Student Trip to Parliament December 2023


Student Trip to Parliament December 2023

On Friday 1 December a group of Politics and Law students visited the Houses of Parliament.  Travelling by coach on a snowy day, the buildings looked stunning on the outside though it was pretty chilly inside!

Thanks to the hospitality of our MP Rosie Duffield, we were able to get a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Her assistant Callum Parish also arranged for us to have a special session in the Jubilee Room where he and five CCCU politics graduates spoke to students about their careers.

Our graduates represented a wide spectrum, ranging from the Civil Service (Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice) to staffers working for MPs from both Labour and the Conservatives. They managed to carve two hours out of their incredibly busy schedules to provide an insight into what it means to work in government. With varied roles – supporting MPs with an eye to positioning themselves for a constituency seat, working under ministers (top secret) or hosting grassroot surgeries giving people their voice to government (no secrets), all spoke candidly about their experiences and the expectations of working life around Westminster.

people speaking
L-R CCCU Graduates Ellie Varley, Christine Wallace, Christian Turner, John Smith and Andrew Achilleos

Their passion for their work shone through but they also did not shy away from talking about how demanding the work could be.  It made getting up in time for a 9am lecture or writing an essay in a month sound pretty easy!

Overall a wonderful day was had by all and the feedback was resoundingly positive:

  • It was truly amazing to be shown around the old building. Finding your way through the different rooms and chambers gave me a unique view of how the UK Parliament works. The design and long history of the building gave the whole experience a deep meaning that was both educational and awe-inspiring.
  • Our group was fortunate enough to have an extremely charismatic guide who managed to deliver a tour that was both thorough in scope whist providing much humour and hilarious impressions, leaving me with a comprehensive knowledge of both Parliament’s history and current function.
  • Seeing how our academic work was used in real life in such an important setting has left a lasting impact on me. It helped me understand the political process better and gave me a better idea of how individuals can change the legislative landscape.
  • One of the best parts of the trip was getting to meet past CCCU students who are now working in parliament. Their personal stories and thoughts gave the visit a more personal touch and helped us see how our studies could be used in the real world. We were all inspired by hearing about their journeys and successes.
  • Overall, the trip was much more than I expected and I found it to be very useful to enhancing my career aspirations as well as my knowledge of British politics. I look forward to similar opportunities in the future.
  • It was an educational and rewarding experience that went above and beyond what I expected in every way.
  • It was insightful to hear from the graduates and it was a brilliant networking opportunity. They were very friendly and willing to share contact details. They gave some great advice on how to get the right work experience.
  • It was fantastic seeing the important roles that CCCU graduates now have. The advice sounds better coming from them than from the lecturers!
  • It was really inspiring to hear that these jobs are not only for Oxbridge graduates.
  • Without a question, the trip has helped me see things in a new way and sparked my interest in the subject. I’m sure that the things I learned on this trip will help me a lot in both my school and professional life.
  • The buildings looked even more impressive in real life. It was a real privilege to get to look around, especially as the tour is normally very expensive.
  • My take home was that Westminster is a place to make friends to influence people and this is imperative for career progression in politics! 
  • Overall, the trip was much more than I expected and I found it to be very useful to enhancing my career aspirations as well as my knowledge of British politics. I look forward to similar opportunities in the future.
  • Thank you again for this unforgettable event. The things I learned on the study trip will help me in the things I do in the future.

A big thank you to Tom Sharkey for organising everything and special thanks to Susie, Abdul, Patrick and the Power, Politics and the State class for their contributions to this blog.

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