Academics

Summer

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Inside Westminster: Politics, Policy & Participation

Course outline

The summer programme includes a two-part highly participatory course. Part I examines the structure and process of British politics, providing an overview of the British political system and allowing engagement with current themes and issues.

Part II provides the cross-cultural and professional context for the internship and helps Scholars develop strategies for using their internship experience and acquired skills for career building.

Assessment in Part I is based on an essay and a final exam. Assessment in Part II is based on blog posts on different themes relating to the internship and contemporary British political issues and a self-evaluation essay on the internship.

Course materials

Summer semester academic guidelines

Course outline: Inside Westminster: Politics, Policy & Participation

Internship

The internship is a major part of the programme, individually tailored to the interests of each scholar. Jump to the internship section to find out more about our unique opportunities.

Study visit & guest lectures

A four day study visit to the Scottish Parliament to examine nationalism and devolution and a topical guest lecture series with leading political figures complements the course.

Learn more about our study visits and guest lectures

The London School of Economics

The bespoke Hansard-organised courses are offered in association with the London School of Economics and Political Science. Scholars are enrolled as associate students at the LSE providing them with full access to the world's largest social science collection and classes are held on the LSE campus. A senior member of the LSE Government faculty serves as the programme's external examiner.*

* The courses are not regular LSE courses and the programme should not be confused with the LSE’s own parliamentary programme.

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Spring & autumn

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Westminster and the Devolved Legislatures

Course outline

Parliament & Politics

This course complements the practical experience of British politics gained in the internship by exploring topical trends and debates in the UK's political arena.

Its aim is to establish a firm bedrock of understanding about the mechanics and institutions of British democracy. These will serve as launching-points for more fundamental discussions about the nature of politics, our expectations of representatives, and the challenges facing a democracy that is in the midst of profound cultural and political change.

Assessment is based on 2,000 word essay and a written (essay-format) examination.

Politics & Public Policy

This course analyses current policy issues and seeks to explore how political mechanisms work (particularly but by no means exclusively) in the UK. It examines how political institutions and choices shape policy processes. The course is highly topical and specific policy areas covered each term reflect the national debate. Assessment is based on two policy drafts and a written (essay format) final exam.

Course materials

Academic Guidelines

Course outline: Politics and Public Policy

Course outline: Parliament and Politics

Internship

The internship is a major part of the programme, individually tailored to the interests of each scholar. Jump to the internship section to find out more about our unique opportunities.

Dissertation

A challenging but highly rewarding feature of the semester programmes is the 7,000 word dissertation. Scholars choose a topic relevant to their study in London and are assigned a course tutor who acts as their supervisor, guiding and supporting them through the project. This is a unique opportunity for scholars to explore their ideas in a much more developed and extensive way and produce a piece of work that has lasting value.

Study visits & guest lectures

Study visits to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff give spring and autumn scholars a unique opportunity to examine nationalism and devolution from two very different perspectives.

A guest lecture series with leading politicians, media figures and academics, exploring emerging issues in British poltics is also included.

Learn more about our study visits and guest lectures

The London School of Economics

Scholars are enrolled as associate students at the LSE, granting them full access access to the world's largest library dedicated to the social sciences. The courses are administered by the Hansard Society and designed to complement the internships. External examination is provided by a senior member of the LSE's Government faculty.*

* The courses are not regular LSE courses and the programme should not be confused with the LSE’s own parliamentary programme.

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Internship

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What you will gain

Through the internships, scholars gain first-hand experience of policy research and writing, select committee inquiries, constituency casework, political campaigns and strategic decision-making.

They undertake work of a local, national and international nature; sit in on debates and committee meetings; attend press conferences and events in and around Westminster; and much more. At the end of the programme scholars will have developed a sharp professional skills set and built lifelong networks.

Where you could be

Our internships cover a wide range of exciting roles across numerous offices, departments and industries, including, but by no means limited to:

  • Office of a Member of Parliament or Member of the House of Lords
  • Parliamentary Select Committee
  • Political consultancy, public relations or lobbying firm
  • Media organisation
  • Think-tank, NGO or pressure group
  • Business or economics organisation
  • Law firm
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Study visits

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Where they've been

Where do you go?

