Professor Philip Cowley and Dr Mark Stuart from The University of Nottingham have received the Political Studies Association (PSA) Innovation in Teaching Politics Award.
The pair were presented with the prestigious award at the PSA Annual Awards Ceremony, which is held to honour the contribution made by politicians, academics, journalists and campaigners during another historic year of political activity.
Professor Cowley and Dr Stuart were selected for the award in recognition of their ground-breaking, practice-based third year undergraduate module on Parliament.
This extremely popular course attracts a large number of students and routinely sees prominent politicians such as Jacqui Smith and Speaker John Bercow attend to interact with students, the latter as a guest speaker and the former to act as Chief Whip controlling a group of students pretending to be junior whips. The module also includes an annual field trip to Westminster.
The awards jury described the reason for the win: “With the dramatic rise in tuition fees, the quality of teaching at our institutions becomes ever more important. Philip and Mark have shown how innovation in teaching can lead to more in-depth learning.”
The academics, who have taught the course for more than a decade, said that they were very flattered to be awarded the prize. Professor Cowley said: “We have always believed in the importance of getting students of politics to engage with those they study, but we could not have won this without the cooperation of dozens of MPs and peers who have talked to our students over the years, and so we are very grateful to them”.
The event, held in the heart of Westminster at Church House, was hosted by Michael Crick of Channel 4 News.
Helena Djurkovic, CEO of the PSA, said: “The PSA celebrates excellence in both teaching and research. Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart are to be congratulated for applying lessons and contacts gained through their research to the design of a new course that has captured the imagination of its students.
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