Social sciences students at University of the West of Scotland visited Westminster last week as part of a virtual event.

Paisley campus students taking part in the Parliamentary Studies module at UWS were given the chance to attend virtual seminars and a question and answer session led by some of the UK’s leading parliamentarians.

Arranged by Parliament, UWS students listened to a range of contributors, including the Leader of the House of Commons & Lord President of the Council, Labour MP for Leeds Central and former Chair of Committee on the future relationship with the European Union, and Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North, Chair of the Petitions Committee.

Parliamentary Studies is a higher education module which is co-taught via a collaboration between UWS and officials from the Houses of Parliament. The module provides students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of how Parliament works in both theory and practice.

Margaret Arnott, Professor of Public Policy in UWS’s School of Education and Social Sciences, said: “UWS is delighted to be co-teaching the Parliamentary Studies module with the UK Parliament. In a virtual visit to the Parliament by UWS Social Sciences Honours students, meeting with senior parliamentarians offered the students invaluable insights to the workings of parliament.

“The opportunity to also discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the procedures and practices on the UK Parliament and also possible future parliamentary reforms with parliamentarians was invaluable to the students and the module as a whole.”

A UWS student who took part in the session, commented: “The session was excellent. Meeting members of the UK Parliament was very insightful and stimulating academically. These sessions are great for learning what is not often seen in public.”

Caitríona Ridout, Engagement and Communications Manager at the House of Commons, said: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we had to consider how we could offer students studying the Parliamentary Studies Module the same experience in a virtual setting that they would have experienced by physically visiting Westminster. It’s been a joy to run these virtual events for the students which have enabled them to ask MPs and Peers direct questions that they would never otherwise have had the opportunity to do.

“We’re so pleased that students value this experience as part of their learning more about how UK Parliament works.”