BONUS Criminology Reading List

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We just want to thank you for sticking with us throughout the past #TopicThursdays and what better way to say thanks then providing you with a reading list to get you on your way.

We took some recommendations off others and considered our favourites too. We know there are plenty more books worth your while but I’m sure this is enough to start you off (as well as the list your teachers/lecturers give you).

Anyway, enjoy:

  • Criminology: The Key Concepts By Martin O’Brien; Majid YarRoutledge, 2008
  • International Handbook of Criminology By Shlomo Giora Shoham; Paul Knepper; Martin KettCRC Press, 2010
  • Understanding Criminology: Current Theoretical Debates By Sandra WalklateOpen University Press, 2007 (3rd edition)
  • Fifty Key Thinkers in Criminology By Keith Hayward; Shadd Maruna; Jayne MooneyRoutledge, 2010
  • The Future of Criminology By Rolf Loeber; Brandon C. WelshOxford University Press, 2012
  • Criminology: A Sociological Introduction By Eamonn Carrabine; Paul Iganski; Maggy Lee; Ken Plummer; Nigel SouthRoutledge, 2004
  • Toward a Unified Criminology: Integrating Assumptions about Crime, People and Society By Robert Agnew New York University Press, 2011
  • Understanding Psychology and Crime: Perspectives on Theory and Action By James McGuireOpen University Press, 2004
  • Out of Control: Assessing the General Theory of Crime By Erich GoodeStanford Social Sciences, 2008
  • The Comparative Method in Globalised Criminology By Pakes, FrancisAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 43, No. 1, April 2010
  • Understanding Political Violence: A Criminological Analysis By Vincenzo RuggieroOpen University Press, 2006
  • Understanding Race and Crime By Colin Webster, Open University Press, 2007
  • Durkheim and Criminology: Reconstructing the Legacy By Smith, PhilipAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 41, No. 3, December 2008
  • Constitutive Criminology: Origins, Core Concepts, and Evaluation By Henry, Stuart; Milovanovic, Dragan Social Justice, Vol. 27, No. 2, Summer 2000
  • Criminology’s Darkest Hour: Biocriminology in Nazi Germany By Rafter, Nicole Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Vol. 41, No. 2, August 2008

Referencing & Footnoting

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Academic institutions in the UK and America often utilise popular referencing systems which include:

  • Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA),
  • The Harvard System (often called the ‘Author Date System’),
  • Chicago System
  • Modern Language Association of America (MLA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)

University departments often specify which system you should use for your assignments. Systems like the Harvard system, are becoming more popular than systems in which full references to sources are set out in notes at the bottom of each page (footnotes) or at the end of the piece of work (endnotes).

Have a look at journals in the library to see which systems are used in academic publications for your particular subject?

Whichever system you choose, BE CONSISTENT: you must maintain exactly the same style of citation throughout each piece of work, and the style used in the bibliography should mirror that said referencing system employed in the references or notes.



Useful links

What to do when you have your A-Level results

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No matter how your A-level results got, we want to congratulate you for getting this far; you should be proud of yourself. This topic Thursday’s aims to offer you with some guidance (In no particular order) about what you can do now you have your official results.

  1. Drop an option (AS students)

If you’re an AS student, now might be the best time to sit down and think about which course you plan to drop for the next academic year. Some institutions may already have gone through this process with you during the exam period. If the opportunity still stands for you to drop an A-Level after receiving your results, take these three things into consideration (consult with teachers, parents and/or guardians):

“Will this course benefit my desired future goals?”

“Do I enjoy this course?”

“What will the course consist of next academic year?”

2. Be sensitive to others

It isn’t always the case that peers attain their expected results thus causing them to take routes for their future they hadn’t previously planned. The entire situation may be overwhelming and upsetting for them therefore, offer support to friends who may need it.

We’re sure that you’ll have time to celebrate your own achievements in your own time, but anyone feeling a bit disappointed on results day will appreciate your discretion.

3. Don’t worry

Collecting results will always be stressful. If you’re disappointed with your grades try to remember that things work out fine for the overwhelming majority of students and they will almost certainly work out fine for you too.

