Open Lectures

Open Lectures are free events taking a more in-depth look at Parliament, designed to build on your knowledge of how Parliament works.

These lectures are aimed at university students and academics, but open to anyone to attend. The lectures are arranged by the Houses of Parliament’s Outreach Service, which seeks to spread awareness of the processes and relevance of the institution of Parliament.

The lectures are held at Westminster or at a university elsewhere in the UK. They are delivered by senior figures from within Parliament, covering a wide variety of subjects about Parliament and its work.

Spaces at each Open Lecture are allocated on a first come first serve basis, so booking in advance is essential.

Contact details

If you are interested in attending an Open Lecture, please contact Parliamentary Outreach:
Tel: 020 7219 1650

Forthcoming Open Lectures

What: Parliament and the First World War
Who: Professor Lord Kenneth Morgan
When:  21 January 2015 2.30 – 4pm
Where: Houses of Parliament, London

What: Churchill and Ireland
Who: Professor Lord Bew
When: 26 January 2015 5.30 - 7pm
Where: Queens University, Belfast

What: The work of a Shadow Minister
Who: Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central
When: 13 February 2015 11am - 12.30pm
Where: University of Manchester

More details of the Open Lecture programme for 2014/15 will be announced when available.

Recent Open Lectures

The role and work of House of Lords Select Committees

On 3 December 2014, Lord Sewel CBE delivered an Open Lecture on House of Lords Select Committees.

Parliament and Peace

On 14 November 2014, Hugh Bayley MP, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, delivered an Open Lecture at the University of York on the UK Parliament's role in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

Black Rod: today’s role in Parliament – with a glance back to 1348

On 8 October 2014, Lieutenant General David Leakey delivered an Open Lecture on his experience in the role of Black Rod at Parliament.

Reporting Westminster: reflections from 70 years of Today in Parliament

On 25 June 2014, BBC Parliamentary Correspondent Mark D’Arcy delivered an Open Lecture examining changes at Westminster over 70 years of 'Today in Parliament'

Parliament and Suffragettes: 2014 lecture

Dr Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist, examined Parliament and the Suffragette movement on 29 April 2014.

The role of the Chairman of Ways and Means

The Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP, Chairman of Ways and Means, delivered an open lecture on Friday 14 March 2014.

A rule to go by: what is the point of parliamentary procedure?

Open Lecture on 7 February 2014 by Paul Evans, Principal Clerk of the Table Office on the purpose of parliamentary procedure.

People, Parliament and Power

Open Lecture given by Natascha Engel MP, Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, on 22 January 2014.

The History, Workings and Future Challenges of Hansard

Open Lecture on Wednesday 11 December 2013 delivered by Editor of the Official Report and Hansard House Reporter.

Towards political engagement for women

The Lord Speaker, the Rt Hon, the Baroness D'Souza, gave an Open Lecture on Wednesday 20 November 2013.

What does modern democracy require of Parliaments?

John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, delivered an Open Lecture at the University of Edinburgh, on 31 October 2013

The day Parliament burned down

Dr Caroline Shenton of the Parliamentary Archives delivered the first Open Lecture of the 2013/14 series, examining the great fire of 1834 which destroyed much of the old Houses of Parliament.

Parliament and Suffragettes

Dr Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist, examined Parliament and the Suffragette movement on Wednesday 5 June 2013.

The Passage of Legislation

David Natzler, Director General of Chamber and Committee Services in the House of Commons delivered lecture on 10 May 2013

The Legislature and the Executive

Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP, delivered an Open Lecture on Wednesday 24 April 2013.

The European Parliament

Mary Honeyball, MEP for London, delivered the second Open Lecture on Parliament's relationship with Europe on 19 March.

Parliament's relationship with Europe

Mr William Cash MP delivered the first of two lectures on Parliament's relationship with Europe on 21 February.

Reform in the House of Lords – ending the deadlock

Baroness Hayman, former Lord Speaker, delivered lecture at the University of East Anglia on 25 January 2013.

The role and importance of pre-legislative scrutiny in Parliamentary life

Lord Puttnam of Queensgate delivered lecture on 12 December 2012 on pre-legislative scrutiny in Parliament.

The Lord Speaker and International Relations

Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker, delivered the Open Lecture on 21 November, as part of Parliament Week 2012.

An insider's guide to the House of Commons

Sir Robert Rogers, Clerk of the House of Commons and Chief Executive, delivered the Open Lecture on 19 October 2012.

The Parliamentary Art Collection

Malcolm Hay, Curator of the Parliamentary Art Collection, delivered the third Open Lecutre on 19 September 2012

An insider's guide to the House of Lords

David Beamish, the Clerk of the Parliaments, delivered the second Open Lecture on Friday 4 May 2012

Select Committees and the Commons: recent developments

Andrew Kennon, Clerk of Committees in the House of Commons, delivered the first Open Lecture on 9 March 2012

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