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Issue No 56

Crime is a hugely complex social phenomenon. This has given rise to an equally complex collection of popular

is specialised
a hugely complex
to an
and factual
as to
In this
popular opinion,
knowledge field
and factual
to crime
its causes,
has evolved
as a multi-disciplinary
of study information
that examinesas
is defined,
commit crimes, and how society responds. It probes the culture of crime and the workings of the criminal justice
is defined,
and how
society responds. It probes the culture of
the police,
crime and the workings of the criminal justice system including the police, courts, prisons and rehabilitation services.
It studies the characteristics of offenders and how
criminal behaviour relates to a wide range of social
factors; for example drug use, educational attainment, ethnicity, family relationships and mental
health. It researches the ways in which crime impacts
on victims and their families. How, for instance, are
victims of rape treated in the justice system? How do
the families of homicide victims survive? It seeks to
understand how criminal behaviour meets the needs
of its perpetrators. It asks who goes to prison and
what happens to them there. It questions the nature
of punishment – is it to provide justice, to deter or
prevent crime, or to reform criminals? It questions
the relationship between crime and the media. Does
the way crime is reported and represented influence
criminal behaviour and attitudes to victims?
Crime is also an international concern that changes
with the times. Organised criminal enterprises can
command a workforce and financial turnover that
rivals multinational corporations. Digital technology
supports our global financial services industry but
also opens up opportunities for fraud and misappropriation that, only a few years ago, would have been
incomprehensible. The proportion of Internet traffic
that relates to criminal activity can only be conservatively estimated, extending as it does opportunities
for such a broad range of criminal activities including
those related to sexual and interpersonal violence.
Criminology also investigates state crimes and global
issues such as security, terrorism and genocide.
The study of criminology is intellectually challenging
and involves digging deeply into social realities which
can show human nature at its worst. However it
provides the kind of informed understanding and
conceptual scaffolding which is necessary for those
who want to work constructively towards making

the world a better place. It is also ideal for those who
simply have a fierce curiosity about everything.

In New Zealand criminology can be studied as a
major subject for a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) at
the Institute of Criminology, Victoria University of
Wellington, where courses have been offered since
1975, while more recently the subject has been offered
in Auckland. Postgraduate qualifications in criminology generally include a Bachelor of Arts Honours
degree, Graduate Diploma in Arts, Master of Arts and
Criminology specialisation usually begins in the
second year of study. This is because criminology
requires knowledge from other, related disciplines,
which is developed and synthesised during the first
year of university study.
Criminology complements other humanities and
social science subjects, particularly anthropology,
psychology, sociology, social policy, media studies,
political science, and law. Students typically plan
their first year of study from a selection of these
subjects, then move into the structure of a criminology major.
For those wanting to work in policy, advisory or
consultancy roles, it can be advisable to plan for postgraduate qualifications. Criminology is a researchbased field and the research component of postTopical coverage of career related issues brought to you by Victoria
University Career Development and Employment.
Areas covered include how degrees and courses relate to
employment opportunities, to life/work planning, graduate
destination information and current issues or material relevant to
the employment scene. Your comments and suggestions always

