Real world learning

In the School of Law and Social Sciences we're serious about getting you started in your career, whether you've already decided what you want to do or need to find inspiration. All our courses have a strong practical focus on solving real-world problems, and with opportunities for internships, volunteering and placements we will ensure you're ready for the world of work.

In a city boasting world-class industries and bursting with energy, ideas and innovation, the School of Law and Social Sciences has strong regional links with prisons, police forces, law professions and non-governmental organisations.

This opens doors to real world learning opportunities which are second to none: placements, internships, live consultancy projects and industry visits. Every aspect of your learning will be based on genuine challenges faced by organisations today. We have a varied programme of guest lectures, research modules, professional mentors and networking events. It means you’ll build relationships with key influencers in your chosen industry and bolster your contacts book for the future.

Law

With strong links with the legal profession in Derby, there are many opportunities for internships, volunteering and placements throughout your studies. Derby Law School actively supports students in identifying work placements where possible.

Our Student Legal Advice Centre enables you to build your skills in clinical legal practice by offering free advice and assistance to members of the public. It reaches out to individuals who might otherwise be unable to access such services due to financial constraints. 

Contributions from the wider legal community, including regular careers talks and workshops, are central to this course. Through our professional mentoring scheme, practitioners from the legal field will share their perspectives with you. All students on the course are eligible to apply for this scheme. Previous mentors have included serving judges, solicitors and barristers. In some cases this has led to placements, part-time paralegal work and even permanent jobs for our students.

Our study modules and extra curricular activities offer different variations of real-world learning to take legal education out of the abstract and into reality - from mooting competitions and mock trials to drafting contracts and bail applications. You can also join our active student Law Society.

A highlight of our academic calendar is a prestigious black-tie law dinner where you can network with members of the local judiciary and legal profession. In addition, the Derby Junior Lawyers group invites our students to networking events and social opportunities. 

A vibrant programme of study visits will give you insights into the profession, including fieldtrips to local courts. Previous students on our LLB (Hons) have toured London, including the Supreme Court and the Houses of Parliament and as well as visited The Hague, the legal capital of the world, where you can see the international courts.

Criminology 

Fact-finding fieldtrips to places such as courts, prisons and youth offender institutions enrich your learning and give you the chance to meet criminal justice professionals who will share their career experiences with you.

During your studies, we study modules in which you will work with local organisations and charities who come up with real problem based scenarios, and offer solutions; you will also have the chance to complete a 30-hour volunteering placement. 

We will prepare you to become a competent researcher yourself; as part of the course, you will pursue independent research into themes matching your career ambitions and intellectual interests. You may also have the chance to get involved in staff research projects where feasible and to present your work at relevant conferences.

If you have a particular interest in youth justice, these courses give you the chance to achieve an additional professional qualification – the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC) – alongside your degree studies. The YJEPC is the most widely held qualification in youth justice and brings together current theory, practice and evidence. It will not only boost your employability in the eyes of potential employers but also help you to make more effective judgements in your future career.

A highlight of the course is the opportunity to visit America in your second year arranged with the help of US police departments and police academies to experience how the American Justice System operates. Past trips have seen our students investigate gang projects in Los Angeles, go on marine patrol with the City of Miami Police and contribute to arts projects at the San Quentin Prison in San Francisco.

Policing

Our policing courses are full of opportunities to experience first-hand what its like working in industry. We encourage you to become a Special Constable or Police Support Volunteer during your studies, which will gain you exposure to policing in the community. One of our key partnerships is with Nottinghamshire Police where our students have been attached to different units including the investigative team to see how investigations take place close-up.

A recent success story is a ‘meet and greet’ scheme run in association with Nottinghamshire Police and Rushcliffe Borough Council where student volunteers are helping local retailers and businesses to prevent crime such as shoplifting. They provide a visible presence in the community, engage with members of the public and offer new channels for contacting the police – all while gaining real-life exposure to policing.

As part of your studies, you will take part in industry relevant projects and challenges which are defined by an employer or professional body, and students will work together or individually and be formally assessed on responses and suggestions. 

There may also be the chance to broaden your perspectives through fieldtrips: in the past, our students have visited settings such as police custody suites, a prison, victim support facilities, courts and various voluntary organisations working within the criminal justice sphere.

Social Sciences

Our connections will open the doors to exciting experiences including employer-led projects or fieldtrips to see different organisations operating 'on the ground'. You could visit courts, prisons, youth offender centres, government bodies, local and international embassies, and community projects tackling everything from poverty to housing.

As part of your course, you’ll complete research modules which will enhance and develop your skills on thinking critically, gather and analysing data and interviewing people with an ethical mindset.

During stages two and three, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in an internship with an organisation of your choice related to a field of study you are most interested in. Previous internships have included exposure to the mayors offices, community run projects and shadowing prison officers.

If you have a particular interest in youth justice, these courses give you the chance to achieve an additional professional qualification – the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC) – alongside your degree studies. The YJEPC is the most widely held qualification in youth justice and brings together current theory, practice and evidence. It will not only boost your employability in the eyes of potential employers but also help you to make more effective judgements in your future career.

 

One Friar Gate Square

One Friar Gate Square

Discover our specialist training facilities which include a replica court room, Student Legal Advice Centre and custody suite with interview rooms and cell

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