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Masters Degrees in Public Policy, Netherlands

We have 16 Masters Degrees in Public Policy, Netherlands

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In the Master’s in Public Policy and Governance you will learn to critically analyse public policies in often controversial political settings. Read more

In the Master’s in Public Policy and Governance you will learn to critically analyse public policies in often controversial political settings. The programme focuses on both research and practice and links theory and practice by looking into interesting cases and inviting inspiring guest speakers.

The Public Policy and Governance track prepares students to meet demands for effective and legitimate public action in complex and often controversial political settings. The programme helps students develop as critical analysts and innovative designers by linking research and practice, theory and action on the ‘shop floor’ on the local, national, European, and international levels. Opportunities are provided to study policy work at and across these levels.

  • Are you interested in how problems become political and prompt public action? 
  • Do you wonder about how the professionals and public officials responsible cope with the complex and changing demands that these problems set?
  • Do you want to learn more about how learning and innovation develop as public policy is made and implemented?

Then the Master's programme in Public Policy and Governance might be the perfect programme for you.

Three reasons to study Public Policy and Governance at the University of Amsterdam

The Public Policy and Governance track provides a unique opportunity to study public policy and governance in the context of a political science programme. This setting strengthens the link between policy problems and ongoing social and political developments. 

The Department of Political Science is is the largest in the Netherlands, which provides our students with a wide array of coursework and opportunities for thesis research. 

The student body is international, providing the opportunity to study and develop within a diverse community.

Student profile

Are you interested in how public policy is made and put into practice? Do you want to learn how to conduct research that contributes to the development and implementation of policy and to reflect on the practical arrangements in which policy gets made? If so, this Master's programme might be for you! The programme is intensive and rigorous and students are expected to develop a capacity to work independently and in group settings.

Career prospects

Students typically find a career in public organisations (government , as well as non-governmental organisations), policy advisory bureaus, consultancy firms, multi-nationals, and other companies.

Degree certificate

Public Policy and Governance is a track of the accredited degree programme Political Science. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Political Science and the title Master of Science (MSc).



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'Public Policy' (formerly. Socio-Economic Policy) is one of the specialized tracks of the Master's program in Economics. The track focuses on how governments can achieve their domestic policy objectives, design effective policies, and finance their activities. Read more
'Public Policy' (formerly: Socio-Economic Policy) is one of the specialized tracks of the Master's program in Economics. The track focuses on how governments can achieve their domestic policy objectives, design effective policies, and finance their activities.

Tilburg University is ranked #11 worldwide in Business and Economics (Times Higher Education, 2016).

Important domestic public policy objectives range from reduced income inequality and job security, to an affordable health care and pension system. Effective public policy requires the balancing of public services provision and individual incentives to makes use of these services. In this track you study how public policies and tax schemes can be designed to create the right incentives and nudges and make societal goals within reach.

Career perspectives

This track is advised to you if you wish to pursue a career as policy advisor in national governments (Ministry of Social Affairs, or other Ministries) or in international organizations such as the EU, as a researcher in applied research institutes (e.g., Netherlands Bureau of Economic Research (CPB)), or as a consultant with nationally or internationally oriented consultancy firms.

Examples of functions of recent graduates of this track:
•Data-Analyst at the Municipality of Amsterdam
•Statistical Researcher labor and mobility at Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek
•Policy advisor Decentralisations at the Municipality of Culemborg
•Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance
•Doctoral Student at the University of Oxford
•Junior Pensions Specialist at Syntrus Achmea
•Economic Adviser at VÖB Bundesverband Öffentlicher Banken Deutschlands
•Policy Advisor at Ministry of Economic Affairs
•Consumer Finance Associate at De Lage Landen
•Policy Advisor at Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
•Statistical Analyst at De Nederlandsche Bank
•Market Mitigation and Analysis at NYISO

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The MSc in Economic Policy deals with complex societal issues, with a focus on the role of government policies, ranging from the organisation of care and the provision of social insurance to policies of sustainable growth. Read more

Economic Policy

The MSc in Economic Policy deals with complex societal issues, with a focus on the role of government policies, ranging from the organisation of care and the provision of social insurance to policies of sustainable growth. You will learn to apply modern economics to questions relating to labour market reform, inequality, the future of education and health care, energy transition and sustainable economic growth.
You will take courses that combine economic theory with socio-economic policy-making in a small group of students representing diverse academic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity helps to create a learning environment that encourages intense discussion and interaction.

Characteristics:
*Analyse topical issues in depth
In order to prepare you fully for the job market, you will explore important topics such as the key concepts of public finance, active labour market policies and sustainable economic growth.

*Pay special attention to questions around sustainable growth and development in public policy
One of the main challenges for the future is how to make the transition to sustainability, not only in terms of use of natural resources, but also with respect to the institutional framework of society, e.g. the tax-and-transfer system and the issue of sustainable finance. The insights of behavioural economics are used to improve public policy decision-making.

*Be part of a small, international community
The high staff-to-student ratio in tutorials encourages close interaction between you, your peers, and your professors and lecturers in this highly international programme.

*Learn from active and experienced professionals
Our tutors and academics have significant professional experience as researchers, advisors and consultants.

"The initial core modules are challenging, but covered important economic theories and techniques. This is built on with constant reference to real-world situations and implications throughout the year, making it all the more engaging. The teaching staff, who are open and extremely proficient in English, have extensive professional experience. Courses didn't just cover economic measurement and analysis, but also policy design, implementation and review."-John Appleton (MSc graduate United Kingdom)

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Want to understand how to address humankind’s most pressing issues - big challenges arising from climate change, technological innovation, economic and political crises - from the perspective of governance? The MSc in Public Administration is for you!. Read more

Want to understand how to address humankind’s most pressing issues - big challenges arising from climate change, technological innovation, economic and political crises - from the perspective of governance? The MSc in Public Administration is for you!

What does this master programme entail?

The main question you focus on in the MPA is: How can we address humankind’s most pressing problems from the perspective of governance? Governance has many definitions; within the context of the MPA it concerns the management, steering, and coordination of political, administrative, economic, and social actors, as well as the formal and informal regimes and policy processes within which they act, towards addressing collective social problems at regional, national, and international levels.

Three reasons to choose Public Administration at Leiden University

  • The Leiden MPA takes a distinctive approach: governance is examined from a multi-level perspective with the object of effectively developing governance solutions to societal challenges. Taught in The Hague, a hub of international governance organisations.
  • 3 unique specialisations: Economics & Governance, International & European Governance, and Public Management.
  • Strong academic orientation; faculty drawn from Leiden’s Institute of Public Management with guest lecturers from the field.

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 specialisations in this programme – like economics and governance, international governance, or public management?
  • Do you want to contribute to research and practice in this crucial area?

Then this programme is for you!



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How can we understand the EU’s response to the financial crisis or to the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia? How do we account for the EU’s reaction to the refugee crisis provoked by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa? What is Europe’s peacekeeping role and capacity? The master's programme in European Studies trains you to answer these complex questions. Read more

How can we understand the EU’s response to the financial crisis or to the confrontation between Ukraine and Russia? How do we account for the EU’s reaction to the refugee crisis provoked by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa? What is Europe’s peacekeeping role and capacity? The master's programme in European Studies trains you to answer these complex questions. Because you cannot study Europe from just one angle, the programme examines global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. This student-centred, interdisciplinary programme is among the largest, and certainly the most international, in Europe and has an excellent reputation. You will study the internal and external dimensions of European policy, governance and administration. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture within the European milieu and between Europe and the wider world.

Why this programme?

