Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award for Criminology Lecturer

We are immensely pleased to announce that Debbie Jones, senior lecturer in Criminology and Director of Undergraduate Criminology, has won one of seven Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards.

Debbie was nominated an incredible six times by her students, a fitting tribute to her teaching and a clear indicator of the esteem students have for her.

Prior to beginning her academic career in 2008, Debbie was a police officer with the Metropolitan Police specialising in major crimes and child protection. Her current research interests focus on the regulation of the sex industry and she brings a unique vision to the study of sex work which has led to transformational understanding and the development of cutting edge methodologies. Debbie endeavours to enhance learning by drawing on her previous professional practice knowledge and her research interests.  The Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards are initiated by students to recognise and celebrate excellent teaching and as such are highly respected across the University. Debbie is one of seven award winners this year - no mean feat as 87 nominations were considered by the panel.

The winners were announced at the SALT Learning and Teaching Conference on Wednesday 18th July and will be more formally presented at Graduation where a testimonial will be read out by the Vice Chancellor.


Debbie said: “I am delighted to receive this award and I am humbled that our amazing Criminology students took the time to nominate me. If I can inspire and motivate others to understand and enjoy their studies, and go and make a difference, then that inspires and motivates me to teach and makes me incredibly happy.”

Debbie Jones

Student Comments:

“Every time I speak to Debbie, or have lectures with her, I feel that she doesn’t just want to make better students … she wants to help make better people. It’s not about seeing the doom and gloom in things such as agencies that we learn about like the police or prison service, but highlight that these are factors in which we can improve on and can become better services in the future. It makes you realise that this is not just an important skill for criminologists such as ourselves, but as people, learning to understand that negatives are not the end of the world, they are there as reasons to improve on. That’s my honest view after attending her lectures.”

 “Debbie is really innovative with her teaching and is always thinking of new ways to keep the degree program cutting edge and engaging. Debbie makes a really big effort to get to know her students so that in lectures people feel included and confident to share ideas.”

“Always positive, criticises well, draws out the best in people.”

“Debbie is a brilliant, funny and extremely clever lecturer who is happy to help anyone with anything, and nothing ever seems too big of an issue for her to deal with, regardless of how busy she is. She's an amazing person and an amazing lecturer.”

“Her feedback was outstanding. Sometimes when I get feedback I get confused on what the lecturer that has marked it means, I felt that Debbie gave me feedback in the way that I was able to understand. She knows how to engage with students in different ways as to how they learn best. Obviously, this is a good trait that lecturers need, but I feel that when she gives her feedback, she enhances on it by explaining what she means.”

“Debbie is pretty much an academic fairy godmother!”

 “Debbie's teaching style is informative, sensitive and funny all in one and all at the appropriate times! She's enthusiastic about her own research, but also about the modules she teaches. She helps us understand the content by relating it to anecdotes, and shows video clips throughout to give a broader and more realistic understanding of the issues we are facing during our Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery module. Debbie will take her time to explain the content and move around the classroom to discuss the topic in smaller groups to make sure everyone is on board and understands what we are doing.”

“Enthusiastic, coherent, approachable, stimulating, encouraging!”