For over 20 years the Hansard Society's prestigious Hansard Scholars Programme has been bringing undergraduates from around the world to study and experience British politics from the inside. Our unique programme, which fuses taught courses with a political internship placement, aims at providing our Scholars with the academic nous and professional skills and contacts necessary to pursue a political career after graduation. All of our Scholars interests and ambitions are carefully considered on an individual basis, allowing us to design a specialized programme that facilitates the long term goals of each Scholar.
The Hansard Society's intimate and trusted relationship with Parliament, developed over 60 years since the Society's founding in 1944, provides access to the British political system unrivaled by any other study abroad programme. In addition, the Society's status as a highly respected authority on Parliamentary and democratic procedure has forged a reputation regarded throughout the wider political domain. As a result, our Scholars are able to experience British politics from its epicentre, undertaking internship placements at the heart of the political system and being treated to guest lectures and events held by highly influential figures at the helm of British politics, from former cabinet ministers and Members of the House of Lords to well known journalists and policy makers. We encourage all of our Scholars to fully utilize the Society's vast connections and build their own network of professional contacts that will continue to benefit their careers well beyond the end of the programme.
Academic work is divided between courses, guest lectures and supervised research.
Parliament & Politics
This course examines the context, procedures and politics of British parliamentary democracy. Learning outcomes:
* Knowledge of British political institutions and the evolution of the British constitution
* An insight into Parliamentary practice and procedure
* An awareness of the interaction between Parliament and other institutions and bodies
* Familiarity with political science approaches to the study of British politics
* An appreciation of current debates and controversies in British politics
Politics & Public Policy
This course analyses current policy issues, including the economy, civil liberties and foreign policy. Learning outcomes:
* A broad understanding of politics and policy in the United Kingdom
the ability to apply theoretical frameworks to contemporary political debates
* An introduction to the history and institutions of the European Union
* An insight into the comparisons and contrasts between institutions and policy issues in the UK, Europe and the US
In addition to the academic component Scholars undertake a political internship placement three days per week for the duration of the programme. The responsibilities granted during the internship, whether drafting legislation for MPs and Peers, preparing notes for Parliamentary committee meetings, conducting interviews for media organizations or carrying out in-depth research for leading campaign groups, provide a contextual framework within which Scholars can fully appreciate the demands of their political pursuits.
The esteem that our programmes have acquired, together with the Society's invaluable connections, has allowed us to place our Scholars in highly competitive internships. Previous internship hosts have included:
* MPs and Peers in their Westminster offices, including cabinet ministers and committee chairs.
* Parliamentary select committees, including the Foreign Affairs Committee, Defence Committee and International Development Committee.
* Government departments, including DfID and the Law Commission.
* Political media organizations, including BBC Parliament, The Independent and Sky News.
* Think-tanks and campaign groups, including Amnesty International, RUSI and the ODI.
* Political and financial consultancies, including College Hill Consultants and Whitehall Consultants.
There are less than a handful of places in the world where you can be walking around the ruins of a 2000 year old Roman wall while gazing in awe before the gleaming skyline of a towering financial district. With history and culture emanating in abundance from every winding road, London will keep even the most seasoned explorer occupied. During your three months in the capital you will enjoy an historical tour of the city, be guided around the abounding halls of the Houses of Parliament, read old acts signed by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I on a visit to the Parliamentary archives, experience the glitz and glamour of a theatre performance in London's famous West End, and much more.
However, your experience of British history and politics will by no means be limited to these Roman roads. A three day study visit to Edinburgh will provide a definitive introduction to one of the most heated debates in British politics; the devolution of powers from Westminster to Scotland. You will be exposed first hand to the furore of the chamber floor, attend guest lectures by Members of Scottish Parliament, and visit the European Parliaments Scotland offices. Apart from gaining an important comparative understanding of British politics you will also have plenty of time to venture throughout the city and visit Edinburgh Castle, once home to King James VI of Scotland and I of England.
You will also be treated to lectures by leading academics on a day trip to Oxford University, Britain's oldest university. Balliol, Oxfords initial college, was built in 1263, and boasts Adam Smith as an alumnus. Walking around the cobbled streets of Oxford is like wandering through the history of academia itself, absorbing the wisdom of some of Britain's and indeed the world's greatest minds.
Samuel Johnson once said of the capital that, 'by seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show'. Although much, and some more, has changed since then, this passage still resonates. London is one of the most vibrant, cultural and historic capitals in the world, catering for the entire spectrum of visitors. And as a Hansard Scholar you will not only be living in the centre of this exciting city, but you will also be provided with unlimited access to transport throughout central London for the duration of the programme. This will allow you to explore the many sights and activities that the city has to offer without the burden of excessive travel costs.
The Hansard Society provides fully equipped, centrally located accommodation within minutes of both the London School of Economics and the Hansard Society offices, as well as local amenities and well connected transport links.