The Master of Arts in European Studies focuses on the international dimensions of policy, governance and administration. The programme looks beyond the institutions of the European Union and the mechanics of European integration to examine global developments and multi-level governance in a broader context. The programme employs an interdisciplinary approach, combining political science, history, international relations, economics and cultural studies. The focus is on the underlying issues of power and influence, governance and culture. 

The programme offers three specialisations:

  • European Politics & International Relations: concentrates on the international position and politics of the European Union (EU) as a political entity
  • European Public Policy & Administration: focuses on the political and administrative mechanisms and balances between the institutions of the European Union, its member states and civil societies
  • Europe in a Globalising World: focuses on Europe and its member states’ shifting roles on the world stage in parallel to collective efforts to address global challenges such as international migration and development


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Tilburg University's Master’s in Economics program equips you with the tools needed to understand and manage the complex problems facing companies and governments in the modern economy. Read more
Tilburg University's Master’s in Economics program equips you with the tools needed to understand and manage the complex problems facing companies and governments in the modern economy.
What defines the modern economy? Increasingly integrated and turbulent markets, opening up unprecedented opportunities for firms as well greater risks. With your deep understanding of how markets function, when they fail, and the implications of this for market participants, you will be optimally prepared to help organizations and governments seize the opportunities available in the global economy while avoiding potential market pitfalls.

Tilburg University is ranked as #11 worldwide in Business and Economics (Times Higher Education, 2016). With its excellent quality and relatively low tuition fee, the program at Tilburg University is an excellent choice for those wanting to develop the skills, knowledge and attitude for a professional economic analyst.

The program is unique in its kind due to its flexible curriculum. Students can compose their own personalized curriculum by selecting courses from 13 different seminars and 5 methods courses. By selecting specific courses, they also have the opportunity to compose one of the specialized tracks:
-Competition and Regulation
-Public Policy
-Sustainability and Growth
-Pensions Aging and Retirement
-Money Banking and Financial Institutions
-Behavioral Economics.

Future jobs

Because of the excellent reputation of the Tilburg University Economics Department in both teaching and research, your Master's in Economics qualification gives you a competitive advantage in any career that requires sound economic knowledge, strong economic intuition, and sharp analytical and problem-solving skills.

Your degree will be an excellent launch pad for a career as consultant, analyst or policy advisor. Possible job opportunities include positions in:
•International companies
•Banks
•Management Consulting firms
•Research agencies
•Public sector
•Non-profit sector

Are you passionate about sharing your knowledge with others? After finishing your Master in Economics, Dutch graduates have the possibility to follow a one-year educational post-Master to become a teacher in General Economics.

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Spatial planners are fascinated by on-going and future changes in cities and regions and take on the role as managers of those spatial transformations - think of. Read more

Spatial planners are fascinated by on-going and future changes in cities and regions and take on the role as managers of those spatial transformations - think of: regenerating shopping districts or old industrial sites; designating water retention areas; shaping urban mobility concepts for the future. Related challenges vary in scale, from individual property to European policy making.

The Master's in Spatial Planning has the subtitle ‘managing smart cities and regions’. This reflects the challenges of current and future urban societies, at a time that ambitions for a ‘New Urban Agenda’ for the 21st century are formulated, with policies and strategies to create more sustainable and equitable urban spaces.

Master's specialisations

You can choose a specialisation that best reflects your passion for spatial planning:

  • Cities, Water and Climate Change: Gain all necessary knowledge and skills for working on the nexus between urban planning, water and environmental management.
  • European Spatial and Environmental Planning: Become a spatial planner who understands EU policies, can cooperate with planners across borders and engages with other sectors like environment and economic development.
  • Planning, Land and Real Estate Development: Discover new perspectives on urban development which you can use in a future role as city developer, either in the public or private sector.
  • Strategic Spatial Planning: Focus on the strategic and visionary elements of what might be called the ‘new’ planning enterprise.
  • Urban and Regional Mobility: Look into different integrated mobility systems or transport modes at different spatial scales. Discover new practices and strategies to provide innovative mobility sollutions.
  • Flexible specialisation: We also offer you the opportunity to make your own combination of courses from a list of relevant electives, next to completing the core courses of the programme.

