Simran Bandesha

Studying criminology allowed me to gain a more holistic understanding of what the study of crime looks like and the multitude of different lenses that have been used to understand it.

For Simran, Criminology stood out from the many disciplines she could do for her double degree. Though crime is a part of daily news, the exploration of criminology as a discipline was entirely new to her, and introduced her to a wider set of ideas than she ever imagined it would. Because Criminology is so much more than looking at crime, it’s the exploration of human relationships, behaviour and interactions through a multitude of lenses.

“Studying criminology allowed me to gain a more holistic understanding of what the study of crime looks like and the multitude of different lenses that have been used to understand it. Being able to learn about the plethora of different lenses or theoretical perspectives which dominate this field further assisted me in understanding and situating my honours project.”

After completing her Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Criminology in 2020, Simran completed honours in Criminology in 2021 supervised by Dr Adam Masters. She knew honours would be challenging and 2021 was not without its obstacles,  but she feels proud to have persevered and to have produced a significant piece of academic writing that is hers and something to be proud of. Her thesis, titled ‘News Media, Police Corruption, and the Indian Context’ explores the portrayal of police corruption in media in her home country India.

“I came into the year interested in exploring police corruption as it was a topic of interest for me during my undergrad. Consequently, I was able to explore it through the news media reporting of it and take the thesis down a path of investigating how this crime problem is framed and portrayed to the public who engage with it.

Among Simran’s favourite courses was CRIM2014 Introduction to Crime Science with Dr Emily Corner. This innovative course introduces students to the distinctive lens of crime science, as an approach to understanding, preventing, and investigating crime, and emphasises a multidisciplinary approach to issues around crime and security. For Simran, the course offered a valuable opportunity to go beyond a focus on the offender and their deviance, and instead to look at what creates the opportunity for criminality.

Since crime occurs due to a combination of motivation and opportunity, this line of research aims to address offending by removing the opportunity rather than what many other theories target – the individual factors associated with engaging in criminality. This subject also equipped me with very practical tools to prevent criminality and victimisation as well as how to design public spaces to limit crime. The course opened my eyes up to how physical and situational crime prevention looks like. Now all of these methods of situational crime prevention stand out to me in my surroundings.”

Though Simran had her favourite courses, she enjoyed and gained something from all the courses she took, appreciating the opportunity each gave her to understand and to unravel a different facet of the real-world issues criminology looks at. For her it has been an exploration of many important issues, through many lenses, and has opened up a plethora of avenues ahead. And for Simran, who has long had an interest in teaching, one of those avenues she hopes is to help train the next generation of criminologists one day.

“I would highly recommend Criminology to students who may not be sure of what to study or have not heard much about this degree in particular– it will surprise you how many different ways in which the study of crime has been approached. My classmates and I have thoroughly enjoyed the degree. I would really love to be involved in teaching criminology as I would enjoy being involved in educating future criminologists and seeing them find their passion in this field as I did mine.

The pandemic has created a challenging environment since early 2020 in which to live, work and study. Some ANU students have been on the front line of the pandemic in a variety of capacities, including Simran, who in 2021 divided her time between studying honours, and working for ACT Health’s contact tracing team. She continues to work with ACT Health, and feels proud of the contribution she and the team she works with has made to supporting the wellbeing of the Canberra community during a remarkable time.

Studying is hard work, and sometimes we can be perfectionists. Simran wants future students to still have optimism, to not focus too much on small mistakes, and to have faith that things will work out.

I am a perfectionist and strive for excellence always. Try your best but don’t be too hard on yourself when you get a mark you’re not happy with. There is always room for improvement and it’s not the end of the world if one test or assignment went badly. Everything happens for a reason, and it will be something to learn from instead of dwelling on and not doing anything about it. Use it instead to improve aspects that brought your mark down!! Basically – don’t worry too much and take it easy, everything will work out in the end.”

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Updated:  12 July 2022/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications