A day in the life of a criminal justice student

A day in the life of a criminal justice student


Hello! My name is Hywel and I’m in my second year of a Bachelor of Criminal Justice at CSU in Bathurst. Today I’ll run through a typical day in my life. Of course, it goes without saying that having to go to University on a lovely Friday afternoon is almost considered a cruel and unusual punishment. However I’m lucky enough to be learning about two subjects that I love this afternoon!

My uni day starts off at home. I walk to uni while appreciating the idyllic regional town of Bathurst. Of course like any up-and-coming Police Officer, my first order of business is to acquire a seriously powerful drug: caffeine obviously!

12pm: We start our learning day in JUS201 Criminal Law and Criminology, which is defined as one of the most difficult subjects in the course. But lucky for me, CSU has some of the best lecturers around, in this case a former Australian Federal Police lawyer. Today with my cohort we hatch a seriously criminal plan! We’re studying the notion of conspiracy, meaning two or more individuals agreeing to plan and execute a crime. Unfortunately for me, I’m the victim. My remaining cohort decide they’re going to rob me… damn!

The situation: I’m working at the cafeteria, the mastermind of the plan comes up to order some food. Meanwhile the three other accomplices storm the back door and threaten me. They steal the float of money while the getaway driver waits out the back. The mastermind calls the police, plays the victim and gives police false information to derail the investigation. Fun times. Regardless of the situation, our lecturer runs us through the potential charges. Just another exciting tutorial!

Next week: Defences against a crime (self-defence, insanity and more!).

1pm: Next it’s straight onto a JUS226, Police Investigations lecture. Today we’re using our previously learnt knowledge to interview a suspect in relation to a crime. I was the lead officer to question a break-and-enter suspect. Unfortunately the suspect didn’t give it up! So we released the suspect pending further inquiries. However our lecturer (a real police detective) said, this isn’t the worst thing that could happen, as we’ve locked the subject into their (false) story. With further evidence and evaluation we can later confront the offender and use their own account of the situation against them.

Next week: Covert operations; pros/cons.

So that’s my lectures done and dusted! Naturally, I’m suffering from withdrawals. More coffee and a bite to eat at the on campus café. Nothing like a meaty wrap to get you back on track. Next I’m off to the library to study, study, study! You’ll find most policing students in the Criminal Justice aisles.

6pm: Three selective books (and hours) later; it’s home time for dinner, then more study!

Criminal Justice covers lots of interesting subjects. Next session I’ll be doing community policing, Indigenous issues in policing, human rights plus gender and crime. Our electives are exciting too, such as justice studies, psychology, politics, history and welfare studies. There are even free electives that allow you to pick any subject CSU offers, including policing, international relations, customs enforcement, counter terrorism, investigations, management, correction studies and a whole host of other exciting career paths.

I’ve even got work placement at the end of the degree, allowing me to get a real taste of the criminal justice environment and develop professional contacts that will serve me well in my career.

They say crime doesn’t pay, but studying Criminal Justice at CSU certainly does!