Public Administration, 2018-2019

The MSc Public Administration offers 3 specialisations:
1. International and European Governance (IEG)
2. Public Management (PM)
3. Economics and Governance (EG)

This master’s is a fulltime day programme taught in English.

  • Every student of Public Administration takes two substantive core courses: Public Institutions, and Public Policy and Values (10 ECTS).
  • Besides the core courses, each student takes the skills oriented courses Research Design, and Research Methods (10 ECTS).
  • In addition, students take four substantive specialization courses (20 ECTS) and one elective (5 ECTS).
  • Students conduct original research on a topic of their choice within their specialisation and present their results in a thesis (15 ECTS).

You can find the link to the programme overview on the right side of this page.
Only students of the MSc Public Administration can participate in the courses of Public Administration


Invitation: welcome meeting Public Administration students (February 2019)

Dear Student,

On behalf of the board and staff of the Institute of Public Administration of Leiden University we warmly welcome all new Public Administration Master’s (MPA) students.
We organize a special meeting to welcome our new MPA students on Friday February 1st. During this meeting you will get acquainted with the specialization in which you are enrolled. You will get essential information about your studies like how the programme is built up and information about the thesis.

The programme is as follows:

Who When Where
Walk in 15.00 – 15.15 Wijnhaven 2.02
All new master PA students 15.15 – 15.45 Wijnhaven 2.02
Change of rooms 15.45 – 16.00
PA – International & European Governance 16.00 – 16.45 Wijnhaven 3.16
PA – Public Management 16.00 – 16.45 Wijnhaven 2.19
PA – Economics & Governance 16.00 – 16.45 Wijnhaven 3.60
Social Activity and drinks 16.45 - 18.15 Wijnhaven, De Brasserie

The links to practical information about the timetable, uSis, umail and Blackboard etc. can be found on the right side.

See you on February 1st!

Kind regards,

Ms. Tineke Choi, MSc
Ms. drs. Jolanda den Heijer
Study advisers Institute of Public Administration

Please note: this information only applies to students who (are eligible to) start with MSc Public Administration on February 1st.


The International and European Governance specialisation of the Master’s programme provides the essential theoretical background, knowledge and skills for the public leaders and policy makers of tomorrow to address the challenges of effective and legitimate governance in a globalized world. The specialisation is designed to enable students to gain a solid understanding of the complex nature of contemporary public governance arising from the interactions of supranational, international, national, and local actors and institutions. In this way we prepare students to critically evaluate, implement and design public policies and programs fit for societal problems that transcend national and regional borders.

International organizations such as the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and many others are analysed as a response by nation states to common trans-national challenges and at the same time as vehicles of further globalisation. In this context, this Master’s specialisation core themes are: decision making in multi-level governance systems (such as the European Union) and its effects on the national and local levels of government; the transfer of sovereignty and policies to international organizations and the effects of supranational policies on national governments’ ability to tackle domestic problems; the role of external actors: transnational networks and international organizations in the domestic arena of member states: effects for domestic politics, policy and economics.


Students who are enrolled in the Public Management specialisation examine public policy and governance from an organisational and managerial perspective. The management of public organisations is vital to the effectiveness of public policies since policy outputs and outcomes are to be generated by public organizations, often within complex networks with other public, non-profit and private sector organizations. Therefore, effectively addressing societal challenges boils down to the daily work of public managers and their employees. What aspects of management can be distinguished? When and how does management contribute to public performance? And, how can organizational goals, employees’ interests and wider extra-organizational interests be bridged? These questions are at the core of the Public Management specialisation of the MPA. The programme builds on a solid foundation of core courses Public Institutions and Public Policy and Values, that provide students with understanding of state of the art research in policy making, from agenda setting to implementation, management and political- administrative relations.

Specialisation courses in the PM specialisation build on this foundation and center on the external and internal management of public organisations. Together with the lecturers students will examine core themes in public management, such as public service performance, managerial networking, change management, public leadership, human resource management, workforce diversity and representativeness, and employee motivation and behaviour. Students acquire knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories of public management as well as of state-of-the-art academic research. In addition, they develop the professional skills to use their knowledge in responding to management challenges in international, national, and local public organizational settings.


Solving societal problems often requires a solid multidisciplinary preparation. The Economics and Governance specialisation, offered jointly by the Department of Economics and the Department of Public Administration, combines insights from the two disciplines. The MPA prepares students for analysing and addressing societal problems in the overarching framework of public governance. In this specialisation, we add a strong foundation in economics to the focus on governance. Students develop skills to conduct economic analysis of current policy problems and to identify an appropriate policy response, recognizing societal complexity.

The focal point of the program is on markets and the welfare state. Students learn about the role of government in creating, facilitating and controlling markets (e.g. competition policy, regulation). We will also examine the status of the current welfare state, such as the pension system, social security, labour markets, and income distribution in society. We examine the challenges that the welfare state currently confronts and analyse policy responses to address the problems, both from an empirical and theoretical viewpoint. Furthermore, as increasingly recognized by scholars and policy-makers, the institutional framework (standards, procedures, and norms, also non-governmental actors) is an important precondition for well-functioning economies. Understanding markets within such institutional complexity as well as within the global context is an important characteristic of the program.

The specialisation aims to develop professionals who have an analytical skill-set to address policy problems broadly, and in the field of social policy and market regulation specifically; professionals who recognize the assumptions and choices they make in their decisions, and who can stand on the long intellectual tradition of the state-market relations throughout their career.

Transitional arrangements

Transitional arrangements Public Administration 2018-2019

Please contact the study advisors.