Find out more on our website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/spatial

Why study Spatial Planning at Radboud University?

  • We’re a small, almost ‘family-like’ department that covers a broad range of topics with a strong track record in related research. This means that you’ll have the advantage of enjoying plenty of one-on-one contact with expert supervisors while pursuing a topic that is of personal interest to you.
  • While English is the main language of communication and all lectures are in English, you have the choice to complete assignments, exams and your thesis in either Dutch or English.
  • You're trained to think outside given boxes, by combining well-established core courses with electives providing state of the art specialist knowledge.
  • Together with lecturers and practitioners, you'll develop smart and sustainable solutions for actual and future planning problems.
  • Best Master’s programme according to the Elsevier magazine’s survey Beste studies 2017.

If you are interested in developing a different understanding of planning and forms of practices and you want to create socially, environmentally, economically just places, come study our Master's in Spatial Planning!



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What is the societal and academic significance of 'art', 'heritage' and 'culture'? Why do we value certain works of art, heritage or cultural… Read more

What is the societal and academic significance of 'art', 'heritage' and 'culture'? Why do we value certain works of art, heritage or cultural practices and not others? How do different ways of interpreting and presenting the arts and cultural heritage affect our ideas about the past, present and future? If you are interested in finding the answers to questions like these, and you have a passion for art and cultural heritage, the master’s programme Arts and Heritage: Policy, Management and Education might be the right choice for you.

In this programme, which you can choose to follow in English or Dutch, you will develop the academic and professional knowledge and skills you will need to become a policy maker, art manager, museum curator or educator. This internationally-oriented programme approaches art and cultural heritage from different perspectives. You will also have plenty of opportunities to concentrate on your specific areas of interest.

Why this programme?

The master’s programme in Arts and Heritage: Policy, Management and Education examines the concepts of ‘heritage’ and ‘art’ as expressions of both past and present culture. You will develop insights into these key concepts and how their meaning has changed throughout history. You will evaluate and debate issues related to appreciation, interpretation, use, management and policy. The programme will also teach you academic skills and professional skills in the practical organisation and development of artistic projects in the context of cultural management.



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Do you want to broaden your knowledge of European politics and policies in a programme that combines the study of political science with international relations… Read more

Do you want to broaden your knowledge of European politics and policies in a programme that combines the study of political science with international relations, history and sociology? Are you ambitious, with a keen motivation to pursue a career that requires strong research competences, such as in a think tank or in academia, or jobs in politics and journalism? And are you interested in being part of a small, close-knit community of students and researchers? If so, the two-year interdisciplinary European Studies programme is the right choice for you.

  • Choose a study specialisation (year 1): Europe and the World / Governance and Representation in Europe / Historicising European Union.
  • Choose a graduation package (year 2): Double Degree / Study Abroad / Research Internship.​

Unique features

  • A small, close-knit community of students and researchers (average intake 12-15 students)
  • Over 90% international students
  • Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label (Higher Education Guide/ Keuzegids 2017)
  • Top-rated faculty (Higher Education Guide/ Keuzegids 2017)
  • Scholarships are available towards tuition, maintenance, study abroad and internships

Why this programme?

The research-intensive master’s in European Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that combines political science and international relations with history and sociology. Research plays a primary role from the outset, with research projects integrated into each core module. You will gain in-depth training in methods such as quantitative and qualitative techniques, comparative methods and discourse analysis. You will also develop skills in designing research, writing research proposals, publishing your work and applying for funding and research positions. For the elective component, you can choose to take specialised courses, complete a research internship or do an exchange abroad. The master’s programme culminates with a thesis and the development of a PhD research proposal.

