Study abroad in Edinburgh

Parliamentary programme

Our Parliamentary programme allows you to study with a Member of Scottish Parliament.

The programme at a glance

The Parliamentary programme is a unique opportunity to undertake an internship with a member of the Scottish Parliament and become involved with policy making, research and ministerial activity.

You can apply for the Parliamentary Programme if you are currently enrolled in your second year (or above) of study at a home institution and you have the required subject area background.

For further information about the Parliamentary programme please check the dedicated website:

Academy of Government

Study dates & Tuition fees

The Parliamentary Programme is offered in semester 1 and semester 2.


Semester 1

10th September – 21st December 2018               


Semester 2

14th January – 26th April 2019


If you wish to participate in the Parliamentary Programme please check with your university’s Study Abroad team whether it will be possible to transfer the credits back to your home institution.


Students complete academic courses which are classroom based.

The courses you will study during the programme are:

  • Government and Politics in the United Kingdom (Semester 1 & 2 only)
  • Scottish Politics
  • Scottish Society and Culture

You will also undertake a research project supervised by a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and an academic from the Academy of Government.

As far as possible, we aim to match up the interests and political allegiances of the programme participant and MSP, in order to provide the most fruitful experience for both. You will have study space in the Parliament Building as well as an academic base in the Academy of Government.

Previous research project topics have included:

  • "Does Class Structure Explain Poverty and Social Inequality in Scotland?"
  • "Type 2 Diabetes: Preventative Strategies in Scotland"
  • "Women in Scottish Renewables: Breaking Down the Barriers to Success"


As long as you meet the deadline, you'll be guaranteed to receive an offer of university accommodation. 

All participants on the Parliamentary Programme are housed together in accommodation near the Scottish Parliament and Academy of Government. 

Please note that accommodation fees are not included in the Parliamentary Programme tuition fee.

Spaces available

There are a limited number of spaces on this programme; competition for each of these places is high and the admission process is very selective.

Want to stay for a full year?

Some students combine the Parliamentary programme with a semester as a Study Abroad student. If you would like to do this, read more about the Study Abroad Programme and contact us to discuss your options:

Study Abroad Programme

Entry requirements

To apply, you need to have:

  • Completed at least two years of study at your home institution by the start of the programme
  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (or equivalent B average) at the point of application
  • Have completed at least four courses in relevant subject areas (i.e. Politics, International Relations, Government, Social/Public Policy, Criminal Justice), having achieved grades B or above, at the point of application
  • An academic reference from an academic or professor who has taught you at university
  • An external reference from a former or current supervisor at a relevant work, internship or volunteer experience
  • A resume/CV with a summary of your education and job background

English Language

Full fluency in English is a prerequisite as students will often answer telephones, take notes, and write letters, briefing papers, press releases and reports.

The minimum English language test scores we accept for the Parliamentary Programme are as follows:

  • IELTS (Academic module) 8.0 overall, with a minimum of 8.0 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT 110 overall, with a minimum of 27 in each component

Please note that your English language certificate must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your studies here in Edinburgh.

More information

For more information about the Parliamentary Programme, please read our application guide: