Course Offerings | API Study Abroad
Course Offerings


  • Work alongside members of the Scottish Parliament!
  • Ranked #6 in the U.K. (#27 in world) – Times Higher Education Rankings
  • Ranked #21 in Philosophy, #22 in Earth Sciences, top 50 in Psychology – QS World Rankings
  • Largest history department in the U.K.
  • Top-rated Philosophy, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neuroscience in Scotland
  • Top-rated Music programs in the U.K.
  • One of the oldest universities in the U.K.  (1583)
  • Founding member of elite Russel Group of universities


  • 3.0 G.P.A.
  • Open to juniors & seniors
  • Completed API Application
  • University contact information form
  • One letter of recommendation
  • One non-academic reference
  • Resume/C.V.
  • Official transcript
  • Copy of passport
  • Program of study statement
  • Completion of a minimum of four courses in politics, international relations, government, or social/public policy with grades of B or higher
  • Entry requirements: valid passport with Tier 4 visa

Dates & Fees

FALL 2018
Sep 7, 2018 - Dec 22, 2018
Jan 9, 2019 - Apr 27, 2019


FALL 2018
May 1, 2018
Jun 1, 2018
Sep 15, 2018
Nov 1, 2018

Course Offerings

If you require syllabi that are not listed below, please contact your API Program Coordinator.


In the first five weeks of the program, students are required to take three courses: British Politics, Scottish Politics, and Scottish Society & Culture Monday through Wednesday. On the same days, up to two hours in the afternoon will be used to deepen the topics dealt with in the morning sessions – by visiting institutions, having guest lectures, and through other guided activities. Thursday evenings throughout the 5 weeks of tuition are reserved for compulsory video/film sessions complementing the courses. The video night then switches to Monday night from Week 6.

Government and Politics in the United Kingdom

This 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

This offers an historical overview of the origins and development of modern Scottish politics and government. It considers the government structures, political decisionmaking and party politics in Scotland. These will be discussed in the context of debates, conceptualizations and theories of political science. ii. The course will provide necessary backdrop for an internship in the Scottish Parliament. Discussion will include a strong practical element aimed to furnish students with competing understandings of Scottish politics and government.

Scottish Society and Culture

This course intends to give students an introduction to Scottish society and culture, tying in with aspects of politics and governance taught in the other courses. The course will progress from the larger context of the economic, social and cultural history and identity of modern Scotland and the examination of key institutions which shape Scottish life, on to social groupings and, finally, to expressions of culture and the arts, especially the literature of Scotland.


Following the completion of course work, students will be assigned to a Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP). A research project (on a topic agreed between intern and MSP, and approved by the Director of Studies) will be undertaken.

Recent research projects by parliamentary interns have included a wide range of subject matters and topics, including:

  • ‘Why does Scotland have no plumbers?!?’ An Investigation into Scotland’s Skills Shortage
  • Beyond the Numbers: Female Representation in the Scottish Parliament
  • Business and Educational Achievements by the Scottish Executive and their Communication
  • Class Size isn’t Everything: A Study of Class Size Reduction Policy in Scotland
  • Comparative Analysis between American and Scottish Election Campaigns
  • Controlling Firearms in Scotland
  • The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 and its Effects on the Criminal Courts
  • Suicide in Scotland: The Need for a Hotline
  • A Study of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) in Scotland
  • Connecting with young People: Labour Approaches to Democratic Engagement through the Scottish Parliament
  • Comprehensive View of Higher Education: Scotland
  • What’s the Scottish Parliament ever done for me? A Study on the Awareness of Scottish Parliament Policy Amongst Older People

Interns will be provided with study space in the new Parliament building while continuing to have a permanent academic base and office facilities in the University’s Institute of Governance, whose members will support interns in their research. Interns will carry out responsible work, and will contribute meaningfully to the development of Scottish political life.

The Internship phase of the program comprises a two-week transition, in which coursework is completed and preparations for residency at the Parliament are finalized; and an eight-week period in which the Interns, at their new base at the Parliament, focus upon their research project, returning to the University, one day a week, for a compulsory session organized by the Institute.

Assessment for the internship takes three forms: course requirements, a report and journal. The academic course work will count 40% towards the final mark; the report and journal will make up the other 60%.