Parliamentary Studies at CCCU
Since 2015 the politics Programme has become part of a select group of universities delivering an innovative partnership module with Parliament.
Led by Dr Mark Bennister, Reader in Politics, and parliamentary officials at Westminster we run ‘Parliamentary Studies’ with the Houses of Parliament. The module gives final year students a unique opportunity to explore and understand how Parliament operates with the help of parliamentary officials themselves. CCCU was chosen in 2015 following a competitive process, as one of only seven universities across the UK to be awarded the chance to teach this module in a formal partnership with Parliament, in addition to the 13 universities already running the module. This is the only Higher Education module formally approved by Parliament, and has had the support of the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lords Speaker and the management boards of both Houses.
BBC Journalist Mark D'Arcy talking to Parliamentary Studies students.
‘Parliamentary Studies’ analyses how Parliament works in theory and practice, comparing Westminster with other institutions and exploring the themes and issues around the functioning of Parliaments in the modern world. The module combines the latest theoretical innovations and research with the real life experience of how a legislature works. Guest speakers, including MPs and journalists, in addition to parliamentary officials assist in delivering the content which also involves a working trip to Parliament to view sessions in action and webinars with Members of Parliament.
The module has proved very popular with students who also have the opportunity for their final year dissertation to receive guidance from parliamentary staff. The course content is very topical and students write blog posts on current parliamentary issues such as parliamentary sovereignty, Brexit and Parliament, reform of the House of Lords.
Dr Mark Bennister is currently an academic fellow at Parliament, researching the Prime Minister's appearances before the Liaison Committee. He uses this research to inform his teaching of the module. The Speaker of the House of Commons will be addressing students on the course in November 2017 and delivering a public lecture as part of his commitment to supporting the module.