The programme capitalises on the Hansard Society's exceptional links with the devolved legislatures to provide an exploration at first hand of nationalism and devolution from two very different perspectives. Study visits to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff are integral features of the Autumn and Spring programmes.*

* NB. The shorter Summer programme includes a visit to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and not the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.

Edinburgh, Scotland

In addition to tours and lectures in and around the Scottish Parliament, scholars enjoy visiting the hugely popular capital city of Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle, the Medieval Old Town, the elegant Georgian New Town, Aruthur's Seat, and extinct volcano in Holyrood Park, and the Scottish Parliament itself are all within walking distance of the hotel base.

Cardiff, Wales

A two night study trip to Cardiff to examine Welsh devolution and politics. Scholars have sessions with academics, Welsh Assembly Members and senior officers of the Assembly. The visit also includes a tour of the Senedd and a city walking tour or a tour of Cardiff Castle.

Guest lectures

Our guest lecture series introduces scholars to leading figures in politics, the media, law and academia, providing real life insights into pertinent topics shaping the political agenda.

Social activities

We understand a significant part of studying abroad is immersing yourself in your host country. Plenty of cultural activities are therefore included in the programme to make your time in London as memorable as possible.

Scholars are taken on tours of London, the Houses of Parliament and its historic archives, as well as of the BBC Parliament headquarters. We invite scholars to group outings to restaurants and cultural venues, and as special guests to Hansard Society's series of events.

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Faculty

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Dr Peter Catterall
Lecturer, Politics & Public Policy

Dr Peter Catterall, Lecturer, Politics & Public Policy, Hansard Society Scholars

Dr Catterall has written extensively on British constitutional issues, party politics and the media. Apart from editing the Journal of National Identities, his current research interests range from democratization in the Middle East, through the development and operation of British Cabinet committees, to the role of the Leader of the Opposition in the Westminster system.

His latest monograph is on Labour and the Politics of Alcohol (2014) and he has just finished writing a major work on religion and politics in Britain. Dr Catterall is also International Director for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Westminster.

Dr Simon Kaye
Lecturer, Parliament & Politics

Dr Simon Kaye, Lecturer, Parliament & Politics, Hansard Society Scholars

Dr Simon Kaye is a political theorist based at Kings College London's Department of Political Economy. His academic work is focused around democratic theory, interdisciplinary research methods, and political epistemology.

Dr Kaye lectures on British politics for several institutions, drawing upon both academic and practical interest in that subject, having worked for a political party as a constituency organiser, in the Westminster office of a Member of Parliament, and as a researcher at University College London's Constitution Unit.

Academic Governance Board

The Academic Governance Board provides oversight of academic matters relating to Hansard Society Scholars. The Board’s mission is to guide, assist and support the programme staff in maintaining academic excellence and rigour and exercising best practice in study abroad. The Board, comprised of distinguished academics and a senior Parliamentary clerk, is chaired by Lord Norton of Louth, a leading constitutional expert.

Professor the Lord Norton of Louth, Director of Studies, Professor of Government and Director of the Centre for Legislative Studies, University of Hull, Chair

Dr Peter Catterall, Politics & Public Policy Course Lecturer and Reader in History, University of Westminster *

Professor Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender, University of Bristol **

Mr Paul Evans, Principal Clerk of the Table Office, House of Commons

Professor Ivor Gaber, Professor of Journalism, University of Sussex and Emeritus Professor of Broadcast Journalism , Goldsmiths University of London

Dr Simon Kaye, Parliament & Politics Course Lecturer and Seminar Tutor and Lecturer, King’s College London *

Dr Laurie Koehler, Resident Director, University of Maryland London Programme **

Dr Elizabeth Monaghan, Lecturer in Politics, University of Hull and Hansard Society Fellow

Professor Michael Rush, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Exeter **

* Ex-officio Board member
** External Board member

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