Universiteit Leiden

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Public Administration (MSc)

How do we address the world's most pressing issues through governance? The Master Public Administration gives you a unique multi-level perspective on the management of global political, economic and social actors, with three specialisations to suit your specific interest.

Anna Elkerbout

Student Economics and Governance

Anna Elkerbout

'I chose Economics & Governance because it reflects the interaction between the private and public spheres. I have an interest in this interaction and believe politics and the market are strongly interconnected.'

Governance and economy

I chose the Master Public Administration: Economics & Governance because it reflects the interaction between the private and public spheres. I have an interest in the interaction between government and the economy and that believe politics and the market are strongly interconnected. We cannot ignore the market when analysing politics and vice versa. This master program allows to connect public governance with the economy when assessing current Western welfare state challenges.

Welfare state

In my thesis I conducted research in assessing the effect of private initiatives that stimulate labor market participation of the unemployed; it is a private solution in an area traditionally covered by government. In the future, I hope to contribute to welfare state developments and societal problems, either from a public or private perspective, by focussing on state-market interactions and how together these can shape and improve our (international) welfare states.

Prof. dr. Kutsal Yesilkagit


Prof. dr. Kutsal Yesilkagit

"How can we address humankind’s most pressing problems from the perspective of governance?"

Although these and many other challenges differ in many ways, they all share a common underlying dimension, namely public governance: to address them in a meaningful way we need knowledge about political, administrative and societal actors and processes.

In the Master we concentrate on the management, steering, and coordination of political, administrative, economic, and social actors and the formal and informal regimes and policy processes within which they act towards addressing collective social problems at regional, national, and international levels.

In our Master we will teach you that societal challenges are multi-level governance problems. For example, the Ebola disease started as a local governance problem of a few countries but transformed itself rapidly into a global problem due to the disease’s spread by means of modern transportation. We will also teach you that such societal challenges require a multi-disciplinary perspective. It requires the knowledge of economic, political, organizational, management and legal studies to gain a better understanding of them.

And, finally, we also will show you that societal challenges are transboundary problems. That is, they involve both the public and the private sector. This is what we aim for then: educating future academics with the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and professional skills that are capable of addressing our most important challenges. We educate people who know that governments alone can no longer steer societies on their own but need partners to do the job. Thus, we educate knowledge entrepreneurs, capable of working within (semi) public as well as private organizations towards solving our pressing social and economic problems.

Prof. dr. Sandra Groeneveld


Prof. dr. Sandra Groeneveld

“Public managers connect people to purpose”

The Public Management and Leadership specialisation focuses on how public managers can contribute to the organisational capacity to solve societal problems by balancing the management of external relations with internal management activities. The management of public organizations is vital to the effectiveness of public policies since policy outputs and outcomes are to be generated by public organizations and their employees, often within complex networks with other public, non-profit and private sector organizations. We study how public managers’ leadership connects people to the purpose of delivering public value.

Public management as a field of study essentially focuses on public performance. We analyse managers’ decision making regarding the achievement of potentially contradictory organizational goals and how the effectiveness of their decisions is contingent upon the institutional context in which the organization is embedded. This context may provide opportunities, but also constraints, such as decreasing resources in the realm of the economic crisis.

Students of Public Management acquire knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and theories of public management as well as of state-of-the-art academic research. On top of this they develop the professional skills to use their knowledge in responding to management challenges in international, national and local public organizational settings.

What does this master programme entail?

Across the globe our governments and societies are confronted with enourmous challenges that raise new organisational, policy, and ethical issues. The main focus of the Master in Public Administration is on the management, steering, and coordination of political, administrative, economic, and social actors and the contexts in which they act. It will equip you with the skills to address policy issues at local, regional and international levels.

3 reasons to choose Public Administration at Leiden University

  • The Master in Public Administration focusses on governance from  multi-level perspective. You will examine policy creation and implementation from the level of the organisation (i.e. the behavior of public managers) all the way up to the highest level of cooperation (i.e. international governance issues).
  • As the world becomes more complex your Master in Public Adminsitration has growing career value for governmental organisations, NGO's and bussiness.
  • The Hague is the ideal location for your study, placing you in the political and administrative heart of the Netherlands and at the centre of European policy and governance.

Public Administration: the right programme for you?

  • Are you fascinated in watching the whole context of dilemmas and challenges experienced by  governments and societies worldwide?
  • Do you want to address these issues from the perspective of governance?
  • Do you have affinity with a specific area of governance, as addressed by the 3 specialisations in this programme – economics and governance, international governance, or public management?

Then this programme is for you!

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