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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Parliamentary Placement: Research Project (S2) (PLIT10116)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityPart-year visiting students only
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryStudents will be placed with Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), based in Holyrood where they will gain experience of the variety of activities of working for a Parliamentarian. Weekly contact with academic staff is maintained throughout. Research report on a topic agreed by the MSP/MSP staff and academic course leader is produced.
Course description Students are allocated to MSPs according to interests and other considerations and introduced to the MSP/MSP staff prior to the placement. This allows the students to gain an understanding of the particular interests of the office and to prepare for the placement. Students provide a weekly report on activities and progress on the research project to the academic director of the course. Meetings are held with the students throughout the placement. The research report is agreed through discussion with the student, MSP or MSP staff and course director. This report is written in the form of a policy briefing for use by the MSP. It is submitted both to the MSP and the university. It is an assessed piece of work within the overall Parliamentary Programme.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the roles of elected Members of the Scottish Parliament
  2. Understand the relationship between executive and legislative branches in the Scottish polity
  3. Understand the workings of the Scottish Parliament ¿ plenary, committee work, cross party groups.
  4. Acquire a public policy perspective in a Parliamentary arena
  5. Reflect on the relationship between citizens and elected Members. Use a range of research skills to plan and execute a research project on an agreed topic
Reading List
Preparation for completing the project is provided in the Public Policy in Scotland course. Guidance on preparation and completion of the project is supplied by the course director. As each project differs, there is no single substantive reading.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in:
- understanding the operation of the Scottish Parliament;
- understanding the relationship between constitutional institutions and political power;
improved their communication and research skills by engaging and applying the literature with fluency.
- analysing evidence and using this to develop and support a line of argument,
- presenting information visually and orally,
- working effectively as part of a team.

KeywordsAcademy of Government,Parliamentary Programme
Course organiserProf James Mitchell
Course secretaryMr Alexander Dysart
Tel: (0131 6)50 3923
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