With a passion for social justice and politics, Jessica Cleary is inspired to use her degree to help improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society.
Jessica, from Falkirk, studied an undergraduate degree at Stirling after “falling in love with the campus and community” during an applicant day.
“I was swayed by the flexibility of the degree programme and the approachability of the staff and students, but primarily by the beauty of the campus and the fact it was all on one site,” Jessica explained.
On graduating, Jessica received funding for a PhD in criminology and opted first to embark on an MSc Applied Social Research (Criminology) at Stirling as it offered “essential” training in conducting independent, academically and ethical rigorous research.
She said: “The passion for critical criminology, the supportive nature of all the academics, and the quality of supervision within the department made it an easy decision.”
During her time at Stirling, Jessica served as Faculty Officer for Social Sciences; joined the Socialist Society; and volunteered at HMP Cornton Vale and Glenochil. She recently completed an internship with the Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research, and has also started teaching at the University.
Reflecting on her Masters, the 23-year-old – who will spend the next three years at Stirling working on her PhD – added: “The teaching staff at Stirling offer exceptional guidance in how to critically think and become an engaged and independent researcher. Moreover, the value of the pastoral support and advice you receive throughout your degree is invaluable.
“My time at Stirling was eye opening, memorable and rewarding.”