Parliamentary Studies

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
19 June 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Entry by application only. There is a cap of 30 students for this module. Students will be selected on the basis of a short application letter (max. 150 words). In the letter, students should provide specific reasons and evidence for their motivation to take this module including, for example, having taken relevant modules previously or having other relevant experience. The letter should be sent to govquery@essex.ac.uk by 17:00, 4 September 2020, with the subject "GV385 application".

Any queries should be sent to thomas.winzen@essex.ac.uk

This module aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of how the UK Parliament works (in both theory and practice) and with the capacity to situate this knowledge within an understanding of similar institutions and a set of broader themes and issues. To this end it considers: the evolution of the Parliamentary state; how the relationship with the executive has changed over time; the structure of Parliament; the on-going reform debate regarding the House of Lords; the legislative process and how to influence bills; the role and future of Select Committees; what life is like as an MP; and how the UK Parliament interacts with other parliaments and legislatures.

This module is co-taught by staff at the Houses of Parliament and has the support of The Speaker and the Clerk of the House in the House of Commons, and the Lord Speaker and the Clerk of the Parliaments in the House of Lords. The module content is delivered collaboratively by the Houses of Parliament and the University of Essex, with the University providing academic and theoretical content and Parliament providing practical and vocational teaching about the work, processes and business of Parliament.

Module aims

• To study the structure, procedures and officers of the UK Parliament.
• To critically appraise empirical studies of legislative behaviour
• To conduct research on specific elements of Parliamentary activity

Module learning outcomes

• Demonstrate knowledge of the structure, procedures and officers of the UK Parliament.
• Critically appraise empirical studies of legislative behaviour, including those that use both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
• Conduct research on specific elements of Parliamentary activity

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered with (i) a weekly pre-recorded lecture and (ii) a weekly interactive lecture. The pre-recorded lecture will consist of one or more items of prepared content that students can access electronically and must study before the interactive lecture. The interactive lecture will consist of one 50-minute lecture in which students can ask questions about, and discuss various aspects of, the prepared content with the module supervisor. The module is co-taught with staff from Parliament, including a day trip to Parliament. The sessions taught by staff from Parliament will be 2-hour seminars.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Research Paper    100% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Thomas Winzen, email: thomas.winzen@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Thomas Winzen
Dr Thomas Winzen thomas.winzen@essex.ac.uk Administrator Sallyann West govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Arzu Kibris
University of Warwick
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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