Case study

Kristina’s new skills lead to funded research opportunity

BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology student Kristina Knoskova has developed key research skills on her course - and on her work placement. She is now using these skills to investigate gender equality in the police force as part of our funded Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS).

New knowledge and skills

"I am very excited to begin my research focusing on the perspective of Criminal Justice System associated degree students,” says Kristina. “My goal is to do research that will possibly be published in the future.”

Our URSS gives students the chance to take part in a funded and supported research project to develop new knowledge and skills and to focus in depth on an area of personal research interest. Kristina undertook a work placement while in Slovakia and ignited her passion for research and gave her the confidence to apply for the scheme.

She says: “I believe that this experience will help me with my future studies and career. I am already gaining a lot of new experiences, such as following certain conditions, meeting deadlines, dealing with required paperwork, and using the University´s Ethics Monitor, which will be very useful when I’m working on my dissertation. I am working with an amazing supervisor, getting a lot of new contacts that I believe will benefit my work and overall experience.”

Kristina Knoskova

I am excited to have an experience with real-life research and cannot wait to see the outcome of my work!

Kristina Knoskova
BSc Forensic Psychology

Placement success

Before embarking on her research project, Kristina undertook a placement at Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, near her home town in Slovakia. This resulted in her being shortlisted for a University of Derby Employability award, recognising her hard work in improving her employability skills.

Kristina’s placement involved her researching how universities in the UK support students. The aim was to establish a new Student Wellbeing Centre at Matej Bel University that would offer social and psychological advice to students. She was thrilled to have been recognised for her work.

“I never expected to be nominated,” she says. “Although I did not win, I made it to the list of shortlisted nominees, which was very exciting. And, after I heard about the amazing projects other nominated students were working on, I felt more than honoured to make it on the list of nominees. It boosted my confidence and motivated me to keep working hard.

“I believe my placement provided me with good connections that I can use in my future studies and career."

A passion for supporting others

Kristina has always been intrigued by victimology and is passionate about helping others, especially people who have suffered traumatic events. To continue her passion for the subject, Kristina came to the UK to study Forensic Psychology.  “The University of Derby caught my eye from the very beginning. The course description was so compelling, it was exactly what I wanted to do and study as the modules were so interesting”.

During her studies, Kristina learnt about theories and risk factors that might lead to antisocial behaviour and how important psychological and social wellbeing and access to available support is. This is what motivated Kristina to undertake her work placement.

“When I got the opportunity to collaborate on establishing a student wellbeing centre that would offer social and psychological advice, I didn’t hesitate.”

Developing key skills

At the end of her placement, Kristina presented her research findings to a panel of senior staff at Matej Bel University who were so impressed they asked her to continue working with them to help implement her findings.

Kristina says her placement improved her communication and presentation skills and allowed her to develop key research skills. “Presenting my research to a team of doctors was very nerve-wracking,” she says. “But I could not be more grateful for such an experience and the skills I have gained.”

Our Associate Lecturer in Forensic Psychology Juliet Marvin is full of praise for Kristina’s work ethic. She says: “Kristina is very motivated, conducts herself immaculately, and has super ideas for what she wants to achieve going forward. She would like to conduct future research into the need for forensic psychology in her home country. She is a fantastic example of what is possible for students to achieve.”