2 CAREER VIEW graduate degrees. New Zealand Customs are interested in criminology graduates at all levels of the organisation. a criminology degree is an excellent background for probation officers. opportunities lean towards organisations which are linked to the criminal justice system. An interest in Asia and the Pacific Rim countries is good as there is a strong off shore focus. assess the implications of legislative change on operational functions. for example. The Policy and Legal Group of the Ministry recruits graduates as entry level policy advisors. There is no particular emphasis on postgraduate qualifications for any of these roles. forecasting and modelling research functions. including research methodology. intelligence analysts and investigators. The Ministry of Social Development’s Centre for Social Research and Evaluation (CSRE) is part of the Ministry’s Policy Cluster.  Operational policy in Youth Justice focuses on translating governmental and departmental policy into operational activities. international criminal law. despite the requirement for correction facilities. where appropriate. Ministry of Justice. The Ministry considers all criminal justice roles including crime prevention. is necessary to properly understand past and current research protocols and assess the validity of their findings. including regional advisors and business analysts. and sentencing and parole laws. to a large extent. Graduates are often valued for their writing and analytical skills. It is important to understand that criminology and forensic science are separate career areas and the training and everyday work is therefore quite different. organised. This system is a network of interdependent organisations which. from service delivery roles such as customs officer through to policy advisers. It then provides ongoing support and monitoring and. For criminology graduates. particularly those with a practical focus such as is developed through environmental criminology. integrated where appropriate and reported against. Interested applicants are advised to visit the website. Recruitment mainly occurs at an entry trainee customs officer level from where progression to more specialised areas can occur. collect and analyse evidence from crime scenes.  Policy advice generally relates to the way in which proposed policy activities across the Ministry of Social Development. Police officers complete a criminology paper as part of their basic training. Registered psychologists with criminology are ideal for psychologist positions. criminal law and process. Police National Headquarters maintains a Policy unit. perhaps one graduate policy analyst vacancy a year. maintains an underlying emphasis on the prevention of crime rather than its punishment. are consulted. The Department of Corrections contains a policy development area and recruits at the graduate level for policy analyst roles. CSRE carries out a range of evaluation. and there is a career path through to senior policy advisor positions. Similarly. New Zealand Police. Criminologists do not. Child. Community Probation Services and Prison Services have operational advisers at head office who. but a combination of criminology and psychology is highly desirable. are desirable applicants when vacancies occur. Operational advisers are also recruited at the graduate level. victims’ role in the justice system. Customs work includes criminology from an international perspective and requires the ability to think strategically around the local/international dimension. Opportunities for criminology graduates exist within the Policy team. recommends and manages changes to improve quality and effectiveness. and between the Ministry and other Agencies and Departments. There are a number of intelligence analyst positions ©VUW Career Development and Employment within the National Intelligence Centre based at Police National Headquarters and a number of similar positions within Districts based across New Zealand. There is a trainee analyst/analyst position which is an entry level development role. There are also opportunities for criminology graduates in the courts system in both policy roles and roles within the courts. Within the Intelligence Group there are lead intelligence analyst and senior intelligence analyst positions for more experienced analysts with work experience. organised crime. WHERE DO CRIMINOLOGY GRADUATES WORK? Job opportunities are. A qualifica- . youth justice. a function of organisational structures. is required. In addition. for example. Criminology graduates. Postgraduate study. More advanced study in the subject could enhance career prospects for sworn officers. New Zealand Police have recently implemented a career pathway for intelligence analysts. Criminology is a relevant degree for both research and policy analyst roles. usually a Master’s degree. Youth and Family. A person with a criminology degree could possibly fill roles such as policy or operational policy advisors.

