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South Australian Parliamentary Internship Program

This program gives students the opportunity to undertake a research placement with a Member of the State Parliament of South Australia.

Since 1995 students have been able to gain first-hand experience of the workings of the Parliament by working with an MP on a research topic nominated by the Member.

For details about other Internship placements please see the Faculty of Arts website.

About the Internship Program

The Internship Program aims to:

  • provide students with community resources and connections not normally available to them
  • enhance understanding of public-policy making process through this exposure
  • produce a report of findings of use and value to the organisation and for which students gain academic credit
  • provide students with valuable experience, under supervision, in the production of long research reports

The Internship Program has been designed with two clear goals in mind. The first of these is to allow students to work attached to a Member of the Parliament of South Australia.  In the process it is expected that the students will acquire a sense of the general responsibilities confronted by Members on a regular basis.  Further, while completing the research for a Member, students will gain access to some of the resources and connections available to a Member of Parliament.  By the end of the Scheme, students should be able to leave with an enhanced understanding of the Parliamentary and public policy processes as well as a detailed knowledge of the issues behind the chosen research topic.  The second goal is that students will produce work that is of use to the Member, and that in the process of the research and the drafting of the final report, will make a valuable contribution to the Member as well as to the broader process of policy-making.

Admission to the Program

  • selection to the program is competitive and admission to the Program cannot be guaranteed
  • the final selection of students is by quota , based on academic merit
  • students wanting a place must enrol by 30 April (though students applying after 30 April may be accepted, depending on their desired placement and the level of demand)
  • all enrolled students will by informed whether they have been accepted into the Program by May
  • all students offered a place will be asked for their placement and research preferences and will be advised of their placement before the start of Semester 2

The Program begins with an orientation session. At this meeting we will discuss the process of arranging a meeting with their nominated organisation / supervisor and how to begin the process of preliminary planning of the research project. Once the exact terms of the research project have been agreed an ‘agreement' defining the task, outlining the methodology, and detailing the level of support available will be signed by the supervisor, the student and the academic coordinator. All students are expected to participate in a series of seminars during the semester.

Assessment is based upon the written research proposal (due in the first few weeks of the semester) and a final research report (due at the end of the semester). At the end of the academic semester, all students will attend an ‘Internship Conference' at which they will present a summary of their findings. One week later, all students will submit bound copies of their research project. One copy will go to the academic coordinator, and the other to the host organisation one copy of reports completed for Members of the State Parliament will be lodged in the Parliamentary Library).

A final mark (determined by the University) will be based on all the written work.

Further Information

Responsibility for the academic coordination of the Internships, for the negotiation of placements and the day to day running of the Internship Scheme rests with the Academic coordinator, and all enquiries specifically about the Scheme should be directed to:

Dr Wayne Errington
Department of Politics & International Studies
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005
Telephone +61-8-8313 0661 
Facsimile +61-8-8313 3443

Department of Politics
& International Relations

Ground Floor, Napier Building


T: +61 8 8313 2084