In this programme, you will:

  • Learn to critically analyse and discuss challenges facing the EU
  • Gain experience working in a multidisciplinary, international academic environment
  • Receive in-depth training in conducting high-quality research
  • Focus on designing, implementing and publishing your own research


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Bridging the gap between theory and practice – and applying them to the design of sound, feasible policies – can provide the key to solving micro, meso and macroeconomic issues. Read more

Master's specialisation in Economics, Behaviour and Policy

Bridging the gap between theory and practice – and applying them to the design of sound, feasible policies – can provide the key to solving micro, meso and macroeconomic issues.
How do policy makers make decisions that affect economic, societal and personal welfare? How is welfare defined and measured? And how can we design more effective policies? This specialisation covers not only econometric questions, but also psychological, cultural, legal and philosophical ones. By improving your insight into complex issues, it will prepare you for designing successful strategies in your future career as a policy maker or consultant .
Our graduates are experts in economic policies who work for government and semi-government organisations, and also as consultants in business and industry. You can do the same. By examining real-world scenarios, you’ll acquire the analytical skills you need to take research results and apply them to a wide variety of problems.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ep

Why study Economics, Behaviour and Policy at Radboud University?

- You’ll tackle economic and policy issues at all levels – focusing mostly on the real economy.
- You’ll combine learning with research: your lecturers are researchers who incorporate the latest findings into their teaching. As a student, you’ll also do research.
- You’ll interact with your professors in small seminar groups.
- By taking our ‘Economics Plus’ package, you’ll combine ‘standard’ economics with disciplines such as psychology and sociology. This will give you the knowledge you need to tackle policy issues in today’s globalised world.

Change perspective

You’ll gain a strong theoretical background in both mainstream and heterodox (i.e. non-mainstream) economic theories, augmented by methods derived from disciplines that include psychology and sociology. There’s good reason for this broad approach: if an economic problem seems intractable, you may need to change your perspective. We also examine the policy relevance of theoretical insights and give you the tools you need to design policies that will make a difference to people’s lives.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A Bachelor's degree in Economics – or a closely-related discipline – from a research-oriented university, with sufficient background in Research Methods and Mathematics (and Economics if you took a different degree).

2. Proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you must be fluent in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English need one of qualifications below. Please note that certificates must have been awarded in the past two years, and that no other certificates are accepted:
- A TOEFL (iBT) Certificate with a minimum overall score of 90 and no subscore not less than 18, or
- IELTS Academic Certificate: a minimum overall score of 6.5 less than 6.0, or
- A Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with a minimum score of C, or
- A Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a minimum score of C.

3. A letter of motivation (max. 2 pages)
Please explain why you want to follow this programme and why you think you should be part of this programme.

Career prospects

This programme will provide you with a toolbox filled with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle a whole array of economic problems. Besides issues at the micro and macroeconomic level, graduates learn to deal with issues at the meso level, for example, how to stimulate innovation.
Our graduates devise policies and learn to analyse critically which solutions are most likely to work in a specific economic and social context. They regularly find employment as policy makers for government and semi-government organisations, in ministries, national banks, NGOs, think tanks, the UN and the EU , as well as national and international labour organisations. But your career prospects are much broader than that. You could for example, work as a consultant in industry or as a lobbyist.

Our approach to this field

By giving you a strong theoretical grounding in a broad range of current economic theories – both mainstream and heterodox –this programme will show you not just what is happening, but also why and how. To ensure that it is always relevant, we update the content every year.

Our main aim is to unravel the diversity – and the complexity – of economic issues, and thus clarify the role of economics in society. At the micro level, we might look at, for example, policies for reducing traffic jams or encouraging citizens to opt for more sustainable ways of living. At the meso level, we might examine policies intended to determine which companies should be supported – those that are struggling or those that are successful? – and how companies can be encouraged to innovate. And at the macro level, we might try to determine whether government policies should respond to financial crises through austerity or through investment.