Such skills include: Analytical thinking: the ability to break information down. A huge amount of the world’s information is conceptualised in research projects. Non-judgemental people skills: Criminology graduates are likely to appreciate that both good and bad behaviour emerges from a heady mix of motiva- ©VUW Career Development and Employment . WHAT SKILLS DO CRIMINOLOGY GRADUATES DEVELOP? Skills are the ‘can do’ edge of your degree. Problem solving: Criminology graduates will have regularly grappled with issues which defy a simple solution. research assistant. Graduates who can work effectively with these systems will always have access to new knowledge and be competitive for the new jobs. Although popular culture is riddled with crime ‘facts’. Other roles in tertiary institutions include research assistants. Any job which relies on accurately evaluating or monitoring people. such as policy analyst. Partnership links between local authorities. Operational and management roles in organisations which have regulatory or statutory responsibilities. even when focussed on practical day-to-day situations. are complex organisations with a role in crime prevention through such mechanisms as environmental design and urban strategic planning. constantly call upon this skill in order to function effectively. Criminology graduates study various research data and theories which are complex and often counter-intuitive.CAREER VIEW tion in criminology would also be useful for someone seeking a role as a youth justice coordinator. urban designer. counsellor. captured in databases and coded in statistical formats. higher order thinking skills and a certain mental discipline. community service providers and the Ministry of Justice Crime Prevention Unit create positions such as community safety co-ordinator and various administrative and project management roles. Abstract problemsolving may be an important feature of a job role such as policy analyst. such as police officer. such as ACC. Criminology graduates can stand out because they have developed. criminology graduates are trained out of these myths and generalisations and learn to select and collate data which are both valid and reliable for the purpose. Employers are keen on those who can come up with innovative proposals. but it is a skill most employers value. The ability to make connections: refers to the mixing and matching of ideas drawn from a range of conceptual structures. architect. Criminology plus…. but particularly those involving management. security specialist and detective. academic advisors. In a work environment the ability to make connections underpins many functions and roles. among other things. These include: lawyer. learning support. They represent open ground where you can show employers the value of your degree in a way that is meaningful to them. They are therefore likely to identify and confront problems with confidence and be able to formulate a strategy for resolution. and out of which they are expected to pull clarity and lucid analysis. where skills such as strategic planning are important. and accessing computer-based information systems. Those in jobs where Research and information skills: Criminology is a research-focussed subject and its graduates will have demonstrated competence in understanding research methodologies. psychologist. These are very transferable in that they can be applied to any situation which calls for abstract reasoning and intellectual rigour. The richness and diversity of the criminological literature. Local Authorities. Critical judgement: represents the ability to evaluate situations and information and pick out what is logical and relevant to the context in which it occurs. can also be compatible with a criminology degree. There are a range of professional roles which require separate training but which can complement a criminology degree. journalist. statistical analyses. journalist. 3 information is the basic currency. give criminology graduates a full data bank of ideas to juggle with. where they would be involved in arranging and managing family group conferences for young offenders and their families. such as the Auckland and Wellington City Councils. events or information. or lawyer. Tertiary Institutions. identify the underlying structure and pull together summaries or conclusions from the essential points. particularly in ‘stuck’ situations. Of special value is the ability to combine ideas which are not usually connected. Postgraduate study which has involved some original research will extend these skills further. administration and managerial positions. psychologist or customs officer. demands critical judgement. social worker. Teaching at university level usually requires a PhD. Many students also go overseas to study. together with its theoretical constructs. Graduates can advance their research and teaching skills by undertaking a Master’s degree or PhD and may have the opportunity to tutor undergraduate students.

listening. Courts. So in 2002 I commenced my Honours degree on a part time basis with my husband who shares my strong interest in criminology. I finished school in 1995 and knew I wanted to continue in tertiary education but I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to major in. and underpin almost any job you can think of. • Administration Officer • Alcohol and Other Drug Clinician • Cases Editor • Claims Manager • Community Support Worker • Contracts Administrator • Development Assistant • Intelligence Collator • Lecturer • Licensing Officer • Police Communicator • Probation Officer • Programme Support Coordinator • Research Assistant • Residential Youth Worker • Safety & Health Administrator • Security Officer • Senior Researcher • Student Advisor • Teacher • Tutor ©VUW Career Development and Employment Kerry Consedine Acting Service Manager Department of Corrections.women. Community Probation Service I come from a large family with a long history of working with and helping others. So I guess an interest in social justice and what makes people ‘tick’ is in my blood. We completed our Honours degrees and graduated together in 2005. sociology. youth. and anthropology. Communication skills combine speaking.4 CAREER VIEW GRADUATE PROFILES tion. The study of crime in society is fascinating and criminology closely examines many different aspects . . Then I took some time off study and had my first baby. Criminology graduates have worked through contentious and complex ideas. With this postgraduate degree under my belt I felt ready to look for employment and I was drawn to the work of the Department of Corrections and more specifically the Community Probation Service. During my first year it became clear that I wanted to study crime and criminals – what was it that made people turn to crime? What was happening in their lives that meant they had to turn to crime and how were these people different to me? So I enrolled in criminology and didn’t look back. I completed my double major in criminology and sociology and graduated in 1999. opportunity. So I tried a bit of everything in my first year at Victoria University – education. which goes down well in all work situations and is vital where a capacity for empathy is required such as probation officer. property crime. conditioning. the list goes on. and personality. Other questions in my head were how does the criminal justice system in New Zealand compare to systems overseas? Where does restorative justice fit in to our system and what are we doing to address the over-representation of Maori in our prisons? Studying criminology helped me gain a much better understanding of the explanations and also gave me some good insight into New Zealand’s criminal justice system. Such understanding tends towards tolerance for others’ idiosyncrasies. Communication skills: These are absolutely vital to employers. writing and understanding. both verbally and in writing. drugs. environment. socio-economics. psychologist and other client-centred roles. and have been trained to express their thinking with clarity and precision. Some roles may require additional qualifications and training. I soon realised however that I wanted to further my education and explore some criminological topics in more depth. I also knew this would assist me in gaining employment in a field of interest when I was ready. Police. philosophy. JOB TITLES The following is a sample of job titles taken from our graduate destination surveys.

