To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, two Scholarships (worth £10,250 GBP / $16,000 USD each) have been launched by the Hansard Society, with the support of the Magna Carta 800th Committee, to enable two outstanding undergraduate students to join the prestigious Hansard Scholars 14 week Autumn Programme from 5 September – 12 December 2015. 

Founded in 1944, the Hansard Society is a charity working in the UK and around the world to promote democracy and strengthen parliaments. An independent, non-partisan political research and education organisation, The Hansard Society believes that the health of representative democracy rests on the foundation of a strong Parliament and an informed and engaged citizenry.

The Hansard Scholars Programme is a highly competitive undergraduate study abroad programme offered by the Hansard Society, the UK’s leading parliamentary think tank, to promote international knowledge and understanding of the British model of parliamentary democracy.  Since 1986, over 2000 scholars and ‘future leaders’ from more than 50 countries, both developed democracies such as the US, Australia and India, and emerging democracies such as Georgia, Indonesia and Serbia, have participated in this unique programme that takes place at the heart of the British political establishment.

Hansard Scholars undertake academic courses in British politics and public policy as well as a political placement at Westminster normally with a member of the House of Commons or House of Lords.  The bespoke Hansard courses are offered in association with the London School of Economics (LSE) and Political Science; Hansard Scholars have full access to the LSE library, classes are held on the LSE Central London campus and coursework is externally examined by senior LSE faculty.  (This programme should not be confused with the LSE’s own parliamentary internship scheme.)  In addition to the courses and placement, the Programme includes study visits to the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales for an examination of nationalism and devolution, as well as a guest lecture series with senior politicians, media figures and academics discussing topical issues.

These scholarships are only available to students who are citizens of Commonwealth countries, have outstanding academic potential and demonstrable interest in public service. Applications will be judged based on an essay competition and financial need.

Each scholarship will cover:  UK tuition plus associate student registration at the LSE; self-catering accommodation in Central London; a full calendar of political, cultural and social events, including rail travel to and from and accommodation in Edinburgh and Cardiff for the study visits, and all administrative and student support services.  The fee does not include tuition at home institution, Tier 4 visa application fee (currently £322. GBP), airfare, local transportation, food and personal costs.

This programme provides an intensive, holistic study of parliamentary democracy and modern British politics.  It is geared towards undergraduates studying political science or related disciplines. To comply with Tier 4 visa rules, scholarship recipients must be enrolled on a higher education course at an overseas higher education institution, i.e. a fully matriculated undergraduate at their home institution, at the time of the programme.  The Hansard Society is a Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor.

For more information and to express an interest in applying for one of these scholarships, please send full contact information, as well as current educational status, to  Expressions of interest should be emailed as soon as possible.

Deadline for scholarship applications is 1st July 2015.