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Liam Brolan 1 - 900x400 I Am BCU

Liam Brolan

PhD Social Sciences

Liam had planned on becoming a police officer, but when he learnt that the local forces weren’t recruiting, he considered going to university. Having first joined BCU as an undergraduate, Liam went on to be a PhD student and is now 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 a Lecturer in Criminology and have recently completed my doctorate.

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 led 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 postgraduate studies led me to consider a career in academia and in 2015, I began working towards my PhD in Criminology in our School of Social Sciences.

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.

More 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 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. Having completed my PhD in 2020, I am looking forward to seeing how the University continues to develop in the future!

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