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Parliamentary Studies


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a 500-word seminar log (10%) and 3500-word essay (90%)

Module description

In this module you will have a unique opportunity to understand how parliaments work by learning from parliamentary officials themselves. Birkbeck is one of only a handful of universities able to offer this module in conjunction with officials in Parliament. Five of the weeks of the course will be taught by Parliamentary officials with the other weeks taught by academics, including guest speakers.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • critically appraise empirical studies of legislative behaviour
  • critically appraise academic and journalistic accounts of legislative behaviour and the capacity of the legislature to hold the executive to account
  • apply conceptual tools to analyse concepts such as the executive mentality, party loyalty and institutional culture
  • demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, including making effective oral and written presentations, utilising specialist primary and secondary resources, and being willing to challenge certain ‘self evident truths’
  • plan, execute and write up elite level interviews.