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Parliamentary Internship in Scotland | Edinburgh, Scotland

Scottish Parliament

More photos from this internship can be found here

The Scottish Parliament exists to debate, decide, and legislate on issues of importance to the people of Scotland. The organization employs around 500 staff dedicated to supporting the work of the Parliament and its Members. As a group, staff are responsible for providing the facilities, equipment, clerking support and other services that the 129 MSPs require to undertake their parliamentary functions. Interns will join a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s (MSP) staff and assist in tasks such as research topics related to pending legislation, prepare speeches, collect data from the MSP’s constituency, engage in voter relations, and create press releases.

Duration of Internship:

  • 3 months


The Parliament exists to debate, decide and legislate on issues of importance to the people of Scotland. In doing so, it holds the Scottish Government to account and is answerable to the people of Scotland.


A Parliament that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people of Scotland and a Parliamentary Service that supports, enables, and promotes the work of our Parliament and its Members


  • Integrity – We act with impartiality and demonstrate high standards of professionalism when dealing with Members, the public and one another.
  • Accessibility – We promote a culture of openness, fairness and transparency in terms of access to our information, our building and all our services.
  • Respect – We treat Members, the public and each other with respect at all times, in line with our equality and diversity principles.
  • Efficiency – We actively pursue ways of working which deliver value for money.
  • Agility – We work flexibly, collaboratively and innovatively in meeting the Parliament’s requirements.

Interns will work with MSPs of the Scottish National Party or other parties researching topics of interest to the MSP including economics, environment, drugs, crime, education, rural issues, trade with Europe and the EU and affordable housing.

Internships may also involve speech writing, press relations or working in the Group research office. There will be opportunities to interact with interest groups, constituents, public officials, MSPs and other parliament staff. Previous interns have also been involved in drafting motions and Parliamentary Questions to assist with research. This internship provides students with a rich and varied opportunity to be hands on in Scottish politics, and invaluable experience working within a national system of governance.

Details about current MSP’s and the issues facing their constituents are available on the Scottish Parliament website: It is important that interns be interested and engaged in the current affairs of the Scottish Parliament. We strongly encourage applicants to review the website prior to applying for the internship.

Academic Background:

  • Candidates are encouraged to apply from a variety of academic backgrounds.
  • Ideal candidates will have an interest one or more of the following: Political Science, International Studies, Public Policy, Communications, Economics, Environmental Studies, Public Health, Public relations, Economic Sustainability, English, or History.


Interns are expected to demonstrate:

  • Responsibility, professional motivation, flexibility, and effective communication skills.
  • Eagerness to support care-givers and their families
  • Friendly, positive attitude; willing to learn about and think in terms of Scottish politics, rather than the US political context

Language Requirements:

  • English is the language of communication. Interns must be capable of written and spoken communication at a near-native level in professional settings.

Visa Requirements:

  • Interns must be eligible for Tier 5 Visa and Work Authorization through BUNAC.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Global Program Fee: $3,450
  • International Travel: $1,000
  • Visa fees and Work Sponsorship: $1155*

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: $650 - $950
  • Food: $500
  • Local Transportation: $70
  • Utilities, Phone, Internet: $160

*Fee amounts are calculated with an exchange rate from British Pound at the time of posting.

Independent Housing

Interns arrange their own housing.

Blog Posts:

Learn more about past interns’ experiences below:


Fall | Winter | Spring

Application Deadline

Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

-Placement with the Parliament is not limited by major, as much as linked to an interest in politics/governance, and demonstration of skills that will be of use to the MSP.