Dr Mary Corcoran (Keele) and Dr Sarah Kingston (Lancaster) have been awarded £50,000 under the HEFCE ‘Catalyst Bid’ scheme, to research how students on academic Criminology degree programmes can translate their knowledge and skills into work-based settings.
The project, called ‘Bridging connections: Improving the links between academic and work-related learning by Criminology students’ will involve 100 Criminology students across both Universities during the academic year 2017/18. Although many universities are developing strategies for enhancing student ‘employability’ , far less attention has been paid to the possible bridges that can be made between academic knowledge and work-related learning.
The research will capture and use learner analytics to develop innovative pedagogical tools that support students to recognize, reflect on, articulate and apply criminological knowledge to their experiences in work-related modules. This will be captured through an Internet based survey, focus groups and interviews with current and former students, workplace experience providers and university staff.
Dr Corcoran said, ‘Keele and Lancaster run pioneering modules in their Criminology programmes that support students to obtain work experience, volunteering and career preparatory skills. These are not vocational modules, but provide springboards for students to integrate career-facing activities as embedded aspects of their experience of academic learning. Our aim is to determine “what works” in improving critical learning outcomes and to develop tools that will support best practice in this area’.