Jakob Chukoury has his heart set on a career in forensics since becoming fascinated by true-crime documentaries during the lockdown, is celebrating getting one step closer to his dream job after confirming his place at university.
Coleg y Cymoedd learner, Jakob Chukoury, 18, from Caerphilly, has secured his place to study Forensic Investigation at the University of South Wales after receiving A*, A, B grades in sociology, geography, criminology, and the Welsh Bachelorette.
Rather than going out to celebrate his results, Jakob, who is passionate about helping others and making a difference to the world, will instead be spending his results day volunteering with his local church, running an activity week for children in foster and social care.
Originally planning a career in catering, with Jakob working part-time at a local restaurant alongside his studies, it was the pandemic that spurred his change of direction. Looking for something to occupy his time while he was stuck indoors, Jakob immersed himself in crime documentaries and detective dramas like CSI and Unsolved Mysteries, becoming fascinated with how forensic investigation plays a role in solving cases, which sparked his interest in studying it at as a degree.
He will be following a similar path to his father who started his career as a restaurant manager before switching to becoming an undertaker – a role that he has worked in for over 11 years. Having grown up around his dad’s unconventional job, Jakob is unphased by the morbid and macabre, which he feels will prepare him for when it comes to tackling crime scenes and gathering evidence.
Jakob said: “The fact that the investigations I’ve been watching on TV will soon be my studies is hard to believe, it’s really exciting! Having grown up with my dad as an undertaker, you can imagine there have been some interesting conversations at the dinner table, but it’s also made me feel more prepared for a career in forensics. I can’t wait to get stuck in and made my parents and college tutors proud!”
Jakob credits his tutors at Coleg y Cymoedd for giving him the initial inspiration for his course.
He said: “I initially decided to come to college as there were more subject options available to me than at my school’s sixth form, such as criminology and sociology which both appealed to me.
“Studying them at A level made me more interested in criminal cases – both in terms of how crimes are investigated and solved using forensics, as well as the wider background role that society plays a whole – which is what led me to watch so many programmes on these topics during the lockdown.
“Even though I knew then that I wanted to go into forensics, I didn’t know how to get a job in the industry. My tutors at college told me about the opportunities to study it at university and about the course at USW, which is perfect for me.!
The University of South Wales’ Forensic Investigation BSc, which one of the top 15 places to study forensic science in the UK, allows students without a traditional science background to learn about forensic techniques for a wide range of criminal investigations.
With a speciality crime scene training facility containing a number of realistic crime scene simulations – from domestic burglaries and break-ins to more complex scenes such as homicides and fatal fires – it provides students with practical skills around how to examine crime scenes and avoid potential such as a contamination.
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff