Our taught courses provide a rigorous introduction to British politics, parliamentary democracy and policy-making in the UK, from both a current and historical perspective.
On completing the programme, scholars will have gained a comprehensive understanding of the major issues facing democratic institutions and decision-makers, and developed unique critical and comparative skills, preparing them for substantive research as they progress in their studies.
For 30 years, bespoke pre-professional internship placements, offering unrivalled opportunities to witness the operation of Parliament and related bodies, have been an integral feature of this rigorous course.
The work in the placements, as in the taught courses, is substantive, challenging, relevant and wide-ranging, enabling scholars to develop invaluable leadership skills and build life-long professional networks.
Living in London
London is a top destination for people from all over the world who are attracted to its mix of exciting city life, unrivalled dramatic and literary culture and a history dating back to ancient Rome.
Scholars are housed in well-equipped centrally-located student accommodation, near to superb transport links and plentiful eating, shopping and cultural venues.
The Hansard Society
The Hansard Society is the UK’s leading parliamentary think tank. Founded in 1944, it is an independent, non-partisan political research non-profit working in the UK and around the world to promote and strengthen parliaments.
The Speaker of the House of Commons and Lord Speaker of the House of Lords are the Society’s co-presidents and the Prime Minister and main party leaders are its Vice Presidents.
Hansard provided me a rich and challenging semester where I could apply my learning in the classroom to an unforgettable internship experience in the House of Commons. I was immersed in UK and European culture and politics, and surrounded by fascinating people both at LSE and in Parliament. In addition, I consider my dissertation to be one of my greatest academic accomplishments. Thank you Hansard!
This perfect combination of coursework and practical experience in a fast-paced, political environment served as a building block to the next steps I took. The Hansard programme instilled in me a curiosity about European Union issues, and I found myself immersed in yet another context as I spent the following semester in Sciences Po in Paris, France learning about European Union economics and politics.
I am happy to know that I made one of the best decisions of my undergraduate career. Hansard offered me the opportunity to live in one of the most vibrant cities in the world whilst interning in a politically rich and historic environment. The people that I met and the experiences that I had are by far some of my best memories. So if you are considering the Hansard Society Scholars programme, please know that these experiences are life changing and that this decision could be one of the best you’ve ever made.
This program really was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Compared to many of my friends’ and classmates’ study abroad schemes, Hansard Society Scholars is far more immersive and challenging (in a good way!). It helped me grow as a student and as a working professional and is a huge part of why I want to return to the UK to study in the future. To anyone looking for a highly engaging and unique study abroad experience, I’d highly recommend it.
My internship experience challenged me to research unique policy issues and gain professional experience, while also learning the inner workings of Westminster. My supervisor immediately welcomed me into his work and life, and it seemed each week I was balancing commitments such as attending dinners with parliamentarians or attending concerts and lectures. Hansard’s connections allow you to work with some of the greatest and most revered minds in Parliament.
Professor the Lord Norton of Louth, Director of Studies
Director of Studies of the Hansard Society Scholars programme and Chair of the Academic Governance Board, Lord Norton is Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies at the University of Hull, and a Conservative Peer in the House of Lords. He is one of the UK's leading experts on Parliament and a world authority on constitutional issues.
Lisa George, Programme Director
Lisa has responsibility for the overall and strategic direction of the programme as well as its regulatory compliance. She has extensive experience directing US study abroad programmes in the UK and across Europe and has specialised in the development of pre-professional experiential education abroad.
Active in the field of international education, Lisa is Deputy Chair of the Association of American Study Abroad Programmes (AASAP) UK. Lisa is a native of St Louis, Missouri and a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Erin Tschupp, Assistant Programme Director
Erin has primary responsibility for scholar support and communications, including the programme’s social media strategy. Additionally, she supports the Programme Director with regulatory compliance, marketing and recruitment, and alumni development.
A native of Connecticut, Erin is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a wealth of experience in performing arts and museum management but joined the Hansard Society in 2017 most directly from the University of North Carolina Honours Programme in London where she was the Programme Manager for four years. In addition to the myriad of skills and experience she brings to this role, Erin has a highly infectious enthusiasm for Britain and London and works to ensure that every Hansard Scholar makes the most of their own personal study abroad journey.
Thimios Tzallas, Programme Manager
Thimios is responsible for the day-to-day management of the programme. He first joined the Hansard Society in 2013 as a member of the research team.
Thimios has worked in the UK, Greek and European Parliaments and has considerable experience as a publisher of a historical local newspaper in Greece. He graduated with a BA in History and Politics from Panteion University in Greece and an MA in Politics from Westminster University.
We collect information about you if you:
- apply for a job with us
- apply to the Hansard Society Scholars Programme
- contact the office by email, phone, post or social media
- contribute to our guest lecture and study visit programmes
- enrol as a Hansard Society Scholar
- provide an academic or employment reference to us
- provide an academic placement (internship) for a Scholar
- provide goods and services to support delivery of the programme
- sign up to our newsletter
- visit our website
What type of information do we collect from you?
Depending on the nature and extent of your engagement with us, the personal information we collect may include one or more of the following:
- telephone number
- e-mail address
- date of birth
- country of birth
- name, address, email and telephone number of parents / next of kin
- home university / departmental contact details
- registrar / study abroad office staff contact details
- academic achievement records (grades, transcripts etc)
- academic and employment references
- academic placement (internship) office contact details
- IP (internet protocol) address
- banking details
- passport data
- visa information
- UK entry and exit plans
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number
- medical history
- police security check data
- social media handles
How is personal information used?
We may collect, store and process personal data in order to:
- administer the Hansard Society Scholars programme
- communicate with higher education feeder institutions
- develop our alumni programme
- enhance, modify and improve our communications and services
- co-ordinate the processing of parliamentary security pass application
- meet academic retention rules governing grades and transcripts (including US jurisdiction requirements)
- meet obligations arising from any contract we have entered into
- meet our regulatory obligations as determined by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
- meet the legal requirements necessary for compliance with our Tier 4 Visa Licence
- notify subscribers of any changes to the services we provide
- organise events
- process a job application
- promote the Scholars programme at study abroad fairs and other similar forums
- provide pastoral support to Scholars for the duration of their stay
- receive and process payments
- respond to any enquiry made about the Scholars Programme
How long do we keep personal data for?
Given the diverse and extensive range of personal information contained in Scholars application and enrolment files we review them to delete any material that it is no longer necessary for us to retain to meet our contractual, legal and legitimate interest needs for the running of the Programme. Reviews take place:
- at the end of the application process;
- on departure of the Scholars at the end of their Programme;
- between three and five years after the Scholars participation in the Programme when they will have completed their wider course of study. We retain basic contact information and details of the Scholars internship host placements for the purposes of alumni engagement.
We are required to hold some types of information for longer periods in order to fulfil our contractual or legal obligations. For example:
- where the activity involves some form of financial transaction this is retained for at least seven years for auditing purposes.
- we are required by law to retain visa information for up to one year after we cease to sponsor the visa recipient or up to the point at which we are inspected by UK Visas, whichever is the shorter. In practice, this means we may retain visa information for up to two years depending on the point at which a Scholar’s application was first accepted.
- we are required to retain academic grades and history for up to seven years by overseas university institutions. In practice, we retain academic transcripts indefinitely as Scholars often request them many years later for academic or employment references or in relation to security checks. However, the data is processed only at the request of the Scholar and we retain other basic personal information in order to respond effectively and efficiently to their requests.
Who do we share personal data with?
We will not sell your data to a third party for direct marketing or any other purpose. It will be retained solely for the purpose(s) for which it was provided to the Hansard Society.
We may disclose your personal information to:
- our employees
- our accountants and auditors
- our Board of Trustees
We may also disclose personal data:
- to any regulatory or law enforcement body if required to do so (e.g. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), UK Visas (UKVI)
- if we need to enforce our terms and conditions or other agreements for services that we provide
- to academic placement (internship) hosts
- to members of our Academic Governance Board (or any successor body) as required by our complaints procedure
- the external examiner for the purposes of academic grading
- the Parliamentary pass office in relation to security clearance
- guest lecturers and staff at the devolved legislatures in relation to the organisation of study visits
- university feeder institutions: the registrar or study abroad office
Some data is shared with third party ‘processors’ that we utilise to carry out core business functions and deliver services. These include:
- Active Campaign – our CRM system
- Digital Ocean – client host for online payments processing
- Dropbox – cloud file storage
- G-Suite – email, calendar, contacts and Google Analytics
- Moodle – virtual learning environment
- Netlify – online form functionality for our website
- Survey Monkey – surveys for application preferences, feedback and evaluation
- Typeform – online form for application process
- Zapier – online task automation tool
When using third party service providers to process data on our behalf, we disclose only the personal information that is necessary to deliver the function or service required. This may involve the transfer of data outside the European Economic Area (EEA) depending on where the third party’s servers are based. However, all have their own Privacy Policies and operate under the EU-US Privacy Shield initiative certifying that they meet EU data protection standards.
The only personal data collected is your IP (internet protocol) address.
Using Google Analytics we track and analyse aggregated statistical data about visitor behaviour and events: for example, as a percentage of our users, what is their journey through the site, what technology (platform) do they use, what is their browsing time and duration, what pages do they visit, how are they referred to and from the site?
Users can set their browsers to block cookies but some of our website features may not function as a result.
Legal base(s) for processing personal data
Depending on the nature of the activity or service for which personal data has been collected and stored, our ‘legal base’ for processing it is one of the following provisions. The examples given are illustrative not exhaustive.
The processing is necessary in relation to a contract which the individual has entered into or because the individual has asked for something to be done so they can enter into a contract.
- Application to and participation in the Hansard Society Scholars programme is entirely voluntary. In entering a contractual relationship with us, the range of personal data we require from applicants and their home university to facilitate their participation in the Programme is clearly set out on our website, in the Terms and Conditions of the Programme issued at the point at which an offer of a place is made and accepted, and in the guidance provided throughout the process.
The processing is necessary because of a legal obligation that applies to us.
- Financial information is retained for at least seven years for auditing purposes.
- As a Tier 4 Visa licence holder we are also subject to the rules imposed by UK Visas (UKVI).
- The programme is regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). It imposes obligations on us to process and provide certain types of data which may include personal information.
- For academic placements (internships) in Parliament, personal data must be processed for security vetting by the Parliamentary pass office. This includes a Baseline Personnel Security Standard and a Counter Terrorist Check. Criminal record history checks may also be needed as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Personal information (name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, and address) is also required about an applicants parents.
The processing is in accordance with a ‘legitimate interest’
- For example, we collect and process limited forms of personal data (e.g. name, email, organisation, and role/job title) to administer the Scholars programme, including liaison with university feeder institutions and study abroad offices.
- We retain limited forms of personal data (e.g. name, email, home university, academic grades, internship host details) in order to maintain contact and liaise with our alumni after they complete their period of study with us.
- We retain limited forms of personal data and academic history records in order to provide future academic and employment references.
Your rights in relation to the personal information that we hold
You have a right …
- To be informed – about the collection and use of your personal data.
- Of access – you have the right to access your personal data and supplementary information, and be aware of and verify the lawfulness of the processing.
- To rectification – you can ask that your information be updated or corrected.
- To be forgotten (erasure) – you can ask that your information be permanently deleted.
- To restrict processing – you can ask to limit the way in which we use your data.
- To data portability – you can ask to have your information transferred to another organisation.
- To object – you can seek to prohibit certain uses of your personal data (processing based on legitimate interest or the performance of a task in the public interest.
- Not to be subject to automated decision-making and profiling. (We do not use these forms of data processing.)
If you want to know what personal data we hold about you, how and why we process it, and receive a copy of that data, you can ask us for it. Formally, this is known as a ‘data subject access request’ (DSAR).
To submit a request for access to any personal data we hold and process about you contact the Society in writing, by email or by telephone at:
Hansard Society, 5th Floor, 9 King Street, London, EC2V 8EA, United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 710 6070
To help us answer your request as quickly as possible, please:
- provide sufficient information for us to identify you
- supply proof of your identity (e.g. a copy of your passport or driving licence)
- detail the information to which your request relates
- confirm which right you wish to exercise
By law we must respond to your request within one month, unless the request is deemed ‘complex’. We will provide information about the personal data requested usually in a structured, machine readable format. In most instances, for the data we hold and process, that will be in the form of a downloadable .CSV file. Depending on the nature of the request, however, the information may be provided in other formats.
You also have the right to submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner who is responsible, in the UK, for supervision of data protection (https://ico.org.uk/concerns).
This policy was updated in accordance with the General Data Protection regulation (GDPR) 2018 and the Data Processing Act 1998.
We will amend the policy from time to time as required. This will be highlighted on our website, email communications, and e-newsletters, as well as in updates to terms and conditions governing our provision of services.
DATE: 17 May 2018