Essay Competition 2017

Following the success of our Essay Competition of 2016, we are pleased to announce the launch of our Essay Competition 2017! The winner will be presented with a prize of £100 and a runner-up prize of £50. Last year’s winners were presented the award by the Clerk of the House at our annual one-day conference.

To enter

The essay competition is open to all undergraduate students, who should complete an essay with a focus on parliament(s), with a word limit of up to 3,500 words (excluding bibliography and references). ‘Essays’ are interpreted here as any written assignment submitted to any university module. It does not have to be an essay in the traditional sense, nor an essay specifically from a specialist parliamentary studies module. It could, for instance, be a research project or any other form of written assessment, but it must contribute to our understanding of parliaments and legislatures. The essay can focus on any parliament(s) or legislature(s).

In order to enter, lecturers must submit an essay on their students’ behalf by the closing date of Thursday, 01 June 2017. Please note that only one submission can be made per lecturer (teaching assistant), who must be a member of the PSA and of the Specialist Group Parliaments and Legislatures. Students can only be entered once per competition.

Entries should be anonymised and sent to Marc Geddes ( and Louise Thompson (, with the following information indicated in the email making the submission (if any of the following is not provided, the submission will not be accepted): 

  • Title of the essay
  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Word count of the essay (excluding bibliography and respective references)

Essays will be judged by a panel consisting of academics and practitioners, to be confirmed (see below for last year’s details). Essays will be judged on the basis of:

  • Originality
  • Rigour
  • Strength of analysis
  • Contribution to our understanding of parliament(s)
  • Presentation (writing)

The winner will be announced in July 2017.

Essay Competition 2016

In spring 2016, the Specialist Group held its second essay competition with much success. Students were asked to write about a parliament, legislature or a specific matter concerning legislative studies. A highly esteemed judging panel, consisting of Michael Rush (Emeritus Professor, Exeter), Lynn Gardner (House of Commons) and Richard Whitaker (Associate Professor, Leicester), judged the essays on four criteria: originality, rigour, strength of analysis, and quality of presentation/style.

Details about last year’s essay competition can be found here.

Details about our first essay competition in 2015 can be found here.


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