Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies is alert to the skills that employers seek from graduates, and is committed to developing these skills in our students. Our programmes will enhance skills in critical thinking, team work, communication, self-motivation and organisation, whether you join us from education or as part of training in work.
Every taught programme involves a dissertation, or similar project, and we encourage students who intend to pursue a career in the criminal justice sector to base this strand of their degrees on real workplace data. Research skills, such as time management, communication of results and commitment to the year-long task, are directly applicable to the world of work, especially when based on applied / experiential research.
Our roster of programmes designed for workplace study encourage the use of data from a student's workplace, ensuring the material covered and the techniques learned are directly relevant to ongoing work or potential career advancement.
All students are offered the opportunity to enhance their attractiveness to employers in the global marketplace by studying a foreign language, and all may undertake an option in LiFE - Learning From Experience - which offers a way to convert actual work experience into university credits. We also have a robust system of recognising prior learning.
WORKING AS A STUDENT: PREPARING FOR THE WORKPLACE
Placement and Internship Centre
The Faculty provides you with support via the Placement and Internship Centre, or PiC for short. It is located in 1.16 Park Building, where there is a space for you to look at current opportunities, or undertake some job searching via the computers available for your use.
The Placement and Internship Centre is focused on providing a range of opportunities for you to get involved in activity which will help to progress career ideas and key skills essential for the working world.
Purple Door Careers and Recruitment
You can access a wide range of help with your research from Purple Door Careers and Recruitment including individual careers advice and access to extensive information resources. You may be particularly interested in the pages dealing with working outside the UK - these provide information for students and graduates interested in experience of work overseas, either during the vacation or after graduation.
Throughout the year Purple Door Careers and Recruitment and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) organise a wide range of employer and career planning events, covering a broad overview of career areas.
Studying alongside work
We have many students in ICJS following part-time, distance learning programmes designed to fit in with existing criminal justice careers. It is often possible to align your studies on these courses with real-life problems that your workplace faces, and work toward a solution that counts for academic credit as well as benefiting your workplace - and, potentially, your prospects for increased responsibility.
Volunteering, work experience and work placements
Spending time in work can help you develop the skills and experience that employers look for in the areas that interest you. Purple Door Careers and Recruitment and FHSS's Student Placement Manager can help you find relevant volunteering or paid opportunities in the local area. The Students Union also offer a wide range of community and other opportunities that will develop your skills.
Work may also be accredited through the University's Learning through Experience (LiFE) Unit.
Certificate of Knowledge in Policing
You are able to take the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing through our accredited Police, Law and Community (PLC) programme, available to all students on ICJS courses at the University of Portsmouth. This qualification will help you prepare for recruitment to the Police Service in England or Wales, or for related roles within the Criminal Justice Sector. Read more.
Counter fraud accreditation
ICJS Students in their 2nd and 3rd years of full time undergraduate study and those on campus-based Masters courses are able to obtain an Accredited Counter Fraud Technician (ACFTech) certificate and can follow this with Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (ACFS) study and certificate. These programmes provide standard key skills and a knowledge base which boosts potential employability within the criminal justice sector, especially in the counter fraud field. Further information can be found via the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board (CFPAB) website here.
Internships and volunteering
Purple Door Careers and Recruitment offer a number of ways for students to gain experience within the criminal justice sector. A range of opportunities exist, some examples include; working as a mentor with young people at risk of offending behaviour, overseeing a "circle" of support with previous sexual offenders, operating alongside students and Hampshire Constabulary to run Student Watch, undertaking training programmes with individuals currently using Probation resettlement services.
Many students find their own experiences to work on and we can provide help and support with application forms, preparation for interviews and helping you to understand how your volunteering experience has benefited your CV.
ICJS has strong links with several organisations where students may be able to organise relevant work placements. These links may increase your chance of securing such a placement, but it is important to note that placements must be arranged by the student - they will not be organised on your behalf.
Previous placements have included:
- Hants Probation Trust approved premises internships
- Risk and security-based internships, including a summer at AON and work with the Security Institute, RTL and Kaspersky IT security
- Community Safety ‘Internships’ with local councils
- Support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault through rape crisis centres
- Hampshire Constabulary Scientific Services: working in crime scene investigation, fingerprinting or other areas
- Portsmouth City Council
Links to organisations
ICJS is the biggest provider of training to the UK Probation Service, and has strong links with the National Offender Management Service.
We also train police officers through a tailored foundation degree, with connections to the Surrey and Hampshire forces. The Institute's forensic programmes are embedded with Hampshire service.
Our past students often keep in touch, allowing our current students to make connections with agencies where employers are aware of the benefits of an ICJS degree.