first year, I struggled with the big lectures and my attendance started to suffer, I lost motivation and my confidence was knocked.”

Whilst studying in Manchester, Hannah’s Uncle, who was already studying for his degree at University Centre St Helens passed her a prospectus and told her about the wide range of degree courses on offer there; including Criminal Justice, which Hannah was studying in Manchester. With this now on her mind as a feasible alternative, Hannah dropped out of University in Manchester. Hannah says: “After battling with my family – I took the bold step to leave so I packed up my things and moved back home.” In August 2016, Hannah sent an enquiry in to University Centre St Helens to study the foundation degree in Criminal Justice and met with the programme leader for the course who offered her a place.

The foundation degree in Criminal Justice at University Centre St Helens is perfect for those who are looking to pursue a career in the criminal justice system. The degree provides an ideal opportunity for those interested in the causes and consequences of crime. Various aspects of criminology, criminal law, and social policy will form the foundations of the degree with wider considerations towards victims of crime and mental health.

With a newfound confidence in her ability, along with the fact she was now studying closer to home, Hannah started her degree and began to excel, thanks to the smaller class sizes and more lecturer contact time at University Centre St Helens.

Hannah explains: “I much prefer the comfort of being closer to my family and friends, and have also been able keep my part-time job at local pub, The Ferry Tavern. Everybody on my course is friendly and I have got to know my lecturers very well. I just wish I would have explored this option earlier as the style of learning here suits me much better.”

Hannah adds: “At University Centre St Helens you receive more contact time than you would in a large scale university setting. Lecturers are always accessible to students and are always on hand to support you.”

After completing the foundation degree, Hannah will be progressing onto the BA (Hons) Criminal Justice (Top-up). From there she hopes to go on and work within the Criminal Justice system, with a long-term aim to one day live and work in Australia.

Speaking of why others should give some serious thought about staying at home to study for their degree Hannah says, “Definitely do it. Sometimes it’s so easy to get swept along with going to a big university, which I did. But changing my mind and staying local to study is the best decision I’ve made. I’ve passed my first year with great grades. I am so proud of myself and glad that I am making my family proud!”