Mark runs the undergraduate Parliamentary Studies module, which enables students to gain first-hand experience of the inner workings of the UK political system.
In the first part of the module, students focus on the roles of professional staff in Parliament: the people behind the scenes that make it all work, such as the clerks you see sitting in front of the Speaker of the House of Commons.
“It is very direct participation and shows our students that an aspiration to work in politics is not something that is a million miles removed.
"They can be directly at the coalface, meeting the right people, engaging with those right people and sometimes, as with our visit by former House of Commons Speaker John Bercow MP, they're making the news themselves.”
Mr Bercow visited the Department in February 2017, where his comments during the visit on Donald Trump, and on voting for the UK to remain a member of the European Union in the June 2016 referendum, made headlines. Our students also met him in 2019 on a visit to Westminster.
The second part gives students the opportunity to work directly with current and former members of Parliament. These practitioners come in to lead seminars and provide a fascinating and honest insight into a number of topics and issues. They also get to spend a day in Parliament, seeing how it all works for themselves.