Lectures are devoted to detailed discussions of a wide range of real-world scenarios. As an active participant, you’ll join in debates with your lecturers and your fellow students, and sometimes with experts from the field. One module – Technology & Innovation Policy – is taught by an emeritus professor and two business leaders. Guest speakers are drawn from varied backgrounds, such as a recent speaker from the Dutch Ministry of Finance, who discussed financial illiteracy. Activities such as these all exemplify the kinds of concerns – economic and otherwise – you’ll be likely to encounter as a policy maker.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/ep

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As crises arising from terrorism, civil war, and natural disasters dominate world news it is no surprise that security and crisis management - including the perception of risk - is at the top of the global societal and governance agenda. Read more

As crises arising from terrorism, civil war, and natural disasters dominate world news it is no surprise that security and crisis management - including the perception of risk - is at the top of the global societal and governance agenda.

What does this master's programme entail?

During this multidisciplinary career-relevant master’s programme you become familiar with the political and social dimensions of the governance of (in)security and crisis. You study contemporary security challenges from both local and global pointsof view and gain deep understanding of the ‘wicked problem’ of security and crisis topics in a complex and globalising world. The combination of theory, practical insights and analytical skills prepares you for work in public or private organisations.

Reasons to choose CSM at Leiden University

This MSc offers you unique multidisciplinary perspectives on the governance of security and crisis.

  • You learn from members of the Institute of Public Administration and Institute of Security & Global Affairs plus guest lecturers from many fields and organisations;
  • Your study is informed by the latest international, interdisciplinary research in security studies;
  • You study in The Hague, international city of peace and justice, home to many governmental/ NGO’s concerned with security issues.

Why Leiden University

Is CSM the right programme for you?

  • Are you driven to read the news each morning, fascinated by current events and their follow-on developments?
  • Can you think critically about complex societal issues?
  • Are you interested in combining a variety of academic perspectives and applying them to real-life issues?
  • Do you want to contribute to the discussion and practices around crisis and security management?
  • Are you able to form an informed opinion and communicate it clearly to a variety of audiences?

Then this is the programme for you!

Admission and application



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In the two-year master’s programme ICT in Business and the Public Sector, you will expand your knowledge of ICT and develop business and organisational skills that are essential to become a modern IT professional. Read more

In the two-year master’s programme ICT in Business and the Public Sector, you will expand your knowledge of ICT and develop business and organisational skills that are essential to become a modern IT professional.

What does this master’s programme entail?

Rapid changes in ICT and its applications over the last years have caused major changes for organizations, industries, and individuals. The Internet, information systems, and communication technology in general, have radically impacted our professional and personal lives. They challenged our thinking on physical, geographical and industry boundaries, on distance, speed and communication. This programme provides you with a deeper understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities in this area, with a specific focus on the management and alignment of ICT in a business and socio-technical context.

Read more about our ICT in Business and the Public Sector programme.

Why study ICT in Business and the Public Sector at Leiden University?

  • The master's programme ICT in Business and the Public Sector is unique in the Netherlands and has a strong international focus. Besides students and lecturers coming from all over the world, there are several possibilities for studying abroad. Cross-cultural team work is required in a lot of courses.
  • The groups are small (40 students) and the lectures are often interactive.
  • You will benefit from the department’s strong links to industry. There are good in-company research thesis internships, often followed by excellent career opportunities.

Find more reasons to choose ICT in Business and the Public Sector at Leiden University.

ICT in Business and the Public Sector: the right master’s programme for you?

Are you interested in managing ICT in complex organisations, in an international context? Are you a team player who likes to cooperate with colleagues from different departments? Then ICT in Business and the Public Sector is the right choice for you. Besides understanding of typical Business and organizational topics, this master’s programme covers the interface between IT and Management. The programme offers two specialisations: ICT in Business and ICT in the Public Sector.

Read more about the entry requirements for ICT in Business and the Public Sector.



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