Do what advance preparation you can and you might find that you end up in a better situation than you thought. This is a time to look forward to the future and what adventures lie ahead, whatever they may be.

4. Refer to UCAS

If in doubt, speak to a superior at your institution.

UCAS hosts the Track facility allows you to check how your university applications are going. In order to access it, you’ll need your UCAS application number and a Track username and password.

If you are unsuccessful with your first choice offer, but meet the conditions for your second choice, you will be accepted there.

5. Consider Clearing

Clearing is a process you can go through if you applied for universities late, or if you didn’t receive the offers you wanted.

Have a look at the #TopicThursdays session from last week where we guided you on how to Go Through Clearing

6. Prepare for re-sits

You’ll know after receiving your results whether you’ll need to re-sit a subject or not – don’t panic if you do.

You should seek advice from your teachers, and speak to your parents. You could then contact the admissions tutors for the courses you are applying to for further clarity.

Have a look at the #TopicThursdays session where we assisted you on What to do if You Ever Have to Re-sit

7. Consider appealing

If you are unhappy with your results, you’re within your rights to take action where necessary. Either you, your school or college can appeal to the awarding body and if necessary, to the Independent Examinations Board.

Speak with your tutor and parents beforehand.

8. Gap Year

There are often times where people accept their place and defer it for a year to complete a gap year. Be sure to check out your plans with the admissions tutor of your chosen course.

Have a look at the #TopicThursdays session where we discussed in detail things to consider for Gap Years.

9. Apply for jobs

Whether it’s an alternative or supplement to an apprenticeship or attending University, applying for jobs may be something to consider following A-level results day.

Take a look at our very first #TopicThursdays from May where we referred to the Job Hunting process and offered plenty of advice  that will assist you.

10. Reward yourself! 🙂 

Going through Clearing

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No matter what happens on results day, you still have a bright future ahead of you. Here are 10 tips for you to consider when going through the Clearing process.

  1. Research & Be Prepared

The more you do to prepare by thinking about your options in advance the better off you will be on the day. Have a research of universities and courses that you might be interested in if you don’t get the results you expect.

  1. Have a look at the Clearing 2019 listings

Clearing opens on 5 July 2019 and you can view any current vacancies on the UCAS website from then onwards. Vacancies may will be listed, but some will not be published until the morning of A-level results day 2019 (15 August).

  1. Consider somewhere quiet

Make sure that you call from a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed with easy access to phone and the Internet. If you can get home easily it might be best to make your calls from there, where there is more peace and quiet and you have everything to hand. If not, speak with your head of year/faculty and see if they know of anywhere quiet to use on the day

  1. Have your details to hand

Have the following information to hand during your call to universities:

  • The phone number for the university and your own contact details
  • Your Clearing number from UCAS Track
  • Your A-level, AS-level, GCSE and equivalent results, including module marks
  • Personal statement from your UCAS application
  • Your log-in details for Track
  • Your notes on the course and university and any planned responses to questions
  • Any questions you want to ask them
  • If you’ve called the university before, the name and details of anyone you have spoken to


5. Make the Clearing call yourself

THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE! Treat the Clearing call like a job application. You’ll need to make the call yourself – don’t ask your teachers, parents or anyone else to do it for you. The university will be unable to talk to them because they are not allowed to discuss your application with others. You might feel a bit nervous about phoning, but remember universities are friendly and want to help.

You can always have someone you fell comfortable with to sit in the room with you if you want, but it HAS to be you who makes the call.

6. Take notes

Make sure that you have a pen and paper at hand so that you can write down information as you go along. Especially if you’re making a lot of phone calls to different institutions, it’s easy to get confused or forget something important.

Keeping job titles, dates and times noted as well as a summary of what you said and what they said is also a good idea. This will make it easier to get back in direct contact should you need to.

7. Think of constructive questions

Clearing isn’t just an opportunity to see if you are right for their university, but also for you to work out if they are the right choice for you.

Query what entitlement to accommodation and bursaries you have as a Clearing applicant, as this can vary from university to university. You might also want to ask about open days and opportunities to visit the university so that you can have a look around.

Asking questions makes you look keen, inquisitive and motivated!


