Scottish Politics Explained 2023

Politics Explained

Holyrood’s flagship Scottish Politics Explained event is returning, in-person to central Edinburgh, on 25 October 2023. 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; and
  • 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;
  • Public relations and/or communications; and
  • Campaigns. 

As we begin a new parliamentary term, and with a new First Minister and Cabinet in place, 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 Comms Guide and Political Guide, and have the chance to win a year’s subscription to the Holyrood Magazine.

Pam Gosal MSP
Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training
Scottish Conservatives
Henry McLeish Headshot
Henry McLeish
Former First Minister of Scotland
Henry McLeish is a Scottish politician, author and academic who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2000 to 2001.
  • 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
  • Who’s who in the Scottish Government 
  • Directorates and portfolios
  • Civil servants and ministers
  • The relationship with Parliament
  • How Bills are introduced
  • The stages of a Bill
  • Engaging with MSPs and the legislative process
  • Effective lobbying within the parameters
  • Practical tips and guidance on how to engage with media outlets
  • Learn the industry ‘do’s and don’ts’ from a panel of experts
Early Bird
Limited Tickets available

20% discount available using code EARLY20

This cannot be combined with any other discounts

Discounted rates available

50% discount automatically applies to bookings of 2 or more

50% discount for students available using code UNI50

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