Law graduate Karen Fullerton

Karen Fullerton

MSc Criminal Justice and Penal Change

Tell us a bit about your background…
I am from the vibrant city of Glasgow in bonnie Scotland. In 2015 I graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice and after graduation I volunteered in Bolivia for 3 months building greenhouses for disadvantaged families and teaching sessions for women around human rights. I then worked for Glasgow City Council in their graduate programme as part of their Community Justice Glasgow team and as a Community Payback Supervisor with SACRO.

What inspired you to further your studies?
I wanted to gain further knowledge of the justice system, its processes, its history and the theories surrounding it which I could then implement into my future work and career.

Why did you choose to study for the MSc Criminal Justice and Penal Change?
The course content was exactly what I was searching for and the lecturers and guest lecturers were world-leading in their fields of expertise which I admired.

What attracted you to Strathclyde specifically?
Strathclyde’s excellent reputation is what drew me to it along with the location, as it was close to my home.

What was the highlight of your time at Strathclyde/highlight of the course?
The highlight of my year at Strathclyde was meeting like-minded people who were also passionate about the justice system. I enjoyed the class mix as we had some lawyers, practitoners, recent graduates and also international students which brought a mix of ideas and experiences so debates within the class were exciting and interesting.

Did you come across any challenges during your studies, and how did you overcome them?
The main challenge I found was that at the beginning of the course my writing skills were lacking what was needed for a masters. I overcame this by reading, researching and writing more than what was expected of me and also wrote multiple drafts of one assignment to improve my writing skills. 

What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
Take this course, you will not regret it! The course is interesting and challenging, the lecturers are inspiring and the class sizes and mixes are excellent (as long as you come to the class prepared!).

What did you think of the support available?
The support I have received from the university has been great! Lecturers and support staff are always willing to help.

What are your ambitions for the future?
In the future I hope to complete a PHD and continue working within the justice sector whether it's as a researcher, policy officer or practitioner.