8. Request e-mail confirmation

If the university decides to give you a verbal offer, ask them to confirm their offer and how long it stands for via email. This will ensure that there is no room for misinterpretation, and if there are any problems later with your Clearing choice not being accepted by the university then you have written evidence to support your claims.


9. Be persistent and flexible

If at first you don’t succeed… keep trying. Even if you have an offer already you can still continue to call universities to receive more offers and then decide which of these you wish to add as your Clearing choice on UCAS Track.


You are more likely to be successful in finding a place in Clearing if you are flexible and consider similar courses to the one you originally applied for. Check the course content carefully to see if it interests you and what options you have to change to a single honours course later.


10. Add a Clearing choice within the allotted time

You can only enter a Clearing choice on Track after 3pm on A-level results day (15 August 2019). In addition, most universities will give you a time period, typically 12 to 48 hours, for which their offer is valid. If you enter a Clearing choice after this period has passed then the university may reject you.

It is very important that you only enter a Clearing choice on Track if you have spoken to the university or college and they have provisionally offered you a place on the course.



As usual, good luck. The world is your oyster!

Secrets to getting reading material for your course

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Reading for your qualification is ABSOLUTELY a given, and also a pain in the you know what. We’re here to nudge you in the right direction and offer smarter ways for you to obtain reading materials.


When looking for reading materials, it can be easy to spiral out of control. Make sure when you are gathering material that you remain conscious about what you’re trying to understand. Remain focused at all times. It’ll then be easier to cherry pick what exactly you need to be reading. This will save you plenty of time.


Below is a list of relevant sources where you’d be able to find the required information you need. Don’t forget to plan ahead and be considerate with the time you have when looking for reading materials.



We think it goes without saying that libraries are the first place you’d think of going to get things to read but whilst you’re there don’t just search the bookshelves. Go and talk to your librarian(s), because they’ll fill you with little tricks you would have never thought of before.



Don’t be shy, have a read of journals that are associated with your course. They’ll offer you so much information



We won’t bore you too much with the obvious but online will have everything you need and more. Here are examples of some sites worth looking at; Google Scholar,  LexisNexis, JStor (you should be able to get access to most through your institution, if not contact us).



No, they’re not out of fashion. Using newspaper articles is a good way to support or corroborate information you already have. Just be careful with the tabloid papers.



Do you know that reading list your tutor gives you at the beginning of the course or module? Use it! These reading lists are usually the foundation of your reading journey to pass the said course. If you struggle to find any of the products, have a look for used versions online,



Have a look through the bibliographies of things you’ve already read, there should be loads more resources for you to look at. Also, take advantage of any recommendations you get, whether it be over social media or word of mouth.

Gap Year Guidance

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Everyone chooses to do different things during their gap years so the one key piece of advice we can offer is that you do what you want to do, not what anyone is forcing you to do. Want to work? Do it. Want to volunteer on the other side of the world? Do it. Want to spend time to get to know you? Do it!

Whatever it is you choose to do, there’s no better time to do it than during your gap year. Here are some tips to get you on your way.

Pros Cons
An opportunity to have a break from studying and return refreshed. You can volunteer, get valuable work experience, and travel the world. Some people find a year out becomes a distraction from their longer term plans.
A productive gap year can be valuable on your CV. An unstructured year out may not add much value to your future – careful thought and planning is essential.
You could relate the experience and activities to the subject area you plan to study. It can be harder to return to study or work after a year-long break.
You can earn and save money towards your higher education costs or future plans. It can be expensive and you could find yourself in a worse financial position at the end.
You will develop maturity if you don’t yet feel ready for higher education or work life. For some careers, it can be an advantage to be slightly older and have some life experience. If you don’t get organised, you may end up spending your gap year just ‘thinking about it’.


Consider your ‘why’!

The list below shows reasons why people have been known to take gap years.

  • Study break
  • Gain new skills
  • Indulge in new experiences
  • Earn money
  • Spend time deciding what to do for your future
  • All of the above

There are advantages and disadvantages worth considering when deciding your ‘why’, take a look.


