IFSA University of Edinburgh Parliamentary Internship

Edinburgh, Scotland


Fall, Spring
Language of Instruction


Language Prerequisite


Finance Options
Scholarships, grants, financial aid, monthly payment plan, credit card payments and more!
Application Deadlines:
  • Fall: May 15
  • Spring: September 15
Min. GPA for Consideration:
Typical Credit Load:

About University of Edinburgh Parliamentary Internship

Can you imagine setting agendas for an MP meeting with the Security Council or co-authoring investigative reports for a campaign initiative? As an Intern in the Scottish Parliament, you will take Political Science courses from a top-ranked European university while completing research and interning with a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

University of Edinburgh Parliamentary Internship Benefits

  • Gain unparalleled access to political life in Scotland
  • An opportunity to pursue independent research and participate in political activity
  • Course work component balances participation in the development of Scottish political life with learning about the history and culture of Scottish society
  • Participants spend a large part of the internship semester at Parliament but still participate in university life, clubs and campus social life
  • Weekly orientation sessions help students become familiar with their internship duties and determine research possibilities
  • Students can combine an internship semester with a second semester of regular classes at the University of Edinburgh 

The IFSA Difference

Your success is our success! Whatever your goals, our approach is carefully designed to help you achieve them.
You will experience challenging, rewarding coursework in the highest quality classes, while receiving the academic support you need.
More than a tourist in a foreign country, you will engage in the community, build competencies, and develop yourself as a citizen of the world.
Our programs and practices reflect the value we place on diverse perspectives and are designed to support a variety of learners.
Round out your classroom experience with hands-on opportunities like internships, directed research, student teaching, community-based learning or volunteering, and cultural excursions.
You will have academic and personal mentors to assist with program choice, application, travel, cultural acclimation, language acquisition, class registration, academic issues, health and safety, and everything in between.

Academics at University of Edinburgh Parliamentary Internship


Looking for specific classes? Explore CHART, our exclusive class database — if the University of Edinburgh Parliamentary Internship Program is pre-approved at your institution, you’ll find classes recently taken by other IFSA students.

For the first five weeks, you will enroll in the following three courses:
Government and Politics in the United Kingdom
The course provides an overview of the government and politics of the United Kingdom. It examines the development of the UK state, the impact of constitutional reform and European integration, the nature of the British party system and ideological change, the electoral system and its consequences. It is intended to give students an insight into key features of the British political system, to provide insight into the relative strength and positions occupied by the main parties, and to provide an understanding of the continuing relevance of the UK politics for Scotland.
Scottish Politics
The course provides a basic introduction to Scottish politics. It considers the nature of Scottish autonomy and institutions within the British state. It examines the development of the national movement, and analyses the factors underpinning support for the Scottish Parliament. It considers the nature and extent of the 1997 devolution settlement and provides an understanding of the powers and structures of the Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament, the Scottish party system and the policy-making process. Scottish political identities and party politics are also considered in comparative perspective.
Public Policy In Scotland
The course sets out to prepare students for working with MSPs. MSPs perform various roles and functions and different MSPs interpret these roles differently. A day in the life of any MSP is likely to be very varied and subjects requiring attention can change rapidly but most MSPs attempt to specialize to some extent whether in a particular area (especially so for constituency Members) and/or subject matter(s). The subjects covered by MSPs usually reflect the powers and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament including the business and the economy, environment, law and order, public safety, health, education, social services, arts and culture, housing, urban and rural affairs but will also include matters such as aspects of the UK constitution, Brexit and even foreign affairs though these might not formally come under the Parliament’s remit. The course will focus on the roles and functions of Members: the implications of having constituency and regional list Members; Members of different parties and party work; constituency work; committee and chamber work; and both local and other campaigns. As well as understanding these functions, it will be important to understand the institutional landscape of Scottish politics and decision-making processes including the relationship between MSPs and Scottish Government, local government, other public, private and voluntary bodies. The powers and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament and current issues that are likely to be addressed by Parliamentarians will be discussed. The aim is to equip students with analytical and methodological skills in public policy analysis that will be relevant to completing projects, writing briefs and undertaking research while working in the office of a Member of the Scottish Parliament. It will marry academic studies with practical examples drawing on concerns and issue dealt with by MSPs.
Credit Conversions
You will receive 2.5 U.S. semester credit hours per course and 10 U.S. semester hours for the internship/research project for a total of 17.5 U.S. semester credit hours.

Course Restrictions
Students are required to have completed at least four Politics-related courses with a B or higher to be eligible for this program.
Experiential Learning
Following the completion of your coursework, you will intern for an MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) for 10 weeks. Under the guidance of your MSP, you will pursue your independent research and participate actively in political life. Your independent research project will be assessed upon completion of the internship program. All interns will maintain an academic base in the university's Unit for the Study of Government. Members of the department will be available to assist and guide you with your research project.
Students must apply for and receive a PBS Tier 4 visa in order to participate in the internship. IFSA will guide you through the visa process; however, you are responsible for the cost of the visa ($500-$800). 
After you return to the U.S., IFSA will send a Butler University transcript to your home university and to your permanent address. The transcript reflects the courses taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost
Subjects offered at University of Edinburgh Parliamentary Internship
Community Studies European Studies International Studies/Affairs/Relations Law/Legal Studies Medieval History Organizational Management Policy Studies/Public Policy Political Science Population Studies/Demography Social Policy

Housing & Meals

Housing Type
Because interns have such a different schedule from the other students, the University of Edinburgh places interns together in self-catered flats in the heart of the city. The location varies by semester but most flats consist of four to six students sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities. Linens are not included.

The IFSA Team

IFSA has a dedicated team who are here to help you prepare to achieve your goals. Feel free to reach out. We are happy to answer your questions!

Program Advisor

Finance Advisor

Resident Director

Ruth Casey's headshot

Ruth Casey

Senior Resident Director, Scotland

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Academic Affairs Director

Dates and Fees

Fall 2019

Program Dates

Program Start Date
September 4, 2019
Program End Date
December 21, 2019

Program Fees

Total Program Fee
Students pay a $500 non-refundable program deposit upon confirmation of attendance. The deposit is applied to the tuition portion of the program fee.

Estimated Costs

Books & Supplies
Local Transportation
Personal Expenses
(Includes utilities, laundry, entertainment, expected start-up costs, etc. Does not include personal travel.)
Total Estimated Costs

Spring 2020

Program Dates

Program Start Date
January 6, 2020
Program End Date
April 27, 2020

Program Fees

Coming Soon!
Total Program Fee
Coming Soon!
Students pay a $500 non-refundable program deposit upon confirmation of attendance. The deposit is applied to the tuition portion of the program fee.

Estimated Costs

(Includes utilities, laundry, entertainment, expected start-up costs, etc. Does not include personal travel.)
Total Estimated Costs
Coming Soon!