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Parliament and policy engagement

What is the role of the UK Parliament in policymaking and what are the routes for policy engagement for academics?

Policymaking in Parliament

The UK Parliament is a ‘bicameral’ (two-Chamber) system made up of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The business of Parliament takes place in both Houses and their work is similar: making laws, scrutinising the work of government, and debating current issues.

650 elected Members of Parliament (MPs) make up the House of Commons, each representing a geographic constituency. The House of Lords comprises over 800 Members, the majority of whom are life peers appointed by the Prime Minister.

A key function of Parliament is passing laws. Legislation can begin in both Houses of Parliament and is amended before Royal Assent.

Following MPs, Lords and debates

Every Friday morning, the UK Parliament website lists debates and committee hearings scheduled for the following week. Via the Parliament website you will also find information about the passage of a Bill, and can follow debates in both Chambers in real time.

These can help you familiarise yourself with topics or areas which relate to your research interests.

You can find a full list of MPs and Lords involved in these debates on the UK Parliament website.


There are various routes to engage with Parliament as a researcher, they include:

Learning from others

Read about Bath academics who have worked with Parliament as part of their research:

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