Research Your Choice

It’s imperative that you plan ahead, no matter what your gap year idea is, and you need to plan in good timing (last minute decisions aren’t worth it). For example, there are popular voluntary schemes out there with strict deadlines, and you’ll need to manage how to pay for airfares or visas.

There are loads of ideas you could consider – some might fill an entire year, others a few weeks or months. You could also combine more than one idea.

There is a wide range of gap year and volunteering schemes available. If you’re using an agency or scheme, check out how long they have been running, if they are financially sound, and are members of a reputable organisation, such as ABTA or Year Out Group, where they agree to follow a code of conduct.


Gap Year Ideas

  • Volunteering– support a worthwhile cause and gain valuable experience. You could take part in a wildlife conservation project, teach children, or help build a school in a third world country.
  • Travel– explore the world, discover new cultures, and develop your independent living skills at the same time! You could go backpacking across South East Asia, InterRail through Europe, or buy a round the world plane ticket!
  • Paid employment– earn money and gain new skills at home or aboard. You could work on an outback farm in Australia, as a ski lift operator in Canada, or at a backpacker hostel in New Zealand.
  • Work experience– if you want to gain relevant experience and skills for a particular career or subject you plan to study, you could consider a work placement or internship. These can last from a few weeks to a year. Depending on the type of contract on offer, you may or may not receive a salary. These are very popular and competition for places is high, so you will need to apply early.
  • Part-time courses– why not take the opportunity to try something new? You could take up a new language, learn how to programme, try a new sport or music instrument, or learn a new practical skill, such as mechanics, carpentry, or cookery.

Useful Links



Don’t forget to let us know how you’ve gotten on.

Making The Best of Social Media for Your Studies/Future

Social Media is an everyday feature and we’re certain it is nothing new to you. However, when you put aside all the memes, GIFs, or videos you watch on Youtube, you’d be surprised how the most common Social Media sites can positively impact your future aspirations.
So, as part of our #TOPICTHURSDAYS we thought we’d highlight a few ways that Social Media will be useful for:


If you have a piece of research or information that you want to share with others, making use of Social Media could enhance your audience. For example you could organise an event on websites such as Eventbrite, and promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and other places you know like-minded people will be. Of course, if you wanted you could still consider traditional forms of media such as the radio or newspapers, but Social Media could give you the scope you desire (for cheaper too).
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and half way through realised that you have absolutely NOTHING in common with them? Well, we’ve been in the situation too many times as well. We’d advise making use of more formal Social Media spaces such as Linkedin to identify and communicate with individuals who have mutual interests with you. You’d be surprised how far these networks could take you.
Social Media can either help or hinder your likelihood of being employed, and it is all really down to YOU. We’d strongly advise that you remember that some employers review your social media accounts as part of the recruitment process, so be careful with your content.
In addition to this, Social Media is a better tool than you think when job hunting. It allows you to gain an understanding of various employers. Make use of your ‘Search’ bars.

We’re not business experts by any means but we’re certain that Social Media plays a pivotal role in enhancing business-customer relations. If you have, or intend to have a business, making use of Social Media enables you to engage with your customers in real time, and it is cost effective.

There are so many other ways that you could use social media for your studies, or even future but we hope the selected four above assist your endeavours. Don’t forget to keep us updated with your progress.

Dealing with financial worries while studying

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We know all too well how much of a challenge studying is; if it isn’t the course demand, it’s the stress of finances. We’ve referred to a few themes where you’re most likely to fall into financial strains, and dished out solution. Enjoy!



All students will need tools and equipment for courses (some more than others). We’re going to help you save money on the basic stuff you’d need to study with, and so if you have any queries about other materials, drop us a message.

When it comes to books, find out what reading is absolutely essential to buy and what you can find online or rent from the library. Similarly, when it comes to printing, it might be cheaper to have your own printer (and sharing ink costs with housemates) than use university facilities – it may save you queuing for ages to do so on deadline days.



More than likely, you’ll want to splash your student loan on something irrelevant to your studies, but think before you spend. Wit comes to books, find out what reading is absolutely essential to buy and what you can find online or rent from the library. Similarly, when it comes to printing, it might be cheaper to have your own printer (and sharing ink costs with housemates) than use university facilities – it may save you queuing for ages to do so on deadline days.