I’m looking forward to what’s next. that’s where I headed. If anyone had asked me when I started university whether I saw myself ever being a Probation Officer. When that was done and I had worn a funny hat while receiving an important piece of paper in front of an applauding audience (over the top of which I could still hear my mother cheering). Despite a significant change in role and context. Youth and Family. Youth and Family Criminology was something I fell into but I’ve always had a knack for falling into the things that are right for me.CAREER VIEW In 2006 I became a Probation Officer working directly with offenders in the community. I have been hesitant to let go of University all together and have kept one foot in the door by tutoring part-time for the Institute of Criminology’s Victoria Policing Education Programme. I wasn’t accepted that year so I pretty much repeated my first year in subjects that would give me the best chance of being accepted if I applied for criminology again. As it happens. so I applied for criminology for two reasons. I did this part time over four years and found the Honours programme even more interesting and satisfying than my undergraduate study. I was working in dispute resolution in the Department of Building and Housing by the time I completed my Honours degree. real world experience to sit alongside the theory I had learnt at university. It was this that prompted me to start an Honours degree in criminology. I‘ve had a varied career so far with diverse responsibilities but all pay tribute to elements of my criminological study. Furthermore. This role is extremely stimulating and involves writing presentence reports for the Courts. 5 I would apply my study outside of university but I put those thoughts to one side and just enjoyed the learning. and Community Work. I did apply again and this time I was accepted. managing a team of Probation Officers who oversee offenders who have recently been released from Prison (on Parole and Release Conditions). I would encourage anyone thinking about studying to give it a go as it can really open doors to employment opportunities and is also extremely rewarding in terms of your own individual development and learning. Youth and Family cases and provide advice to senior national management. It gave me an appreciation of the people I was dealing with and the basis to understand why and how the probation service sought to help offenders and the community. I found I was still able to relate my study to my work as I was still dealing with conflict within a legislated framework. Working as a Probation Officer also provided me with practical. I also learned about a subject that actually matters and I have no doubt that my study directly assisted me in gaining my current employment. I was pleased to discover that. Dean Moses Senior Advisor Child. Supervision. I continued to wonder where I could use my criminological knowledge and the skills that come with tertiary study. My criminology degree was fundamental in landing the job and helping me to excel in it. My first year at university was a bit of an experiment and at the end of it I realised that I was heading down the wrong path. it sounded cool. Secondly. providing written reports for the New Zealand Parole Board and managing community-based sentences such as Home Detention. my friend was also applying for it. I am currently in an Acting Service Manager role. Firstly. criminology was indeed very cool. I would have laughed but. Through my time at Victoria University I not only gained some invaluable written and communication skills I also gained a good ability to think critically and question things. I am certain I will be back again one day. In this role I support regional management of the most serious Child. At the moment I work as a Senior Advisor for Child. as I had hoped. I discovered that studying something that’s interesting makes the study so much easier. It did cross my mind over the next two years that I wasn’t exactly sure how ©VUW Career Development and Employment . with my criminology degree in hand.

