Westminster comes to Swansea

Budding politicians could be lining up to become Swansea University’s first Prime Minister now that a prestigious new Parliamentary Studies module is on offer.

Swansea University is one of only 13 universities across the UK chosen to deliver the new Parliamentary Studies module, which is approved and co-taught by the Houses of Parliament. 

The University’s Department of Political and Cultural Studies is one of a small number of selected universities chosen by a judging panel of Parliamentary staff, academics and advisors to deliver the module from September 2013-14 to 2018-19.

John Spurr, Head of the College of Arts and Humanities said: 

“ The new module will be of tremendous value to our students considering a career in politics. It gives them a detailed knowledge of how the UK Parliament works, through seminars delivered by senior Parliamentary staff as well as Swansea University Lecturers.  Alongside existing opportunities to work with Assembly Members in the National Assembly for Wales, this module gives our students direct experience of the parliamentary institutions of the UK. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring together theory and practice, the academic and the political, and connect students with the political process.”

Students studying the module will have the chance to visit the Palace of Westminster, as well as receiving talks at Swansea University from Parliamentary clerks covering a range of topics from the legislative process to the changing role of the House of Lords.  

Swansea University third year students who have signed up for the new module said:

Josh Allard

Josh Allard: “ The new Parliamentary Studies module at Swansea University is not only a great feat for the university to tie links with central Parliament in London but also for students, whether their degrees are politically orientated or not, to understand the functions of the political system in the United Kingdom.

“ Whilst the university has links with the National Assembly for Wales, this module provides students with extra opportunities to make connections with politicians in London which could in turn lead to employment/work placement opportunities once they have graduated. Whilst this provides a great benefit to current students it does so also for future politics students who will also be able to utilise the connections Swansea University has with political institutions."


Tomas Edwards

Tomas Edwards: “Getting the chance to undertake a module which puts a politics student at the heart of Westminster is something I could have only dreamt of. Such invaluable experience will no doubt go far in helping me to seek out which area of a political career I would most like to go into. It is a privilege to be able to study in an environment which will allow students to converse and learn from individuals who have a plethora of experience in the political arena, something that will no doubt bolster our continuing academic work. “




 Naomi White

Naomi White:  “I am incredibly excited about participating in the Parliamentary Studies module at Swansea University, as I think it will bring the students here a step closer to the real world of politics. As this module deals with the workings of the British government specifically, it's a brilliant opportunity to find out more about what our political forums do for our nation, and on a first-hand basis, from representatives from the House of Commons and House of Lords alike. “



Aileen Rice-Jones

Aileen Rice-Jones said: “ I'm very excited to be doing the module as it’s a great way to get back in touch with British politics put into real situations in regards to relating it to the actions and departments in parliament.”







Picture 1: Josh Allard

Picture 2: Tomas Edwards

Picture 3: Naomi White

Picture 4: Aileen Rice-Jones

  • Parliamentary studieswill be delivered in teaching block one of level 3 from 2013-14 and will be followed by an option to take a Dissertation in Parliamentary Studies module in teaching block two.  The module will be taught by Professor Jonathan Bradbury, Swansea University in conjunction with staff of the Houses of Parliament.

  • The module will:

  • provide students with an academic and theoretical framework for study as well as practical and vocational perspectives.  The primary focus of the module will be the UK parliament, but teaching will be pitched so as to encourage the comparative study of parliaments and parliaments and multi-level governance.

  •  will be delivered through weekly lecture/seminar classes and will include selected sessions which will be attended by members of parliament and the House of Lords to give personal perspectives and insights.  There will also be an organised visit to the Palace of Westminster to receive tours of the House of Commons and House of Lords, talks from clerks, watch some parliamentary business and meet the Speaker of the House of Commons.  Staff from the Houses of Parliament will visit the Department to deliver some of the classes and will be available to act as informal project advisors to students who take the follow on Dissertation in parliamentary studies module.
  • will be available to a maximum of twenty students, selected on the basis of performance and attitude to study. They will be well supported by large library holdings and a dedicated subject librarian.  The modules will complement the highly successful module on the National Assembly for Wales, currently in its 8th year, which provides students not only with the opportunity to study the Assembly but also undertake an internship placement with an Assembly Member and research and write a specialist policy report.  Parliamentary Studies will be of particular value for students wishing to pursue a career in politics of public affairs. 
  • For more information on the Department of Political and Cultural Studies at Swansea University go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/politics