PARL5599 WA Parliamentary Research Program

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This service learning unit provides students with the opportunity to participate in a research internship program through the West Australian Parliament. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the Western Australian Parliament and the State universities through which students undertake the research of topics nominated by Members of Parliament. Students will undertake projects that are of benefit to West Australia and that build on their knowledge and skills from a wide range of disciplines. The program is restricted to excellent students, from third year and who may be majoring in any discipline. Excellent UWA students are put forward to the WA Parliament using a selection process that may include consideration of a written expression of interest, interview, academic standing, topic selection, and consideration of the programme guidelines.

Students selected by the WA Parliamentary Research Programme will participate by assuming the role of a research assistant under the guidance of a Member of Parliament. As this is a research-focused project, nominated students must have the required skills, academic standing and self-motivation to successfully complete the research program. Further guidance and support throughout the program is provided through the academic supervisor and through staff in the Parliamentary Education Office. Final projects are lodged with the West Australian Parliamentary Library.
Students are able to (1) deliver a policy research report on a complex and demanding topic within a policy process as a result of close involvement with a particular organisation or actor involved in policy making; (2) demonstrate an advanced understanding of the structure and function of the Western Australian Parliament, the legislative process, the role of its members and its contribution to the democratic process; (3) demonstrate advanced, independent postgraduate research and dissemination competencies in acquiring and synthesizing policy-relevant information from a range of sources to make meaningful connections between theory and practice fit for impacting local and state affairs; and (4) professionally contribute to public policy debate by demonstrating policy analytic skills as a result of applying academically-acquired policy knowledge and skills to a research project in a public sector context.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) student log; (2) oral presentation; and (3) report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Clare Mouat
Unit rules
Enrolment in and completion of at least 48 points in the any one of the following courses: Master of Urban and Regional Planning; Environmental Science; Public Policy
Faculty Approval. Acceptance is also subject to Faculty placement and prior approval of availability in student study plans for this unit
Advisable prior study:
Successful completion of research methods
project units
PARL3399 WA Parliamentary Research Program
Approved quota: 10—students are required to confirm that they have space in their course of study before submitting an expression of interest to apply for this unit. Eligible candidates will then be shortlisted and interviewed to determine both their aptitude and commitment to service learning and to act as ambassadors of UWA in an external internship. Successful students must also comply with the selection criteria and topic allocation processes run by the WA Parliament Education Office to be offered an internship.
Contact hours
150 hours of study
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.