and learning crime resolution tools such as environmental mapping. since 2003 I have been a member of the Police Negotiation Team. like many others. and it was policing.  Throughout these different areas of policing one thing was consistent. sociology. I enjoyed undertaking in-depth study to the drivers of crime. so the material we studied was up-to-date and relevant. A week after my final exam I started an internship in the Policy Group at Te Puni Kökiri (the Ministry of Mäori Development).  I had intended to complete a Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology so in my first year I undertook psychology. I. began my first year still unclear about exactly what I wanted to major in. sociology. the role of the media. taking three criminology papers and a sociology paper.  However. child abuse and organised crime. Criminology involves aspects of a number of different disciplines. the skills I gained in problem-solving. I joined the New Zealand Police in 2000 and since that time I worked as a Detective investigating serious crime. and it has taken me to places such as China. so I learnt a lot about law.  I was also able to apply criminological theory to my understanding of the reasons . and knowing that criminology was still an option to pick up in second year. Victoria is at the forefront of research in this area. It was great to be able to put the skills and experience I gained through my criminology degree into practice straight away. suited me well. evaluation and monitoring remain vital to my everyday work. history.  Upon completing my degree in 1998 I opted to stay on to complete my Honours year. and alleged brain washing in cults. the situational variables that impact upon alcohol related violence. This work involved engaging with a number of other agencies across government and non-government sectors. particularly as there are ever increasing numbers of graduates and the job market can be competitive. the skills I gained through my criminology degree formed an important foundation for my future professional development. from the investigation of murders through to online child exploitation. A very moving and memorable experience for me was ©VUW Career Development and Employment being involved in focus groups seeking feedback from prisoners at two women’s prisons.  It allowed me to take on interesting subjects such as the prevention of mass murder.  Also. Despite moving out of the criminal justice field and into the economic development policy area. and that was the wide variety of paperwork required. and media studies.6 CAREER VIEW Leanne Mercer Policy Analyst Te Puni Kökiri The distinguished reputation of the Institute of Criminology and the Crime and Justice Research Centre at Victoria was a real draw-card for me in choosing criminology as a major. Being able to try a number of different subject areas during my first year. after picking up criminology in my second year I found that its unique combination of disciplines gave it an appeal that surpassed the other subjects I had previously studied and I soon found myself switching my major. the impact on society. Canada and the USA. Covert Operations Group New Zealand Police I was one of the lucky people when I finished secondary school in that I knew what I wanted to do for a career. I felt that the fact that Victoria was the first (and remains one of few) universities to offer criminology was an important point of difference compared to other majors and degrees. After I had finished my internship I applied for a permanent position as a Policy Analyst at Te Puni Kökiri. philosophy and statistics. social policy. Criminology was by far my favourite subject area during my studies. the effectiveness of punishment. Another attractive aspect of the criminology major was the flexibility to take a number of different papers in the first year.  The work I have undertaken has been varied. Crime is such a topical subject area in New Zealand society – everyone has an opinion! (and not necessarily a very well informed opinion). a history of prison riots in New Zealand.  The time I spent developing my essay writing and critical thinking skills at University gave me a head start when it came to investigating and preparing complex cases. Christiaan Barnard Detective. In particular. psychology. I was part of a team working in the criminal justice area and I was actively involved producing policy advice regarding the latest government priorities to enable more effective methods of preventing crime. critical analysis.

psychology or political science. Criminology at Victoria can be undertaken by students as a major subject of a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree and they can continue on to further postgraduate possibilities. and a large literature review on bias against ethnic minority groups in the criminal justice system. Whilst challenging. and was one of the first multi-disciplinary research and teaching centres established in the university. however. Students seeking to advance to graduate levels can begin with a one-year Honours degree or proceed to Master’s and PhD levels where a written thesis is ©VUW Career Development and Employment . sociology. For those people contemplating a career within criminal justice. I am embarrassed to admit that the primary attraction of criminology was my mistaken belief that it would entail wearing a white lab coat whilst carefully examining the atavistic traits of criminal skulls. I enjoyed it so much that after three years I decided to pack in law and undertake an Honours degree in criminology instead. Bronwyn Morrison Senior Research Advisor Ministry of Justice I began my studies at Victoria University with no intention of studying criminology. punishment. It came as quite a shock when Lombroso’s biological determinism was thoroughly discredited within the first few weeks of the course. Since then it has made contributions on many levels within the crime and justice sector. This skill is crucial in the context of New Zealand’s public sector. Criminology can also be combined with other subjects such as social policy. I have been fortunate enough to maintain an ongoing relationship with the Institute of Criminology through tutoring both on campus and distance learning papers. Since joining the Ministry I have worked on many interesting projects including the 2009 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey. and particularly enjoyed the modules on theory. My doctoral research explored criminal justice 7 responses to female drunkenness in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Its location close to downtown Wellington enables consultation with government and positions students well for employment opportunities within the public service. the study of criminology will provide you with invaluable research skills. On my return to New Zealand I took up a research role with the Department of Conservation investigating vehicle crime and other types of criminal behaviour at outdoor recreation and tourist areas. when my second year rolled round criminology seemed a reasonable candidate to sit along my law and English majors. critical thinking skills and a way to see how various disciplines can be bought together to address and understand a related set of social phenomena. employing staff members of high calibre with good national and international linkages. criminology never felt like hard work because the course material was so engaging. as well as resolving critical incidents as a negotiator. In the meantime I was awarded a Bright Future Scholarship to undertake a PhD in criminology in the United Kingdom. I also met and married a fellow criminologist.  This allowed me to empathise with offenders in a manner which increased the likelihood of obtaining an admission. and continue to find myself challenged by the subject matter. before joining the Ministry of Justice as a Senior Research Advisor. I can honestly say I loved it all. The study of criminology at Victoria begins at 200 level. I studied and worked at Keele University for just under five years. My advice to prospective students is to study what you enjoy and make the most of the university learning experience to expand and challenge your preexisting views on criminal justice issues. Whilst working at Keele I was privileged to work alongside many academics whose work I had studied and admired during my undergraduate studies.CAREER VIEW why individuals commit certain crimes. The single most valuable tool I gained from my criminological studies was the ability to think critically and examine complex issues from competing perspectives. CRIMINOLOGY AT VICTORIA The Institute of Criminology was established at Victoria University on 1 January 1975. On finishing my Honours degree I went on to work as a summer research assistant at the Institute of Criminology and then as a researcher for the New Zealand Police for six months. and women and crime.

