Scottish Politics Explained 2024

Politics Explained

Holyrood’s flagship Scottish Politics Explained event is returning, in-person at COSLA, Edinburgh, on 29 October 2024. The event will provide delegates with a thorough understanding of how the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government operate – covering everything from the role of an MSP and the parliamentary mechanisms at their disposal, to the powers of government. By attending this event, delegates will learn:

  • About the structure and everyday workings of the Parliament;
  • How the Scottish Government runs and is held to account;
  • How to influence and engage with policymakers and the media.

Scottish Politics Explained is particularly relevant to those working in:

  • Policy and/or public affairs;
  • External affairs and/or communications;
  • Public relations and/or campaigns.

As we begin a new parliamentary term, and we mark 25 years of the Scottish Parliament, now is the ideal time to learn about the processes, people and structures that matter. Join us in October to learn from experts about the Scottish political system, and network with colleagues who are also seeking to engage with parliamentarians and influence policy. All attendees will receive a copy of Holyrood’s Communications Guide and have the chance to win a year’s subscription to the Holyrood Magazine. 

  • Structure and composition
  • Committees and Cross-Party Groups
  • Procedures and rules
  • Devolved and reserved matters
  • Overview of an MSP’s role
  • Constituency and parliamentary obligations
  • Input into the legislative process
  • How to meet an MSP
  • Practical tips and advice
  • Engaging with MSPs and the legislative process
  • Effective lobbying within the parameters
  • Who’s who in the Scottish Government 
  • Directorates and portfolios
  • Civil servants and ministers
  • The relationship with Parliament
  • Practical tips and guidance on how to engage with media outlets
  • Learn the industry ‘do’s and don’ts’ from a panel of experts
Senior Clerk, Legislation Team
Deputy Director for Cabinet, Parliament and Governance
Head of Policy for Scotland
Former First Minister of Scotland, 2000-2001
Henry McLeish is a Scottish politician, author and academic who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2000 to 2001.
Discounted rates available

50% discount for students available using code UNI50

20% earlybird discount using code EARLY20

Automatic group discount (BOGOF) available for groups of 2 or more

Bookings with Group Discount aren't eligible for early bird discount.

Reduced Rate


With annual income of less than £1m

£195 + VAT

Standard Rate

Public sector/voluntary/charitable

With annual income over £1m

£245 + VAT

Private Sector Rate

Commercial e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP

£295 + VAT

    Event Details