Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


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.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) deliver a report based on independent research and critical/descriptive analysis on a policy-relevant topic as issued by the Parliamentary Education Office; (2) develop and enhance communication skills – written, visual and oral.; (3) develop and enhance understanding of the role of research in policy-making/political processes; and (4) demonstrate an ability to contribute to policy discussion/debate.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) presentation; (2) poster; and (3) report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

This unit is assessed on an ungraded pass/ungraded failed basis. All assessment items must be successfully completed.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Assoc. Prof Paul Maginn
Unit rules
Acceptance into the WA Parliamentary Research Program
and Successful completion of
48 points
and Enrolment in
72560 Master of Urban and Regional Planning
or 72530 Master of Environmental Science
or 42580 Master of Public Policy
or permission from the unit coordinator
PARL3399 WA Parliamentary Research Program
Advisable prior study
Successful completion of
research methods
or project units
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
Please note that the WA Parliamentary Research Program may not be offered by the WA government every year, and placements available to UWA students may be limited. Students are encouraged to contact the unit coordinator to confirm the program's availability.

Acceptance into the WA Parliamentary Research Program is also subject to School placement via an EOI process prior to enrolment, and prior approval of students' study plans.
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.