I but you’ll regret blowing your clothes budget in the first week. Save money by:

  • making the most of student discounts in shops (and online by checking out deals on sites such as MyUniDays).
  • find extra discounts and money back by shopping online through cashback websites.
  • consider clothes swapping – try online on websites such as Vinted, or host your own clothes swapping party for a fun, cheap alternative to shopping!



Whether it’s a bus to lectures or travelling back home for the holidays, you’ll need to factor in travel costs. To help, there are student travel cards out there to help you reduce the costs of getting around:

  • 16-25 Railcard:just £30 a year to get a third off your rail fares – very useful if you’ll be travelling home on the train for holidays and weekends.
  • 18+ Student Oyster Photocard: pay a £20 admin fee for 30% off London travelcard costs. You must live at a London address in term-time to be able to apply.
  • National Express Young Persons Coachcard:£10 a year (plus £2.50 p&p) for a third off coach fares.

For added savings, plan ahead and book in advance if possible. Also, when sorting out off-campus housing, keep in mind travel costs to get to campus when picking your location.

Revision Techniques

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Last week we gave you ideas on what you should do if you have to re-sit again, and one of which mentioned that you should revise. So here we are, a week later with tips on various revision techniques to try out.


1. Locate yourself

Some people can revise anywhere they can, others not so much. Whether you can or can’t, you should have your “Favourite Place” to revise. This “Favourite Place” can be anywhere of your choice but you should make sure that you can focus and revise.


2. Plan in advance

It’s imperative that you organise your time as best as possible. Setting a structure will enable your success. A good way to do this is by creating a timetable of some sort. Allow time for breaks and your social life!


3. Look to the past

A good technique when revising is to look at previous exam papers and/or assignments regarding your course. You’ll not only identify themes and patterns, but you’ll be able to identify the style of questioning.


4. Manage stress

Stay calm. Don’t panic. Revising is one of the most stressful things ever, especially when you’re revising for multiple subjects. Ensure you manage your stress levels because there other factors that may add to the stress. Take some time out and get some fresh air if it all get’s too much .


5. Summarise

Mind maps. Notes. Diagrams, Whatever your preference, you should seek to summarise all the clunky information you have into bite size chunks that are easily manageable.


So there you have it, 5 quick revision tips that will certainly get you by. Just remember to always put your mental health first, and if you need more tips have a look at what we advised a couple weeks ago here.


Good Luck, and have a great summer too!



Useful link:

What to do if you ever have to re-sit

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Can we just advise you to not be disheartened. Having to re-sit does not mean you’ve failed at life and it is NOT the end of the world. So before you read on, remind yourself that you’re totally a badass and you’re going to do better next time.


Now that’s over and done with, we’re going to give you a few tips (as we do) on what to do if you have to re-sit any exams or re-submit any assignments.



It’s so easy to get into a panic when you don’t pass something – trust us, we’ve been there too. You should use this time to reflect on the results you received and after you’ve had your moment of sadness, do what you can to maintain a calm mind-set.



It is highly likely that you would have had feedback if it was a piece of coursework, and unlikely you’d get feedback from an exam board if it were an exam. Nonetheless, these factors shouldn’t stop you.  Now you’re all calm and relaxed, ask your tutor/lecturer for feedback where possible.


  • REVIEW YOUR WORK (if it was an assignment)

You can now take that feedback and use it as a foundation to work up from. Go over your work and identify the weakest areas and highlight them all.



It may seem like you’re going round in circles, and you’re probably thinking that you’ve spent an entire academic year revising or studying and now you have some free time, it’s being invaded again. Don’t let this hold you back though, you’re closer to your qualification than you think. You should now get your head down and revise/research the key topics at every opportunity you can, until you feel confident. (Don’t overdo it though – your mental state comes first).



Well this isn’t a long one, it’s pretty much self explanatory really. The time has come to either resubmit or re-sit so hold your head high and get that assignment submitted and/or sit confidently in that exam hall.



This isn’t even an official tip but a little positivity goes a long way.  So now you’ve re-sat or resubmitted your work, be happy – go out and enjoy your time off.