University of Birmingham selected to offer Parliamentary Studies module in 2019-20

The University of Birmingham is one of 24 universities announced by the UK Parliament to offer the innovative and unique Parliamentary Studies module from academic year 2019/20.

The aim of the rigorous course is to provide students with a detailed knowledge of how Parliament works in both theory and practice. It is approved by and taught in collaboration with the UK Parliament, delivered in partnership with a number of higher education institutions.

This is the second time that the UK Parliament has sought collaborators to teach the Parliamentary Studies module.

The Parliamentary Studies Module has been delivered at a number of universities since 2013/14, and the contracts with existing universities will expire this summer.

The applications were judged by a panel of staff from the Houses of Parliament and representatives from the higher education sector. The full list of successful applicants can be seen below.

Dr Stephen Bates, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Birmingham, who will convene the module at Birmingham, said "We are very pleased to be able to run one of these prestigious modules at Birmingham. We have assembled a great team from across the Department of Political Science and International Studies and the Institute of Local Government to teach the module and, at this crucial time in our parliamentary democracy, we are really looking forward to giving our students the opportunity to hear directly from politicians and civil servants about our Parliament, how it operates and how it might be reformed".

Commenting on today’s announcement, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP said: “There can be no better time to learn about politics - how Parliament operates and to hear from the people who work there - than right now when the topic is on everyone’s mind.

“Our Parliamentary Studies module brings the procedures of the House of Commons and House of Lords to life, providing a wonderful complement to on-campus teaching with a range of resources and services aimed at engaging students and university staff.

“I am so pleased that we now have 24 universities involved in the scheme – four more than previously”

For more on the Parliamentary Studies module visit

ENDS:

For more information or interviews, please contact: Hasan Salim Patel, Communications Manager (Arts, Law and Social Sciences) on +44 (0) 121 415 8134 or contact the press office out of hours on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Notes to editors

  • The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) is one of the largest and best departments of its kind in the UK. The Department inspires and enhances intellectual development and enthusiasm for learning in staff and students alike. It has enjoyed a consistently high place in the Guardian league tables, since these were first published in 2000. The Department also plays host to the Institute of German Studies (IGS) and the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES).
  • The Institute of Local Government Studies (INLOGOV) is the leading UK centre for the study of public service management, policy and governance. With over 50 years of experience working within local government and the public sector, the Institute of Local Government Studies creates the latest thinking for public servants.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • Parliamentary Studies aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of how the UK Parliament works (in both theory and practice). It should focus on how the Houses of Parliament operates and could cover themes such as: the structure of Parliament; the legislative process; the role of Select Committees; the role and work of MPs; the role and work of Members of the House of Lords; the relationship with the executive; Parliament and the public; and how the UK Parliament interacts with other Parliaments and legislatures. It may attempt to provide students with a sense of why cultures, traditions and informal relationships matter as well as formal procedures. Although the House of Commons and the House of Lords provide the main institutional focus for this module, students should be encouraged to adopt a comparative approach.
  • Delivery of Parliamentary Studies is based on a partnership between the Houses of Parliament and the Higher Education Institute. The Higher Education Institute will manage and assess the module and deliver teaching to provide an academic and theoretical framework for students, while Parliament will provide practical and vocational teaching about the work, processes and business of Parliament.
  • The module does not have to be delivered as part of a Politics degree; it could be aligned with alternative degree courses or offered as an elective module to students across a range of faculties. However, the department offering the module must meet the criteria of having staff with relevant expertise to deliver the theoretical content.