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The University of Sunderland’s Crime Awareness Student Film Projects, in collaboration with Northumbria Police and its Sexual Assault Referral Centre

The University of Sunderland has a sustained (six year) collaborative relationship with Northumbria Police’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). This affords Level six undergraduate students from BA (Hons) Drama and Digital Film Production the opportunity to produce films that increase awareness of complex category serious crime.
Faculty Departments
The Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
University of Sunderland

Adelle Hulsmeier, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Drama, oversees the partnership liaison, supervises drama students on performance of the projects and holds responsibility for strategic project management and logistics.

Nicholas Glean, Module Leader BA (Hons) Digital Film Production, oversees film production and supervises the production students.

Michelle Sheridan, Sexual Assault Referral Centre Manager, is responsible for providing insight into the experiences of those whose lives have been affected by sexual crimes. Julie Tekin, Senior Forensic Nurse for the Crime Department at Northumbria Police is Treasurer for the UK Association of Forensic Nurses. Michelle and Julie lead on a series of briefs and engage wider agencies whose specific expertise is used in the construction of this sensitive work.

Twenty-three films have been produced by more than 500 students which raise societal awareness of a diverse array of serious crime, as well as gaining core skills in acting and filmmaking. The films have addressed capacity to consent, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, cyber-safety, modern-day slavery and male rape. Productions are financed by the Police Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund and a celebratory awards ceremony with students, police, academics and invited guests, gives recognition to this each year. The synergy between all collaborators has ensured students are introduced to complex and challenging issues which are beyond the immediate parameters of their academic disciplines.

Experiential learning in the projects has afforded opportunities for students to experience and develop professional skills for employment. The films also promote the opportunity for learning in a social context. The films have a demonstrable impact on the employability of graduates and a wider impact on the delivery of modules and programmes locally.

Beyond the context of the University, the films impact the work of Northumbria Police and a vast number of invested partners from counselling services, law firms, healthcare services and voluntary organisations.

Advance HE recognises there are different views and approaches to teaching and learning, as such we encourage sharing of practice, without advocating or prescribing specific approaches. NTF and CATE awards recognise teaching excellence in a particular context. The profiles featured are self-submitted by award winners.