youth cultures. Kerry Consedine. both within New Zealand and internationally. Monica Lichti. • Juror Stress and Traumatisation: Issues for Criminal Justice Policy and Practice. the psychology of criminal behaviour. plural policing and private security/private policing. • ‘Trying to stem their downward course’: The Development of Penal Governance for Women in New Zealand. and now sits alongside the Institute of Criminology in the School of Social and Cultural Studies. • Torture and Transitional Justice: The Case of Timor-Leste. Career View is published by Career Development and Employment Victoria University of Wellington. often evaluative in nature and done under contract to government and public sector agencies. and ‘No sun has shone’: Child Homicide in New Zealand: An analysis of a small scale sample of cases 1980-2003. women. cannibalism. state crime and human rights. Developing Methodology. • Gender. • Community Crime Prevention: the New Zealand December 2010 ISSN 1172-4315 ©VUW Career Development and Employment .S. Criminology staff interests include: substance use and misuse. A thesis is the product of original research. sexual offending. Fax 64-4-463 5252 www. • Imagining the Prison: Literary Representations and the Development of Modern Penality in England. Carol Hogan. and all kinds of atrocious crimes? An Overview of ‘Mäori crime’ from Pre-colonial Times to the Present Day. Victoria also offers a Graduate Diploma of Arts for graduates. Dean Moses. The Crime and Justice Research Centre (CJRC) grew out of. This can allow those without prior knowledge of criminology to undertake a tailored course of study that may include both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology with complementary courses in other disciplines. history and sociology of punishment. youth justice. crime reduction and community safety. and Media Representations of Fallujah. Criminology. School Administrator. Tel: 64-4-463-5393. risk and harm minimisation. Wellington 6140.victoria. gender. and gender issues in crime and policing. 1840-1974. The Centre concentrates on policy-focused research. rape and the police. graduates Christiaan Barnard. policy and academic forums. Bodies and Cyberstalking: Embodying Theory. Special thanks to: The School of Social and Cultural Studies. • With us. Programme Director. or against us: A Critical analysis of official U. sex work. It promulgates its • The land of murder. in a diverse range of practitioner. Leanne Mercer and Bronwyn Morrison. transitional justice. which may be undertaken full. Te Whare Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui PO Box 600. media representations of crime. The Centre aims to produce research reports and provide policy advice of the highest academic quality to increase knowledge and understanding of issues relating to crime and justice.8 CAREER VIEW required. • Care in Collaboration: Preventing Secondary Victimisation through a Structured and Holistic Approach to Victims of Sexual Violence.or part-time. and all those people who contributed to this publication. School Manager. Associate Professor Jan Jordan. • The political economy of white collar crime in New Zealand: 1972-2000. Examples of postgraduate research thesis topics include: • • Youth Crime and its Prevention in New Zealand. • The Condition of Security of Gated Communities under Private Governance: Findings from Residents’ Experiences and Opinions. in particular Dr Allison Kirkman. Head of School.