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Student story

Luke Dennison

02 August 2023

"It is an area of study that can open up a great number of possibilities..."


Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology

Constable, New Zealand Police

With an aim to one day join the Police, and wanting to start with a university degree, Luke decided on UC’s Bachelor of Arts to learn more about society and the reasons behind criminal behaviour.

"I thought Psychology and Sociology would help with the career I wanted," he says. "It helped to understand humans, why they do things and human behaviour."

In particular, Luke took courses with a focus on criminal psychology, including the history of New Zealand gangs, criminological theory, and the effectiveness of correctional facilities for repeat offenders.

"I enjoyed the lecturers, especially Greg Newbold and Jared Gilbert, and the interesting experiments," Luke says. "It is an area of study that can open up a great number of possibilities if you choose to stick at it."

After graduating, Luke gained work with Immigration New Zealand while applying for the Police. Now in his career as a Constable, Luke says the value of his studies helped prepare him for a number of circumstances the job can bring, particularly when dealing with suspects and witnesses on the scene.

"Being a Police Officer comes with responsibilities in itself - I have to uphold the law, help, defend and protect others, and attend jobs both good and bad," he says. "The day-to-day work can be unpredictable, one minute you’re thinking it’s a quiet day then Boom! You’re called to a serious domestic or a crash.

"I want to have a long career in the New Zealand Police, and possibly go for a Sergeant position one day."

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