FORMER Mundubbera schoolboy, Cody Smith, discovered a passion for examining the criminal justice system and recently graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with the first Bachelor of Criminology and Justice.
Mr Smith now lives in Eight Mile Plains in Brisbane and officially graduated at a ceremony on September 28 with family and friends.
Mr Smith is the university's first criminology and justice graduate after transferring with credit from a previous USC degree in justice and legal studies.
USC's first full cohort of criminology students will graduate in April 2018.
Mr Smith who intends to become a paralegal and eventually a lawyer said he enjoyed his USC experience, particularly the close connections with academics and the convenience of living a short walk from the campus at Sippy Downs.
"After I completed Year 12 at Burnett State College in 2011, I got my first preference to study at USC, initially in international relations and politics,” Mr Smith said.
"I found that I had an affinity and great passion for the criminal justice system - how it's run and managed - so I swapped degrees to be a part of that.
"My favourite subjects were Homicide and Family Law. I liked dealing with the case law and was very interested in such complex and intricate topics.”
Professor of Criminology Tim Prenzler, who coordinates the three-year degree introduced at USC in 2015, congratulated Cody on his achievement.
The degree was designed with the input of the Queensland Police Service to give students an authentic view of social problems relating to law, justice and crime.
The first in his family to attend university, Mr Smith said his former USC lecturer Anna Bishop was an inspiration, and he appreciated the campus club for criminology and justice students.
"USC was a great uni to attend. My academics were highly experienced in their fields of study and practice and they engaged very well with students, getting to know us and give help as required,” he said.
Applications are now open via QTAC to study at USC in 2018. For more information visit www.usc.edu.au/learn or attend Meet USC at Sippy Downs and Fraser Coast campuses next Thursday October 12.