Crime scene incestigation tape plus a separate image of a Criminal Justice student studying.

Gaining experience

Criminal Justice


Competition for jobs in Criminal Justice is fierce and work experience could be the deciding factor for securing a graduate job. However, finding experience will take time and effort, so you will have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. Look at job advertisements and job profiles to identify areas where you need to build more experience.


Opportunities available in Criminal Justice

Two police officers in high visibility uniform

Volunteer with the Police

Individual police forces offer volunteering opportunities in roles including:

  • Special Constable
  • Victim Liaison Volunteer
  • Police Support Volunteers
  • Administrative Support Volunteers

Hampshire Constabulary offer an Observer Scheme which provides the opportunity to shadow police officers across a maximum of three shifts. 

Learn more about the Observer Scheme


Where to find other Criminal Justice volunteering opportunities

  • The Fairbridge Programme - As part of the Prince's Trust, the Fairbridge Programme offers opportunities for 16 to 25-year-olds to develop skills and confidence through a wide variety of activities.
  • Victim Support - An independent charity that provides support to people affected by crime or traumatic events.
  • NACRO - A social justice charity offering information, advice and guidance, courses, consultancy and interventions to vulnerable people within communities.
  • Youth Justice Board - A resource hub for those working or looking to work in youth justice, with a learning and skills matrix, a library of effective approaches and a Q&A forum.
  • Police.UK - Provides a list of UK police force websites, on which you can find Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer roles.
  • Clinks - Represents the voluntary options within the sector, providing a directory of organisations working with offenders and listing both paid and unpaid training and volunteering opportunities.


Types of opportunities available through the University


Placements usually last between 6-12 months and can be taken as part of your degree programme. Criminal Justice placements can be found in Crown and County Courts, Law Firms, Charities and Non-Governmental Organisations

You can find placements through:

Learn more about completing a placement year


There are fewer internships offered in the criminal justice sector than in other areas. Many organisations either focus on volunteering or don't offer work experience due to the confidential or classified nature of the work. The organisations listed below give you an idea of the type of opportunities that may be available. You will need to do thorough research to identify further specific opportunities:

  • Catch 22 - A social business that designs and delivers services to build resilience and aspiration in people and communities.
  • Dstl - An executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Defence that develops innovative science and technology to contribute to the defence and security of the UK.

Learn more about completing internships


There are many volunteering opportunities across the criminal justice sector and when deciding on a role it is important to ensure that the organisation you volunteer through has a robust safeguarding structure in place.

MyCareer offers current students and graduates access to a Virtual Volunteering Bank which provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. Similarly you can access these opportunities through the paper-based bank located at Careers and Employability, particularly relevant opportunities are the StudentWatch and STEM Learning schemes as well as a range of not-for-profit organisations working across the sector.

Learn more about volunteering



Building work experience

Learn more about how we can support you in securing experience and translating the skills you gain to future applications. 

Visit our work experience pages

Currently restricted to At Request whilst CCI use for a current campaign. Will be reviewed shortly (05/2021).





Get in touch

Visit our career centre:

Rosalind Franklin East, 28 Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2DD


Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 2684


Book an appointment online