If you have questions which remain unanswered by the information on this page, ask us a question on CareerHub.
Can alumni apply?
Positions are exclusively for current postgraduate (MSc) or doctoral (PhD) students at LSE in any department, in any year of study.
Alumni are not eligible to participate in the scheme, but see our services for alumni for more information what you can access.
When can I apply?
Applications open in September each year for internships from October onwards. The whole process will continue until all internships have been filled (usually in December each year) though each position will have its own specific deadline stated in the advert.
Are international students eligible?
Yes - candidates are assessed according to their motivation and quality of their application, not their nationality. Note that part of the vetting process for international students is a criminal record check from their home country, as well as a character reference from the academic institution that they attended directly prior to joining LSE.
The overall vetting process can often take longer for students outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Do I need to be a party member?
No - whilst MPs and peers don't require you to be a member of the same political party as them it is important that they are hosting someone with similar views and shared values and we work hard to facilitate this.
Who are the main political parties?
The UK is a multi-party system, with a number of parties having representation in both Houses. If you are not familiar with the political landscape in the UK, please make sure you conduct sufficient research before applying for any Parliamentary Internships.
What time commitment is required?
All internships we advertise have a suggested commitment of 15 hours a week or less, following the School’s guidelines on undertaking outside work during term time. Some host offices require an intern for 7, 8, 10 or 12 hours per week, which will be clearly stated on the individual advert. The way in which you organise your time commitments (one full day a week and one half day for example) can be discussed with the MP or peer at interview stage.
What information will the adverts contain?
Every advert will follow the same formula and set of information. We advertise each internship anonymously, but include details on:
individual time commitment
the MP or peers’ individual interests
parliamentary positions currently or previously held
specific job specification they are seeking
Who should I address my application to?
Your cover letter should be addressed to:
Parliamentary Internships Manager
Saw Swee Hock Student Centre
1 Sheffield Street
London, WC2A 2AP
How many internships can I apply to?
Each student is eligible to apply for up to three separate internship opportunities in any one academic year, unless otherwise specified in the advert. After this, your application will not be put forward for further shortlisting so think carefully about which specific internships you apply to.
What happens after I submit my application?
Once your application is submitted online, it will be reviewed individually by LSE Careers against the job and person specification for that specific opportunity.
How long does the shortlisting process take?
We aim to undertake the first stage of the process within two days of the deadline for that individual internship.
If your application is deemed suitable for that internship we will add you to the shortlist for that position and your application will be sent to the internship provider who will decide whether to offer you an interview. You will receive an email to inform you of this and a PDF ‘briefing pack’ containing further information as you progress to the next stage of the process.
If your application is not shortlisted we will email you to let you know – if you do not receive an email from us five days following the deadline, please get in touch.
If I’m shortlisted will I definitely get an internship?
No - if your application is accepted it means it is of a good enough standard to send to that individual MP or peer. They will then undertake their own internal review of applications and invite candidates to interview if they so wish.
What is the vetting procedure?
To be granted a pass with unescorted access to the Parliamentary Estate and/or to have access to the Parliamentary Network, you will need to gain security vetting clearance from the Parliamentary Security Department.
Once an office has made an offer to an individual, we then have to collect some further details from you to pass to the Parliamentary Security Department for vetting. This is a standard procedure and all information collected is kept confidential between ourselves and the security office. You will also need to complete some forms which your host office will provide.
International students should present their criminal record check and character reference from their last academic institution at the same time as completing the above forms at your host office.
Each MP or peer has a limited number of security passes which they are allowed to sponsor, so you may or may not receive a parliamentary pass. If not, you will be signed in on a daily basis.
What is a character reference?
All successful applicants will have to provide additional details for a security check to be able to gain access to Parliament. If you are an international student, you will need to submit a character reference as part of the vetting procedure. Character references are recommendations from somebody in a position of authority who knows you personally and can describe your attributes and traits. This can be a professor/academic advisor/Head of Department, etc.
There is no set format for a character reference, but they must include:
• Your full name
• Your date of birth
• The name of your previous university
• Comments about your character suitability
• Be signed and dated on a letterhead from the university
If you have been out of education for five or more years, your most recent employer can provide your character reference instead.
What is a criminal record check?
If you are an international student and you are successful in your application for an internship, you will need to submit a criminal record check as part of the vetting procedure. Criminal record checks are checks on an individual’s criminal history and are a fairly standard process. The process for obtaining a criminal record check differs between countries.
For more information on this, review the CPNI’s guide on How to obtain an Overseas Criminal Record Check. This guidance may have changed, so please get in touch with your local authorities.
We recommend obtaining your criminal record check as soon as possible to limit any delays in beginning your internship.
Please note that a cost may be incurred in obtaining your criminal record check, and this will likely be non-refundable if you are unsuccessful in your internship application.
Am I guaranteed to pass the vetting process?
Security vetting is usually a straightforward procedure. However, each application for security clearance is treated individually by the Parliamentary Security Department, and we cannot guarantee you will pass the security vetting process, even if you have been offered an internship by a host office. Decisions made by the Parliamentary Security Department are beyond the control of LSE.
If you have any questions or concerns about the security vetting process, please email email@example.com.