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Liam Brolan 1 - 900x400 I Am BCU

Liam Brolan

Criminology and Security Studies - BSc (Hons)

Liam had planned on becoming a police officer, but when he learnt that the local forces weren’t recruiting, he considered going to university. Since first joining as an undergraduate, Liam is now a PhD student and a course leader in the Criminology department.

Prior to making the decision to go to University, my ambition was to join the police. When I finished my A-Levels, none of the local forces were recruiting, so instead, I decided to look for a degree that would provide me with skills and knowledge that would be useful for a potential career in policing after graduation.

As I wanted to stay in the midlands, I looked at several local Universities but was particularly impressed by the Open Day that I attended at BCU. The University had and still has a great reputation for its Criminology courses and I was fascinated by the range of subjects that were included in the programme specification. That was back in 2010 and I have been at the University ever since! I began my journey at BCU as an 18-year-old undergraduate and now I am proud to say that I am Lecturer in Criminology and am currently working toward achieving my doctorate.

During my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to participate in an annual debate between BCU and HMP Grendon – a category B prison in Buckingham.  Alongside one of my course mates, I had to argue that the punishment of Anders Breivik – who was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment for killing 77 people in the worst action of violence in Norway since the Second World War – was an appropriate course of action. This unique experience formed the basis of my decision to continue onto post-graduate study at BCU.

During my MA, I worked as a Research Assistant on project focusing on contract murder in a British context, alongside Professor Donal Macintyre, Professor David Wilson and Professor Elizabeth Yardley. This lead to the publication of my first co-authored, peer-reviewed journal article in the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. The research received national and international media attention and provided me with the opportunity to discuss my involvement on the radio and at several conferences across the country. The applied nature of my post-graduate studies led me to consider a career in academia and in 2015, I began working towards my PhD in Criminology.

In 2017, I became a full-time Lecturer at the University and I am now responsible for the Foundation Year in Sociology and Criminology. Working in academia can be challenging, particularly when studying simultaneously, but it is a very rewarding career and I am grateful to have received the award for Inspirational Teacher of the Year at this year’s Extra Mile Awards.

Most recently, I have had a chapter published in a book entitled “50 facts everyone should know about crime and punishment in Britain” which was edited by Dr Adam Lynes and Professor James Treadwell. The book brings together the work of leading and emerging criminologists and is now available in stores across the country!

Since starting in 2010, I have witnessed the University undergo a huge amount of change for the better, including the move the new City Centre campus. The department of Sociology and Criminology, and the University more generally, have always been supportive of my ambitions, both as a student and as an early career academic. Moving forward, I hope to complete my PhD studies in 2020 (which marks 10 years at BCU) and I am excited to see how the University continues to develop in the future!

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